The 1980s was a fantastic time to be a sports shoe brand. Improvements in technology saw a huge rise in basketball sneakers by the turn of the decade and new, promising stars led to a golden age for endorsements. Brands long known for training and running gear, like adidas, Nike, and Reebok, were shifting focus to the basketball court, while new firms were continuously coming out of the woodwork. One such company was AVIA, whose sneakers were seen on the feet of Hall-of-Fame legends such as Scottie Pippen, John Stockton, and Clyde Drexler throughout the ‘80s. After the heyday died down in the ‘90s, the brand shifted to running and lifestyle gear. However, AVIA has since gone back into the archives to release its first pair of basketball shoes in decades.
Founded in 1979, AVIA wasn’t just hopping on the basketball bandwagon. Starting out with walking and aerobics shoes, the Oregon-based company had an eye for innovation that included its patented cantilevered heel (which it later sued Nike for stealing) and shock compression technology, which it quickly applied to the world of hoops and had massive success doing so in the mid-’80s to early ‘90s.
Making their return are the 830 and 880 high-top models, which previously debuted in 1986 and 1987, respectively. In a white and green colorway, the 830 is faithful to the original, featuring leather uppers, a nylon tongue, and a Cantilever System. Meanwhile, the white and gray 880, which reissues the model worn by Robert Parish in the 1988 Eastern Conference Finals, boasts a classic EVA/rubber midsole, premium leather uppers, and a padded nylon tongue. Both models come in exact replicas of the shoe boxes from the 1980s.
Only 500 units of the 830 will be sold, with 1,000 pairs of the 880 made available, so you’ll have to act fast. Head over to AVIA’s website to purchase one for yourself, starting at $180.