The Sneaker Anniversaries of 2023 That Need to Be Celebrated

Nike Air Max 93 OG

The arrival of the 2020s has seen something of a changing of the sneaker guard. A new decade means eras and events that didn’t seem that long ago are now actually another 10 years older. Everybody is getting older, but these sneakers hitting big milestones in 2023 are a surefire way to feel young again. The big brands will hopefully be celebrating some of these, but here are a couple of deeper cuts that also deserve their cake.

Nike Air Max 93

Nike Air Max 93 (1993)

The AM93 has been lauded plenty around these parts, but newer sneakerheads may not be aware of its legend status. Its wraparound Air unit broke free of the foam shackles used on previous models, and the Dynamic Fit made it one of the most technically proficient shoes of its time. Furthermore, designer Tinker Hatfield has verbatim stated it’s ‘one of my personal favourites.’ Happy 30!

Nike Air Huarache Light

Nike Air Huarache Light (1993)

Huarache Lights had internet forum-era ‘heads in a stir when they returned in the early 2010s for a short but sweet rerun. Another entry from the class of 93, this sleek sneak is best in its vibrant ‘Ultramarine’ OG. As the 2014 retro was marred by an altered fit and the wrong shade of red on the outsole, Nike have another chance to correct things for the Hua Light’s 30th.

,Nike Air Carnivore

Nike Air Carnivore (1993)

The Air Carnivore is a lot to digest. Reminiscent of something straight outta Jurassic Park, this strapped-up cross-trainer was equipped with plenty of protective tech. It most recently made a surprising return in 2021 via tonal Comme des Garçons colabs, but the jagged midsole print and crazy colours were obviously absent. Here’s hoping they make a surprise return this year to mark three decades since its debut.

New Balance 998

New Balance 998 (1993)

All the love may be pointed towards New Balance’s 990 series at the moment, but many will remember the strong slew of 998s that dropped in the 2010s. The model has a unique stance over its peers, and they just look super fresh. Because the NB roster is pretty stacked at the moment with retro models, it might be a case of one in, one out if the 998 was to stage a comeback.

ASICS GEL-Lyte V

ASICS GEL-Lyte V (1993)

ASICS should remind fans that they offer more than just GEL-Lyte IIIs. Its 1993 sequel, the GEL-Lyte V (they skipped IV as that’s considered an unlucky number in Japan and other cultures), ditched its predecessor’s split tongue in favour of a more conventional neoprene bootie and added more panelling. The brand had a good crack with it in the 2010s, so maybe it will see the same success in 2023.

Raf Simons adidas Ozweego
via Sneakersnstuff

Raf Simons x adidas Ozweego (2013)

It feels like just yesterday that Raf Simons teamed up with adidas on an expansive collection that would serve as a precursor to the high fashion and sneaker crossover event of the late 2010s. But that catalyst event was a whole 10 years ago now. Raf walked with the Ozweego so Kiko could run with GELs. Now with the legendary designer shuttering his eponymous label, maybe he’ll have time to sort some reissues.

Air Jordan 18

Air Jordan 18 (2003)

People love Bulls-era Jordan signatures, but the Air Jordan 18 deserves to be remembered as the last shoe MJ wore playing in the NBA. The OG black-suede-and-blue-sole version has aged pretty well, and Jordan Brand have the means to bring them back, having done so in 2018 for its 15th anniversary. However, 20 years is an even more compelling reason for a retro.

Jil Sander PUMA King
via PUMA

Jil Sander x PUMA King (1998)

Fashion-designer collaborations with sneaker brands are ubiquitous today, but back in 1998, it was almost unheard of. Jil Sander and PUMA broke the seal with their understated effort 25 years ago, opening the doors for all of today’s crossovers. It’s a tiny blip on the radar in the grand scheme of things, but it’s important to respect the architects.

adidas Y-3 Qasa
via END.

adidas Y-3 Qasa (2013)

Yohji Yamamoto approached Nike back in the very early 2000s to strike up a unique partnership, who subsequently turned him down. The Japanese designer then hit up adidas and debuted the Y-3 brand in 2003 to great success. A decade later, the Y-3 Qasa drops and ushers in the ‘tech ninja’ look. Another 10 years on, and adi have done right by bringing it back in OG guise. The party goes on.

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