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Discussion: What Defines a Signature Sneaker?

Last weekend we discussed which were the best ‘short lived’ signature series produced by Nike.

Surprisingly, many were more concerned as to why certain sneakers were left out and feel as if the Nike Air Penny line is still going strong, leaving more than one additional topic up for debate. With that, let’s discuss those two topics this time around which came up during our previous thread… what defines a signature sneaker in your opinion?

1)Scottie Pippen, Charles Barkley, Penny Hardaway and many more all had quite a few things in common. Nothing more common than the fact that they all represented Nike on court, and soon each got their own signature sneakers after many years of representing the Swoosh. Why was the Air Force 180 left out of the Barkley lineup; the Air Maestro left out of the Pippen lineup & so on? While these were all great performance shoes of the 90’s and seen on the feet of these particular players, they were Nike Basketball products… and worn by other players in the NBA even though they are mostly known for being attached to the aforementioned athletes. They we not signature products, but were made available in multiple PE versions to match with the player’s corresponding team uniform. Take the Nike Hyperfuse for example; Rajon Rondo debuted the sneaker on court during the playoffs… they were even marked with the PE branding featuring his jersey number. Kevin Garnett wore the Jumpman Pro (Jordan’s 1st team model prior to the Jordan ‘Brand’) & Air Jordan XI ‘Columbia’. Barkley wore the Air Jordan XIV as did Reggie Miller after MJ’s 2nd retirement. Does this make those shoes their signature sneakers, in your perspective?

2)The Nike Air Penny had a total of four sneakers plus the Nike Air Foamposite One for those who count that as a signature. In my opinion, a signature sneaker usually comes with the players name followed by a number; Air Jordan 1-23 or Air Penny 1-4, although that’s not always the case. It was mentioned the Air Penny line is still going strong with recent retro releases as well as a couple of hybrid models; The Nike Air ½ Cent and Nike Air Rookie LWP. Again, this is just my opinion which is why this discussion to me seems so intriguing… but those two shoes feature the Penny logo yet is not named after the player. Do you consider this a continuation of sorts of the original Air Penny lineup even though it’s a hybrid model. Can the same be said for the Nike Air Max A Lot which mixes the Air Pippen 2 with the Air More Uptempo, both if which worn by Scottie Pippen. How about the abomination that is the Jordan 6-17-23 which horribly combines two signatures from the Air Jordan line… is that an Air Jordan or is it a Jordan Hybrid? You can even throw in some of the .5 models; Air Jordan 1.5, 5.5, 9.5, 12.5 & 16.5… signatures or not?

Let us know your opinion on the two subjects.

Are you conflicted at all wanting a hybrid to be viewed as a continuation of a previous signature series since it was well executed yet the Jordan hybrids which are typically frowned upon tossed aside and never to be heard from again?

As well as what makes a signature sneaker in general? If a player wears it, does that automatically mark the shoe as being his signature?

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