At the end of last month, the American company filed seven applications with the US Patent and Trademark Office for use on "downloadable virtual goods" and "online and in online virtual worlds".
The brand's widely recognised tick logo and basketball player logo have been included in the application as well as its Just Do It slogan.
The trainers could be used in the metaverse
Nike's virtual items would allow customers to wear its items in the metaverse – a virtual world where people can experience a parallel life online or using virtual reality or augmented reality.
Trainers such as the Air Max 2090 (pictured), could be redesigned by Nike to be worn in the metaverse.
The brand has also listed a flury of job opportunities related to the virtual design world on its jobs board.
Among them, is a post for a virtual material designer, who would "combine their experience, problem-solving abilities, and creativity to build the future of Nike Footwear materials".
The virtual collections could be sold as NFTs
Virtual shoes and clothing items have the potential to be sold as digital collectables, or non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Products can be identified with digital certificates that indicate the ownership and authenticity of digital assets.
The items are individually recorded or minted on a blockchain, allowing them to be bought, sold and collected.
According to designer Amber Slooten, the possibilities of digital fashion can usher in a new era of creativity. In a live interview for the Dezeen 15 digital festival last week, the designer explored how the virtual fashion industry could create an equitable fashion industry that rewards talent regardless of background.
Other brands that have created digital products include Buffalo. The footwear company designed a pair of flaming platformed trainers with Slooten's digital fashion house the Fabricant that can only be "worn" in images for social media.
Earlier this year, fashion house Balenciaga collaborated with video game Fortnite to release a collection of in-game clothes and limited edition physical garments.