Next up on Nike’s ‘20 Designs That Changed the Game’ series: the Air Swoops.

Not many female basketball players get their own shoe. Then again, not many of them are Sheryl Swoopes. As the greatest women’s player of her era, it was only fitting that, in 1996, Nike made her the first female ever to get her own signature model.

Designed by Marin Gerber, and inspired by Swoopes’ tenacious personality, the Nike Air Swoopes are an example of a perfect mix of performance and style. Designed to keep up with Her Airness’ intensity, the shoe featured Nike Air in the sole for comfort, and a stability strap in the midfoot for excellent support. Before the shoes came to be, female ballers had no other choice but to settle for men’s models in smaller sizes for the support they provided. The Air Swoopes changed all of that, breaking the gender barrier of basketball sneakers.

In case you missed it, check out the previous installments of Nike Basketball’s journey.

[Nike]

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