Nike Air Max 1 Og Red Side Shot

Sneaker Historians Rank Best Sneakers Year on Year Since 1984

Date: August 07 2019

By: Boon Mark Souphanh


Ever wondered what was the most significant sneaker in the year you were born? Well, the team at Business Insider have done the research, calling on a trio of sneaker specialists to help determine the most iconic sneaker imprints of the past century.

Focussing on the core period since the 80s, Elizabeth Semmelhack, senior curator at the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto; Nick Engvall, founder of Sneaker History; and Alex Wang, sneaker historian at GOAT, give us a nostalgic look back through the years.

We like their picks for the most part, but there’s certainly some eyebrow-raisers in there – check ‘em out below: 

1984: adidas Micropacer 
1985: Air Jordan 1
1986: Converse Weapon
1987: Nike Air Max 1 

1988: Air Jordan 3
1989: Reebok Pump
1990: Nike Air Max 90
1991: Air Jordan 6
1992: N/A
1993: Reebok Instapump Fury
1994: Air Jordan 9
1995: Air Jordan 11
1996: Reebok Question 
1997: Nike Air Foamposite One
1998: Reebok DMX Run
1999: Air Jordan 14
2000: And1 Tai Chi 
2001: Chanel x Reebok Instapump Fury 
2002: Yohji Yamamoto x adidas YY Promodel 2G
2003: Supreme x Nike SB Dunk Hi 
2004: Nike Air Zoom Huarache 2k4

2005: Jeff Staple's Nike SB Dunk Low 'Pigeon' 
2006: Alife x Reebok Court Victory Pump Ball Out
2007: Cey Adams x adidas Superstar 'Muhammed Ali' 
2008: New Balance 993 
2009: Kanye West x Louis Vuitton Don 
2010: Nike LeBron 8
2010: Vashtie Kola x Air Jordan 2 
2011: Concepts x New Balance Made in USA 999 'Hyannis Blue' 
2012: Nike Air Yeezy 2 
2013: atmos x Nike Air Max 1 'Animal Camo' 
2014: Rick Owens x adidas Runner 
2015: Fenty x PUMA Creeper 
2015: Common Projects The Achilles  

2015: adidas UltraBOOST
2016: Pharrell Williams x adidas HU NMD 
2017: Yeezy BOOST 350 V2 'Zebra'
2017: KAWS x Air Jordan 4 
2018: Travis Scott x Air Jordan 4 'Cactus Jack' 
2018: FILA Disruptor 2 

Log In

Forgot username or password

Create Profile

Forgot Password

Newsletter Sign-Up

Welcome to the Sneaker Freaker family! Just enter your details below and we’ll keep you up to date via our newsletter with all our exclusive news and special offers.


Your submission will be reviewed and you will receive an e-mail soon regarding approval.