A Look Back Review: Nike Air Garnett III

Nike Air Garnett III

I’m trying not to freak myself out right now while I travel back in time to stir up memories of thinking that these kicks were one of the sickest that I had ever put my feet into.  It’s been ten years since that day on which I had to beg my mom for yet another pair of basketball shoes when my Jordan XIV’s had barely touched concrete as it was.  My explanation for wanting the Nike Air Garnett III was simply, “Because they look cool!”

It definitely didn’t hurt that Kevin Garnett was one of my favorite players at the time and naturally, if the shoes were on his feet, I wanted them on mine as well.  While I never participated in organized ball at the high school level, I did play on the boy’s volleyball team (judge me if you wish) and these kicks rode with me through almost a year of intensive training and competition.  I know you may be thinking that the rules and uses of a high performance basketball shoe don’t necessarily translate into the world of volleyball, but allow me convince you otherwise – just like I convinced my mom to buy me the Nike Air Garnett III.

Anyone who has ever played competitive volleyball on a high school team at the least, understands the physical elements to playing the game.  Just like basketball, you need to be quick and light on your feet, be able to jump high off the ground (multiple times even), and have good footwork.  Needless to say, what kicks you have on your feet is a pretty important factor – or at least it was to me.

The Kid.

I do have to agree with Professor K (much respect, wherever you are) on one minor negative element with the Garnett III in that it was always a mission to get them on my feet.  The upper composed of leather, mesh nylon, and suede, wasn’t exactly the most flexible thing in the world and without any heel or tongue straps to work with, gaining entry was somewhat annoying at times.  However, once I did get the shoes onto my feet, the ride was pretty damn fun each time.

Once I broke the III’s in, I always knew what to expect.  I knew that I was going to get a high level of comfort, stability, cushion (through the Zoom air unit), and a secure fit.  The upper may look somewhat heavy and thick, but to my recollection, it was actually sufficiently thin enough to provide solid breathability.  The herringbone pattern provided me with highly reliable traction and I never really worried about rolling my ankle or incurring any other mindless lower leg injuries.  I always knew what I wanted my feet to do and the shoes responded every time.  I also couldn’t get enough of the Electric Blue/Black colorway as it just lured me in as soon as my eyes were invited.

Just to be clear though, I did play plenty of basketball in the Garnett III and every single evaluation I listed above applied all the same.  These are definitely a classic all-time favorite of mine and just to reiterate, the most beneficial element to the sneakers was the way it seemed to fit better and better as games wore on and my feet heated up, but not in an uncomfortable or suffocating manner.

While I’m not sure if I’d buy the Retro versions of these, which are available by the way through a bounty of on-line retailers and even at certain Footlockers as the Nike Air 3, they’re definitely a damn good buy for the current retail price of $80 assuming that Nike has not made any major changes to lessen the quality.  Don’t forget, they’re really durable as well.

I know it’s not the commercial for these kicks, but the Nike spot that KG made for the Flightposites was just too hilarious to not post.  Watch it!

[Original Release: 2000; Weight: 15.5 oz.; Players: Kevin Garnett]

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