Heralded as one of the greatest designers to ever cook up a model for The Swoosh, Aaron Cooper (@aaron.ac.cooper) has crafted countless signature solutions for LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Serena Williams alongside a lengthy catalog of ACG and racing footwear. Boasting over 20 years’ worth of iconic models and design language, Cooper’s historic run with the Beaverton brand proffered a number of unreleased models, such as this outdoor-inspired basketball shoe.


Every Sunday, the designer takes to his Instagram to reveal a detailed recollection of his past designs. From the ACG Ruckel Ridge to the Air Pippen 1, Cooper now details the story behind an insect-inspired silhouette. Centered around the idea of crafting a model that was as nimble and strong as a beetle shell, the February 1997 sketches seen below correlated with the brand’s new outdoor concept “Live, Breath, Sleep” – an homage to the basketball player who routinely tired themselves out on the blacktop.

Built to last for the wear and tear of outdoor competition, the silhouette utilized the banner’s most durable rubber compound while Kevlar made a shocking appearance by wrapping up the midsole for enhanced durability. Thick rope laces paired with a sweat-wicking poly mesh lining provided necessary ventilation amidst scorching hot runs while further breathable perforations littered the thick “Comfort E” full-grain leather upper.

The upper’s wavy aesthetic is ostensibly connected to the 90s when Nike cohabitated with chunkier silhouettes and visible Max Air cushioning systems, the latter of which makes a striking appearance here alongside the forefoot’s hidden pocket of Zoom. Similar to the Lambaste 2 and the Air Alonzo, the unreleased proposition elected for the 90s staple jewel swoosh.

Enjoy a detailed look at the unreleased pair below – which would have retailed for $110 – via sketches from Cooper himself while we await the next shoe to be featured on his Sneaker Story Sunday series.

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Nike Air Max 2017 Triple Black

Nike Air Max 2017 Triple Black

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Nike Air Force 1 Low ’07 QS Purple Skeleton Halloween

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