ARTICLE BY Gabe Filippa

16 of the Most Legendary Aussie-Exclusive Nike Tuned

nike tuned mean green

Tuned Air-heads Down Under are among some of the most fervent sneaker fanbases in the world. Striking a chord with Australia’s thumping rave and graffiti scene in the early 2000s, Sean McDowell’s beach-themed opus became a leviathan of Air Max culture. With the Aussie Foot Locker team constantly dialling up the volume via an eye-peeling array of coveted exclusive colourways, the Nike Tuned continues to enrapture both old heads and new.

Tune in as we take a look back at a myriad of Foot Locker’s scorching colourways exclusive to the sunburnt country.

Nike Tuned ‘Tide’ (2014)Nike Tuned ‘Tide’ (2014)

The ‘Tide’ brought a swell of sneakerheads to Foot Locker when it first hit Australian shores in 2014. Donned with a postcard-perfect colourway, the model does much to extol Sean McDowell’s original design blueprints and the Florida beaches from which the Tuned Air was famously inspired. Boasting a serene mix of ocean blues, the ‘Tide’ flooded our social media feeds with drip yet again in 2022 (this time washing up on shores in the Asia Pacific), and it continues to be one of the most popular warm-weather colourways today.

nike tuned tide

Nike Tuned ‘Ashanti’ (2007)Nike Tuned ‘Ashanti’ (2007)

Another holy grail for TN collectors, the ‘Ashanti’ hit Australian shores in 2007. This iteration features a serene remix that still generates jaw-dropping resale prices across the world wide web. Constantly referenced as one of the all-time greatest by Aussie acolytes, the model featured heavy-duty thick padding, a gnarly fade, and shimmering mesh emblematic of the Made in Vietnam era.

nike tuned ashanti

Nike Tuned ‘Chill Blue’ (2006)Nike Tuned ‘Chill Blue’ (2006)

Let’s face it: the Tuned Air and the ocean palette go together like peanut butter and jelly (or, to use an Aussie culinary archetype – vegemite and cheese!) The ‘Chill Blue’ is a women’s-exclusive colourway that’s a testament to the sneaker’s always fervent female fanbase. Yes, there was a very similar European colourway, but the ‘Chill Blue’ is the OG.

nike tuned chill blue

Nike Tuned ‘Mean Green’ (2013)Nike Tuned ‘Mean Green’ (2013)

Dr Robert Bruce Banner ain’t the only thing getting mean when he turns green. The ultra-tough ‘Mean Green’ colourway first arrived in 2013 and is still one Air-heads go full Hulk mode over when they can’t track it down. It’s mean. It’s green. And it’s arguably the best use of a nuclear green palette on the Tuned.

nike tuned mean green

Nike Tuned ‘Cactus’ (2006)Nike Tuned ‘Cactus’ (2006)

A cult classic for collectors, the ‘Cactus’ is still drawing blood with its aggressive aesthetic. This elusive colourway – a thorn in the side for many diehard Tuned fans – has earned its rightful place in the pantheon of all-time great Aussie releases. An underrated and oft-forgotten colourway, the ‘Cactus’ is one we go bonkers for when we see it beamed out on our feeds.

Nike Tuned Cactus

Nike Tuned ‘Safari’ (2013)Nike Tuned ‘Safari’ (2013)

It’s rare to see ‘Safari’ print on the Nike Tuned, but we wouldn’t be averse to seeing it more often if this colourway is anything to go by! Arriving in 2013, the safari print was complimented by icy blue gradient veins on the uppers. Often flying under the radar for collectors, the ‘Safari’ is still more elusive than a black panther.

nike tuned safari

Nike Tuned ‘Lava’ (2015)Nike Tuned ‘Lava’ (2015)

The Nike Tuned ‘Lava’ still oozes molten-hot heat. Originally erupting in 2015, the spitfire colourway was again retroed in 2021. Not for the faint-hearted, the Daredevil-like colourway landed mere months after the generation-defining Air Yeezy 2 ‘Red October’ and inspired a devout following Down Under.

Nike Tuned 'Lava' (2015)
Note: pictured is the 2022 edition of the Nike Tuned 'Lava'

Nike Tuned ‘Casper’ (2014)Nike Tuned ‘Casper’ (2014)

A must-have for any self-respecting sneakerhead, the ‘Casper’ is still cleaner than your congenial house ghost. As much loved for its name as its composition, the ‘Casper’ colourway proves that, sometimes, less really is more. Not to be confused with basic 'Triple White' renditions, the 'Casper' was expertly crafted in Vietnam with superlative mesh and great toe box shape. Float on!

nike tuned casper

Nike Tuned ‘Dreams’ (2014)Nike Tuned ‘Dreams’ (2014)

Nike Tuned acolytes are constantly living the dream Down Under. This one landed in 2014 and is still causing us to sit bolt upright in the ungodly hours of the night. Similar in aesthetic to the ‘Turbo Green’ release of the same year, the royal blue and turquoise finish is one of the cleanest releases to hit Foot Locker stores in Australia. Shout out to those still rocking these!

nike tuned dreams

Nike Tuned ‘Hyper Jade’ (2014)Nike Tuned ‘Hyper Jade’ (2014)

If diamonds are a girl’s best friend, Nike Tuned is the Air-head’s solemate. Originally crafted as a Foot Locker Australia exclusive in 2014, the ‘Hyper Jade’ may not be an official collaboration, but we all know where the inspiration for this edition came from. Storming global shelves in 2022, the inky black and bold turquoise uppers are certainly a hard combination to top.

nike tuned hyper jade

Nike Tuned ‘Kombat’ (2015)Nike Tuned ‘Kombat’ (2015)

Talk about a knockout colourway! The bloodthirsty Tuned ‘Kombat’ was originally an Australian exclusive between Foot Locker and Nike in 2015. Of course, paying homage to the legendary fighting game, the black and red exoskeleton was just about as bloody and bruised as your favourite character! Soaring off shelves and pounding the pavement, the Kombat was ready to throw fists (and feet) again in Australia in 2022. While the ‘Kombat’ did receive a belated global release, this one will always be an Aussie classic in our books. A true TN immortal.

nike tuned kombat

Nike Tuned ‘Pink Sunset’ (2023)Nike Tuned ‘Pink Sunset’ (2023)

The Nike Tuned ‘Pink Sunset’ put on a dazzling display this year. Enough to make your eyes water, the Aussie-exclusive edition employed vibrant pink uppers that quickly transitioned to a deep inky black. Donning a more distinct colour juxtaposition than what’s typically seen on the Tuned Air (usually, the silhouette employs a subtle gradient fade), the aggressive palette was a certified hit for the Aussie market.,

Nike Tuned 'Pink Sunset' (2023)

Nike Tuned ‘WSW’ (2014)Nike Tuned ‘WSW’ (2014)

Western Sydney is famously hallowed grounds for TN-heads in Australia. An early adopter of the Nike Tuned in the 2000s, Foot Locker paid homage to Western Sydney and the Wanderers FC in 2014, the black, red and white motif perfectly suited to the silhouette’s legendary uppers. GOAL!

nike tuned wsw

Nike Tuned 'Viper' (2015)Nike Tuned 'Viper' (2015)

The Nike Tuned ‘Viper’ bared its fangs in 2015. Composed using a mix of white, red and black, the stripped-back colourway shed its skin to reveal Sean McDowell’s infallible blueprints in style. Let’s hope this one slithers back to Foot Locker retailers in the near future.

Nike Tuned 'Viper'

Nike Tuned ‘Fades’ (2013)Nike Tuned ‘Fades’ (2013)

Considered the all-time GOAT among many sneakerheads, the ‘Fades’ is an undisputed classic of the Foot Locker canon. A high watermark from the Made in Vietnam era, this is one iteration almost impossible to fault. Still occasionally surfacing online for those with deep, deep pockets, the model will go down in history as one of the most legendary.

image via @traqsuit

Nike Tuned ‘Nep-Tuned’ (2023)Nike Tuned ‘Nep-Tuned’ (2023)

The latest colourway in Foot Locker’s expanding constellation of region-exclusives is the ‘Nep-Tuned’, a cosmic homage to the ice giant, Neptune.

Blasting off in 2023, the model installed a frozen blue and white gradient across the iconic uppers – in this way reminiscent of other classics like the ‘Ashanti’. The TPU ‘veins’ this time transitioned from black to deep space blue, while metallic hardware on the Swooshes and midfoot shanks no doubt alluded to spacecrafts and interstellar travel. In the engine room down below, the legendary midfoot shanks (aka ‘whale tail) are emblazoned in a distinct white and blue gradient.

Bringing a drip ‘fit for the Roman God of the sea (which the planet was named after), this was one of the coldest Tuned renditions we’ve seen in quite some time.

Need some rocket fuel for your rotation?

You’re in luck – the colossal ‘Nep-Tuned’ is available at Foot Locker right now.

nike tuned nep-tuned
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