#1 – The 2011 Nike MAG
As I was in line for the “Back for the Future” event by Nike at Montalban Theater in Hollywood, fellow sneaker heads around me were sharing shoe war stories. All you heard for hours were collectors talking about Air Yeezys, the Space Jams, obscure Hurleys that were just sitting at the Nike Santa Monica store, and how they want to pick up the Black Cats and random Japan-only kicks; the nomenclature was definitely different at that line.
And with that, I became the Nike Examiner. Prior to the release of the MAG, there was no hint from even the best sneaker blogs that this was going to happen and it was fighting not just the fans of kicks, but also leaks from movie news sites, who are way more hardcore about finding bits of information than even the CIA.
For a short time, it was 1989 all over again as the shoe became such a phenomenon due to its limited availability (could only be bought on eBay unless your name was Tinie Tempah) and the greater cause that it supported (proceeds from all shoes went to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Disease). It was a topic conversation from sneakerheads to movie freaks to even a girl I was seeing at the time who was drawing a blank when I asked her who Doc Brown was but knew that people were dropping unbelievable amounts of money for them on eBay.
So here is the final list leading up to the top spot. I just want to thank everybody who made this possible, including the fine folks at lodeplus.com and Nike, who has become such an industry onto itself that it can allow enthusiasts such myself to have a forum to talk about it.
- #20-11 – The contenders that did not make the top ten…
- #10 – Air Jordan I “Banned”
- #9 – Supreme x Nike SB 94
- #8 – Air Jordan XIII Ray Allen PE
- #7 – Nike Zoom KD IV “Weatherman”
- #6 – Nike LeBron 8 Low “Sprite”
- #5 – Nike Air Force 1 “Year of the Rabbit”
- #4 – Air Jordan XI “Concord”
- #3 – Nike LeBron 9 “Cannon”
- #2 – Converse Chuck Taylor x Super Mario Bros. Pack
With the year coming to a close and only one more major release left (Nike LeBron 9 “Freegums”), now is a great time to unveil the Nike Examiner’s list for the top ten Nike kicks of the year. 2011 was a great year for kicks and included plenty of monumental releases that resonated not only with the sneaker aficionados, but in the pop culture world as well. From the return of the most memorable colorway of the one of the most beloved shoes of all time to the maturation of the LeBron James’ signature line to a celebration 80s nostalgia, Nike kept collectors busy all year with its myriad of definitive releases.
Just to be clear, this list includes anything and everything that was released to the public under the Nike umbrella, so that includes Jordan Brand, Converse and even Cole Haan (yes, we can get sophisticated here too). What it also means is that exclusives created only for friends and family and select Nike athletes are not included in this list. We want to honor all of the great Nike kicks of the past year, but it’s not fair that the public has to watch top ten list is full of kicks that they don’t have a chance of hell of ever owning. And of course, this list is representative of my personal taste and mine alone. If you disagree with any of these choices, you are more than free to comment below or argue with me on Twitter, I guess.