TGRR Blog: Underrated Kicks, Vol. 1 – Nike Flight Lite II

Prose: Jake Sittler (@jtsittler)

10/15/13 Update: Thanks to savvy reader Anastasios Thomaidis, we’ve got a few pics of a used but still gorgeous blue/silver colorway of the Flight Lite II via an auction on German eBay. It’s always awesome to get input from readers, so enjoy the new pics.

We’re testing out a new blog mini-theme here at The Gym Rat Review, called Underrated Kicks. Throughout any sneaker era there have been shoes that, for whatever reason, haven’t gotten the love they deserve. Finch and I will pepper these in whenever we have time to give these unique kicks some props. First up, the Nike Flight Lite II.

The best picture I could find was from krossovki.net, a wonderful website with pictures and descriptions of tons of shoes…except that it’s in a completely different language that I do not speak. (In fact besides the ads, the only thing in English on the site read “f*** nike.” Not very nice.) Leave a comment if you know how I could translate the picture below.

https://i2.wp.com/krossovki.net/images/stories/cross/nike/flight/Nike_Air_Flight_Lite_II.jpg

A Google search of “Nike Flight Lite II” yielded about three pictures of the shoe before I got sick of scrolling. Part of this is because the Flight Lite II had the misfortune of sharing a name with a handful of other “Flight Lite” models. The 1991 Flight Lite shoe was, at the time, the lightest shoe in the Nike Basketball lineup despite its bulky appearance. There’s a couple different versions of that shoe, including a Flight Lite Hi, Flight Lite II and Flight Lite Mid. There’s also a boring Flight Lite that came after the Flight Lite II that I was originally talking about.

Regardless, it’s a gorgeous, confidently designed shoe that has long been a hopeless grail in my eyes. It boasts an asymmetrical lacing system (swoon), a full-length, encapsulated Air unit, a Phylite midsole and an awesome exposed monkey paw anti-ankle inversion structure. And of course, the legendary Alpha Project dots are prominently featured on the forefoot midsole and heel. I also love the dimpling of the midsole with various dots. Even the simple sculpting of the midsole near the heel augments the rest of the design and gives it a low-profile, sleek look. The colorblocking, particularly the red toebox piece and red Swoosh against the white midsole, is clean as well.

It’s a shoe that probably doesn’t have a prayer to be retroed but nonetheless deserves respect for the ingenuity and creativity in design while incorporating and exposing elements like the asymmetrical lacing and monkey paw structure.

nikeflightliteII3 nikeflightliteII2 nike_flight_lite_II

Black/Silver images are from here

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4 responses to “TGRR Blog: Underrated Kicks, Vol. 1 – Nike Flight Lite II

  1. I have one of this shoe and the lightest and most favorite shoe I used ,,, but because I used it balling outdoor, there are dis integration on the shoe itself but I still refused to retire it for the reason in particular that it’s too light compared to kicks I own like KDV N7, and Hyperchaos. . Im trying to buy another one via online which the last time I’ve checked was in taiwan…

    • Yeah man that one is one of my all time favorites because they’ll never make another one like it. That design would never make it out today but for all the weird things about it, it actually made it a solid performer. That’s awesome you still keep yours around-I look around online at least once a week and can never find em

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