15 Nike Retro Runners We Wish Would Release This Summer


Summer weather is always a great time to rock a pair of clean Nike‘s and we highlight 15 runners we would like to see make a retro comeback this year! You already know Nike’s vault is packed with standout trainers that have been forgotten about over the years. We tried to highlight 15 great selections we know we’d be interested in copping if they came back to retail shelves…in OG form of course. Take a look and let us know in the comments section below which particular Nike retro runner you’d like to see come back. Or let us know if we may have missed some of your favorites such as the Air Max Racer from 1996 or the Air Swift Triax from 1998.

Nike Omega Flame

Last Seen: 1983

The Nike Omega Flame is a bit of a throwback, even in this article. Nike’s Tuned Air line is often credited with pioneering the color fade/gradient upper, but they all took the lead from the Omega Flame. Looking like a cross between an Air Max 1 and a New Balance 574, we think these would kill in today’s retro-heavy sneaker market…particularly if it lacked any of the flashy new Nike tech.

Nike Cram Vendetta

Last Seen: 1985

So, the name Steve Cram may not carry a lot of cache in today’s sneaker game, but back in the mid-80s, the British runner (and his signature Nike line) were quite a big deal. Many UK sneakerheads from that era cite the Cram line, particularly the Vendetta, as the first pair of Nike’s they ever lusted after. Remember how much you loved your first pair of Jordans? Yeah, like that. Let’s bring these back and watch all the 80s babies from across the pond (and, likely Stateside too) trip over themselves trying to score a pair.

Nike Air Pegasus Racer

Last Seen: 1991

Sure, we’ve seen some recent retros of the Pegasus and Pegasus+, but Nike’s yet to bring back our favorite from the line, the Pegasus Racer. Launched a few months after the original, in 1991, the Racer would be perfect for today’s sneaker market. A lower-profile midsole and those loud neon colors would be awesome to see again.

Nike Air Span II

Last Seen: 1991

Even if we’ve been treated to some recent retros of the very-similar Nike Air Stab, we’re still missing our favorite in 1991s Nike Air Span II. Yep, another “sequel” we actually like better than the original, we’d love to see the Air Span II back at retail. Especially in the gorgeous grey/infrared OG colorway.

Nike Air Icarus Extra

Last Seen: 1992

For collectors, one of the more popular lines of early ’90s runners is the Nike Air Icarus that debuted in 1991. We’re actually even bigger fans of it’s 1992 successor, the Air Icarus Extra…particularly the awesome white/emerald and white/purple colorways. Teased as a retro back in 2010, for one reason or another, they never made it past the sample stage. We think that’s an omission that Nike should rectify.

Nike Air Skylon 2

Last Seen: 1992

We all know that sequels are often inferior to the originals. But vintage runners like the excellent Nike Air Skylon 2 make the case for us to reconsider. Debuting in 1992, two years after the original, the Skylon 2 is a straight-up 90s-baby. Just looking at old Flickr photos of these bangers has us fiending.

Nike Pantheon

Last Seen: 1994

Not seen since 1994, the Nike Pantheon is long overdue for a return. Now 20 year’s out from it’s debut, the Pantheon is one of the rare late ’80s, early ’90s runners that actually don’t have an air unit, nor the iconic Nike Air branding. Refreshingly simple, these beauties need to come back, and soon.

Nike Air Max 96

Last Seen: 1996

Another lesser-known gem from the Air Max line, the Air Max 96, is so underrated. It’s surprising that, with the popularity of other similarly-styled retros like the DT Max, we’ve yet to see an Air Max 96 retro. Not only does that make us thirsty for a retro, but it also makes the 96 one of the tougher OG come-ups on the sneaker market.

Nike Zoom Talaria

Last Seen: 1997

This one is actually quite a surprise in that, we’d have expected to see a retro by now, specifically the running version (ACG/boot versions have found their way to the market in recent years). Ask any sneaker designer about their favorite runners from the late ’90s and 1997’s Nike Zoom Talaria will be quick to get mentioned. Heck, even the recent Zoom Revis silo saw a tribute colorway via Sole Collector. Well, we want to see the originals back in our closet (a few non-OG colorways hit in 2005). These are hot, even some 16 years later.

Nike Zoom Spiridon

Last Seen: 2005 (Original release in 1997)

By 1997, Nike’s Zoom Tech was well on it’s way to commercial success, being used in several basketball shoes in previous years. But the comfort and responsiveness of Zoom Tech really sang when paired with the clean, mostly mesh uppers of the Nike Zoom Spiridon. They may not look like much from the shots you see on Google Images, but trust; if they retro these, cop a pair and save ’em for the warmer months…that’s when you’ll come up.

Nike Air Max 120

Last Seen: 1998

The Air Max line has had it’s fair share of wild shoes, and 1998s Air Max 120 is no exception. We’d take any retro (or even new) colorway, but we love the OG “Sunburst” makeup the most. Though they’re not going to incite “Columbia” levels of campouts, Nike should do their loyal sneakerheads a solid and give us another run of these bangers.

Nike Air Perseus

Last Seen: 1998

Coming in some bright colorways, the Nike Air Perseus runner made its debut to the masses back in 1998. Featuring very identifiable swirl-styling on the sides, these kicks featured an Air-Sole unit in the heel and came extra cheap at less than $70!

Nike Zoom Citizen

Last Seen: 1999

Another sleeper from Nike’s late-90s vault, the Zoom Citizen nearly has folks starting White House petitions for Nike to bring ’em back. Sure, they’re not for everyone, but that only makes us love them more. Not just form, but function, we’d love to get all nostalgic and pick these up again.

Nike Air Max Tailwind IV

Last Seen: 1999

Oh man, these just scream late ’90s. Even though we’ve seen a few Tailwind retros, we’re still devoid of one of our favorites, the Tailwind IV. Though they did retro years ago in the UK, us stateside fans are still missing out…and we don’t want the + or hybrid version either. This one deserves a proper retro, particularly the dope white/blue colorway.

Nike Air Tuned Max

Last Seen: 1999

You hear that? That sound is a ton of late ’90s sneakerheads nodding in unison upon looking at this entry. Yeah, 1999’s Nike Air Tuned Max isn’t the most commercially successful Air Max sneaker, but as they say, “if you know, you know.” Though it wasn’t the Tuned Air line’s first sneaker, it was the first to feature a full length Tuned unit, which just upped the comfort to previously unknown levels. With all the run on lesser known Air Max sneakers (including the Air Max 93 and Tuned Airs), we’d expect to see these gems sooner, rather than later. Fingers crossed.

Nike Air Max Leather SC 'Jewel'

Last Seen: 2003 (Original release in 1997)

Okay, so these have actually been retro’ed before, but with how fantastic they are, they deserve to come back again. The OGs released back in 1997, with a retro dropping back in 2003, so 11 years is just too long. The ‘Jewel’ style, popularized back in the late 90s is one of our favorite Nike variations, and one we’d love to stock up on…especially if they’re going to wait another decade to bring ’em out again.


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  • Keith

    The Talaria was definitely more of a boot, but I’m glad it made the list. Great list, by the way.

    • Kicks Deals

      Thanks so much for taking a look!

  • gaspard

    The Talaria is coming back. Whether in pure form or not remains to be seen, but it is definitely coming back.

  • Shupimp

    Only if they keep the ’96 OG and not that 180 bubble they disgraced it with last year. The perseus was the perfect beater but i don’t see that coming back any time soon.

    • Kicks Deals

      Ha, very true. Thanks for taking the time to check out the list!

  • leber

    duellist ?

  • Livestrongcmc

    The Zoom Citizen and Tuned Max are a must! 180’s wouldn’t be bad either


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