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Five of Jerry Seinfeld’s Best Sneaker Moments

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This article was originally published on April 29, 2018.

‘All you’ve done is not die for 12 months.’ Jerry Seinfeld on birthdays.

That may be true, Jerry, but 30 years since Seinfeld first aired – that’s a milestone worth celebrating.

During the show’s nine seasons, the comedian stayed true to his look, blazing a trail for sneakers-and-jeans chic 20 years ahead of us all. Even now, Jerry’s on our screens flaunting his motoring acumen and impressive shoe collection simultaneously. Yada, yada, yada, here are five of our favourite Seinfeld sneaker moments.

Nike Air Challenge Pro Low (Seinfeld S02E07, ‘The Revenge’, 1991)

George: ‘I like sports. I could do something in sports?’
Jerry: ‘Uh huh, uh huh. In what capacity?’
G: ‘You know, like the general manager of a baseball team or something.’
J: ‘Yeah. Well, that... that could be tough to get.’

Coaching George through yet another career change, Jerry rocked one of Nike’s lesser-known cross-trainers, the Air Challenge Pro Low. The Agassi-backed shoe saw a short run at the start of the 90s but was quickly relegated to obsolescence by its visible Air sibling, the Air Tech Challenge.

Nike Air Tech Challenge III (Seinfeld S02E07, ‘The Revenge’, 1991)

Jerry: ‘Maybe we should call this off.’
Kramer: ‘Come on. What’s the big deal? Just gonna put a little concrete in the washing machine.’
J: ‘And what’s gonna happen?’
K: ‘Well, it’s gonna mix up with the water, and then by the end of the cycle, it’ll be a solid block!’

In the same episode, Jerry levelled up and swapped to the Air Tech Challenge III when he and Kramer sabotaged a local laundromat. Though lesser known now than its ATC predecessor, the III was of its time and fit right in with Jerry’s 90s rotation.

Nike Huarache ‘Purple Punch’ (Seinfeld S03E13, ‘The Subway’, 1992)

Jerry: ‘OK. You realise, of course, you’re naked?’
Naked Guy: ‘Naked, dressed. I don’t see any difference.’
J: ‘You oughta sit here. There is a difference.’

Jerry’s ‘Purple Punch’ Huaraches are front and centre in ‘The Subway’ as he tries, to no avail, to convince the gang to join him on a trip to Coney Island. This wasn’t the first time he’d worn the classic 90s shoe either, having donned the ‘Scream Green’ just five episodes earlier in ‘The Tape’.

Nike ACG Air Mowabb (Seinfeld S03E05, ‘The Library’, 1991)

Jerry: ‘This, you’re not goin’ to believe. The New York Public Library says that I took out Tropic of Cancer in 1971 and never returned it.’
Kramer: ‘Do you know how much that comes to? That’s a nickel a day for 20 years. It’s going to be $50,000.’
J: ‘It doesn’t work like that.’
K: ‘If it’s a dime a day, it could be $100,000.’

Seinfeld is known for his love of white sneakers, but he did occasionally branch out. In ‘The Library’, his ahead-of-the-times nous is evidenced by his ACG Air Mowabb in ‘Mandarin’. Jerry was on the all-terrain train way before the masses.

Nike Shox (Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee S06E03, ‘We Love Breathing What You’re Burning, Baby’, 2015)

Jerry: ‘Have you noticed, now, orange juice comes in a variety of pulp.’
Jim: ‘Like subtle pulp, middle pulp...’
JS: ‘No pulp, I can’t take pulp.’
JC: ‘There is no pulp, no matter how much pulp they tell you there is.’
JS: ‘What are those little bits in the juice? I feel them.’

Even now, 20 years after his legendary sitcom wrapped, Seinfeld’s fondness for footwear is still evident in whatever he does, wherever he goes. He’s moved with the times, though, and where he used to favour 90s cross-trainers, he now prefers Nike Shox. Whether he’s gunning around in a 1976 Lamborghini Countach with Jim Carrey or hitting the playground with Will Ferrell, Seinfeld dons the 00s Nike.

All images used are screen captures from the Seinfeld television series.

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