Nike Shox BB4 "Olympic" - The BB4s aren't anything special to look at aside from the Shox heel unit, and would probably have come and gone without much fanfare if it weren't for one fateful game by Vince Carter. Vince immortalized these shoes in the 2000 Olympic Games when he used Frederic Weis' grill as a personal landing strip for his nutsack in the dunk heard around the world. Off the strength of a soul-stealing dunk, these are worthy of mention and should be copped every time they release.
5. Nike Blazer LR "Medal Stand" – We get it. America, Fuck Yeah. But even the most patriotic of dudes can get sick of rocking with the red white and blue day in and day out. Enter the Medal Stands. A timeless silhouette in the Blazer got the premium suede treatment with a Lunarlon insole, the first of its kind in 2012. A black upper with a white swoosh and gum bottom make the build suitable for all occasions, and the understated typography on the tongue do well to give props to the stars and stripes, without having you look like a Rex Kwon Do dropout.
4. Nike Air Force 180 "Olympic" – Sir Charles Barkley might be the king of idiotic hot takes now, but at one point in time fam was the Round Mound of Rebound and his kicks of choice against a terrified Angola team drew as much respect as his work in the paint. The gold gradient on the midsole looked almost too smooth to be worn by the likes of Chuck given his… "colorful" personality. Boasting a build that was created just before the "bigger is better" era in footwear, these signatures took a no-nonsense approach to performance, and Barkley was just the man to show them off.
3. Nike Air More Uptempo "Olympic" – Scottie Pippen the low-key player contrasted with his footwear when he donned the brash Uptempos during his second Olympic go around for the United States. Real talk, they looked like marshmallow kicks with a big-ass AIR lettering on the side but they feel as comfortable as they look. There's no form-over-function talk over here, the Uptempos supplied cushioning for your entire foot with the massive Air unit running the length of the shoe. Cushy kicks for cushy work in '96.
2. Air Jordan 6 "Olympic" – Sadly, His Airness never wore these Js while competing for Team USA. That distinction belongs to Jesus Shuttlesworth, and his much more boring alter ego Ray Allen. Already an iconic silhouette when they were released in 2000, colorblocking on the 6’s was straight up money, no other way to describe it. There's no annoying contrast stitching or bright neon accents, just a well-done shoe with pebbled leather and icy soles. Perhaps not as well-known as the Carmines or Infrareds, the Olympics are the sleeper pick for lovers of the 6 (not Drake) across the globe.
1. Air Jordan 7 "Olympic" – No surprise here. MJ partied hard and played only marginally hard in the 7s when the OG Dream Team formed like Voltron and destroyed everything in their path en-route to a gold medal almost a quarter century ago. Jordan also wore these joints during the infamous closed scrimmage in Monte Carlo where he beat an aging Magic Johnson into submission. Mike refers to that as the most fun he's ever had on a basketball court, only not many outside of the team or staff got to see the scrimmage in its entirety. More on that story over here. For now though, we'll have to settle on video snippets and the words from our childhood heroes. And absurdly priced Olympic 7s on eBay, damn you resellers!