Original Release: 1995
Retro: N/A in this colorway
Release Type: General release
Weight: 15.7 ounces
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“The most Nike-Air cushioning we’ve ever put into one sole”.
That’s how Nike advertised the Air Max Uptempo back in late 1995 when the shoe released. In fact, the Air Max Uptempo was the first basketball shoe to feature visible full-length Air. Designed for “big, fast, crashing-down-from-the-boards-like-a-meteorite kind of players”, the Air Max Uptempo’s simple design made it one of the most popular basketball shoes of its time and one of the most frequently retroed shoes in Nike history.
The third sneaker to release in the growing Uptempo line, the Air Max Uptempo came in numerous general release and team bank colorways. One of the rarest was this black/white/dark-concord version. Essentially an inverse of the traditional white/black/teal colorway, this colorway featured dark-concord accents along the swoosh, tongue, support tabs and outsole over a black/white upper.
The concord accents made an otherwise plain looking shoe caught people’s attention while maintaining a timeless appeal. The black outsole was adorned with rows of dark-concord circles and ovals, including a visible circular Air bubble on the bottom of the heel. Rare even during its initial release, the dark-concord colorway has never been retroed.
The Air Max Uptempo excelled from a performance standpoint. The shoe was supremely cushioned, featuring max volume Air sole units in the forefoot, midfoot and heel supporting a lightweight Durabuck upper and Phylon midsole. Unlike most large volume Air Max basketball shoes, the Air Max Uptempo was relatively light, weighing only 15.7 ounces. Elastic support bands covered the arches giving the shoe a lock-down feel that rivals today’s performance sneakers.
The Air Max Uptempo retailed for $139.99, about $235 in 2020 dollars. The black/white/dark-concord colorway has never been retroed.