AstroTurf astronomical heat. Welcome to today’s episode of Nice Kicks’ Throwback Thursday. Today, we take a different direction in vintage sneaker history by looking back at a long-lost, mid-90s Nike football and turf training gem: the 1995 Nike Air Turmoil Low.
The mid-90s are commonly regarded as the golden era of Nike footwear. The 1990s was a time when the world of sports witnessed a plethora of transcendental athletes at their athletic prime. Additionally, the 90s was an era filled with iconic jersey designs, memorable signature athlete commercials and marketing campaigns, and of course, a multitude of sneaker designs and models which captivated consumers worldwide by their designs and constantly evolving sneaker technology.
At the turn of the decade, Nike introduced the cross-training model known as the Nike Air Trainer. A ground-breaking, avant-garde sneaker and concept, the Air Trainer was the first multi-sport sneaker which could be used to train on the field, worn on the tennis or basketball court, and in the weight room as well. Over time, it served as the inspiration for future sport training models. From 1989-1991, Nike continued with the Trainer series with the launch of the SC II, SC III, and the Trainer E, which were part of the signature sneaker line for Nike athlete, Bo Jackson. While turf training models were a popular choice among athletes at the time, many NFL players began wearing basketball sneakers on the gridiron in lieu of sport training sneakers considering the aesthetic and performance ability basketball sneakers had on the turf surface. Such models included the Air Force V High, Air Bound, Air Up, Air Max2 CB, Air Flight One, Air Jordan XI Low IE and Air Max2 Uptempo, to name a few. Yet, Nike continued to solidify its position within the sneaker marketplace, particularly regarding sport training models.
In 1994-1996, Nike released a string of classic football and turf training models which vintage collectors assert symbolized the absolute height of the sport training era, and included silhouettes such as the Air Mission, Air Barrage, Air Fly, Air Veer, Air Pro Turf Stove, Air Max Pro Streak Max, Air Speed Turf Max, Air Trainer Marauder, as well as Deion Sanders’ legendary DT Max signature line, the former models which were worn by a variety of NFL players including Drew Bledsoe, Barry Sanders, Dan Marino, Steve Young, Marshall Faulk, Reggie White, among others.
While many of these silhouettes received the retro treatment over recent years, the Air Turmoil, however, is one 1990s sport training model that remains locked within the Nike archives, yet to receive a re-release. With an original manufacturing date range of 4-6/1995 (inside tag reads 950406IB), the Turmoil remains a classic, memorable, yet highly understated model in Nike sport training sneaker history. Made of high quality materials and construction including a full-grain leather and synthetic upper, the Turmoil featured a visible heel air sole unit, polyurethane midsole with FootFrame midfoot stability strap, lateral outriggers for support and stability, and an outsole with a turf-oriented Waffle design. A highly versatile model, the Turmoil released in both low and mid versions in a variety of team colorways including white/white-fire red-black and a white/white-navy-black colorway seen here. Weighing in at 17 ounces with an original retail price point of $90 (Low) and $95 (Mid), this sneaker created turmoil for your opposition, not your wallet. Interestingly, the Air Turmoil would later be placed on sale on Eastbay for $69.99.
What a truly great time it was to be a sneaker enthusiast. Hopefully, Nike will once again put this mid-90s gem back on pavement where it so rightfully belongs. Train hard, plan your attack, and help carry the 1995 Nike Air Turmoil down memory lane.