Scottie Pippen is set to receive more retro sneaker love next year with the reissue of the Nike Air Flight Lite Mid.
While not one Pippen’s signature sneakers — those would come later — the Air Flight Lite Mid was famously worn by the Bulls small forward during the ‘91-’92 NBA season and as he suited up for the United States’ “Dream Team” at the 1992 Summer Olympics. A red and white version of the shoe was made specifically for him to wear during the regular season, and that very model will be re-released by Nike in 2022.
Originally released in high-, mid-, and low-top versions, the Air Flight Lite was one of the lightest basketball sneakers of its time and featured a plush collar to go along with Air cushioning. A static patterned interior added a degree of pop along with a velvety Swoosh, and although the detail didn’t appear in the Air Flight Lite’s original run, Nike has added Pippen’s own logo onto the insole to drive home the association.
The beginning of Pippen’s Nike run — After being drafted by the Bulls in 1987, Pippen rotated between sneakers from Avias and Nike until 1991. The Air Flight Lite was the first sneaker he wore upon committing to Nike permanently, and sneakers closely associated with him would go on to include the Air Flight Huarache and Air Max Uptempo.
Pippen’s own line of signature sneakers would begin in 1996 during the Bull’s second string of three consecutive NBA titles. The Air Pippen 1 took cues from the Air Max Uptempo, adding his own zig-zagging upper with jeweled accents. Subsequent models would move on from the chunky silhouette to become more sleek, and six models in total would release before Pippen retired from the NBA.
The return of Pippen’s Air Flight Lite should be welcomed by old school sneakerheads and basketball fanatics steeped in the history of the game. And while a release date has yet to be confirmed, we can expect the sneaker to drop at some point next year for $120.