Year Introduced: 2001

Nike's mechanical cushioning system nearly didn't make it. Shox was in its infancy in the late '70s at the same time a NASA engineer named Frank Rudy was working on a gas-based cushion. The latter would be introduced in 1979 as "Nike Air," and its immediate success pushed everything else into the background. But Shox didn't go away. Designed Bruce Kilgore simply kept refining, and by 2001 it emerged fully formed.