Tag Archives: sneakers

Nike Air Trainer SC

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Nike Air Trainer SC

Nike Air Trainer SC

Nike Air Trainer SC IIs? No thanks, I’m not really a fan. But the first incarnation, the Air Trainer SC, oh yes.

The shape (which is almost triangular in profile), the colours, the wide tongues and the panelling… absolutely amazing, even after all these years. Look at those colours!

These 2009 retros are up there with the best bring-backs of all-time. Excellent construction, great materials and very close to the OGs.

Nike Air Trainer SC

The SC II was spoiled, in my opinion, with the toe strap. I might border on corrective shoes at times (friends and colleagues are well aware of my Kukini and Seismic fetish, for example), but I really don’t like toe straps. And with all the panels going on already, it seemed like a push too far, at least cosmetically.

Nike Air Trainer SC

Nike Air Trainer SC

Nike Air Trainer SC

Bo certainly did know.

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In other news, please check out the new site I just worked on with Ry(ouki). If you’re based in the UK and looking for trainers, then this will cut your online searching down to a minimum: www.thedropdate.com. All Ry’s idea, but he brought me along for the journey. We hope you find it useful!

adidas ZXZ KZK Waterproof (Obyo)

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adidas ZXZ KZK Waterproof (Obyo)

A good example of my stupidity: I bought these when they dropped, sold them – and then ended up re-purchasing them again at a vastly-inflated price. That’s just how I roll.

Kazuki’s product design for the adidas Obyo series has been amazing. Not everything has been to my tastes, but that’s fine: I’d rather see a few things wander out of my comfort zone than a million colourways of the same old models. Where the KZK products really get my attention is the attention to detail and use of premium materials. Almost every item, whether that’s footwear or apparel, has clever construction and functional additions to clean shapes. I met and interviewed Kazuki in Tokyo for an adidas project back in 2008: language barriers didn’t stop us having an interesting conversation (even though an earthquake temporarily disrupted proceedings). He’s a quiet considered chap but actions speak louder than words.

And these ZXZs are no exception to the rule. Amazing brogue-quality leather on several panels is offset with Gore-Tex waterproofing and an unusual colour selection for what is effectively a running silhouette. Flipping an athletic shoe to almost dress shoe levels might have been done before, but it’s rarely looked this good.

I’d kill for another pair of US 8.5s to keep on ice.

adidas ZXZ KZK Waterproof (Obyo)

adidas ZXZ KZK Waterproof (Obyo)

adidas ZXZ KZK Waterproof (Obyo)

New Balance CM996 (Stussy x realmadHECTIC x Undefeated)

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New Balance CM996 (Stussy x realmadHECTIC x Undefeated)

I won’t pull the ‘Yeah, I was wearing NBs before they got exposed’ card, but I played a role in the whole UK factory’s willingness to do collaborations. I went up to the New Balance headquarters with C-Law and Kahma, representing Crooked Tongues for the first collaboration we did with them back in 2004. It took a full presentation, a lot of meetings and discussions before we persuaded them to let us do the project. It was new to the brand and they were a little unsure on how it would be received. And, if we’re honest, we were probably nervous as well. But the shoes sold out instantly, leading to many more projects with Chris and the good people up at Flimby. I’ve got a couple of custom one-off pairs (think Nike iD, but using any offcuts of fabric in the factory room and limited to one-of-one) that I’m particularly pleased with.

I’m deviating from my blog post, but never mind. These are the CM996s that came out in January 2012. Another three-way co-lab from some of the top brands out there – and one of the nicest colour mixes I’ve seen. Blue and yellow certainly works for me.

New Balance CM996 (Stussy x realmadHECTIC x Undefeated)

New Balance CM996 (Stussy x realmadHECTIC x Undefeated)

The construction is good and they’re probably going to retain their value if you’re buying for investment purposes, but these were made to rock with denim in my opinion. If they’re sat on your shelves, you should crack them open as soon as the nice weather kicks back in.

New Balance CM996 (Stussy x realmadHECTIC x Undefeated)

New Balance CM996 (Stussy x realmadHECTIC x Undefeated)

New Balance CM996 (Stussy x realmadHECTIC x Undefeated)

Thank you chaps! Always a pleasure.

New Balance CM996 (Stussy x realmadHECTIC x Undefeated)

Nike Footscape Woven Chukka (Bodega in-store)

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Nike Footscape Woven Chukka (Bodega in-store)

I’ve already confessed my love for the grey low version of this model here, but when the friends-and-family edition showed up, I couldn’t resist them. As an in-store exclusive, there were limited pairs around (350 is the figure I’ve seen online) but I think these would’ve been a success if they’d been made a general release.

Nike Footscape Woven Chukka (Bodega in-store)

Adding a little extra material to the uppers pushes this shoe up to a mid-top, but where the other hazelnut release went down the road of slick leather uppers, we’re sticking in nubuck territory with these. Another shoe that deserves to be worn with shorts rather than full-length trousers or jeans, I’m gonna have to keep these aside until the sun makes an appearance.

Nike Footscape Woven Chukka (Bodega in-store)

The Bodega logo sewn into the heel tab is a nice touch too.

Nike Footscape Woven Chukka (Bodega in-store)

Nike Footscape Woven Chukka (Bodega in-store)

Nike ACG Air Approach 150

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Nike ACG Air Approach 150

Without a doubt, these are crown-status ACG shoes. I first saw a pair in a Nike advert in an issue of Details magazine, back in 1996. The UK only officially received the tan/blue/yellow colourway, which I bought and proceeded to wear to death: they started out as ‘Sunday best’, then became everyday wear, then became skate shoes (yep!)… and finally became my graf painting shoes. I wore them to pieces, but they lasted a good 18 months.

Nike ACG Air Approach 150

Nike ACG Air Approach 150

They were in most sports chains in London, even ending up in the sales racks after a while. I couldn’t afford a second pair to keep on ice at the time and when I finally had enough cash, they’d disappeared. I spent the next decade trying to find them again in my size.

Nike ACG Air Approach 150

Thanks to eBay, not only did I find them in that same old colourway, but I also managed to get the original US-only colourway with the hot purple and red accents. And that is what I’m wearing today.

If you thought I didn’t have at least one more pair stashed in the attic, you’d be wrong. I’ll always love these. Classic ACG styling, extremely durable, lightweight and very comfortable. There are several other colourways from ’96 out there too, including a nice grey-green colourway that was originally a women’s colourway.

Nike ACG Air Approach 150

Nike Air Max 95 (ACG-inspired Premium iD)

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Nike Air Max 95 (ACG-inspired iD)

Back in the Crooked Tongues days, we’d often get invites to check out various launches and previews. There was so much going on that it was sometimes easy to forget just how lucky we were – free shoes, opportunities to meet industry people and trips abroad were very much part of the programme for several years. This seems to be as good a place as any to say thank you to anyone and everyone who ever hooked me up with anything.

These Nike iD Air Max 95s were created at the UK launch of the Nike iD Studio in NikeTown in 2006. As well as the standard models, materials and colourways, there were additional fabrics and options available to us exclusively that night. Due to the number of people queuing up for appointments, I made my visit a quick one and freestyled these 95s with the assistance of my buddy and Nike Studio designer for the evening, Charlie Shazer. I tried to go for an ACG-inspired look, but added a little extra pop with the orange accents.

Nike Air Max 95 (ACG-inspired iD)

When they turned up a few weeks later, I was pleasantly surprised. It’s easy to be overwhelmed with the options when they’re in front of you and you’re under time constraints – but (without blowing my own trumpet) I like these a lot. And now that autumn’s in full swing, I’m wearing them a lot too.

Thank you to Nike UK (particularly A-Cyde), Russ, C-Law, KJ and everyone who I ever worked with at U-Dox and Crooked. That was a stressful, hectic and interesting time of my life.

Nike Air Max 95 (ACG-inspired iD)

Nike Footscape Woven Motion (Bodega)

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Nike Footscape Woven Motion (Bodega)

Lattice work on sneakers isn’t really my style: any model with uppers more ornate than the basic Nike Woven doesn’t usually have me foaming at the mouth, unless we’re talking pastries. But this tongue-twisting Tier Zero release (I consider myself semi-knowledgeable with sneaker names, but even I can’t easily recall the full name of this one) is perfect.

Nike Footscape Woven Motion (Bodega)

The use of soft suede leather is great and gives a really tactile finish to an already-perfect colourway, even though the British summer this year looks guaranteed to keep these as in-the-house slippers for the moment. I fear that one brush with the elements would render these into beaters immediately. Being part of the limited edition Night Cats pack from Bodega, these flew out of the shops immediately, as did the accompanying other two models.

I met the Bodega guys when we worked on the aZX project at adidas in Germany and interviewed them for their section in the accompanying films. Great guys and they run a great store in Boston, which I hope to see in person within the next 12 months.

Nike Footscape Woven Motion (Bodega)

Nike x Misha (PAM) ‘Running Man Pack’ Air Max 90

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Nike x Misha (Pam) 'Running Man Pack' Air Max 90

These are up there with the fluro runners from the late ’80s when it comes to lurid colourways. Green, yellow and purple sounds horrific, but I really liked these Quickstrikes when they came out in 2008.

Misha Hollenbach (AKA Perks from PAM) put these together as part of Nike’s ‘Running Man’ pack, along with Reas and Parra who each worked on different models. I really liked this series: Reas did a great T-shirt and I thought Parra’s Air Max 95 was one of the best colourways of that model yet.

Nike x Misha (Pam) 'Running Man Pack' Air Max 90

I’ve gone through stages of not wearing these at all, but as we’re now in the summer (despite the British weather insisting we’re not), they’ve found their way back into regular rotation. And I recently noticed that they kinda match my Fila/Supreme polo shirt.

Nike x Misha (Pam) 'Running Man Pack' Air Max 90

Nike Air Flow TZ Tonal Pack

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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…

Nike Air Current

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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