One of the first-ever women’s signature basketball shoes is back. Today Nike announced plans to release a retro edition of the Air Swoopes II, Sheryl Swoopes‘ second signature model from 1996.
The brand also revealed that the shoe is the first in a new initiative of women’s retro sneaker releases, inspired by the resurgence of ’90s pop and basketball cultures, as well as to celebrate the role of the Swoosh in women’s basketball throughout the years.
The first player ever to be signed to the WNBA, Swoopes also became the first female to receive her own signature basketball model, the Nike Air Swoopes in 1995. The Swoopes II followed a year later and was worn by the star while leading Team USA to a gold medal at the 1996 Summer Olympics.
The shoe features a bold, chunky design with a thoroughly ’90s look, which returns in perfect time for today’s sneaker trends, ready to be worn with either sporty or dressed-up styles — as the graphic images seen here from the brand illustrate.
It’s most eye-catching feature is the unique lacing system, which snakes across the upper with a button lacelock for easy adjustment. Another distinct feature is the rubber basketball shape that’s found on the back of the thick, Zoom Air-cushioned sole.
Reflecting on the history of her sneaker line, Swoopes had this to say in a Nike News feature on the shoe: “It feels surreal to know that I had my own shoe. I look at where the game is today and how far we as female athletes, as women, have come — and how much work we still have to do just to be appreciated. I feel like now is such an important time for women and female athletes everywhere.”
The brand has not yet mentioned what other sneakers will be a part of the new retro basketball line for women, but the Air Swoopes II launches Aug. 17 in the original White/Black-Royal, and in its red-accented colorway on Sep. 7.