Nike Air Penny II (1996)

An Outdoor Adventure Guide’s Evaluation of the Nike Air Penny II (1996)

As an outdoor adventure guide, I’ve had the privilege of exploring some of the planet’s most awe-inspiring landscapes. From the rugged peaks of the Rockies to the lush rainforests of the Amazon, each adventure demands a reliable pair of shoes that can handle the elements. Recently, I decided to take the Nike Air Penny II (1996) for a spin on the trails. Here’s my detailed review of this iconic pair of sneakers, focusing on wear resistance, slip resistance, comfort, and possible areas of improvement.

Nike Air Penny II (1996)

Wear Resistance

The Nike Air Penny II (1996) is a blast from the past, a classic sneaker that has stood the test of time. The wear resistance of these shoes is commendable, thanks to the high-quality materials used in their construction. The upper is made of durable leather, which has proven to be resilient in various outdoor conditions. The rubber outsole, too, is sturdy and has shown minimal signs of wear and tear despite multiple treks on rocky and uneven terrains.

Slip Resistance

Slip resistance is a crucial factor for any outdoor adventure guide. The Nike Air Penny II (1996) boasts a rubber outsole with a unique herringbone pattern that provides excellent traction on various surfaces. Whether it’s a muddy trail or a slippery rock, these shoes have kept me steady on my feet. However, it’s worth noting that while they perform reasonably well on dry land, their grip on wet surfaces could be improved.


When it comes to comfort, the Nike Air Penny II (1996) doesn’t disappoint. The shoe features a Phylon midsole with a visible Air-Sole unit in the heel, which offers superior cushioning and shock absorption. The padded collar and tongue add to the overall comfort, providing a snug fit that doesn’t chafe or cause discomfort during long treks. The spacious toe box is a bonus, allowing for ample toe wiggle, which is essential during long walks or climbs.

Possible Improvements

While the Nike Air Penny II (1996) scores high in terms of wear resistance and comfort, there are a few areas that could use some improvement. Firstly, the shoe’s breathability could be enhanced. After a few hours of trekking, I noticed that my feet felt somewhat warm, which could be attributed to the lack of sufficient ventilation.

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Secondly, the shoe’s water resistance could be improved. While they held up well in light rain, during heavier downpours, the shoes tended to soak up water, making them a bit uncomfortable to wear.

Lastly, while the shoes provide decent traction on dry land, their performance on wet and slippery surfaces could be better. An outsole with deeper grooves or a more aggressive tread pattern could improve the shoe’s grip in such conditions.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the Nike Air Penny II (1996) is a solid choice for outdoor enthusiasts who value durability and comfort. Its classic design and sturdy construction make it a reliable companion for various adventures. However, enhancements in breathability, water resistance, and wet surface traction could elevate this already impressive shoe to new heights. Despite these minor drawbacks, the Nike Air Penny II (1996) remains a worthy contender in the realm of outdoor footwear, combining style, comfort, and durability in a neat, nostalgic package.