Nike Air More Uptempo 96 has made a comeback this summer, making it a good time to get a closer look and review its features. Given that was on sale , we grabbed the “Copy/Paste” version in white and black at a quite discount from its original $175 price tag. This special edition of the classic caught our attention with the Blazer inspired oversized swoosh on one side and the smaller one on a black background on the other. This added branding and an all white upper fits perfectly with the whole original concept of the shoe and it adds more to its boldness.

The History of Nike Air More Uptempo 96

The sneaker was released in 1996 in an era where Air Jordan sneakers were so popular that they emerged in a separate brand from Nike. Nevertheless, with their bold look they could not be ignored and they quickly transcended in a cultural icon. This was also possible by the likes of Scottie Pippen wearing them in the NBA with the Chicago Bulls but also at the Olympics in 1996 while playing in the second Dream Team. The sneaker was also featured in the movie “George of the Jungle” in 1997 which made it even more popular.
The Nike Air More Uptempo was designed by Wilson Smith in 1996 with a clear idea of creating a shoe that is brash and bold that ultimately turned out to be a great fit for the 90’s. With the big AIR letters overlay letters and the full length Air Max midsole the shoe certainly achieved its designer’s goal.
The Uptempo has been released in the past three decades since its release in numerous colorways and special editions. One of the most notable ones was the 2017 one in red and white when the AIR were replaced with the Supreme lettering.

Nike Air More Uptempo 96 Review

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Out of the box the Nike Air More Uptempo 96 looks like a very solid shoe that is made to last. This first impression is certainly due to the upper construction that is made of genuine leather with the AIR lettering on both sides of the shoe being sewn on top of the base leather. As you’d expect this adds a bit of weight to the shoe. While back in the 1996 this was a performance basketball shoe nowadays this is surely not the case anymore. The modern basketball shoes excel in how light they are. However, most people today will buy the uptempo as a street icon , an everyday sneaker that will stand out with its striking looks. As we’ve noticed during our short Nike Air More Uptempo 96 review is that it can still be used as a basketball shoe of course but more occasionally than before. Wearing these casually and getting on a court every once in a while certainly makes more sense. Being made of leather they require a bit of break in period but once settled in they are a pair to wear for a long time. The Uptempo runs true to size and they do not run narrow in our experience. If you’re nit sure what size you need you can check out our Nike size chart here. There is a decent amount of air flow given by the perforations in the upper leather but also by the lightly padded mesh tongue. As you’d expect from a basketball shoe it features just enough padding around the ankle area. The lacing system adds to the first impression of a durable shoe – there are 4 hooks on each shoe that it anchors in, with three elastic bands for added support to hold the foot in place comfortably. 

Sole Unit 

The full Air Max midsole matches perfectly with the idea of the whole design. Back in 1996 few shoes had such a full length midsole and aside of its cool looks it was also used as top technology for the basketball players of that era. While not so much in the same category nowadays, this midsole provides great arch support for those sporting these for long hours. The midsole is sandwiched by an engineered EVA foam upper and a more solid rubber outsole with a wave pattern that was praised over the decades by basketball players for its superior grip on the court. 

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Bottom Line 

If you’re looking for a solid, everyday retro shoe , this is surely one to consider. What we knew about the Nike Air More Uptempo 96 was even more cemented in our review, that of an iconic retro shoe that stands the test of time; a shoe that is as versatile as it ever was and a look that ages like wine.