Cleat Heat #4 | Deion Sanders and the Nike Diamond Turf ‘96

Ain’t Hard to Find in These Bold Cleats

Date: Jun 14, 2024
Author: Zack Schlemmer
Topics: Baseball, Card Culture, Cleat Heat, Deion Sanders, Giants, MLB, Nike Diamond Turf '96, San Francisco, San Francisco Giants, Zack Schlemmer
Length: 572 Words
Reading Time: ~3 Minutes

You’ve heard of ripping packs, but what about ripping sneakers? That’s the best way to describe the design of the Nike Diamond Turf ‘96, Deion Sanders’ bold signature model from 1996. The “shredded” or “ripped” design makes for one of the most memorable training shoes of all time. 

You likely know the shoe best as the Nike DT Max ‘96, the cross-training version of the shoe featuring Air Max cushioning in the heel. But it was also produced for “Prime Time” in both football and baseball cleat versions that he wore on field as one of the greatest two-sport athletes ever. The DT Max ‘96 trainer just re-released today, June 14, 2024, in its classic black and white colorway, featuring its most accurate-to-the-original details compared to any of its previous retros. That accuracy is thanks to Sanders being signed back on as a Nike athlete, which means they brought back his Diamond Turf logo on the tongue and the illustrated portrait of him in the Air Max window in the outsole.

So you can pick up your own fresh pair of the DT Max ‘96 now, but if you’re looking for the cleats, you’re out of luck. That’s where we come in, with a look at a few OG Deion cards with him rocking the cleats on the diamond, turf, and grass. 

1996 Topps Chrome Football Refractor #79 Deion Sanders

On this awesome Topps Chrome Refractor we see Deion in the cleated white and blue version of the Diamond Turf ‘96, which was used for playing on natural grass football fields. 

1996 Upper Deck Collector’s Choice Football #175 Deion Sanders

Here’s an even better look at the cleated version on Deion’s ‘96 Collector’s Choice card.

1995 Select Certified Mirror Gold #78 Deion Sanders

For artificial turf fields with a harder surface, Deion opted for a version of the DT ‘96 with a nubbed rubber sole, which you see here. This version had a full-length foam midsole with no Air Max cushioning like the training version released at retail.

1996 Select Certified #48 Deion Sanders

Here’s another look at the artificial turf version of the shoe, and here we get the bonus of that awesome ‘90s alternate Cowboys uniform.

1996 Collector’s Choice Football Stick-Ums Deion Sanders

Especially since the bottom of Deion’s right shoe is cropped off on this fun sticker card, I’m going to be honest and say that I don’t exactly know what is going on with this version of the DT ‘96. My guess is that it’s just the turf outsole with some grass and dirt stuck in the treads, but it’s hard to tell. It could also be the cleated version with the cleats cut off for the crop of the card design. Or maybe some third, mystery version of the shoe? It’s a Prime Time mystery.

1996 Upper Deck Baseball #192 Deion Sanders

We’ll end with the only baseball card I was able to find with Deion wearing the DT ‘96, this 1996 Upper Deck card from his stint with the San Francisco Giants. This version of the shoe features metal baseball cleats, and it also looks great with that Giants uniform. If you’re liking what you see, go pick up the Nike Air DT Max ‘96 retro in the same colorway while pairs last.

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