— Chris Aylen

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Today, I’ve Mostly Been Wearing

Nike

I had no idea these were being released until Crooked Tongues posted them on the news page. A busy week of work (3am bedtimes for a number of days) ground to a halt and even though I’ve never queued for any shoe release before, I was tempted for these Tier Zero ‘Tonal’ Air Flows.

Officially, there were 18 pairs available in each colour (an olive khaki colourway, seen here, and black) to be released at Selfridges, Oxford Street in London. Doors were to be opened down in the ‘Ultralounge’ department at 10am, on Saturday 18th June 2011. Recalling my days at Crooked, I wondered if there would lots of people lining up overnight, as per some of the more infamous sneaker releases (the adidas 35th Superstars at the original Foot Patrol, the Year of the Dog AF1s, the ‘What The Dunks’ at NikeTown etc.) – or had those days passed? I’m still not sure I believe that Nike would go to the trouble of orchestrating a release of a production run that was less than the standard Hyperstrike quantity, but then again…

I finished work, went to bed at 4am and set my alarm for two hours later, just in case I wanted to head up there.

Nike

6am came and went, my alarm got switched onto permanent snooze and that was it: I was too tired. I ended up waking at 8.15am and thought I’d head up there anyway just to see what was going on. When I arrived outside Selfridges at 9.15, I bumped into Crooked’s own Mubi and We Are HQ’s Magdi, who was busy capturing the ten-strong line of people with his camera. Ten people. That was it. After all the online uproar and frantic forum postings during the previous 48 hours, hardly anyone turned up to try their luck.

Hell, I almost didn’t too.

Nike

But I was glad I did. Ushered downstairs by stern security guards (“We want NO running when the doors open or you’ll be escorted back onto the street”), we lined up again and were fitted for our one pair. Once you’d purchased, you could go to the back of the line and try your luck again: some of the guys in the front of the line mopped up the bigger leftover sizes, but I was happy enough to get my UK 9.5s and left with my olive pair. A size bigger than usual, but this really didn’t matter for once – if you don’t want your broken toes rippling the toe box, then you want to go at least a half-size up.

After staff allocations, there were maybe just a dozen pairs in each colourway available, but that was just enough for the people who’d turned up. Two queue jumpers were criticised, but to be fair, Selfridges has a handful of entrances and they’d probably just been waiting at one of the other doors.

£90.00 secured them. They’re comfy as hell and moderately different from the OG silhouette, which will please those with wide feet. Why they were part of a tennis-themed event is beyond me, but I’m not complaining.

Nike

And to whoever said that the UK8s were all sent back due to manufacturing issues clearly didn’t see my friend Scott picking up both colourways in that size…

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Nike Air Current

Seeing as my last post was about the OG Nike Air Flow, following up with the Air Current seemed like a logical option. Released a year after the Air Flow, the Current looked to take even more weight from the uppers, utilising a ripstop material and removing the Swoosh altogether. Slightly less snug than the Air Flows, the laces are, again, not necessary unless you’re doing some sprinting on your way home from the pub.

Nike Air Current

The Current name has been applied to recent models since 1990 (the Air Max Current 90s spring to mind), but it’s all about the originals for me.

Nike Air Current

These also came in a black and green colourway, but this hot pink and black scheme is the one to get. I just watched a heavily worn pair of the black/greens go on a Buy-It-Now on eBay for a nice $900! Yikes.

Nike Air Current

Nike Air Current

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Nike Air Flow

As the retro of this shoe is imminent, I thought it was a good time to break out the OGs. I’ve been trying to organise a feature on Trashfilter about this model, as it’s one of my favourite running shoes of all-time. Widely ignored at the time of release (at least in London), probably due to the fact it looked so unusual and is hardly suitable for anything other than perfect conditions, it’d almost be too easy to list it as a predecessor to the Nike Presto.

Nike Air Flow

Unless you’ve got perfect feet – and, I have to be honest, mine are hideous (I’ve broken every toe on both feet at least once from skating) – you will have lumps showing through the toe area on the Air Flow. The lack of any support around the toe means these lose their duck-beak silhouette as soon as you put them on.

Nike Air Flow

Nike Air Flow

I lent my deadstock pair to Nike for an exhibit back in 2010 and my Air Currents (another similar shoe that will feature here soon) are on their way back from Oregon as I type. There can’t be many original pairs of either model left out there today. Thank you Len for hooking me up.

Nike Air Flow

An amazing shoe: innovative, daring, experimental, functional, beautiful. Bruce, if you’re out there, please get in touch!

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Nike Patta Air Max 1 green

I have to admit that I’ve never been the biggest fan of the original Air Max. I can’t put my finger on why exactly (the midsole looks a bit… plain?): I appreciate the design and I think the original colourway is one of the best ever, but I waited for the Air Max 90s instead.

That said, in a bangin’ scheme like this, I can’t resist them. The Parra collaboration series was one of the best in recent years and whilst I’d have also liked a pair of the burgundy ones, I was more than happy to settle for these. Not enough good shoe models come in green.

Summer: sorted.

Nike Patta Air Max 1 green

Nike Patta Air Max 1 green

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adidas Collwood ST

The clocks changed last night, so what better time to go through the wardrobe and swap a few things over? Nestled amongst the piles of t-shirts and bags of jackets were these Collwood STs that I’d forgotten about.

These pre-production samples have got a Bucktown ST name tag on the side – I guess the correct ones hadn’t been punched out yet – and a few other minor details were changed before they reached the shops.

adidas Collwood ST

adidas Collwood ST

Good colourway for the summer. Can’t go wrong with white and gum.

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Nike Footscape FreeMotion (Fragment Design)

I’ve loved the Footscape since I saw the ‘exploded’ view ads in copies of Details magazine that I ‘borrowed’ from college. It’s one of those shoes that can look a little bulky from the wearer’s viewpoint, but looks sleek (note: in the true sense of the word, not a referral to a 3-stripe diffusion range) from the side. Comfy and light as hell too. A lot of purists complained when the Flywire versions appeared, but if any shoe was ever going to use this technology, the Footscape is a perfect model in my opinion. If the original was as light as air, then this updated version is helium in comparison: the Flywire panels add a little more support to the sides as well.

Nike Footscape FreeMotion (Fragment Design)

These didn’t really appear that much in the UK – a few shops had the James Jarvis white/red colourway and perhaps the Mr. Cartoon colourway too – but these Fragment-designed purples were a Japanese QuickStrike. I like that they echo the first women’s colourway of the Footscape back in 1995. I was really lucky and found a pair on eBay for less than the Japanese retail. Tip: you might wanna go a half-size down on these, as they’re pretty roomy/thin.

Nike Footscape FreeMotion (Fragment Design)

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Asics Gel Lyte III x Slam Jam

Out of 320-odd pairs of trainers, there are only a handful of Asics in my inventory. There’s no real reason for this, other than they were never really that available when I was growing up. Local shops didn’t have them and this was before the internet existed, so unless I was flicking through a running magazine, Asics didn’t really register that much.

But in the past decade, they’ve shown up a lot more. I bought the Proper GT-IIs a few years back, which I still really like, and I’ve got one pair from the Alife Rivington Club co-lab from a couple of years ago, but my Asics game is weak. I was undecided on the split-tongue business (sometimes it looks a little too much like a… well… you look and see for yourself), but as long as the lacing’s on-point, you don’t really see that bit much and it’s as comfortable as hell.

When these Gel Lyte IIIs came out in September 2010, I liked them straight away. The Slam Jam store in Italy dropped 96 pairs of these, along with a few bonus bits and pieces, and I missed ’em. Five minutes after the release time and they were gone.

Asics Gel Lyte III x Slam Jam

Lucky for me, I managed to pick up a couple of pairs via some trades and other business, so I was pretty pleased. The shoe is the usual comfortable Lyte model, but I really liked the colour scheme. For no reason at all, it reminds me of wanting trainers when I was a little kid.

The spare pair are on ice at the moment, but I have no doubt they’ll either go to a close friend – or I’ll be wearing them myself once this pair are hammered.

Asics Gel Lyte III x Slam Jam

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adidas A.R.C. ZX 7000

I never paid that much attention to the ZX 7000 to be honest: in my mind, it sat a little awkwardly between the regular runners and other more rugged models, such as the EQT. Well, that was my loss.

adidas A.R.C. ZX 7000

Treis and Kunle from Alife’s Rivington Club came over with us to adidas HQ in Herzogenaurach, Germany to work their magic on their part of the aZX project. “They just made it red!”, you might shout, and you’d be right.

But, damn, how good does it look? Exactly.

adidas A.R.C. ZX 7000

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adidas Torsion SP Low Gore-Tex®

A snow day – again – means that some waterproofing is required. Ditch the moonboots and find yourself a pair of these adidas Torsion Specials. They’re not the tallest model (you’ll get wet socks if you’re hiking through anything deeper than 2 inches), but my feet were still bone dry after an hour trudging through slush around Croydon.

And they look really good too: I voted them my favourite release of 2009 on Sneaker Freaker.

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adidas IRAK Rmx EQT/Equipment Sport Runner

Another top-shelf shoe and one of the best collaborative editions of all-time, in my opinion.

When IRAK teamed up with adidas at the end of 2007, people weren’t ready. Unusual colours, amazing material choices and some in your FACE typography scared most people off. There was little hype surrounding them too: you could quite easily pick these up months after they dropped at Alife’s Rivington Club store in Manhattan. You never really see people use things like black 3M paneling or fluorescent plastic, so these still look amazing three years on. I reviewed them briefly on Trashfilter years ago (maybe one of the first posts I ever did, thinking about it) and I still rate them just as highly now.

I’ve met and worked with the guys at Alife a couple of times on various adidas projects and they always kill it with their concoctions. Look at their back catalogue of product collaborations: it’s flawless.

Hats off to Earsnot, ARC and the IRAK crew. RIP Sace.

adidas IRAK Rmx EQT/Equipment Sport Runner

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