The grass is always greener on the other side. We Europeans have long lusted after co.jp and US-only Nike releases, but you know what? We've had some amazing releases in our territory that had everyone else fiending but naturally, we took them for granted.
This is an overview of the very best over the years, but charting the sheer volume of Air Max 90s, Air Max BWs, Air Max Plus and Air Max 95 colorways that have been confined to this region is a near-impossible task. NikeTown's rollout of Air Max 97s for the metallic, slimline-shoe-loving Italian footfall is another story that needs to be told too. There's a slew of Prestos that never seemed to travel either. Then there's the mystery of Matrix's Euro/Canada releases and the great Euro/Asia Foot Locker drops that had to be cut from this list.
JD, Courir, size? and Foot Locker have been responsible for some slept-on cult classics. While the Air Max in its many forms (for instance, the UK traditionally loved the 90 and France favored the BW) is Europe's equivalent of America's Force fixation, salutes to those who paid off mortgages shifting AF1s nobody cared about locally to excitable New Yorkers. Just consider this the tip of the Euro exclusive iceberg.
While recent internet/reseller hype has homogenized shoe styles globally (bearing in mind that you could buy Foamposites from London's House of Hoops weeks after release back in 2010, but the Galaxy release caused a one-week queue outside the Oxford Street NikeTown earlier this year), thankfully, some eccentricities remain.
Salutes to the oracle Steve Bryden (@steven_bee
) for invaluable assistance with this top 50.