Category Archives: Footwear

AIR SHIPS

This did the rounds a few months ago, but after the regular splatter of speculative articles surrounding what the banned Nike Air Ship actually looked like, all we seemed to have to go on was a couple of black and white training and action photos and really blurry split second pre-game footage from Madison Square Garden. But this footage of Jordan playing against the Bucks at a Washington High School, East Chicago on October 9th (easily falling into the period that’s mentioned in the stern letter from NBA commissioners) was dug up by true Jordan fan MJO23DAN. I was also pretty sure — though I can’t find the supporting evidence I spotted right now — that the lettering that replaces the wings logo on the strange Rare Air versions of the AJ1 is taken from the heel of Jordan’s Air Ships. We tend to exist in an echo chamber when it comes to legends around shoes and I and many others are guilty of pecking at what’s already out there, so salutes to this YouTuber and connoisseur for researching and sharing this video.

AIR TR*MP

For a while I was convinced that I imagined that Donald Trump appeared in a Nike commercial in the late 1990, and the sheer volume of great campaigns during the 1990s didn’t make ascertaining which ad any easier. But, thanks to YouTube (big up mercatfat), I was reminded that it was part of the 1997/98 era Fun Police series with the likes of Kevin Garnett, Tim Hardaway and Gary Payton, Jason Kidd, Damon Stoudamire and knowingly fun-free characters like Cherokee Parks. Promoting a series of memorably eccentric Zoom-assisted silhouettes, one spot includes a one line speaking role by the future president-elect himself. Before you take those red boxes into the back garden ready to set them alight, chill — this was when Trump was seen as a New York mascot of sorts (and back then, without the internet, it was easier to forget that this was around the time he seemed to switch from Democrat to Republican, or that just eight years prior, he demanded the execution of five wrongfully accused young black men — including a boy of just 15), appearing in everything, from Home Alone 2 to The Nanny to Sex and the City, as well as ads for Pizza Hut, Oreo and McDonald’s. And by turning him into this larger-than-life caricature of capitalism, we all created a monster. But 20 years ago, the events of this coming Friday seemed even more improbable as a young boy left alone in New York thwarting the same duo of bumbling crooks he’d defeated before in a completely different city.

DIE DASSLERS

rivalsforever

There’s a two-part drama miniseries on the way that’s entirely based on the adidas/PUMA rivalry. Am I the only person excited at the prospect of a three-hour film about the Dassler brothers? The apocryphal tales of a misunderstanding over the supposed “the dirty bastards are back again” remark/unsubstantiated accounts of infidelity or Barbara Smit’s more feasible history of the family feud have long fascinated me and I’m interested to see which version makes it to screen. Adi and Rudi’s post WWII contempt for each other is the stuff of legends, and this German-language production was titled Die Dasslers in its origin country and will be retitled Rivals Forever: the Sneaker Battle (I would prefer The Dasslers, but I appreciate that it probably wouldn’t draw the crowds) for its subtitled distribution. Whether it’s going to be a two-parter outside Germany or a single film (it’s even up for offer to potential distributors/broadcasters as four 45-minute episodes) is up in the air, but the trailer — which you can view right here — makes it look quite appealing. I’d likes to see more shoe related dramas in the future — a Bowerman series, a biopic of PONY founder Roberto Muller and his wild ‘80s antics, a Reebok vs Nike production and a slapstick comedy about Nike’s Steph Curry presentation starring Seth Rogan.

IDEAS

massimoostiarchive

Little to report this evening other than my excitement at the impending Massimo Osti Archive exhibition in east London later in the month from Jacket Required and the gents from Proper magazine. I’m not sure that it coincides with the actual reprint, but it definitely coincides with the news that the Ideas From Massimo Osti book is getting a reissue very soon, with extra content to reward everybody who was late to the party and punish the keen. Still, I’d be happy to keep another copy for emergency purposes. If you’re UK-based, this might be worth whatever the % increase in travel fare was this year. Continue reading IDEAS

GOLDEN ERA STORE FOOTAGE

1991airmax90man

A few months ago I linked to some 1990 Foot Locker store visit footage from this Brazilian shop tour show, but the gems just keeps on coming via the frequently updated SHOP TOUR MEMORIAS – COMERCIAIS YouTube channel. While it isn’t English-language, the neon-accented treasures on show are pretty universal. Check these 1991 clips. The trip to A Sports is particularly impressive, with an examination of Mowabbs, a meeting with someone dressed like an Air Max 90 (“Hi Mr Shoe! Are you alright? Okay! What do you think about A Sports — great, no?”), plus a look at Starter jackets. There’s a shit ton of 1990/1991 clips below with lots of repetition, but if your eyes are peeled you’ll catch some gems. Best. YouTube channel. Ever. Excitable presenter babbling about sportswear during a golden era — no vlogger can come close. Even the soundtracks are excellent. Continue reading GOLDEN ERA STORE FOOTAGE

LIST

There are lists everywhere right now. End of the year is a perfect time to bang them out to keep that content moving. I wrote a quick one for my friends at Sole Collector before realising that I’d omitted loads of good things (in fact, I’ve picked up shoes in the days following the list submission that deserved some placement). If you’re looking to write a top ten of the year’s best with any modicum of integrity, I recommend leaving it until the year has fully concluded and taking some time to collate it. In this case, I did none of those things. With the freedom of a top 20, this would have been a bit more varied in terms of brands and silhouettes. As it stands, it simply highlights how dull and middle-aged I am when it comes to sports footwear. For the most part, I still don’t understand the need to put reissues of reissues of classics on a pedestal. It’s a given that a black and red Air Jordan 1 is amazing, but it belongs on a top ten of 1985 list (maybe the mid 1990s at a push because retro basketball still seemed quite novel), except there weren’t “best shoes of…” lists back then because they were too busy keeping it moving rather than wallowing.

D.C. SET TRENDS

As much as few would like to admit it, the most important endorsee for most types of athletic footwear is drug dealers. Expensive Nike Epics in Amsterdam, Fila tennis shoes and Gucci in New York, the mighty Forum in Boston back in the day or the prevalence of New Balance in D.C. and Baltimore are rooted in expendable income from illicit activity. That state-of-the art performance runner or basketball shoe that broke the 100 dollar mark or that silhouette in 20 different colours to match your outfit and/or car all flourished from wedges of dirty cash. I’ve rarely seen a brand acknowledge that alpha consumer, but the 2007 Air Force 1 documentary definitely made a mention of that I-95 craze circa 1984 and the type of dudes making big buys. Continue reading D.C. SET TRENDS