網友 Scott Cheng 鞋評 / Nike Air Flight Lite Mid

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It was 1992, my aunt shipped me a pair black/white Flight Lite from the States. It was an era when baggy clothing and black shoes were in style. I worn my pair pretty much every day until it falls apart. I loved it, not only because it was cool, but also because this pair is mad comfortable both on and off court.

When I heard Nike was going to bring back the Flight Lite line late last year, I was worried because Nike has bad reputation and track records over the years of getting retros done badly to the point where I think most of these releases are disasters. My worries came true when I saw on YT that people reviewing the first white/black release, saying it is cheaply made and the shape is just out of whack.

Then Nike dropped the big news, when they said the 92 Olympic colorway is coming out, the piece that was not available back in 92 locally in Taiwan. I wanted this 30 years ago, but I was not sure if I want to have a pair now that potentially, this new version will ruin my sweet memories when I had it in college.

I struggled for a few weeks, then I ordered a pair. I told myself that if I don’t like it, I can easily sell it locally since it is not available here in Taiwan. Besides, it is on sale now already, so the price, even with shipping, still cheaper than the SRP in Taiwan.

I finally received this pair yesterday and let’s take a quick look on how it holds up this time.


Fit and sizing

I got a size US 12 this time because it is the biggest size available online back at the time when I put in my order. There are a few more places selling these now and you can find it up to size 15. I worn size 12 back in college and ever since I got to the States in 94, I started wearing size 13. To my surprise, this pair of size 12 fits me fine. It still has a bit room right before my toe, and the toe box is wide enough so I do not feel pressure on my pinky toes. I am guessing once I start wearing it on court, I would feel better since the leather (oh, well, if you can all it “leather”. I will get to this point later……) might expand a little more. This is a true mid top from the 90s and once I laced it all the way up to the last lace hole, it made me feel very secure on my foot. I have to say for some strange reasons, these old school design with flat laces from the past really work well and work better than most of the modern shoes these days. In general, I would say even if you are a wide footer, your true size should fit you well.

Cushioning and support

One of the main issues with Nike retros is that they tend to take things down so they can lower the production cost, especially at the places that you can’t see. For example, they would take out air or zoom units from the midsole or replacing the big tortional plate with a smaller piece or inferior material. Of course, I did not cut this Flight Lite in half, so I am not able to tell you exactly if they are replacing things within. However, for as far as I could tell by trying it on, the shoes is pretty comfy the way I remember it with my old pair from 30 years ago. The cushioning is good enough to the point where I think I should be able to play ball in it. My guess is that the midsole material is on point like the one we had in the past and the air units are all in there. This is not a common case. I am not sure if any of you guys know Nike put out the Air Flight Lite 91 a few years back, both in low and high top version. I had the 91 version and played with it before I switched to the 92 version. I liked the 91 version as well, and I actually got multiple pairs back in college and that tells you how much I liked those. So when I knew Nike retroed it, I flew to the store and tried it on. Oh, boy, when I put it on, I had bad language flying out of my mouth because Nike screwed it up so bad that the arch support was just too high and the mid-foot section was just too narrow. On top of that, the 91 retro was just super stiff and hard. That was just BAD! This time, it seems Nike is at least doing this part right.

What Nike has screwed up (again, again and again……)

I understand it is really hard to make retro shoes, especially when you don’t have a complete archives of shoes from the past (this is the point I am not sure, because I have heard mix things about Nike on preserving their products from the past). However, I am really sick of Nike pushing out these classic kicks with very low quality and trying to make quick bucks.
I found pics of original 92 Olympic version from the internet, and I can easily see the below differences:

1. The toe box is shaped totally different. The retro is just too flat if you look from the side. In addition, the leather panel right on the tip is cut too thin comparing to the original.
2. The side and back panels of the 92 version are silver in color. The new ones are all white.
3. The outsole towards the back is shaped differently as well. This might be very hard to see unless you have at least one of the pairs in your hand.
4. The back Nike and Swoosh embroideries are navy in color with gold outline, but the new ones are just in navy.
5. The last one, for as far as I can easily tell, is that the leather, or the material used to make the retro is really flimsy and cheap. When I took the shoes right out of the back, it is already all wrinkled up.

I guess the question we should all ask is, if Nike has the ability to make a faithful retro? The answer is definitely yes. The original version of the shoes can still be found online, so if Nike is really trying, they can just buy one and figuring out how they can make parts like the original. If we think about this a bit further, if Nike can somehow make the midsole and outsole the way that makes me feel it is true to the original, how come they can’t make the other parts the same? Or they just did not want to do it?

My guess is the later. Nike can do it, but they just don’t care because again, they just want to make quick money. Think about this, they have released the Jordan 7 original several times, but all of them have the correct silver color panels on the side. Now tell me why they can’t do it this time. Strange, right? Going to the colors of the embroideries, I am sure after 30 years, these machines they use in the factory can do the correct coloring and lettering cheaper and better, but why they chose to make it all navy? Again, it is all about cutting cost. Lastly, going to the “leather” they used.

From the product description, this is what they put:
“Leather upper with perforations for breathability and weight-saving”

If you understand the different types of leather, like full grain, top grain and split suede, I am sure you can figure out why Nike only put the word “leather upper” in there, instead of full grain leather they usually put 30 some years ago. They use the cheapest by product leather they can find to save cost, yet they don’t want to tell you so. Very smart.

Back in the memory lane

Back in 92, Nike released four pairs of Olympic colorway shoes, they were Air Jordan 7, Air Force 180, Air Ballistic Force and this Air Flight Lite. The Air Ballistic Force and Air Flight Lite were not on sale in Taiwan, so I wanted it so bad over the years and wishing I could find a pair of wearable original. Luckily, Nike decided to bring it back, or unluckily, Nike brought it back in a way where I am not sure if I want to call it a retro.

I have every reason in the world that to sell this pair right away since it is so far away from I have expected originally. This is kind laughable since I actually had expectation on Nike’s retro product, given the fact that Nike has done most of the retros badly. At the end, I have decided to keep this pair to ball in it once the lock down is over, simply because it reminds me what I was like 30 years ago. I mean, in this 50 year old body, I can’t ball to the level of intensity of skill level like I used to have many years ago. However, I am wishing when I lace it up, I can have flashes of what I was doing on court, when I was a true youth down in the memory lane.


原文出處:勘履籃球鞋評俱樂部