SNEAKERscholar #NikeColorGuide rounds out the 1980s with this look at new Nike colors introduced 1989.
Air Jordan enjoyed a tremendously successful redefining year in '88. Tinker Hatfield and all of those colors carry over to 1989 for Air Jordan 4, except True Blue gives way to the new Military Blue.
Nike Basketball 1989 as a whole goes a bit further. Delta Force ST is bolder than its predecessor and Air Force STS (*aka Air Force IV) even borrows Jordan 3’s Elephant print. Colors are still conservative, but there’s a bit more variation overall.
Nike Flight launches in 1989 as the perimeter player’s answer to Force in the low post. Air Solo Flight hints at the famously energetic followup with the only yellow and orange appearances this year.
Nike Running stays ahead of the pack in 1989 with a boost in bold looks. The latest flagship Air Max II (* now Air Max Light) debuts Aegean Blue and creates more space for the Fuchsia shade used sparingly in ’88.
Nike Air Flow brings back the Amazon Green/Emerald OG and debuts the original Electric Green/Neo Turquoise combo which appears to be Nike's first 'Sprite' colorway.
Speaking of colorways connected with LeBron James, Nike Zoom Street Leather brings a popular track spike silhouette to the road and appears to be Nike's original 'South Beach' style in Aquatime/Firecracker Red.
Nike Training continues to expand its variety in 1989, both in models and colors. The Air Trainer SC (*now Air Trainer III) is back in Medicine Ball, but also adds a handful of additional shades. All of these, while fairly restrained, were relatively more expressive, yet less historically significant than the unreleased Air Trainer 3 (*which appears to be the earliest 'blackout' on record) Michael Keaton wore in Tim Burton’s Batman.
Nike Air Trainer SC II marks a serious leap for the series in 1989, debuting Citron and Neo Turquoise.
Nike Tennis sees a similar energetic burst as the Andre Agassi signature line continues in 1989 with Air Tech Challenge 2 utilizing a rainbow of accents to communicate his rebel image within the stereotypically stuffy sport.
Nike’s outdoor efforts round out the end-of-decade visual quantum leap. Aqua Gear brings forth Aqua Sock and the strapped Aqua Sock Too in a rainbow of releases that stand as Nike’s colorful and varied to date.
Nike tells us “ACG stands for All Conditions Gear” for the first time in 1989 (*though a considerable amount of promotional material still refers to ‘Nike Hiking’). Trail hits like Lava High foreshadow one of the most exciting Nike divisions to watch as we head into the early 1990s.
With that we invite you to follow SNEAKERscholar #NikeColorGuide into 1990, the year Air Jordan and Nike Basketball fully get on board with the variegated vanguard.