When it comes to awesomeness in sneakers, Jesse Leyva is the man over at Nike who we can thank for most of the game-changing product of the last ten years or so. Jesse has been a Nike designer since he left college, and has risen to the ranks at the Swoosh to become its Sportswear Footwear Design Director. He has overseen the making of most of the Quickstrikes and Tier Zero kicks marked as "Grails" by sneakerheads, and is a key player in the emergence of Nike Sportswear's footwear game. Nike's Pro B series? Jesse. Clerks pack? Jesse. Hybrids? Thank Jesse Leyva.
A big part of designing new shoes, especially in the lifestyle category where Nike Sportswear sits, is knowing one's history. Jesse has serious experience in the sneaker game (dating back to waiting on line to buy original Jordan 1s), so we hit him for our latest "Top 50" list. He took us through the 50 sneakers that he fanned out on before he was making them all himself, so check this countdown list complete with anecdotes about each silhouette. There are some definite classics on here, and some that a lot of us missed. Check out "Jesse Leyva's 50 Favorite Sneakers".