Ranking the Best Retro Trainers


Retro cross training sneakers have been one of the hottest fashion items as of late, and it’s no surprise considering the nostalgia surrounding the shoes as well as their clean look. Brands like Nike and Reebok have been at the forefront of this increasing trend, bringing back all of the trainers we loved from the ‘90s from some of our favorite athletes. So now, let us take a look at some of the most popular trainers, and figure out which one is best.

Back in 1995, Nike released the Nike Air Max Speed Turf, and it was endorsed by none other than the great Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino. This shoe had a tough look to match its aggressive design, equipped with a midfoot strap, a durable leather upper, and an Air Max unit in the heel for support. One of the best retro trainers? Certainly. The best? Not quite.

Everybody remembers Brett Favre, and if you are into sneakers you certainly remember the Nike Zoom Turf Jet 97. This shoe was different than anything we had seen on a trainer before, and featured a unique design on the toebox as well as one of the most creative midsoles that we have seen on a trainer. Also, who couldn’t forget the icy outsole with the assertive traction pattern? It’s definitely one of the best retro trainers, but not quite the best.

Emmitt Smith is arguably the best running back to ever step foot on the turf, and his signature trainer from Reebok has the reputation to match. Featuring visible Hexalite in the midsole, and a very curvy and unique paneled upper, the Reebok ES22 was an instant classic for sneaker lovers. It ranks up there with the top trainers of all time, but we know of at least one that is just a little better.

No signature Nike athlete has made quite the same impact as dual sport star Bo Jackson. Nike had the ad campaigns, “Bo Knows”, and the public was convinced. If Bo was wearing the Nike SC Trainer, then so were his fans. It was one of the first cross trainers from Nike, and it’s high cut, aggressive styled midsole, and unique upper has not been duplicated to this day. Every time this shoe releases, it causes quite a stir in the sneaker community, and will forever be ranked as one of the best Nike shoes of all time. For these reasons, the Nike SC Trainer holds the crown for best retro trainer.