https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fq2CvmgoO7II 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.
This article was written by my good friend Matt Haggerty. He is a Philadelphia comic and sneakerhead. You can find him on IG and Twitter @MattSwaggerty.
After having the release date pushed back numerous times, we can finally expect to see the Tom Sachs Mars Yard Overshoe to drop on May 11th for a whopping retail price of $550. That’s a big price tag to look like you have the same drip as an astronaut headed to the moon. This is a frustrating shoe for me to say the least. Tom Sachs and Nike took my holy grail of sneakers, the Mars Yard 2.0, and covered it in a white heavy duty kitchen trash bag with some drawstrings and straps and threw it on top of a thick blue sole. Frank Ocean showed off his pair on Instagram back in December. The only difference between Frank’s pair and the one releasing this month is that Frank butchered his. He cut the bag off of the shoe with a knife or scissors leaving only the straps covering the exposed Mars Yard. Not many of us are bold or wealthy enough to take a knife to a $550 pair of sneakers for fashion, but Frank has the right idea.
If there’s anybody that this shoe will appeal to, it’s the sneaker heads who are afraid to wear their grails. Instead of never wearing that coveted pair you got from finally winning an online raffle, or putting sole protectors or plastic grocery bags over because you want to flex but it’s raining outside, you now have the opportunity to buy a grail already covered to protect from the elements.
I won’t knock this shoe completely. I see it as more than just a sneaker. It can be used for more than covering your feet. For instance if you turn it upside down and put it on your head, you have yourself a shower cap that will put even the Supreme shower cap to shame.
What’s that, your kid is still trick or treating this Halloween with an old pillow case? Just loosen the drawstring on the Mars Yard Overshoe and your kid will have an astronauts’ boot full of candy this year. The ultimate flex.
On May 11th I’ll still be refreshing my SNKRS app trying to cop. I missed out on the Mars Yard 2.0 so I guess this is the closest I’ll ever get to owning my grail. Maybe I’ll even try to pull my best Frank Ocean and get my scissors ready. What could go wrong?Read More
A lot of sneaker sites write about all the flashy kicks that get released every week and what’s new. I realize that some people don’t exactly care about the latest releases. There is a consumer out there that is buying strictly based on budget and style. I realize that, me the guy with too many pairs for very specific occasions, is the outsider. But writing this article for the everyday guy, mostly because that’s who my friends are and one particular has a wife that asks me for recommendations for her not so dapper husband in his price range, because if it’s too much he will instantly hate it. Me personally I would recommend a sporty yet casual shoe that can work in variety of situations. If price didn’t matter I would tell everyone to buy an Adidas Ultraboost or Nike Free Run shoe. I find the comfort and versatility of those shoes are well worth the price, but not for these particular set of circumstances.
Finding the right sneaker at the right price is amazing. So my biggest piece of advice is having access to the right information. There are two sneaker Twitter accounts that I follow is @solelinks and @HesKicks. While HesKicks is a YouTube Sneaker channel, he usually does provide a lot of links to promo codes and websites on his website CollectiveKicks.com. Solelinks however provides a more comprehensive amount of deals, as links to new releases worldwide. When buying on box store websites or straight from the brand, you can always double stack a coupon code on top of a sale. This has been the most effective way I’ve found for saving money on sneakers. Adidas and Nike usually provide a welcome code for %15 off a first purchase and free shipping when you sign up for an account, so you should definitely do that.
So these are my recommendations for an everyday fashionable price conscious shoe for the everyman.
My first recommendation is for the Adidas I-5923 or once was known as the Iniki. This shoe is a unisex sneaker that features a boost sole and a mesh upper for breathability. The I-5923 is super comfortable because of the boost sole, so this is ideal for activity, yet casual enough to wear with a pair of slacks. While the shoe does retail at $130, every pair at Finishline can be found between $55-$80.
My next recommendation is the Roshe 1 which can be worn by both men and women. Released in 2012, it was once the most popular shoe at Nike for a period of time, but the hype has cooled down on them and that’s good for you. I had pair that I used for the gym and they were a great buy. What really contributed to the popularity of the shoe was the rising popularity of joggers. If you are still wearing wide jeans don’t buy these you’ll look dumb. While the Roshe 1 retail price is $75, these can be found between $40-$60 nowadays.
The next shoe is a staple of the loved to be hated category and that is the Nike Monarch. Yes the original Pete Carroll dad shoe. This shoe is the dad bod of shoes. The Monarch became acceptable to sneakerheads when they began wearing them so ironically that it just became normal. When I see someone wearing this shoe, without some hyped Supreme hoodie along with it, I instantly think, this guy probably has more going on his life and he isn’t going to worry about fashion and I won’t hate them for it. I mean I hope I never reach his level of “I don’t give a F- attitude” either. I recommended a bunch of shoes to my friend I talked about before and this was the one shoe he really liked. There’s an audience for this shoe and they most like spend their time talking about their grill and drinking light beer. The Nike Monarch can be found for $55 at most retailers.
Now if you wanna be a cool go and buy the Puma Thunder Spectra. This chunky dad shoe has an aggressive look. It’s like Mr. Incredible when he started exercising again after he was going back into the superhero life in the first movie. It offers a chunky as the sole similar to a Balenciaga, the design of the colors on the upper give it a sleek look as well, giving it the best of both worlds, plus there is a variety of materials used on the upper. The Spectra retails for $120 but can be found at most retailers for $70.
Finally sneakers that I don’t think will ever go out of style and are timeless classics are really any pair of Vans or Converse Chuck Taylors. Both are iconic silhouettes that really just go with anything. Sure there might be some crazy colorways but you’re probably not getting the donut vans colorway. They go with any kind of jeans and cheap enough to triple or even quadruple up on, get all the colors.
Getting something that is comfortable and that you like shouldn’t be expensive so don’t ever feel the need to over extend yourself. What’s the use of spending a bunch of money on your shoes and were too worried to wear them or if you are constantly worrying about messing them up, that’s not comfortable. You do you.
So I recently came across the documentary “Sneakerheadz” on Netflix. While I remember watching it a while back I didn’t really remember it at all so I decided to give it another watch. The movie came it out in August 2015, just as the current sneaker boom was starting to hit its stride, and was written by David T. Friendly and Mick Partridge. Friendly is most notable as a producer for Davis Entertainment.
While I’m sure that this movie came from a love of sneakers, to put it bluntly, Sneakerheadz is the Cliffnotes of sneaker culture. If someone were to ask you how they could learn about the “culture”, this is what I would recommend. There is nothing here that any true sneakerhead wouldn’t already know.
The movie runs a svelte 70 minutes and I think that’s kind of the problem. Friendly and Partridge have created a fifth grade book report. They have essentially looked up the term sneakerhead on Wikipedia and made a movie of it. They introduce plenty of topics but do not provide any further dissection or commentary on the matter like a good documentary does. As the cliche goes “If you make something for everyone, it works for no one.”
There is plenty to work with here:
They could’ve talked how the internet has changed the game, from how stores do retail to how it has kind of caused a globalization of style as people can easily get exports now.
Sneaker violence - They briefly talked about it here and just recounted some headlines, but didn’t really dive in. They could’ve offered different opinions on why it happens and seek out brands thought on their responsibility in its cause
The idea of always wanting more. They talk to a few collectors here and they show off their extreme collections and talk to their loved ones, but kind of treat as more of a joke, not that it could be a problem and the cause.
They could’ve done a lot more work with the Nike’s Doernbacher Children’s Hospital charity work. Their yearly collection that they donate the profits to the hospital. While they touch on it, I could’ve watched a whole documentary on seeing the joy that sneakers brought to these children’s faces.
There are definitely stories to be told in the sneaker world. If you want a crash course in it watch Sneakerheadz. If you want a real sneaker documentary check out this year’s Unbanned: The History of the AJ1. That has a real story to tell because it gets across the idea that the Jordan 1 had an effect on your life in some way shape or form. If a random person watched Sneakerheadz they’d walk away saying “So what?”. Sneakerheadz is a well produced Youtube documentary that you should put on in the background and occasionally glance up to look at.