Despite looking like creatures that would crawl the desert after a nuclear blast, the Nike TNs were immensely sought after. So much so that they successfully brought back the age old British tradition of taxing, where kids would be regularly mugged for their gear. Walking around Selborne Walk in these was like trekking the Serengeti wearing Lady GaGa's meat dress. Luckily by the time they were popular I'd stopped wearing cunts trainers.
Looked brilliant, especially a bit frayed from repeatedly booting a football against a brick wall, until the day the little bit on the toe separated from the trainer - then it was game over. No matter how many times you tried to superglue it back on, your creps had lost their game. They're currently back in a big way, usually to be found on the feet of media / PR folk who like to pretend they were into UK Garage in their teens when in fact they were tucked up in some green belt village bopping out to Green Day.
Nike Air Rift
Apparently Nike were inspired to make the Air Rift by Kenyan athletes who ran barefoot on hot stony ground - something which would prove a preferable alternative to wearing these. The Nike Air Rift took the natural elegance of a pig's trotter and applied it to humans (finally!), allowing us all to gallop around like a modern day Satyrs in Maharishi combats. Apparently still popular in Chesterfield.
Celebrity trainer endorsements have had mixed success. Who could forget the now legendary Gareth Southgate Bull Boy shoes, a precursor to the Puma Mostro, which came with a pair of shinpads signed by Alan Hansen - everything no kid ever wanted rolled into one terrible marketing decision. An alternative way to guarantee kids wanting to buy your shoes is to get a violent gangster who's been shot in the face to endorse them. That was the logic when Reebok got 50 Cent and his mates behind their new kicks, and it worked.
When I say everybody had these, I mean errrrrrrybody had these. At one point there were more Puma Mostros in the UK than sheep. They looked like something out of the future, trainers from space: "Flying cars can't be far behind now" we all thought. It's funny how a pair of bandaged-up old people slippers can get you excited as a kid.
Follow Tom on Twitter @tomdisco