PATENT SNEAKERS

Zoom Seismic designed by Richard Clarke

Between the day job and copywriting today, today’s blog is particularly aimless. Stuck between regressive and attempts to stay at least moderately progressive, my mind’s been on sports footwear. This blog was originally created as an outlet for things that aren’t shoe related, but I can’t deny my admiration for shoe design when its done right. Google Patents has been a godsend for studying the legal nitty-gritty of brands in general, and on the running/basketball/training shoe front, as brands battled in the technology wars of the late ’80s and ’90s, the sheer volume of patents filed was staggering – its on this, another of Google’s glorious timewasters, that you can see the original sketches of core elements that made up classics.

The imagery below is strictly for the nerds and fellow oddballs out there, but design-minds might get a kick out of it too. Good to see that Nike took the development of some of the stranger late ’90s performance pieces now cemented with a certain cultdom and misty-eyes on mention from types who spent hours poring over beat-led stoner music and Project Dragon once-upon-a-time. I’d really like to know more about this though.

You can tell me that sneakers are done while you slide around in your brogues in slapstick fashion, but when it comes to the more ambitious side of shoes with Swooshes, and messrs. Clarke, Hatfield and Lozano were feeling particularly inspired, you got the design classics. Looking at them as component parts here, I appreciate the damned things even more.

As a small, partially-related digression, while this retrospective is more fun than the actual movie, Spike Lee’s ‘School Daze’ doesn’t get the shine it deserves from an apparel standpoint. Custom adidas sweats? A prolonged Jordan II cleaning scene, and while I could pretend I clocked them in ‘Public Domain’ or on Jack’s feet earlier in ‘The Witches of Eastwick,’ is that a pair of Dunk Hi’s I spy as part of the most pauseworthy ensemble of Spike’s directorial career? If you’re gonna rock hi-tops, best not to combine them with daylgo Speedos that even the House of Xtravaganza in ‘Paris is Burning’ would deem a bit “much.” What’s with all the briefs at a pyjama party? For me, reeling from the heavy-handed message at work, it was a curious introduction to a shoe that became a phenomenon.

The reason I’m dropping some truly gratuitous screengrabs is in tribute to the homie Jonathan Rockwell’s ‘A Fist In The Face Of God’ blog, mixing screencaps with a true knowledge of black metal, thrash and legends like Saint Vitus. It’s one of the best sites out there – big things a ‘gwan this year for team ‘Fist.

Terra Goatek designed by Sergio Lozano

Air Trainer SC High designed by Tinker Hatfield

Zoom Haven designed by Richard Clarke

Part of the Jordan XI designed by Tinker Hatfield

Zoom JST designed by Tinker Hatfield

Air Flight designed by Tinker Hatfield

Jordan XI IE designed by Tinker Hatfield

Air Moc designed by Tory Orzeck