Size and fit

Nike Killshot sneakers contain a low-profile and clean build and flat soles that hint strongly of their tennis heritage. The low cut construction gives the ankles plenty of room to maneuver for sudden changes of direction, whether they be lateral, forward, backward, or more. 

The leather uppers and suede overlays provide enough sidewall support and hold, aside from giving the shoes a rich, luxe look. A herringbone tread pattern on the gum outsoles provides the shoes a good grip on various surfaces.

Nike KIllshot 2s have a narrow fit. The lean silhouette, while providing a slimming appearance to the feet, can only accommodate narrow foot widths. Those with average foot widths to more fuller ones may find the sneakers to be too snug. Fortunately, the shoes stretch a bit after some period.

The footbeds of these sneakers are lightly padded, and there’s minimal padding on the collars. Seven eyelets and flat laces make up the closure system.

Nike Killshot 2 Style

These shoes have always sold out, and it’s not hard to see why. These retro versions of the Killshots are so versatile that they can be worn with almost everything in almost every kind of wardrobe. They have that undeniable classic look and a muted design that’s adaptable to any occasion.

  Nike Killshot 2 outfit styling tips

1. For day-to-day wear - Wear your Nike Killshot 2 shoes with black chinos (can also be grey), a crisp white shirt, and a dark-colored bomber jacket. You can also change to a leather jacket for more swag.

2. For casual Fridays at the office - Put the Nike Killshot 2s on your feet and pair them with wool pants and a button-down shirt. Put a blazer on if you wish.

3. For a quick run to the corner store - Don your Nike Killshot 2s along with blue jeans, a favorite tee, and possibly, a hoodie on top.

4. For a trip to the beach or the fair - Khaki-colored chino shorts, a comfy tee (preferably in a solid hue), an open button-down shirt (you can go with some cool patterns here) and your trusty Nike Killshot 2 sneakers will make for a good lazy-day-outfit.

  Alternatives to the Nike Killshot 2 shoes

Killshot 2s can be a bit difficult to find, but there are some other excellent kicks that you can purchase while you wait for a restock of the coveted cult classics.

1. Nike SB Team Classic - These shoes have a streamlined and low-key design. They also have some great colorways that are just as understated but classic-looking such as the grey/white/armory blue.

2. Adidas Samba OG - These kicks have been frequently compared to the Killshot 2s. The cloud white/collegiate purple/soft vision colorway is close to the navy scheme of the Killshots. These sneakers also contain those much-loved gum soles. 

3. Puma Super Liga OG Retro - The shoes have that combination of leather and suede uppers just like the Killshots, a suede mudguard in the form of a T-toe design, and gum soles. Although the shades aren’t as close to the Killshots’ hues, the Puma white/Puma black/team gold color scheme is a good alternative.

Notable Features

It is possible for shoes to be both simple and stunningly eye-catching at the same time. The Nike Killshot 2s are exactly that. The low-key shades of the shoes (no bright white, please) combined with the minimalist styling make it so easy for the shoes to be incorporated into any wardrobe. They blend in, and yet not. They don’t stand out so much as to define your style, but they don’t fade into the background, either.

This combination of being one thing while also being another but not being so much of either is probably the reason why so many love the retro kicks. There is also that sense of exclusivity with these shoes because they’re kind of rare, but not in the sense that the price skyrockets like there’s no tomorrow. They’re still affordable, and you can probably still get your hands on a pair if you want to, but the finding isn’t made easy for you.

Nike Killshot 2 History

Thirty years ago, Nike debuted a pair of tennis sneakers called Killshots. They were designed for racquetball and squash. The low-top construction allowed room for plenty of movement, while the soft soles brought much comfort to players of the fast game. The sneakers’ mesh uppers blended with suede accents gave the shoes plenty of ventilation. 

In 2012, in what would be a genius stroke for Nike and a surprising one for lifestyle retailer, J. Crew (known for classic clothing and not really for sneakers), a collab between the two came out. These Nike for J. Crew Killshot 2s reworked the original athletic kicks into modern lifestyle wear. 

The mesh uppers of the original were replaced with leather, and the suede mudguards were made slimmer and more streamlined. The dark blue leather heels were changed to a muted white suede, and the leather collar linings were removed. Instead, a textile lining graced the entire inner of the shoes. The gum soles have been retained.

While successful, the sale of Killshot 2s hasn’t really reached manic levels until Aziz Ansari’s character, Dev, was shown with them on in the show Master of None. By 2016, J. Crew had to restock the shoes every few months, and in 2017, they sold out within hours of release. 

Every year since, restocks of the shoes have been highly anticipated. Nike and J. Crew have kept the stocks limited, even going so far as to sell only 50 pairs max in select J. Crew stores. In mid-2019, though, the Nike brand has made the kicks available on its site, although quantities remain to be in short supply. 


The colorways for Nike Killshot 2s include red, green, and navy, with the navy color scheme being the first one released. The red colorway is distinct because the uppers of the shoes follow the same material as the 70s version, which is nylon mesh. For all colorways, the shade of the Swoosh will be in the same shade as the wordmark on the heels and the logo on the tongues. 

Nice to know

  • On March 2, 2019, J. Crew released the red colorway of the Killshot 2 shoes.

Facts / Specs

Style: Retro, Sporty, Minimalist
Top: Low
Inspired from: Tennis
Collection: Nike Killshot
Closure: Laces
Material: Leather, Suede, Gum Sole, EVA
Season: Spring, Summer, Fall

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Danny McLoughlin
Danny McLoughlin

Danny is a sports nut with a particular interest in football and running. He loves to watch sports as much as he loves to play. Danny was lead researcher on RunRepeat and The PFA’s report into Racial Bias in Football Commentary. His football and running research has been featured in The Guardian, BBC, New York Times and Washington Post.