Discovering the Nike Air Zoom Spiridon History
Reading about the Nike Air Zoom Spiridon history is almost like diving and traveling 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. 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.
(Spiridon “Spyros” Louis)
The Spiridon before the Nike Air Zoom Spiridon
(Carlos Lopes at the Los Angeles 1984 Summer Olympics)
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.
Nike Air Zoom History: More than 20 years in the making
Designed by Christian Tresser, the man behind the Air Max 97, the Nike Air Zoom Spiridon truly fits the lightweight footwear category. As a running-inspired shoe, comfort is as important as on-feet lightness.
Nike developed a technology named “Caged Zoom” and the Nike Air Zoom Spiridon is one of the models that feature such technology. However, and as “technical” as it sounds, it is actually pretty simple.
The “Caged Zoom” is a Zoom Air Bag inside of a plastic cage with two main objectives in mind: to protect and to function. Nonetheless, and helping 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, 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. 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.
Nike created an idea that everyone can go to their local sneaker shop and try to become an Olympic Marathon Champion or at least a pretty good runner. Other examples can be given, just like that you can go to any Nike stockist and become Michael Jordan.
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 over Air technology in general.
Nike kept impressing us all and of course, still evolving to current day iconic running silhouettes. The first shoe to include such tech 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
There is just a handful set of decent 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, displaying air units. OG collectors and enthusiasts seem to love that special pair from 2003, but younger people don’t give them enough love.
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.
As mentioned before, the Nike Air Zoom Spiridon started to get even more attention since the NikeLab release. Some say that it was the shoe of the year.
NikeLab Air Zoom Spiridon OG
Air Zoom Spiridon Collaborations and Exclusive Editions
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.
Secondly, 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?.
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