Nike Killshot: Our Eight Favorite Versions of the Iconic Sneaker

It’s not just us, is it? That is to say, we can’t be the only ones who think the Nike Killshot is perhaps the platonic ideal of a go-anywhere sneaker in these increasingly casual times, right? Scratch that. We can’t be the only ones who think the Nike Killshot is the platonic ideal of a sneaker for any time, any place, anywhere, right? That’s what we thought. The Nike Killshot was for years a sneaker that came and went in a flash. Word leaked that new versions would be introduced, sneakerheads and stylish guys and Nike fans jumped at the chance to shop this affordably priced, surprisingly versatile and low-profile trainer, and then, BOOM.

The Nike Killshot would disappear from our collective view like a solar eclipse, or more likely, a passing comet, not to return for a long, long time. There’s just about something about these gum shoes that hits several key points for us and so many others. These are sneakers you can wear with jeans. These are sneakers you can wear with chinos. These are sneakers to be worn to the office, and they came about at a time when that was just rounding into the purview of our collective style conscious (they still look pretty damn great at the office, by the way).

The Nike Killshot 2 has taken several iterations over the years, too. The basic platform is still the same, but new colorways introduced over the years have driven home the point that these are covetable sneakers that required some nifty buying tricks to be pulled off before they’d end up on your feet. Heck, perhaps if you’re like this author, you might remember when J. Crew was the place to get these cool-as-can-be retro sneakers. It was like a silent alarm in the sneaker world. There it comes and there it goes. No sneakers for you! Those days are gone, though.

There are Nike Killshot sneakers to be had aplenty (well, almost), and we’ve got your buying guide here.

It certainly helps that Nike Killshot 2 Sneakers go with the sort of classic-yet-modern picks you’ll find at a retailer like J. Crew or, say, Buck Mason. Perhaps it’s the fact that they’re inspired by old-school tennis shoes, but that means they’re nearly without an era. You can wear ’em with your favorite picks from the past as easily as that new pair of indigo denim you just snagged for spring and summer. That’s just the tip of the menswear iceberg, if that’s what you want to call it (and today, that is indeed what we want to call it).

How to Wear Your Nike Killshot 2 Sneakers

Let’s assume that you are indeed able to get your hands on a pair of your new favorite sneakers. The tennis profile and the gum rubber sole are distinctive and fresh, classic yet cool. That means they can be worn at least a few different ways, as we mentioned above. Before you pull the trigger on a new pair, keep a few of these pointers in mind as a handy style guide of sorts.

  • With Jeans and Chambray Shirt: We might go so far as to call this a sort of “tale as old as time” as far as modern looks are concerned. Take your Nike Killshot kicks and add them to your favorite pair of jeans (preferably a dark wash), then throw on a J. Crew chambray shirt, if you so please. Casual, yet polished enough for a laidback day at the office. Cool enough for the bar. Ready for brunch. Simple at that.
  • With a Denim Jacket and Chinos: We’ll keep it simple here and recommend a dark wash denim jacket, some slim tan chinos (Taylor Stitch makes a great pair) and a crisp white or heather grey tee. Again, simple, casual and versatile. Grab a beer with your buddies, head out for a weekend coffee, just make sure you’ve got your Nike Killshot 2 sneakers handy.
  • With a Polo and Chino Shorts: Make sure your collar isn’t popped, make the polo a crisp navy color (like the Sunspel polos worn by James Bond) and make sure your shorts fit slim and hit above the knee. Add these sneakers and call it a day (or not — wear this outfit for plenty of spring and summer days).
  • With Jeans and a Blazer: Listen carefully here. The jeans have to be slim and tailored, preferably cuffed to show off some ankle. The shirt you’re wearing needs to be something with some texture, like a chambray shirt (ditch the tie). And the blazer itself has to be trim, it’s got to be solid navy — no gold buttons — and it’s got to have patch pockets (they’re more casual) and be made out of a material without a lot of shine (so, go for, say a lightweight cotton blazer). Add a classic pair of Killshot sneakers and you’re good to go.

With those style tips in mind, with dreams of warmer weather and nicer days ahead, we know what you need to do. You need to get your hands on a pair of your new favorite sneakers, starting right now. Here’s the way to go.

Our Favorite Nike Killshot Sneakers to Buy Right Now

Nike Killshot Leather in White and Sail

Nike Killshot Leather in White and Sail

It’s hard to go wrong with any version of the Nike Killshot, but it’s been neat to see other variations from what you might call the more traditional Nike Killshot. Take this “Sail” white iteration in sharp leather, almost like a dressy take on the white sneaker, and all the better for it.

Nike Killshot 2 Sneakers in Navy for J. Crew

Nike Killshot 2 Sneakers in Navy for J. Crew

Now, the Nike Killshot has been around for more than 30 years, but it’s perhaps most closely associated in our minds with J. Crew these days. After all, these sneakers started showing up at the famed retailer right around the time more guys started getting into menswear, with fast-selling results. Just remember what we told you about ways to wear them right? You can ick up all of those essentials (and even throw in , say, a Timex watch) at J. Crew, and that’s great news indeed.

Nike Killshot 2 in Lucid Green

Nike Killshot 2 in Lucid Green

While it seemed like it was nearly impossible back in the day to even get a pair of the classic navy Killshot sneakers, that quest got a bit tougher over time (OK, a lot tougher) with each introduction of a new pair of Killshot sneakers. We love the aptly named Lucid Green colorway here, the kind to stand out nicely beneath a pair of rolled light wash denim all spring and summer long.

Nike Killshot Vulc in Team Red

Nike Killshot Vulc in Team Red

The cool thing about the Nike Killshot is the fact that with just the introduction of a new color, you can breath life into a pair of sneakers that are both a modern style staple and a timeless classic with more than 30 years of history behind it. In this case, the cool “Team” Red colorway gives some eddge to these traditional, sporty-yet-stylish sneakers, turning them into a pair you can wear with slim grey jeans and a rugged denim shirt when you want to shake things up ever so slightly from chukka boots or captoe lace-up boots.

Nike Killshot 2 Leather in Desert Orange

Nike Killshot 2 Leather in Desert Orange

Some versions of the Nike Killshot are harder to come by than others, and it seems like the more rare a colorway gets, the more prices tend to climb (as is to be expected with a much-loved sneaker, after all). The Desert Orange edition of the Nike Killshot is perfect for the guy who wants something colorful and bold, yet distinctive and unique in its own right, beyond just going with a zany pattern or wacky materials. No sir, these sneakers are far from zany or wacky. They’re just as cool as can be.

Nike Killshot OG SP in Gorge Green

Nike Killshot OG SP in Gorge Green

Did you know they make varieties of the Nike Killshot without the classic gum rubber sole? Because they sure do, and the results are pretty cool, if you ask us. Here, the upper is also updated with mesh and suede for a lightweight, springy feel, and the Gorge Green color is a nice way to switch up your sneaker rotation , adding some color without going over-the-top. It’s a hard thing to do at times, but these Nike Killshot kicks are the way to go.

Nike Killshot OG in Coastal Blue

Nike Killshot OG in Coastal Blue

Here it is, another hard-to-find and yet epically cool update of the Nike Killshot. It’s the OG silhouette once again that gets the Coastal Blue treatment, incorporating two tones of blue across the streamlined upper for a new take on an athletic-inspired sneaker that only Nike can make seem fresh and current. Wear these with light wash jeans and a crisp white tee to let the cool kicks do the talking.

Nike Killshot 2 in Hyper Blue

Nike Killshot 2 in Hyper Blue

What can we say about these sneakers that hasn’t already been said? Well, for starters, we can reiterage once again that you should certainly want to add a pair to your wardrobe ASAP. And it’s all the better for your spring and summer style options if you’ve got a pair with some flash and some fun thrown in like, these “Hyper Blue” sneakers that update the famed silhouette accordingly.

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Beau Hayhoe
Beau is Brooklyn-based style and lifestyle writer. He covers menswear, gear, spirits, craft beer and music. When not writing, Beau can be found shopping for vinyl or sipping on a Brooklyn beer.

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