When it comes to sneaker sales, none has the dominance of the Air Jordan line. Scottie Pippen, Charles Barkley and Penny Hardaway have made the brand synonymous with high-tempo basketball. Yet even these great names have had to change their strategy to make the shoe popular with fans. The Air Jordan line has always emphasized the “Swoosh” branding on its sneakers, but it is becoming less obvious as the market shifts away from its traditional position.
The Pippen’s are legendary basketball shoes. They were worn by Scottie Pippen from his rookie season to his last, winning six NBA titles with the Chicago Bulls. Pippen said that understanding his role was the biggest challenge. In addition to his incredible basketball IQ, Pippen was a mature and wise player. He was the MVP who was lent to the greatest player in basketball history.
In 1996, Nike introduced the Air More Uptempo, an all-new model that features visible Air Sole units and a 3M ‘Air’ letterform on the laterals. This shoe was a triumph of proportionality, and it featured more Air than any previous Nike model. In fact, it was designed with pop art and subway graffiti as its inspiration. This model made its debut during the regular season of the Bulls in 1996 and during the Atlanta Olympics in 1996.
While Michael Pippen wore the original Uptempo when he was just 21 years old, the shoe was immediately popular. It received a full revival in the last year. Nike has been reintroducing classic colorways and Supreme has remixed them. The black and white version of the Pippen Uptempo was a huge hit, and Derrick Jones almost won the 2017 Dunk Contest in gold Supreme Uptempos.
Nike released the Air More Uptempo in three different colorways, including a custom Chicago Bulls-inspired version. These shoes will debut in July 2017. Their white leather upper will be accented with black “AIR” lettering and Varsity Red accents on the Nike Swoosh logos and the Air pocket. They will feature a Scottie Pippen PE logo on the heel. These are the best-selling Nike sneakers, so look for them soon!
Pippen was drafted by the Bulls in 1987, and spent five years rotating between Avias and Nike. When he finally signed with Nike, he wore the Air Flight Lite. He later wore the Air Flight Huarache and Air Max Uptempo to achieve greatness. In addition to Pippen’s Air Flight Lite, Nike also made the Air Flight Lite, which is now expected to release for $120 next year.
Despite his prolific career, Nike chose Pippen to wear 5 different signature sneakers before retiring from the game. In 1997, Nike chose Pippen to be the face of its entry-level shoe, the Nike Air Hype Uptempo. Pippen wore these shoes when they were released, but they never made a retro version. In 1998, Pippen switched to the Nike Air Flight of 1989. Inspired by the Jordan 4, the Uptempo was the first Nike sneaker Pippen wore for the first time.
You might recognize Charles Barkley from his NBA appearances on TNT and NBA on TBS. He’s a legend in basketball circles. Recently, Nike Sportswear re-released Barkley’s Air Max CB 34 in the “Phoenix Suns” colorway. The shoes feature black uppers with purple and teeth-like white accents on the midsole. They also have purple accents and white branding.
Originally, Charles Barkley’s “Olympic” uptempo shoes were a limited edition that debuted at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. They were part of the Dream Team USAB squad. The shoes feature Team USA’s colors and will retail for $140. They will be available at VILLA on April 10th. If you like Charles Barkley’s “Olympic” Air More Uptempo, you should definitely check out the Grant Hill 2. The limited edition Grant Hill 2 is designed to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the NBA.
Unlike the popular Air More Uptempo, the ‘Much Uptempo’ does not have full-length visible Air. The pair worn by Gary Payton at the 1996 Olympics featured an all-black sole and tongue. The Air Much Uptempo was later released in black and white colorways. This colorway was later discontinued, but Chuck Close’s pair has made a comeback as a cult classic.
The Converse Fast Break, the Converse Air Force, and the Jordan 8 Retro were some of the most iconic silhouettes in basketball. They dominated the court during the 70s and 80s. And Charles Barkley wore them for the Philadelphia 76ers, the Phoenix Suns, and the Houston Rockets. The Uptempo is still one of the most popular basketball shoes, and the OG version is a cult classic.
While Penny Hardaway retired from professional basketball in 2011, he continues to have an impact on the game through his signature shoe line. Nike Sportswear has released four different models of Hardaway’s shoes since his retirement, including the Half Cent, Zoom Rookie, Penny V, and Lil Penny Posite. Earlier this year, the company announced plans to release a blue version of Hardaway’s Air Penny VI.
Nike knew how valuable Hardaway’s talent was, and they recognized it by giving her a signature sneaker. She played her first two seasons in a pair of Nike Foamposities, then moved to the acclaimed Air Jordan 9. After her signing with Nike, Hardaway’s uptempo shoes became a staple of her basketball collection. In addition to creating great performance basketball shoes, Hardaway was able to put on some of the greatest Nike commercials of all time.
The Air Max Penny was a mediocre basketball shoe. It took too long to break in and the tongue was too short and lacked ankle support. But Hardaway’s uptempo shoes redeemed themselves in the USA market after he got a customized version of the shoe with a longer tongue and a modified lacing system to improve ankle support. Since then, it has become one of the most popular Penny sneaker models.
Despite the negative press, the Uptempo shoes still remain a staple of basketball. Penny Hardaway was one of the most versatile players in the game, and her Air Penny was considered the first Uptempo signature shoe. Its light-weight design made it comfortable to wear. With its minimal impact on the foot, the Uptempos were a hit with the Bulls. A.R. even debuted his trademark tomahawk dunk in the air-penny.
The Orlando Magic finished second in the Eastern Conference and made the playoffs for the first time since the franchise was founded. In addition to Hardaway, the team also had the legendary Dennis Rodman, Scottie Pippen, and Michael Jordan. Despite Penny’s success and hype, he never seemed to be too eager to bask in the spotlight. Aside from her uptempo shoes, the team’s legendary playoff battles with the Chicago Bulls were also a highlight.
The Air Max Penny 1 was designed by Eric Avar, who also designed Kobe Bryant’s iconic Nike sneakers. Penny Hardaway’s style made Nike basketball shoes a new category. Uptempo was meant to suit a more positionless player than the previous Flight or Force lines. Hence, the new shoes were a great fit for Penny Hardaway. It also led to a new era in the history of the game.