23. Nike Air Rift

Year: 1995

Loved and despised in equal quantities, the Air Rift brought some tradition, common sense and glorious weirdness to the running shoe. Feeling like the ancestor of some early split-toe Onitsuka efforts (themselves steeped in age-old Japanese tradition), these were a solution for the Kenyan athletes who favored running in bare feet. Nike would unleash some other fine experiments in minimalism (the excellent Mayfly's one-marathon concept being one) but this became a trend-level favorite, with stores like the London stores shifting them at a markup with a waiting list too, after buying up batches from running retailers. Kenyan colors, Brazil colors, Turbo Pink, tangerine and camo all got wear from both sexes. And we'll probably see a Rift resurgence too.