Aside from the significance of this shoe and similar models in pop culture, the design itself is emblematic of Nike’s hoops kicks for many years. After evolving from the soft collar and flexible ankle of the first basketball sneaker, the Nike Blazer, Nike gradually progressed into making higher profile models with an increasing level of ankle support and durability. Our model is an original from 1989, and it features a thick and durable midsole with a midfoot in white and gray leather with a blue swoosh to match the padded, linear patterned rear collar area. The branding appears on the collar with a yellow outline similar to the UCLA Bruins team colors, the heel tab, and the oversized text on the fat tongue.
This Nike model, to us anyway, represents what the RE-Fresh project was designed to highlight – sneakers from yesteryear that may have slipped out of your memory. And if you are among the high percentage of our readers who may not be old enough to remember what sneakers people had on their feet in the late 80s, hopefully this look at a serviceable Nike model will make you dig deeper into the culture of a brand that’s still making a strong line of court-ready models. But for the current roster of Nike basketball shoes, you will be hard pressed to find any that look quite like the Driving Force.
Original 1989 deadstock Nike Driving Force
Thanks to Mike Packer of Packer Shoes.