Found this cool vid this morning detailing some milestones in sneaker culture. Very well done…

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Sometimes first impressions are wrong; take for example, the Nike Air Footscape. First released in 1995, the Footscape was designed to be Nike’s premier ergonomic running shoe. It boasted light-weight, breathable materials, a foot-forming  sole, and the indistinguishable side lacing. The Footscape captured the best of Nike innovation and their ability to recognize what’s best for athletes. Since being released, the Footscape has been welcomed with lukewarm interest in the States, with most appeal coming from diehard sneakerheads. However, the Footscape is widely popular in Asia (i.e Japan) especially the woven design shown below. And we all know, when it comes to gear the Japanese know what’s fresh.

So why do I like these? Because they’re just different. The materials, shape, and lines of the sneaker are unique and silhouette the natural shape of the human foot.  Most first impressions start and end at “ugly,” but there’s so much more to the sneaker. The story of it alone is worth a second look

The pics below are of the recently released Nike Air Footscape Woven TZ “Striped,” but I doubt this colorway and style will hit the shelves in the States. Don’t worry though, the Footscape is making a comeback this season so watch out for other releases…and while you wait here’s all you could ever want to know about them here.

nike-air-footscape-woven-tz-striped-1nike-air-footscape-woven-tz-striped-3

Keep Company

October 2, 2008

I recently stumbled on Keep in the latest issue of Nylon. A clothing, shoe and apparel company, Keep was originally started with women in mind and continues to tailor most of its products towards women. Interestingly though, Keep recently became inundated with requests from men to begin carrying their footwear in men’s sizes. Intrigued, I decided to see what all the fuss was about.

Keep’s footwear incorporates mostly classic styles and patterns, often reminiscent of the timeless designs of Clarks and the Converse All-Star hi. Yet two designs really caught my eye. First, the Nuss—pictured above—stood out for combining a solid color midsole with the patterned fold-over. It reminded me a bit of Visvims, a brand highly touted by my pal Soybomb. I really like the use of traditional plaid, argyle and southwestern patterns on this particular shoe.

I was also a fan of the Benton—pictured left—which looks like a moccasin/dock sider hybrid. Not sure if I’d ever actually wear this style, but I really like the concept. To be honest, I’ve never really noticed Keep shoes in stores, but according to the website, you can find them at shops like Reed Space, Atrium and even WeSC. Who knew. To peep the rest of their collection, check out http://www.keepcompany.com/

Clae footwear

September 8, 2008

I’ve recently become enamored with the “athleisure” footwear company Clae. This romance started when I realized that I haven’t really branched out of specific brands (Nike) and styles (retro basketball, running shoes). I would describe Claes as skateshoes with an influence of Clarks design. Almost all Clae styles feature high grain leather, in a range of colors, and are finished with a midsole reminscent of old school Vans.

If you have the time, I suggest checking out their site at clae.com. Clae’s history is filled with inspiration from other footwear companies, mainly due to it’s founder Sung Choi. Prior to starting Clae in 2001, Sung Choi worked at DC Shoes and Lakai footwear. Supposedly, they even took a three year hiatus to work on revamping the styles and quality of shoes. I’ve heard these sneakers can be found at Reedspace in NYC, so I’ll be stopping by soon.

I’ve attached my personal favorites:

Black Romare Highs

Pavement McQueens

Pointer Footwear

May 1, 2008

Why is it that when things are hard to find you tend to want them even more? Perhaps it’s the thrill of the chase or the notion of exclusivity. Whatever the case, I can’t for the life of me track down a pair of Pointers. Lurking in the shadows of iconic British brands like Clarks, Ben Sherman and Fred Perry, London-based Pointer was founded in 2004, “with the aim of making simple, well-designed casual shoes in response to a market then saturated with increasingly technical trainers and hyped-up limited edition sneakers.” Word. Unfortunately, since I stumbled upon the brand about six months ago, I’ve scoured shoe stores in vain. Even too-cool-for-school retailer Reed Space stopped carrying them, which is when you know you’re in trouble.

What I like most about the sneakers is their unassuming design and subtle colorways. There are no imposing logos and even the stitching itself adds character. The “Debaser” (top left) and “Mathieson” (bottom left) are two particularly clean lines, and the mid-sole reminds me of a sort of Dunk/Alife hybrid. Pointer is “inspired and informed by everything from art and music to skateboarding and breakfast.” Sheeeit, I love breakfast! So if anyone can clue me in on how to get my hands on a pair, do the right thing and holler at me.

Check out Pointer’s Spring/Summer ’08 collection here.