Category Archives: Footwear



I seem to stack up sportswear related ephemera to the point where it’s going to be the cause of my Collyer brothers style demise. There’s been plenty of curiosities that bear the swoosh or the three stripes throughout the years (foodstuffs, torches, jewellery etc), but the recent NikeLab ACRONYM Presto Mid release instigated some solid tie-in gear with the assistance of the excellent Kostas Seremetis, whose artistic vision is as prone to occasional aggression and disruption as Errolson Hugh’s design. Continue reading UNNECESSARY GREATNESS



I wrote a little piece for my friends at Complex on the 30th anniversary of Spike Lee’s She’s Gotta Have It and its subsequent influence on sports footwear and the Air Jordan line. You can read it HERE or by clicking on the image above. A couple of bits that never made the final edit are below, because this place is a good place to dump unwanted paragraphs. Continue reading 30 YEARS OF SHE’S GOTTA HAVE IT & MARS’ AIR JORDANS



Nowadays, there’s a shoe-related video charting those crazy queuing kids and reselling and zzzzzzzzzzz being made every week. Back in 2005, ESPN was a little ahead of the curve with their It’s the Shoes series — a show dedicated entirely to sneakers – fronted by Bobbito Garcia. Continue reading IT’S THE SHOES


Growing up there were key texts: Marvel’s Secret Wars, all Moomins everything, the back of Palitoy Star Wars packaging, my cousin’s Mad and Cracked magazines, Roger Llancelyn Green’s The Tale of Troy, a battered copy of Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide and any Nike marketing materials. I was fascinated with any ads — be they print or TV — for the swoosh and that Futura Bold sloganeering was imprinted on my impressionable mind like an Air Max LTD footprint at a crime scene. I hadn’t seen this American Advertising Federation video from 2013 before, which I’m assuming was the edit shown before Phil Knight’s induction in the Advertising Hall of Fame award. There are a lot of great examples of the sort of thing that made me want to write stuff about this kind of stuff in this 3:37 compilation of Nike greatest hits. For a man who hated advertising, Mr. Knight definitely did a good job of selling the spirit of the company to me.



Having been raised on old-world advertising, I understand that things had to change, but the modern stuff in the world of athletic gear doesn’t even come close. Across every brand, everything seems to be distilled into a two-word mantra of SPEED/STRENGTH/INNOVATION/TECHNOLOGY/COMFORT/CONTROL/DESIGN/FIT/CLASSICS followed by DEFINED/REMIXED/REDEFINED/PERFECTED/MASTERED or prefaced with REVOLUTIONARY/UNBELIEVABLE/INCREDIBLE. Two word blasts of superlatives are everywhere. I might take a William Burroughs cut-up approach to copywriting and see if it creates a classic. Continue reading DESIGNER BOOKS



NOTE: I wrote this a year ago and it was meant to run somewhere else in its entirety, but it never happened. Looking through the replica of Japan’s 1976 issue one of Popeye magazine the other month and spotting the One Star (before it was called the One Star) reminded me that I should probably throw it up here.

Simple design has a curious habit of affecting subcultural style. The blank slate approach allows for statements to be made far beyond a design’s original intent and the humble athletic shoe in its most stripped-down form has long held a tendency to connect with the most discerning and critical audiences possible. You can’t buy credibility, just as you can’t preempt those moments when the everyday becomes a must-have. In this case, a basic basketball shoe design found its purpose beyond the court. The Converse One Star’s impact is substantial, despite being a relative failure on its original release. Continue reading HOW THE CONVERSE ONE STAR WAS BORN AGAIN (AND AGAIN)


Given the glut of found footage films released over the last decade (none of which touch Cannibal Holocaust for a sense of witnessing something we shouldn’t have done and, with the exception of [REC], a couple of V/H/S segments and Chronicle, mostly terrible), you might expect this footage of Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman’s former residence to conclude with the spirit of the legendary coach and inventor pissing down someone’s leg (read Kenny Moore’s excellent Bowerman and the Men of Oregon for more information on that) or making a waffle iron open and close. None of these things happen in these research videos by former Nike designer Bob Smith, but shoe nerds will love the guided tour by another Nike legend, Geoff Hollister, of Bowerman’s old house (featuring Bill’s son Tom and Nelson Farris), garage and some bonus footage regarding the creation of those iconic outsoles. This is gold.