We spent 10 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what sneaker fanatics think:

8 reasons to buy

  • A large number of users state that the design of the shoe is outstanding, which gives them a nostalgic feel that sends them back to the 90s.
  • The comfort of the shoe is widely appreciated by a lot of buyers.
  • According to many purchasers, the Nike Air Penny II is aesthetically well thought. 
  • It fits their true size, reports many reviewers.
  • The shoe’s adequate ankle support and good sole traction are commended by a number of buyers.
  • Some users report that the Air Penny II is durable and doesn’t crease easily.
  • A handful of buyers are delighted with the valuable price of the shoe.
  • The shoe’s lightweight and breathable upper impresses some of the users.

2 reasons not to buy

  • The Nike Air Penny II, according to some buyers, gets dirty fast and takes a long time to clean.
  • The shoe has an issue about stitching on the upper part, mostly on the tongue, and a few users state that they even acquired blisters.

Bottom line

Having been worn by Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway in the NBA season of 96-97, the Nike Air Penny II succeeded Nike’s Penny series with flying colors. The shoe provides a sense of nostalgia for people. 

A time-traveling machine, as one might say, the Air Penny II caters to the eyes of many and is even rated as one of the best designs in its franchise without disregarding comfort and stability.



A top rated sneaker
A top rated Nike sneaker
A popular pick
It has never been more popular than this June

Expert Reviews

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Become an expert

The Nike Air Penny II generally runs true to size with the toe cap diminishing slightly too narrow for a more snug fit at the toe area. Pull tabs are seen at the heel and at the tongue for ease.

A visible Air Max bubble can be seen on the heel with a leather upper and round lacing offering comfort. Depending on the type of colorway, the materials also differ with a mix of authentic leather and synthetic leather. The Phylon midsole, one of Nike’s innovative technologies, a lightweight but very responsive material can be seen with lines imitating clouds. Carbon Fiber is also added at the base of the mid-foot which contributes to the horizontal support.

The original colorways of the shoe resemble the three main colors of the Orlando Magic. A proper mix and match were sufficiently fashioned for Penny’s home, away and All-star shoes. Due to its conservative concoction of lines and colors, although sporty looking, the shoe can be worn with shirt and jeans.

One of the notable features of the Nike Air Penny II is the Air Max bubble at the heel. Another is the Carbon Fiber midfoot shank that complements the white Phylon midsole representing a wave. Attached to the lateral sides are logo pods which either contain a Swoosh or a 1 cent trademark.

Eric Avar, the creator of the well appraised Nike Kobe Series and the Nike Foamposite, was the genius behind Nike’s Penny line of shoes. After creating the Air Penny I, he immediately got into works to provide a sequel and thus, the Nike Air Penny II was born. The shoe was first released in the 1996-1997 campaign with Penny leading Orlando after losing Shaquille O'Neal to a trade with the Lakers.

Using the latest technology of Air Nike at the time, the Air Penny II featured an Air Max2 unit for heel and a separate Zoom Air at the ball for ample cushioning. Nubuck was the major material for designing the upper which adds to the comfort but not sacrificing stability. The silhouette also comes in a few colorways.

In 2007, a reunion was cited between Shaq and Penny. At the time, Shaq was playing for the Miami Heat. The signing sparked the need for a retro of the Penny II’s which was originally made to be a player exclusive with the colors matching that of the team. Several retroes and a limited edition featured in the Sole Collector Penny Pack in 2011 were released subsequently.

The year 2016 honors the 20th year anniversary of the Nike Air Penny II and several re-releases and a variety of colorways were made available by Nike.

  • The shoes' upper is a mix of authentic leather, Nubuck, and synthetic leather.
  • The logos (the swoosh and the 1 cent) on the lateral and the tongue of the shoe are shuffled based on a colorway or on the year the shoe was released.
  • In 2007, Air Penny II Miami Heat colorway was originally released as a player exclusive shoe.
Danny McLoughlin
Danny McLoughlin

Danny is a sneakerhead turned sneaker industry expert that believes a good outfit begins from the feet up. His aunt currently isn't speaking to him for wearing a pair of kicks at his cousin's wedding. He spends most of his time trying to keep on top of the latest releases, hitting up his contacts and doing what needs to be done to secure his next pickup. Danny has been featured in prestigious publications such as The Washington Post, The Irish Times, Footwear News and the like.