Get Up to Speed with the Nike Zoom Flight 95
One of the most exciting sneaker rumours in recent times has been the whispers that Nike are bringing back the Zoom Flight 95 in 2022. This futuristic throwback basketball banger has routinely struck a particularly nostalgic chord for 90s kids, as it’s come back a couple of times in the 2000s and 2010s. Like its classmate of ’95, the Air Max Penny 1, many new-gen sneakerheads will undoubtedly be encountering the Zoom Flight 95 for the first time. So, let’s get up to speed with this Nike basketball classic.
Eric Avar Designed the Zoom Flight 95
Among the very extensive repertoire of Nike designer Eric Avar is the Air Zoom Flight (as it was known back in 1995). While it wasn’t necessarily marketed as a signature sneaker, it was heavily modelled on the dynamic playing style of the up-and-coming Jason Kidd, who indeed repped them both on-court and in Nike’s various marketing materials. However, many other NBA players also favoured the Zoom Flight 95 design.
A lot can change in the space of a year. While the Air Max Penny 1’s forefoot cushioning unit was briefly referred to as Tensile Air, the technology was renamed ‘Zoom Air’ – a phrase that various Nike stakeholders considered would be catchier with consumers. And it certainly gave the Zoom Flight 95 speedy connotations on the brochure before players even tried them on.
More Than Just Phone Ads
Like the Air Max Penny 1, the Zoom Flight 95 was an early prominent feature in the Nike ‘Phone Ad’ series. The design’s signature ‘bug-eyed’ carbon-fibre midsole windows and tonal mudguard wrap was bared for all to see, resulting in the model being etched into many 90s basketball and sneaker fans’ memories. The shoes also featured in Nike’s ‘exploded view’ print ads of the era, with some memorable copy: ‘Like sculpture. Very, very fast-moving sculpture.’
A Bonafide Classic
In 2017, Nike celebrated ‘5 Decades of Basketball’ with premium renditions of significant models like the Blazer and Air Foamposite Pro (another Eric Avar design), and it included the Zoom Flight 95 – well, sort of. It was upgraded to the Flight Bonafide, retaining the familiar bug-eyed midsole of the original, but changing the uppers to a form-fitting Flyknit bootie and zip, which was the style of the time. However, with nary a sight of an OG ‘Black Metallic’ release since 2015, passionate collectors will be eagerly awaiting the Zoom Flight 95 in unadulterated form next year.
Feel like indulging in more 90s Nike basketball nostalgia? How about a rewind to the Air Max Penny 1 here.