The sneaker market is one that is widely considered to be vulnerable to the trend cycle.
A hot new brand might command round-the-block lines one day, only for sales to collapse when enthusiasts move on to the next thing. However, one brand has demonstrated its staying power time and again.
We’re talking, of course, about Nike. Nike continues to be the most popular sneaker company on the planet, with sales forecasted to top $50 billion in 2023.
Killer marketing, unrivaled quality, and unforgettable design are what set Nike’s shoes apart from the rest. So, what are the most popular Nike sneakers in 2023? Read on to find out.
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Most Popular Nike Sneakers: Air Jordan 1
Everyone knows the story behind one of the most iconic fashion trends of all time – the Jordans series. There’s even a movie about it, something that no other sneaker in history has been afforded.
The Air Jordan 1 – first released in 1985 and re-released many times since – has become a ubiquitous part of streetwear culture. The likes of Travis Scott, Solefly, and NBA superstars are all into collecting sneakers from the Air Jordan line.
To put it simply, no other piece of footwear has had an impact close to that of the Air Jordan 1.
Air Force 1
First released as a high-top shoe before being recalled and re-released as a low-top in 1983, the Air Force 1 is one of those trendy shoes that literally never goes out of style.
The shoe was widely associated with East Coast hip-hop culture in the 1990s and for its long relationship with high fashion (Virgil Abloh and Dapper Dan frequently used the AF1 in their own creations).
For many, the stunning simplicity of the AF1 makes it the ideal blank canvas for expressing oneself through footwear.
Air Max 1
First released in 1987, the Air Max 1 was a global game changer in terms of sneaker technology. It was the first shoe to use ever use gas-filled punches to keep it cushioned – a method that has been re-applied by every other sneaker company in the world.
On top of this, the Air Max 1 was the first sneaker to take the “outside-in” design approach, with those gas pouches being fitted to the exterior of the shoe (another design choice that has been endlessly copied).
Air Max 1 was and continues to be an icon of footwear for its style just as much as for its engineering prowess.
The Nike Blazer was one of the earliest mass-market Nike basketball shoes, first hitting the shelves all the way back in 1973. Named after the Portland Trail Blazers, this sneaker enjoyed somewhat modest sales in the years after its release.
It wasn’t until Virgil Abloh redid the whole shoe as part of his first collection with Nike in 2017 that the Blazer finally entered the sneaker hall of fame, going on to become one of the world’s most popular streetwear shoes.
You can even browse this website to find and buy your own version of the iconic Blazer sneaker.
The story behind the Dunk is one that truly underlines Nike’s global reach. First released in 1985, sales were fairly unimpressive for the first few years.
However, that all changed with the explosion of the vintage sneaker scene over in Japan in the mid-1990s, after which the Dunk was elevated as the American classic sneaker par example.
The sneaker got an additional boost in the 2000s when it became ubiquitous among the rising generation of professional skateboarding celebrities. The rest, as they say, is history.
Air Jordan 11
The Air Jordan 11 is still one of the most unconventional Nike designs, a full 28 years after its initial release. The leather and mesh, the transparent soles, and the elegant curves of those soles continue to be highly sought after by sneaker collectors the world over.
It’s all one of the shoes that seem to have crossed over across almost every sport. People are just as likely to describe Air Jordan 11s are Nike tennis shoes as they are basketball or skating shoes.
The popularity of this distinctive sneaker has grown with every appearance in popular culture, such as when Will Smith wore them in the finale of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air or when Michael Jordan himself donned them for his cameo in Space Jam.
Throughout the 2010s, A-list rapper Kanye West was one of the most important designers in the world of footwear, and his mark on Nike continues to be felt to this day.
While some of his creations received a mixed reception, there’s no denying the unfathomable hype around his Yeezy releases, which would unfailingly draw crowds that could fill a stadium to Nike stores around the world.
The Yeezy 2 is likely to be his best-remembered and most sought-after creation.
The exaggerated high-top and OTT padding have inspired high-fashion sneakers the world over, and these shoes continue to be some of the most expensive on the resale market.
Air Max 95
Air cushioning has always been Nike’s unique selling point, at least from an engineering perspective. While the air cushioning was always located near the heel, the Air Max 95 was also brought to the front of the foot for the first time.
This simple yet untried design tweak ensured it was an instant hit on the basketball court, with that extra cushion providing a competitive edge for numerous star players.
Today, the Air Max 95 is synonymous with neon coloring, which the sneaker somehow manages to make look timeless.
Released all the way back in 1972, this is one of the shoes that truly catapulted Nike to global recognition. It was their first real mass-market shoe, retailing for around $20 in the 1980s (worth about $60 in today’s money), allowing the shoe to become a mainstay in popular culture.
Today, the Cortez is a much-beloved icon in California’s Mexican-American community and continues to be thought of first and foremost as the OG running shoe.
Get Equipped For Better Living
The most popular Nike sneakers today tell a story of fashion, celebrity, and street culture.
While Nike’s creations are intended to give athletes a boost, their stunning designs have convinced the rest of us mortals to fall in love too. With the right sneakers, you can get the spring in your step that you need to live your best life. You can also consult our Lifestyle pages for more daily insights to get you equipped for better living.