Grail: Nike Air Flight 89 High
The Air Flight 89 became a grail for me by dumb luck as much as anything — I bought a pair when I was in my senior year of high school (yes, in 1989), and as years passed they became more and more cherished in my memory. But, seeing that "retro" as we know it didn't exist — and neither did eBay — I didn't hold out much hope of ever finding another pair. Then, in 1998, I was working at SLAM magazine, and flew down to Norfolk, Virginia to cover the McDonalds All-America Game. With time to kill, I took a walk around town — and stumbled across a sneakerhead's dream: an undiscovered mom and pop shop that appeared to be frozen in the late '80s, from the posters to the displays. Rather than max out my credit card and ship a whole crate of stuff home (which, in hindsight, I probably should have done — and someone else probably did), I bought just one pair of sneakers: the same white/royal Air Flights I had in high school. And if I ever find myself wondering if that place really existed, I can pull them out of the box and be reminded.