Few things genuinely shock me when I pass by your run of the (Ontario) mill(s) sneaker store anymore. After several years on the job, you become numb to a few things, namely the amount of new sneakers that you see on a daily basis. Seeing them in person obviously serves a purpose and you get to see and interact with people to get a feeling for what’s really “trending” instead of just looking at the analytics of every tweet and post, but the actual joy of discovery is often times gone. It takes that special something to truly make me do a double turn and it takes something remarkable to inspire an impulse buy. The Nike Zoom Air 96 Olympic was just that sneaker.
Penny Hardaway’s Olympic player exclusive has been on my radar of must-haves since well, ’96 when he wore them in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta as part of the second Dream Team (sorry, 1994 FIBA squad). The Zoom Flight 96 featured an elegant wavy design that was typical of 90s – in a good way – design back then and it was on the feet of one of my favorite NBA players of all-time. Back in 1996 when my source for information on kicks were NBA-related magazines and whatever blurry photo I could find on the LA Times, I really thought the Zoom Flight 96 was going to be the Nike Air Penny II. That wouldn’t be the case and the Zoom Flight 96 went to become a fun footnote in Penny’s sneaker history and a surefire candidate for a future Sneaker Grails post.
I knew that the Nike Zoom Flight 96 Olympic was coming back this month, but all signs were pointing to an end of the month release. Imagine my (very pleasant) surprise when that wasn’t the case. Check out the unboxing above as part of our KoF Live series when we open them up on Facebook Live. Let us know what you think about the shoe in the comments.