words and images_Nick DePaula

Originally worn by the likes of Penny Hardaway, Jason Kidd, Tim Hardaway and many others around the NBA, the Nike Air GO L.W.P. was, in its heyday, a performance monster and the first Nike Basketball shoe to introduce Zoom Air, which then went by the less sexy name “Tensile Air.”

Designed by Eric Avar, the L.W.P. featured a lightweight nubuck upper, full-length neoprene sleeve, heel Air Sole unit, forefoot “Tensile Air” and a unique continuous design that made for great colorblocking that wrapped around the entire shoe.

As we learned during our interview with Nike Sportswear Basketball & Training Design Director Marc Dolce, the decision to bring the L.W.P. back was an easy one, but as is the case with many older shoes from Nike’s historic vault, all of the L.W.P.’s original design files were lost, adding in a bit more work than normal. The shoe had to be entirely re-designed and re-developed from the ground up in order to be retroed, and as you can tell below, the Sportswear group got pretty close.

The most noticeable changes between the original version that released in 1994 and the 2011 Retro version are seen in simple color accent differences like the “Flight” script along the collar, and the much-loved “Nike Air” that adorns each heel. The update features more royal in both spots. For the most part, the midsole proportions, upper materials and collar heights are all right in the same zone, making for a pretty true-to-form Retro. The only glaring difference between the two is the much smaller Swoosh logo found along the tongue of the 2011 L.W.P.

After much anticipation, the Nike Air GO L.W.P. has finally returned, and in this detailed comparison with an original pair below, how many differences can you spot between the two?

Available Now: Nike Air GO L.W.P. Retro