Hype or History: Travis Scott's Nike Air Mac Attack

Hype or History: Travis Scott's Nike Air Mac Attack

If you asked one of the respected sneaker historians like Andrew, aka @SneakerPreservationSociety, or OG sneaker writer Russ Bengtson, the Nike Air Mac Attack is undeniably one of the most important sneakers of all time. Originally created for outspoken tennis superstar and longtime Nike athlete, John McEnroe, the 1984 Air Mac Attack marked the first signature sneaker for Nike in the tennis world and kicked off some of the most important trends in the sneaker game’s early days.


Despite its importance and dedicated fanbase in the tennis world, the Nike Air Mac Attack has never been of much interest to the rest of the sneaker world. Its not-quite-as-simple-as-the-Nike-Dunk design has kept it from being embraced by new generations of sneakerheads, and subsequently, it has never really been given a proper retro release from Nike. That said, both Travis Scott and LeBron James were spotted wearing the shoe back in 2021. As any tenured sneakerhead would expect, the Nike Air Mac Attack is now rumored to release in 2023.


Over the past few months, interest in the Mac Attack has been building. Photos of an OG colorway surfaced back in March, which surprisingly, was met with mixed reviews. A couple of weeks later, a handful of colorways rumored to release at Social Status landed on all the “leak” Instagram accounts and even made an appearance on the feet of the NBA’s most famous sneakerhead, P.J. Tucker. However, the biggest surprise came when Travis Scott was recently spotted wearing the Air Mac Attack with his signature reverse Swoosh, which leads us to believe we’ll be seeing a Cactus Jack x Nike Air Mac Attack release in the near future.

While Nike’s intentions are likely to try and appease the OG sneaker collectors by releasing a true-to-original Air Mac Attack, it’s obvious they are trying to make the shoe something most sneakerheads would say its not by releasing exclusive colorways and collaborations on a style that was typically celebrated for its simplicity and limited number of colorways. It’s as if they didn’t learn from the release of the Ambush x Nike Air Adjust Force releases, Nike Air Ship colorways, and any number of retro releases that they try to make more hype than is historically accurate.


Although the most recent Travis Scott releases have been the least successful of the collaborative partnership, Cactus Jack is still the chosen one when it comes to hype collaborations for Nike and Jordan Brand. In all honesty, you can’t blame Nike for trying to bring some modern-day excitement to their legacy product. It will get the resellers to bite on at least some of the releases and as long as they keep the original colorways on the release calendar, some of the OG sneakerheads will be satiated. 

For those of us that land somewhere between the purist historian and the hypebeast, the strategy will result in some decent colorways of a truly iconic sneaker available for prices that will likely dip below retail in many sizes. To that I say, make room in your Sneaker Throne for the Air Mac Attack coming soon to a Nike Outlet near you.


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