Throwback Thursday: Nike Air Pressure

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read ourĀ disclosure policy.

Before there was twitter, Instagram, a Nice Kicks Facebook page, and selfies every minute, there was Throwback Thursday – a column on dedicated to celebrating the shoes of yesteryear, their significance to shoe culture, and their history. It is with great pleasure to announce the return of the column.

Back in 1989, the shoe market was a serious battle on court. The likes of Adidas, Converse, Reebok, and Nike all had a big presence in the NBA and NCAA in addition to a number of smaller brands. While Reebok was the first brand to hit the market with a pump, not long after Nike had their version of a form fitted shoe controlled by air.

The Nike Air Pressure was Nike’s answer to the Reebok Pump. And while Reebok had a big nationwide campaign urging consumers to “Pump Up and Air Out”, Nike was not content with letting the brand encroach in their space of performance basketball sneakers.

Bruce Kilgore, mastermind behind the Air Force 1, Air Jordan II, and a number of other classics, was tapped to create what we now know as the Nike Air Pressure. Rather than a built in pump on the tongue, the Nike Air Pressure featured a valve on the back of the ankle that required a hand pump to literally pump up pressure around the ankle. Double velcro straps finished off the lockdown fit across the front of the ankle.

Back in the day, many saw similarities between the Nike Air Pressure and the Nike MAG. While there were no powerlaces or lights aboard, the shoes sported a super high top cut and a sleek toe-cap-less, toe-box-less design.

A few years back, the Nike Air Pressure was celebrated with a limited HOH exclusive release of the Nike Air PR1
in colorblocking similar to the Nike Air Pressure, but for OG heads, it just wasn’t the same.

There has been talk of Nike bringing back some of the Nike Basketball pump series (Nike Air Pressure, Nike Air Command Force, and Nike Air Force 180 Pump), but nothing concrete has hit the street. Let us know if you would like to see the Nike Air Pressure return in the comment section below.

If you have the budget, you can scoop a pair that has hit eBay for a mortgage payment.

Related Posts:


Leave a Reply