ARTICLE BY Minh Vuong

The Nike Air Presto ‘Australia Olympic’: 2000 OG vs 2020 Retro

Nike Air Presto Australia Olympic 2000 vs 2020

The original Nike Air Presto made for the Australian Olympic team for Sydney 2000 remains one of the most elusive sneakers for collectors across the globe. And this unicorn status makes sense when you realise that Aussie athletes, perhaps some of their family members, and a handful of VIPs were officially the only people to get their hands and feet on pairs.

As the dust settled on the greatest Games ever, these mythical joggers were stashed at the back of wardrobes, passed down to the next generation of Jai Taurimas and Cathy Freemans, or just donated to the local Salvos (an Australianism for The Salvation Army’s omnipresent second-hand stores). So, it’s via these fortuitous family connections, and very lucky thrift finds, that collectors have found their pairs over the last 20 years.

2000 Nike Air Presto Australia Olympic OG

Sneakerheads, particularly those Down Under, were whipped into a frenzy when news broke earlier this month that Nike were bringing back the Nike Air Presto ‘Australia Olympic’. Up until this point, the coveted design was about as common as a wild Yowie sighting. Now, much like the namesake chocolate treat, it’s going worldwide on July 24, after Australia got first dibs this week.

While the OG pairs’ Olympic Village stains and snapped lace cages carry heaps of provenance (and progeny), this retro and its relative abundance means hopefully old and new ‘heads alike can enjoy wearing one of the greatest sneakers of the 2000s decade.

Where some of Nike’s other reissues have faltered from not sticking to the script, Air Presto bringbacks continue to be faithful to their ancestors. This is most likely due to the fact Leon Witherow, aka Prestology, has overseen the restoration of his favourite sneaker line to its OG glory. In short, the ‘Australia Olympic’ 2020 retro is as good as it gets.

Of course, we got our paws on both the 2000 OG and 2020 retro to split the difference. It's just about one-for-one, with a couple of small details to set the new version apart...

2000 Nike Air Presto Australia Olympic OG
2000 OG
2020 Nike Air Presto Australia Olympic Retro
2020 Retro
2000 Nike Air Presto Australia Olympic OG
The Southern Cross embroidery replaced the Swoosh usually found on GR Prestos
2020 Nike Air Presto Australia Olympic Retro
Like the recent 'Korea' Presto, Nike have brought back the OG T-Shirt sizing system.
2000 Nike Air Presto Australia Olympic OG Heel
Time has ravaged the once-translucent cages
2020 Nike Air Presto Australia Olympic Retro Heel
It looks like the 'AUS' font has shrunk slightly...
2000 Nike Air Presto Australia Olympic OG Medial Arch
The medial arch Swoosh is clear on the OG
2020 Nike Air Presto Australia Olympic Retro Medial Arch
While the retro uses 'Varsity Maize'. Don't think we didn't spot it!
2000 Nike Air Presto Australia Olympic OG Sole
Duralon outsole with BRS 1000 rubber heel crash pad
2020 Nike Air Presto Australia Olympic Retro Sole
Same here. Comfy as!
2000 Nike Air Presto Australia Olympic OG Tongue
This athletes' PE featured massive tongue embroidery...
2020 Nike Air Presto Australia Olympic Retro Tongue
... which Nike have reprised for the retro
2000 Nike Air Presto Australia Olympic OG Side
The OG's laces are a touch narrower than the retro's, but have plain aglets
2020 Nike Air Presto Australia Olympic Retro Side
The retro's left insole features a commemorative 20th anniversary graphic

Love Prestos? Check out the Air Presto 'Lightning' OG vs Retro vs React comparison here.

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