The Nike Air Zoom Spiridon History
Reading about the Nike Air Zoom Spiridon history is almost like diving and travelling into the past. A silhouette born out of a unique an epic inspiration (that of sports) and all the grandeur and effort of a few great men.
Originally released in 1997, the Nike Air Zoom Spiridon was named after Spiridon Louis. With a running purpose above all, Spiridon “Spyros” Louis was the first modern age Olympic Marathon winner at the 1896 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece.
Spyros still has a god-like reputation in his country of birth, even if more than hundred years have gone by. Before his death, he was invited to be a guest of honor at the 1936 Olympics, in Berlin, Germany.
Although, we should mention that the Nike Spiridon (not the Air Zoom Spiridon) first debuted in the 80s in a white / red colorway, and a few years later, a white iteration was released. Both displaying a golden swoosh, the Spiridon won the LA Olympics with Carlos Lopes.
(Spiridon “Spyros” Louis)
(Carlos Lopes at the Los Angeles 1984 Summer Olympics)
Nike Air Zoom History: More than 20 years in the making
Even today Nike is linked, not only but as well, to lightweight running silhouettes. Designed by Christian Tresser, the man behind the Air Max 97, twenty years have passed since their debut, but the Nike Air Zoom Spiridon truly fit such footwear category.
As a running-inspired shoe, comfort is as important as on-feet lightness, therefore, Oregon’s finest developed a technology named “Caged Zoom”. You guessed it, the Nike Air Zoom Spiridon also features such technology.
However, and as “technical” as it sounds, it is pretty simple, I’ll kid you not. Well, to some extent. “Caged Zoom” is a Zoom Air Bag inside of a plastic cage with two main objectives in mind: to protect and to function.
Nonetheless, helping your on foot stability, the thickness of the sides of the cage varies from place to place, making sure that the weight is kept down. Let’s not forget that Nike, above all others, is at the forefront of running footwear technology.
(Nike Air Zoom Spiridon OG by Sneakers Love Portugal)
Born a Winner: Nike Air Zoom Spiridon
Just like Spiridon Louis, nowadays, The Nike Air Zoom Spiridon is considered a winner. Not only due to their quality built (that is arguable, depending on what pair, is it not?) but also due to its added comfort, all because of its Zoom Air Technology.
Another fun fact associated with the silhouette (and that Nike seems to be pretty good at it as well) is the fact that they named a shoe after a real person. In fact, it is not the first time we come across such thing.
Still, marketing techniques play a big role in attracting consumers, especially nowadays. It happened 20 years ago and it happens right now, whether you want it or not.
After all, it is up to you to notice and control it. The Nike Spiridon history is just one better proof that the people at Nike are really good at what they do. After all, you just can’t keep on being the most powerful athletic brand in the world by playing soft.
What we mean is, Nike created an idea that every Tom, Dick and Hairy can go to their local sneaker shop and become an Olympic Marathon Champion. Other examples can be given, just like you can go to any Nike stockist and become Michael Jordan himself.
Even if your chosen pair is the ugliest colorway of the Nike Air Jordan 1 Mid that has ever released. Sure, it may not happen as often today, at least in such perspective due to many different reasons, but that is the main idea behind it.
(Nike Air Zoom LWP OG 1995 by Nike)
Spiridon: the first of its kind
Nevertheless, the Spiridon was not the first shoe to feature Zoom Air technology. It all started in 1995 where athletes and sneaker enthusiasts were still obsessing with Air technology in general.
Although, Nike kept impressing us all and of course, still evolving to current day iconic running silhouettes. We will not go much further into this, but the first was the Nike Air Zoom LWP, as per the picture above (in 1995).
The second was the Nike Air Zoom Alpha, showcasing running specific cushioning and featuring anatomically positioned pods hell-to-toe on feet benefits.
(Nike Air Zoom Alpha OG by Nike)
Back to the future with the Nike Air Zoom Spiridon OG
We are not going to fool you and say that there have been released a lot of awesome colorways of the Spiridon. In fact, the OG version was only retroed last Summer, as a NikeLab release.
In 2003, another iteration of the Nike Air Zoom Spiridon was released, however displaying air units. OG collectors and enthusiasts seem to love that special pair from 2003, but younger people don’t give them enough love. We honestly believe they look astonishingly beautiful.
The upper of the Nike Air Zoom Spiridon is built using mesh and back then, its breathable upper was the first of its kind. Notable for its toebox mini-swoosh, a detail that sneakers enthusiasts around the world will always fall for, the silhouette has become a cult street shoe distinguished by two main aspects: comfort and on-feet looks.
As mentioned before, they Nike Air Zoom Spiridon started to get much attention since its NikeLab release. Some say that it was the shoe of the year. That’s arguable, yet again, but it would be a shame if we all liked the same.
The world would just be a boring place. As it got much love from around the world, there are two recent collaborative projects that Nike has been involved with that are worth mentioning.
(NikeLab Air Zoom Spiridon OG by Modern Notoriety)
Air Zoom Spiridon Collaborations and Exclusive
First, and as expected, the “Stash” iteration of the Nike Air Zoom Spiridon was released not that long ago and on one side, we were happy that literally everyone could own a pair. On the other hand, if you compare it to older Stash sneakers (Air Max 95 or Air Max BW), you just don’t get the same feeling of exclusivity. But that’s how it works.
Second, Size? just released two colorways of the Spiridon. Apart from the removal of the 3M details (what a shame!) both pairs look pretty good. They aren’t flying off the shelves, so you may be able to get them exclusively at Size?.
Don’t wait way too long though, things change pretty fast when it comes to sneaker trends.
To conclude, and not by over describing the Spiridon, the silhouette is just out of this world. Over the years, especially since 2016, we have seen almost an overflow of different colorways hitting the shelves.
Some iterations were pretty good, others were not. The NikeLab release was close to perfection, if not the best retro shoe of all time, hitting every single spot on the checklist.
Nevertheless, the Nike Air Zoom Spiridon OG will always be our favorite. Its shiny red swoosh altogether with grey mesh and 3M details that sit on top of a full-white midsole are just superb.
(Size? x Nike Air Zoom Spiridon)
Image Credit (Featured): Sneakers Mag