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A Brief History of the Nike Air More Uptempo

Nike Air More uptempo

Nike Air Uptempo: about to take over your newsfeeds

The Nike Uptempo history, its design, inspiration, and background story are just some of the clues to the story. Before jumping into it and getting to know who wore Nike Air More Uptempo on the court, a proper intro to the history of the shoe is needed.

You might have noticed an oncoming storm of All-White colorways for some classic models. Also deserving its own consideration is the recent Nike Air More Uptempo drop.

Sure, decking this iconic performance sneaker in the All White motif seems only natural for the Summer season. But, there’s enough history behind this sneaker to further justify all the attention.

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Image credit: Foot District

The Air More Uptempo has seen a strong comeback in recent years. Part of that is thanks to some solid releases, ranging from All-Black interpretations to the incorporation of a Gum outsole.

We also saw the more eye-opening release of Supreme Uptempos. Each of those iterations is responsible for sell-outs that justify the considerable hype leading up to their respective releases.

They are part of the unique history of the Uptempo.

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Image credit: HYPEBEAST ZH

But, what’s the sneaker’s history?

In terms of basketball sneakers, the 90’s might go down as the industry’s most glorious time. Design philosophies range from the protective to the downright bulky.

Of course, the Air Jordan line dominates this discussion when it comes to sales numbers. But, there’s a lot to be said for models from Charles Barkley’s line to those of Scottie Pippen.

The latter of those would be forever linked to the Air More Uptempo after donning them. The designer of this remarkable sneaker is Wilson Smith, who is responsible for the sneaker’s unique branding strategy.

What makes this decision even more interesting is the original 1996 release year. At this point, big names like Air Jordan are steadily moving away from overt Swoosh branding and more towards a self-focused strategy.

While others were working towards being less conspicuous, this sneaker takes on the full-blown AIR script and slaps it on the lateral panels. Smith had worked on some architecture projects before this and was inspired by graffiti and pop art.

The 90s also represent an age of boom for those two art forms, popularizing a bright and bold aesthetic.

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Image credit: Xtreme

The shoe’s technical elements also play into its look. Smith’s design of the Nike AIR script follows the rise of the Airbag cushion from forefoot to heel. Additionally, the cushion adds to the shoe’s profile as perfect for explosive athletes.

We also see a bulky upper equipped with ample support features, locking down one of the NBA’s most gifted leapers. Now, the Nike Air Uptempo one of the most recognizable silhouettes among both casual and diehard sneakerheads.

It even finds its way to music videos, showing up on the feet of rappers such as Russ. It’s safe to say that this shoe is going to be on the conscious of the sneaker community for years to come.

You, on the other hand, would do well to get your hands on a pair before they take a long-term break. The recently released Triple White pair is a great place to start.

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Image credit: Foot Locker

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