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Vintage Nike Trainers

July 7, 2015

Greek mythology and the great goddess Nike

Naturally the name Nike was chosen deliberately for its meaning. It is derived from Greek mythology and she was a divine charioteer. It is Nike who rides around the battlefields handing out awards of glory and fame and it’s not a surprise to know that Nike served as inspiration to create the famous vintage Nike trainers brand.


A wreath of Laurel leaves would symbolize a prize for the battle worn victors. Nike had wings (of course) and presides over speed, victory and strength.

Greek goddess and fashion leader

She’s appeared on Greek coins and was closely associated with Athena, goddess of the arts and literature and intelligence. A formidable friendship – it’s no surprise at the name choice, or the source of the name.


Ancient Greece gave us the gymnasium too where people would train in their spare time, because remaining physically fit was a priority. Naturally, we know that the Greeks gave us the Olympic Games, which were held every 4 years in honour of Zeus.


The vintage Nike trainers Logo was born in 1971 and designed by Caroline Davidson. It’s inspiration? The wings of Nike (obviously). It was designed by Davidson while she was a student taking on freelance work on the side. And Nike is American in case you hadn’t noticed and was founded in the mid-sixties starting out as Blue Ribbon Sports and becoming Nike Inc. in 1971.


It’s come a long way from selling from the boot of a car for Phil Knight, one of Nike’s founders. Nike now sponsors athletes and sports teams throughout the world with the ubiquitous tick and the logo ‘Just Do it.’

Vintage Nike Trainers

Seventies vintage Nike trainers are a similar in shape to Adidas, less embellishments, fuss and chunky shoe. Less shoe but more streamlined and elegant. Unlike Adidas there are more colours and the tick is bigger and chunkier. Block colours form a sharper classier pattern.


In the next decade Nike is chunkier and higher at the ankle in typical eighties fashion, a look that was replicated by other brands at the time, Nike’s colours are more subtle favouring a white background with either black or red lines. Although white was still around in the nineties, black was becoming increasingly popular.

Fashion staple and sport shoe – that’s vintage Nike trainers

Now vintage Nike trainers are a fashion staple, worn with skinny jeans and leather, and not just on the track. Designs vary and colours are big, but rather than the simple block colours of the 70s, we’re talking dayglow oranges and lemons with intermittent pinks and blues. Charcoal and grey feature prominently too with tweed effect patterns.


From football boots to sandals, running shoes to gym shoes, Nike offers as many different type of sports shoe as you can imagine with as many different colour combinations and patterns as you like, some more daring than others and your choice will be dependent on your own personal tastes.

Which is your favourite decade

If you love vintage Nike trainers then it will really depend on your favourite decade and which one you want to go with – a simple more classic 70s version, or a chunky ankle high 80s, or maybe a sleek black 90s version perhaps.


Whichever one you go with, just enjoy the experience of vintage shopping and shop with care – don’t buy the first thing you see and always check the authenticity.