by Steve Jaconetta

With regards to retro sneakers, timing is every thing. And simply because the timing was flawed as soon as, doesn’t imply a fashions can’t have future success as a retro.

The Nike Air Drive 2 is a mannequin that’s had retro runs with blended outcomes. It initially launched in 1986, and retroed for the primary time in 2002. The Charles Barkley-worn, 76ers-inspired white, purple and royal blue high-top was the primary pair retroed, and bought at a retail for $65. Due to restricted allocation, the sneaker grew to become considerably wanted. Varied colorways would proceed to drop that 12 months, with the Air Drive 2 Low making its retro debut in 2003.

There was a shift between restricted and common launch colorways for the primary half of 2003. Pairs akin to ‘The Soiled,’ ‘Hectic,’ ‘LA’ and ‘Raptors’ got here and went, however the majority of the overall releases might be discovered later within the 12 months on gross sales racks in all places.

On the time, the Air Drive 1 was nonetheless everybody’s most popular go-to sneaker, particularly in all-black and all-white. Regardless, followers of the Air Drive 2 appeared to be pleased with what Nike had launched as much as that time.

Then in 2004, a collaborative pair often known as the ‘ESPO’ version dropped.

Created by graffiti artist Stephen Powers, the ‘ESPO’ Nike Air Drive 2 Low was part of Nike’s Artist Sequence that 12 months, alongside the Pharrell-designed Dunk Excessive and the Halle Berry-designed Rift. The clear plastic accents on the higher, full translucent sole, graffiti detailing and matching socks made this pair probably the most coveted of the three releases, and probably the most hyped Air Drive 2 ever.

After a two-year run with over 20 colorways launched, Nike scaled again on the launches for the subsequent few years. Solely a handful of colorways had been launched, many forgotten about virtually as quickly as they got here out. They’d wind again in in Nike’s archives for a couple of years, till Nike Sportswear resurrected them once more in 2009. This marked the second retro run of the Air Drive 2, and it got here with a $30 value improve.

Even with a couple of premium editions kicking off their return, such because the ‘Atari’ and ‘Wii’ variations, the Air Drive 2 fell beneath the radar of most, even with hype from the Air Drive 1 dying down. Unique colorways dropped in Europe and Japan, which followers of the AF2 appeared to admire greater than what launched stateside (which is often the case with Euro and Co.jp releases). Whereas they might not essentially be very hyped, these will not be straightforward to come back by at this time.With over 5 years passing because it was final obtainable, may the Air Drive 2 be prepared for a comeback?

The unique Air Jordans aren’t the one instance of a retro flying beneath the radar, solely to come back again sturdy at a later date. The Huarache Runner in addition to the Tech Problem II are two current examples. Each did not excite earlier within the 2000s, however have been amongst hottest retro silhouettes, interval, over the previous two years. It’s attainable for the Air Drive 2 to have an identical comeback – it simply must be accomplished correctly.

The 2009 releases got here from seemingly out of nowhere, with little fanfare celebrating its return. In distinction, when the Air Raid made its return final 12 months, it was celebrated with a excessive profile collaboration with Pigalle. The 12 months 2016 additionally presents a chance to coincide a possible retro launch with the 30th anniversary of the sneaker. This may be one of many final good possibilities to resurrect this often-forgotten silhouette from Nike’s basketball archives. Right here’s to hoping it will get the respect it deserves.

Nike Air Drive 2 Excessive ’76ers’

Type Code: 624006-142
Colorway: White/Royal Blue-Varsity Pink
12 months: 2002


Nike Air Drive 2 Excessive

Type Code: 624006-172
Colorway: White/College Gold
12 months: 2002


Nike Air Drive 2 Excessive

Type Code: 624006-143
Colorway: White/Columbia Blue
12 months: 2002


Nike Air Drive 2 Excessive

Type Code: 624006-144
Colorway: White/Faculty Navy-Metallic Silver
12 months: 2002


Nike Air Drive 2 Excessive

Type Code: 624006-401
Colorway: Obsidian/Impartial Gray
12 months: 2002


Nike Air Drive 2 Excessive

Type Code: 624006-012
Colorway: Black/White-Sport Royal
12 months: 2003


Nike Air Drive 2 Excessive ‘Escape’

Type Code: 624006-101
Colorway: White/Black-Greenend Brown
12 months: 2003


Nike Air Drive 2 Excessive

Type Code: 624006-102
Colorway: White/Metallic Silver-Black
12 months: 2003


Nike Air Drive 2 Low ‘The Soiled’

Type Code: 305602-611
Colorway: New Pink/White-Del Sol
12 months: 2003


Nike Air Drive 2 Low

Type Code: 305602-161
Colorway: White/Varsity Pink-Black-Del Sol
12 months: 2003


Nike Air Drive 2 Low ‘Hectic’

Type Code: 306140-171
Colorway: White/Goldenrod-Mystic Teal
12 months: 2003


Nike Air Drive 2 Low

Type Code: 305602-131
Colorway: White/Celtic-Black
12 months: 2003


Nike Air Drive 2 Low ‘LA’

Type Code: 305602-151
Colorway: White/Courtroom Purple-Del Sol
12 months: 2003


Nike Air Drive 2 Low

Type Code: 305602-141
Colorway: White/Blue Ribbon-Metallic Silver
12 months: 2003


Nike Air Drive 2 Low ‘Raptors’

Type Code: 305602-162
Colorway: White/Varsity Purple-Sport Pink
12 months: 2003


Nike Air Drive 2 Low

Type Code: 305602-001
Colorway: Black/Medium Gray
12 months: 2003


Nike Air Drive 2 Low ‘FSU’

Type Code: 305602-171
Colorway: White/Del Sol-Staff Pink
12 months: 2003


Nike Air Drive 2 Low ‘Michigan’

Type Code: 305602-471
Colorway: Faculty Navy/Varsity Maize-White
12 months: 2003


Nike Air Drive 2 Low ‘Syracuse’

Type Code: 305602-181
Colorway: White/Orange Flash-Obsidian
12 months: 2003


Nike Air Drive 2 Low

Type Code: 305602-111
Colorway: White/White-Impartial Gray
12 months: 2003


Nike Air Drive 2 Excessive

Type Code: 624006-161
Colorway: White/Varsity Pink-Metallic Silver
12 months: 2003


Nike Air Drive 2 Low ‘Espo’

Type Code: 308417-901
Colorway: Clear/Greystone-College Blue
12 months: 2004


Nike Air Drive 2 Excessive

Type Code: 624006-061
Colorway: Black/Varsity Pink-White
12 months: 2004


Nike Air Drive 2 Excessive ‘Knicks’

Type Code: 624006-181
Colorway: White/Orange Blaze-Sport Royal
12 months: 2004


Nike Air Drive 2 Low ‘Spherical Mound’

Type Code: 305602-143
Colorway: White/Blue Ribbon-New Pink
12 months: 2004


Nike Air Drive 2 Excessive ‘NYC’

Type Code: 624006-081
Colorway: Black/Orange Blaze-Sport Royal
12 months: 2004


Nike Air Drive 2 Low ‘Steelers’

Type Code: 305602-101
Colorway: White/Black-Professional Gold
12 months: 2004


Nike Air Drive 2 Low ‘Seahawks’

Type Code: 305602-132
Colorway: White/Foliage-Sport Royal
12 months: 2004


Nike Air Drive 2 Low ‘Raiders’

Type Code: 305602-102
Colorway: White/Black-Metallic Silver-Impartial Gray
12 months: 2004