ARTICLE BY Minh Vuong

The Sneaker Anniversaries Of 2021 That Deserve to Be Remembered

Nike Air 180 1991 OG

As the years go on, classic sneakers are only becoming older. Thankfully, most of the big brands love to celebrate significant anniversaries by reissuing beloved models and colourways. But while the next few years will bring some of the best retro reissues and archival excavations this generation will ever know, sadly not all of them make it out of the time capsule.

Like the forgotten sneaker anniversaries of 2020, these are the milestones that we’d like to remind the sneaker community about.

Nike Air 180 1991 OG

Nike Air 180 (1991)

Following the resounding success of the Nike Air Max 90 retro last year for its 30th anniversary, there seemed to be promising signs the OG bubble love would continue in 2021. It certainly felt that way as the Air Structure Triax 91 came back as a pleasant surprise. Sneakerheads sweated ahead of the Air Max BW ‘Persian Violet’ retro, which came back on time for its big 3-0. Yet, its catalogue companion in the Air 180 has so far missed out on the class of ’91 reunion. With four months left this year, let’s hope it’s a case of being fashionably late…

New Balance 996 1986 OG

New Balance 995 (1986)

The entire 1980s decade was arguably the most prolific era for New Balance, who rolled out a majority of their most popular models for serious runners. Decades later, sneakerheads became enamoured with the quality retros of models from this era, such as the 995. As the successor to the original 990, the 995’s significant contributions included adding an ENCAP unit to the ,99x series, plus the now-ubiquitous 3M reflective N logo. The 995 did get quietly reissued a few years ago, but it only seems appropriate to bring it back for its 35th anniversary, given how well the other retro NB models are received at the moment.

visvim FBT Shaman

visvim FBT (2001)

The Japanese brand visvim has always been a bit of a sleeping giant, at least in sneakerhead circles. However, it did have a moment in the sun when one Kanye West was spotted a few times wearing the FBT. Ye co-sign aside, the moccasin-slash-sneaker design turns 20 this year, and while it remains a core style for vis, they haven’t made a song and dance about it. Nobody has heard a peep from John Mayer – probably visvim’s number one customer – either. The steep RRP, exotic materials, and downright challenging silhouette might not draw the attention of the mainstream but, those who know, know.

adidas Oregon 1981 OG

adidas Oregon (1981)

The ZX and EQT series may be some of adidas’ best-known collections, but these cutting-edge products owe their existence to the Oregon, which contained the Three Stripes’ most significant technology of the time: the Dellinger Web. Named after its inventor Bill Dellinger, when applied to midsoles, this polyamide webbing greatly dispersed impact shocks while running, significantly reducing fatigue. This game-changing tech was rolled out in the Oregon and other 80s adi models. Many classic adidas shoes have been caught in the Dellinger Web, but not a 30th anniversary retro it would seem. Sneakerheads may have to settle for 2018’s Forest Grove, which was inspired by the OG Oregon.

Nike Zoom LeBron 4 2006 OG
Flight Club

Nike Zoom LeBron 4 (2006)

As LeBron James approaches his 20th Nike signature sneaker, it’s easy for the new gen to not be aware of the earlier entries that were all the rage back in the day, such as the LeBron 4. With so many memorable rarities, such as the ‘Fruity Pebbles’ and ‘Birthday’, that did the rounds on the Internet back in the day, a LeBron 4 retro in 2021 would strike a chord with mid-2000s sneakerheads and basketball fans. Say the LeBron 4 got the Proto treatment (a la the early Nike Kobe shoes), they’d hold their own on court. Easily.

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