WELCOME TO THE LAVA DOME

Every now and again my sports footwear preoccupation infects this part of the internet as well as the other place in which I dwell, but after the homies Mr. Ali and Mr. Grandin put the work in to sort me some Steven Alan Nike Lava Domes,it reawakened a preoccupation. That shoe has an aura. You might not know it by the initial appearance – a roughneck update of a late 1970s mesh runner (think LDV or LD-1000), but it might be one of the best footwear designs ever. Not only did it birth the ACG range, but it just looks terrific. Many of my favourite shoes have been annihilated by overeager colourway characters, but this one’s being treated with a certain reverence — possibly in an attempt to woo the ‘Free & Easy’ heads, hypesters, ’80s nostalgics and NYC’s hiker-loving hardrocks. 1981 was a good year, and this shoe’s 30 years young, still looking correct in grey and orange or the sand and navy variants. I wouldn’t be mad if they released a father and son pack with the Son of Lava Dome. The Lava Dome 2000 never fired my imagination, but if Nike Sportswear put out a Flywire-aided ‘Grandson of Lava Dome’ I could potentially flip out.

This shoe was the subject of some ‘Backpacker’ coverage in its day and I think it aged better than the Approach – especially when they took the GORE-TEX selling point away. And the Magma? Too rustic. This shoe was well-regarded as the middleground between boot and sneaker (though the New Balance Rainier — with New Balance CT tennis shoe inspiration rather than running at the root — seemed a lot more “serious”), with it staying in production for several years (though the RRP slipped significantly). Steven wins with the green suede swoosh, but goddamn, this Georgetown makeup is a thing of beauty. No gimmicks, no bullshit bar an Air application that makes them more comfy. I need more pairs in my life. Its been a pretty dire year for footwear, but the quiet birthday resurrection of this shoe has been a highlight. I could still live without the pissy midsole. Cheers to the Nike man dem.

I like this Eastern Mountain Sports ad from the 1983 era with a few fusions showcased among the dull-looking own-brand stuff. I know nothing about the DMC Outwest Tough Tred, nor why it’s pictured in a pocket.

Because my wrists are feeble, I generally have to switch watch straps to a Nato, but they feel a little wanky. My brother thinks it’s like putting wooden tires on a Benz, but like a child who can’t be trusted with nice things, I ended up putting it on a camo strap. It was a failure because it created a weird mix of diving and DPM, plus the quality sucked, but I took a picture before I kicked it to the kerb, just because I like looking at camouflage things. Why isn’t there an enterprising individual out there offering Natos in every camo there is and packaging their SMUs like Starks did laces? That selvedge joint on Style Forum is just the tip of a profitable iceberg. The poser pound is strong even if the economy is crumbling around it.

Before the Cement Jordan IV drops again, here’s a masterclass in how to wear them from Hank Shocklee in this Glen E. Friedman portrait. You need to be a master of shrieking sonic backdrops to pull off denim that tapers like that though. Wondering why your dad/older brother/ageing colleague bugs out over Public Enemy? The garments they wore (shit, even the Troops) helped matters a great deal, but it’s the supporting characters rather than Mista Chuck who really had me losing my mind from an aspirational standpoint.

The world suddenly seemed to discover the well-known Lo-Life story a couple of weeks ago, but I saw this ‘Lo Down in London’ video for the first time today (hold tight, BNTL) and it was good to see the homies Seth and NickBam aka. Megalopolis on-screen. There’s a curious mix of earnestness and straight-up joking, and the shoplifting question elicited some funny responses. Bar many, many embarrassing moments that will have the NYCers face palming their nose bones into their brains, Seth gets props for making an effort.

0 thoughts on “WELCOME TO THE LAVA DOME

    1. Gonna check that out right now! Thank you for the heads-up…I swear watch straps seem to provoke a level of heated conversation that indicates that there’s serious ca$h to be made…

  1. In the late 90’s Lava Domes were the ‘Dunks’ of their day. I was in Duffer about to part with stupid money, when the guys pulled me out of ear shot of the Japanese kids and told me to get down to the suburban sale rails in footlocker etc. Copped mine for about 20 quid!

    1. I remember that time! The Lava Dome was a real totem of the offroad proccupation alongside the new stuff like the Terra line release…