7. Nike Air Huarache

Year: 1991

Just as Nike would work with Native American style for the similarly game-changing Air Moc a decade later, Nike's Huarache — named after traditional Mexican footwear — was like nothing we'd seen before. We'd seen hints in stretch experiments from 1979 onwards, but the neoprene, that sci-fi sole unit, the materials and that futuristic heel tab all made for a dose of what the future was meant to look like. Some critics claimed that their feet boiled in them over the duration of a run, but it was a brilliant work in progress. Best of all, where some experiments gathered dust, these were a success with an audience already spoilt for choice with amazing footwear — in stark contrast to today's reign of the retro, kids at street level went crazy for this too (it got The Source's sneaker-of-the-year award in an end-of-year roundup). Soccer, cross training, tennis and basketball all got the Huarache treatment too, and it's a system that stays relevant.