[gallery ids="8114,8120,8118"] Jordan Brand this week unveiled three new non basketball silhouettes, the Jordan React Havoc, Jordan Trunner NXT, and Jordan Trunner LT . All three come with react cushioning, and are meant for team sports athletes as opposed to runners. "All of these are really centered around a team sport athlete," said Davie Cin, Jordan Brand senior design director. "We're not going after the real skinny, hundred mile runner. We're going after any athlete that's trying to train to get faster." [gallery ids="8122,8123"] I have lots of thoughts about these sneakers. By no means are any of these shoes pretty. Both the trunners have this weird heel cup web design and personally I think the Jumpman logo is way too large on both. Maybe with the right colorway this could be something I would purchase. [gallery ids="8119,8114,8115"] However the React Havoc ones are pretty ok. They look pretty normal with a much more normal looking heel cup design and a breathable mesh upper (This is all based on pictures I haven’t tried them). They look like the evolution of the original Nike React shoe which will appeal to many. Although I don’t like these trunners, I have to give credit to Jordan Brand for actually trying to bring something new to the market. For years now the knock on them is that they are pretty much just a retro factory, making all of their money off re-releases from sneakers created decades ago, so at least they are trying. I should be the one to change the mindset that Jordans are only for basketball and I don’t want to even consider anything after a 14. If Jordan Brand is going to grow they need to expand and we as consumers and critics have to give them the benefit of the doubt because then we won’t get anything new. It’d be like only wanting to hear “Old Town Road” and booing Lil Nas X if he tried to sing any other song. But I’d wear these over a pair of Team Jordans any day.Read More
This week Nike revealed their lost shipment tease and it all led to a Stranger Things collaboration reveal. There are two sneaker lines as well a Hawkins High clothing line. Each sneaker line contains colorways on the classic Blazer, Cortez, and Tailwind. One set dons the Hawkins High colors and the other sports a patriotic red, white and blue theme. The branding is subtle as the only way "Stranger Things" logo can be found on the the tongue tab or on the inside sole. The year 1985 can be found on the heels as a nod to the fact that season 3 takes place around July 4th, 1985. I know most people on the internet probably hate this collab, but personally I think it looks great. What did you really want in the sneaker? The 70's sneaker captures the time because these characters aren't rich, they wouldn't be wearing the "high tech" sneakers of the 80's, so this makes perfect sense. Like I've said before I hate when the collaborations are over branded, they can look silly after awhile. This line by Nike you would have to first either know the show to get the Hawkins reference or you would have to be a sneakerhead and into the shoes to get the appeal of owning them. I'm definitely picking up a Hawkins hoodie, maybe the shoes depending on price and availability. The new season of Stranger Things will be available on Netflix on July 4th.Read More
I’m gonna come straight out and say it, I am a Nike Monarch hater. However I know that there is an audience for it, that’s why I had recommended it an earlier article a few weeks ago. It’s just so basic plain, vanilla, bleh, uninspired, generic, place negative adjective here. It enrages me that its basicness was so apparent that wearing it became a “statement”. So while it doesn’t pain me to say this but it sure as hell surprises me to say this, I really like the upcoming Nike Monarch father’s day release with a denim colorway. It’s amazing to see how a denim wrap and some slight details have made me do a 180 on the silhouette. [caption id="attachment_7954" align="alignnone" width="300"] via Nike[/caption] The denim on the new Monarch highlights some of the details that I didn’t notice on the original as well really accentuates the gum colored sole. Something I never noticed on the original was the stitching, but here it is noticeable and accentuates the design making it look like a more unique shoe. Then the red highlights on the back of the shoe may look a little out of place considering the blue hue of the shoe but when you look at the tongue of the shoe it is obvious to anybody that’s owned a pair of Levi’s that this is a nod to the brand’s signature red tag, which Nike’s Jordan Brand has collaborated with recently. I’m assuming that it will retail for $65 and at that price it’s gonna be hard to pass up. I can only wonder if this denim shoe will be as popular to customize as the recent Jordan 4 Levis that came out last year. But even without that it is still a good looking shoe. Congratulations Nike you got me to change my mind on this one and in the age of the internet that is hard task. These shoes are available starting today June 10 on the SNKRS app in North America and Japan, as well as nike.com in Europe, China and Korea.Read More
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fq2CvmgoO7I I really like it when brands use their power to do good. Whether it’s Nike sticking by Colin Kaepernick after being blackballed by the NFL to all the resources that Adidas has put into sustainability with their new FUTURECRAFT Loop or work with Parley, I see an effort on their part to try and be better. Sometimes the skeptic in me can’t help but question their motives. Is there any ulterior motive behind these actions? Sometimes these brands make completely baffling decisions and I don’t know what to think. A recent misstep by Nike has me questioning the origins of the stories they sell to us to get by their product. Recently a “Puerto Rico” themes Air Force 1 was pulled from release because there was an outcry by some because the colorful theme was actually a Panamanian pattern called Mola. The designer wouldn’t have made this mistake if they were Puerto Rican right? Adidas in February pulled an all white Black History Month Ultraboost. I’m not here to drag these guys down for mistakes, it happens. However, they are billion dollar companies and so they should probably take the time to make sure what they are putting out can’t be misconstrued into something negative. They shouldn't be putting out a shoe with a shackle attached to it. [caption id="attachment_7924" align="alignleft" width="300"] Cancelled Puerto Rico AF1 via Nike[/caption] [caption id="attachment_7927" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Cancelled BHM Ultraboost Via Adidas[/caption] [caption id="attachment_7926" align="alignright" width="300"] Cancelled Adidas shackle shoe Via Bloomberg[/caption] I think it’s all too common these days to see brands simply slap on certain colors for Black History Month or a rainbow on a pair of shoes in June for Pride month and Chinese lettering on a red shoe for Chinese New Year, its disingenuous. I really feel as if the “Lannister” Ultraboost from the Game of Thrones collab really could’ve been a Chinese New year shoe if they just changed out the tag for a picture of an animal. Did Nike really create 720 with a rainbow colorway for any other reason than they just wanted to capitalize on the month and the quickest way to do that was to put a rainbow on one of their latest silhouettes? Is the money they make off selling cultured themed gear going back to the people they are capitalizing off of. Nike does a hell of a job with the Doernbecher collection. Every year they select a few children to design their own sneaker and they tell you why they decided to design the sneaker they did. It's almost uplifting to hear these children's stories. Then each year the money they make off of those shoes, a portion goes back to the hospital to help more children and that is awesome. [caption id="attachment_7923" align="aligncenter" width="400"] 2018 Doernbecher Designers via nike[/caption] If they want to sell us this story about celebrating cultures, I want to know the designer. I want to see who created this shoe and why. This would be a way to highlight diverse designers and you can reward the loyalty or creativity of, give the celebration sneaker a more personal touch. If you like a the sneaker regardless, buy it, spend your money however you see fit. If you are inclined to buy the sneaker because you think you relate to it ask yourself “Do I?” or is this just a marketing ploy to get my money.Read More
[caption id="attachment_7643" align="aligncenter" width="419"] Via SoleCollector[/caption]
Converse has revealed trio of sneakers as part of a new lineup entitled the Star series. The series includes a basketball (BB), a runner (RN) and a utility (UT) shoe. While not normally something I would write about, what I and you may find interesting is that this series from Converse is partially designed by sneaker God, Jordan designer Tinker Hatfield. Anything that man does is sure to be given a chance by even the most cynical sneakerhead.
"From a sports perspective, Converse is historically a basketball brand so I felt it was natural to create a shoe within that category. A runner is worn to work out but also worn casually, transcending the way people use and live in our products, much like how Converse has been adopted through the years. The Chukka silhouette is something that easily slides into the Converse universe; unexpected, versatile, yet familiar," Hatfield told Sole Collector via written statement[caption id="attachment_7645" align="aligncenter" width="456"] Via HypeBeast[/caption]
Looking at the BB shoe you can definitely see the Chuck Taylor influence. It looks like a sneaker-fied version of the classic. Honestly I’m not a fan of either of these. I like the mesh upper on the BB, but the sole has chunky dad shoe vibe that I don’t think really works for it. The BB looks like it’s confused and going through a midlife crisis. It’s the guy who just turned 50 and thought they’d look cool in a Porsche, but what they really should do is just accept themself for who they are, a quality classic shoe that people appreciate you for you. It’s an unnecessary update.[caption id="attachment_7644" align="aligncenter" width="419"] Via SneakerNews[/caption]
And if you thought that was bad the RN is just as bad. The RN simply looks like the non slip shoes that I would buy for restaurant work at Payless. They even have the orange accent from the Payless logo. That’s not say I didn’t like those shoes and buy plenty of them for work, but I’m not paying $75 for them because they have a converse logo on ‘em.
While I do appreciate everything Tink has done these are a hard pass. I’m sorry. I don’t know who these are for. If you disagree they are coming out today for $95 and $75 respectively.Read More
[caption id="attachment_7613" align="aligncenter" width="338"] Via Nike[/caption] Finally we are are getting a Nike Adapt BB that I want. Nike will be releasing this self lacing shoe in the “Mag” colorway. To those of you that don’t know why this awesome and important the Nike Mag was the shoe in Marty McFly wore in Back to the Future II. The Mag is what put the idea of the self lacing shoe to the masses. While numerous “Back To The Future” colorways of shoes have been released, they always paled in comparison to the the “The Mag”. When Nike actually made a working model of the shoe, I think audiences really appreciated the effort Nike put into the shoe, but we realized how impractical it actually was. While no sneakerhead will admit it, they are too high to really hoverboard in it or even walk. However because the product was so limited they are the ultimate flex and something you don’t want to crease the toe of. [caption id="attachment_7613" align="alignleft" width="300"] Via Nike[/caption] [caption id="attachment_7615" align="alignright" width="300"] Via Nike[/caption] [caption id="attachment_7614" align="alignright" width="300"] Via Nike[/caption] [caption id="attachment_7612" align="alignnone" width="300"] Via Nike[/caption] This Adapt BB Mag is merries the two ideas of having that self lacing Back to The Future shoe with something that is “practical” and can also be worn comfortably. It looks awesome and it’s a better shoe than what Marty wore, we are living in the future! That icey blue sole with grey speckled mid and mesh grey upper look perfect. It’s sure to stand out in a good way especially compared to those other normal looking original version. Besides the self lacing, the BB, through the app, can also change it’s lights colors to match any outfit, something that the Original Mag or E.A.R.L (first mass produced self lacing NIke) couldn’t do and some with a wireless charging pad for the shoes. As I hope you can tell from my enthusiasm that I love these and think they are a must buy even at at $350. The Nike Adapt BB will be released May 29th.Read More
Packer Shoes, longtime retail store in Teaneck New Jersey, five minutes from New York City, did something really interesting this past week. We are all but too familiar with stores brands collaborating with sneaker brands to create their own shoe, but usually those sneakers are either widely available online or are hyped up so much that you have it marked on your calendar and you are determined to get it. However Packer did something a little different as they released an UltraBoost collab exclusively in store with only 500 pairs available. They say that they wanted a way to reward their customers that frequent the store and wanted to give them the feeling of discovering something new. The following is from their press release.
“Thanks to the internet and social media, we’ve never been more in the know about the shoes we love. Our timelines and feeds are chock full of what shoes are coming out, when they release, where we can buy them, etc. It’s a great time to be alive, but there’s something to be said about that long forgotten feeling of walking into a store and falling in love with a pair of shoes you never knew existed.”
The Packer x adidas UltraBoost OG 1.0 is a combination of three OG colorways. They are sold out now.
It’s common to hear retailers complain about getting customers in store while competing with online shoppers. It’s great to see a retailer trying to combat that and keep the in store experience special. Hopefully we will see some other stores follow suit in trying to figure out how to replicate this and give reasons for customers come in.
This past week New Balance made its comeback in the basketball space as they released two Kawhi Leonard shoes. As you may not have heard last November the highly sought after “sneaker free agent” surprisingly signed with Boston based brand New Balance. Yes the New Balance that was proclaimed the show of the alt right after VP of Affairs Matt Bretton made some pro Trump comments in an interview. Leonard made a bold move leaving Jordan Brand for New Balance, perhaps to make his own mark in basketball wear.
Kawhi got his own basketball shoe called the OMN1s and his own 997 colorway From the pictures I gotta say that these look pretty good. So the OMN1s is New Balances first basketball shoe and it is definitely is looks unlike any other silhouette they currently produce and that’s a good thing. I tend to get a lot of the classic NBs confused as I think they look all very similar, and that’s not a bad thing as I’ve definitely gone through a bunch of them. But the first thing you will notice is how high the leather ankle collar goes on this sneaker along with a mesh breathable upper. I would totally check these out if given a chance even though I’m the biggest basketball shoe wearer. But I would totally without a doubt rock those 997s. If I see those in store they might be the first pair of NBs I’d buy in awhile.
The one thing that the OMN1s share with the 997 is the distinct black, midnight blue colors, and gold accents. The colors are vivid and eye catching yet neither of the shoes look gaudy and that’s what I love about them.
These shoes are a great effort to get New Balance noticed by a new audience. And judging by how quickly these sold out I’m not the only that feels that way. Could the Kawhi bring New Balance to prominence the same way that Steph Curry increased the visibility for Under Armour when he made them the hottest sportswear company a few years ago. A little competition never hurt and really hope these sneakers reinvigorate New Balance.