This shoe has been back for a few months now, but I’m just now finally getting around to writing this piece. The sneaker I’d like to put down a few words on is the Nike Air Scream LWP, which returned for the first time ever earlier this year.
2018 retro of the Air Scream LWP.
It’s a shoe I was surprised to even see retro in the first place. And since Nike did decide to bring a semi-obscure model like this back, I’m wondering why they’ve put basically no promotion behind it. Since I can’t recall seeing any feature about it anywhere, I figured I’d give it a little bit of love myself.
The Air Scream released in 1995, as one of the initial models in the Lightweight Performance (LWP) line. Along with classics like the Air Go LWP for basketball and Andre Agassi’s Air Challenge LWP, these models were among the first sneakers to utilize Zoom Air, or as it was originally called at the time, Tensile Air. The running shoe in the series was called the Air Zoom LWP, which seems to explain where the inspiration for the name change of the then-new Air tech came from.
Air Zoom LWP running shoe with “Tensile Air” branding on outsole. (via Nike)
Out of all four of these models, the Air Scream is definitely the most obscure. There might be a volleyball or soccer shoe or something that I’m not familiar with that was also in the LWP line, but the Scream is definitely the least known out of the four main LWP models. That’s why I was surprised to see it retro. Out of all four models, the Air Go LWP was the only other one to ever receive a retro in its original form, and hell, a second retro of that classic hoops shoe worn by Penny Hardaway, Jason Kidd, and Tim Hardaway among others seems like it would make more sense than a first retro of the Scream (it’s DEFINITELY still needed in its best colorway of white and black). The Air Zoom did receive a retro, but in an updated construction, beginning with the Kim Jones collab and later dropping in general releases. Meanwhile, we’re still waiting on the first return of the Air Challenge LWP. How many of you would trade the Scream for those?
I don’t mean to make it sound like the Air Scream isn’t a good shoe. I actually think it’s pretty cool. It just seems the least deserving of a retro among the rest of the original LWP line. Designed as the cross-trainer in the LWP series, the shoe features a thoroughly ’90s design with a Huarache-like neoprene bootie, speed-lacing system, and chunky silhouette—the latter perhaps encouraging its comeback thanks to the “dad shoe” trend.
Anyways, here’s a look at a few choice pieces of imagery I dug up from the LWP series.
Eastbay page from 1996 with the Air Scream on sale. Some awesome trainers on this page!
Purdue’s Jennifer Jacoby in the Air Go LWP.
The Air Challenge LWP on the turf.