See My Socks? History of Invisible Shoes

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The Air Jordan 2010‘s window is about as controversial as it gets in sneaker culture. When a shoe possesses the “Air Jordan” name, it has a lot to live up to. Many scoffed at early pictures of this shoe, while other embraced it once official looks surfaced. This Saturday, the shoe with the window will finally hit shelves, and you can finally decide for sure whether to grab a pair.

And while the window on this particular shoe has proven to be the most talked-about, the Jordan 2010 is definitely not the first shoe to possess clear panels. So looking back, we rounded up the “invisible” shoes of years past that came before this latest shoe from Jordan Brand, giving you a look at those that inspired this shoe.

ESPO x Nike Air Force II Low (2004)
Espo x Nike Air Force II Low (2003) – via JWDanklefs

Espo x Nike Air Force II

Graffiti artist Espo paired up with Nike to produce this highly sought-after Air Force II in late 2003. This shoe released alongside a Nike Dunk in collaboration with Pharrell. Little did we know how much of a trend this release would start.

Espo x Nike Air Force II Low for sale at eBay

Nike Air Force 1 “Fantastic 4 Pack – Invisible Woman”

Nike Air Force 1 Low "Invisible Woman" (2006)
Nike Air Force 1 Low “Invisible Woman” (2006) – via Flight Club
Womens Nike Air Force 1 Low "Invisible Woman" (2006)
Womens Nike Air Force 1 Low “Invisible Woman” (2006) – via Flight Club

As a part of 2006’s “Fantastic 4” Pack, these Air Force 1s represented the Invisible Woman and came in both a men’s and women’s shoe. Harbor Blue leather is used on the midfoot, heel and Swoosh for the men, while the female-friendly version had purple. Regardless of the color accent though, it was the “invisible” material used on the toe and quarter panels that set these apart.

Invisible Nike Air Force 1s for sale at eBay


PRO-Keds 142nd “Ghost”

Pro Keds 142nd "Ghost" (2006)
Pro Keds 142nd “Ghost” (2006) – via Finish Line

A run of PRO-Keds was created in late 2006 on the 142nd silhouette. Dubbed the “Ghost,” patent leather on the midfoot and heel came in a few select colors. The remainder of the shoe was done completely with clear material, and the toe box even had perforations.

Pro Keds 142nd for sale at eBay

CLOT x Nike Air Max 1

CLOT x Nike Air Max 1 (2006)
CLOT x Nike Air Max 1 (2006) – via Kenlu

Chinese brand CLOT helped Nike design this Air Max 1 in 2006. The only Air Max on our list, clear panels can be found on toe box and along the sides, while the remainder of the shoe is done with tan suede.

CLOT x Nike Air Max 1 for sale at eBay

Nike Trainer Dunk Low “Olympic Gold”

Nike Trainer Dunk Low "Olympic Gold"
Nike Trainer Dunk Low “Olympic Gold” (2008) – via kix-files

Designed for Olympic swimmers during the 2008 Summer games, this Trainer Dunk Low boasted clear panels on the toe box and quarter panels just like the original Espo-designed AFIIs, though he had no part in this shoe. The insole revealed the first-person view of the lanes in a swimming pool. The gold touches made sure that no athlete would settle for second best.
Converse All-Star Hi & Lo Clear Pack


Converse "Clear Pack" Chuck Taylors
Converse “Clear Pack” Chuck Taylors – via Converse

In late 2008, Converse gave us a completely clear design for their classic Chuck Taylors. A Hi and two Los were created, with one of the Los using glow in the dark trim, as opposed to the white used on the other two pairs.
Nike Air Force II “Nintendo Wii”

Nike Air Force II "Nintendo Wii"
Nike Air Force II “Nintendo Wii” (2009) – via Proper

Released alongside a Blazer, Sky Force and Air Max 95, this Air Force II High drew cues from the Nintendo gaming system. Unlike the Espo-designed shoes that top this list, the toe box on this pair was leather, and only the mid-panels were clear. On the tongue, the power button from the Wii is found in place of a standard tag.

Nike Zoom Flight Club “Transformers Pack – Megatron”

Nike Zoom Flight Club "Transformers Pack - Megatron"

In July of 2009, Michael Bay’s “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” followed up his 2007 smash-hit “Transformers.” To pay tribute to Megatron, a Nike Zoom Flight Club was given the Decepticon treatment. The main construction of the shoe contained no clear panels but instead, the zip-up sheath was made almost completely with a clear material.

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