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

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.

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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/

For sneakerheads, this spring and summer season looks to pack your closets and lighten your wallets. Jordan Brand is releasing two iconic sneakers deemed “grail” worthy by all aficionados: the Jordan IV Black/Cements and the Jordan VI Carmines. Of course, JB is cashing in on the fact that both these sneakers will be so hotly sought after that price will be an afterthought. JB deliberately packaged these kicks in separate Jordan Countdown Packs, the IVs with 19s and the VIs with 17s. With an inflated price tag of over $300, people will still be lining up days in advance. Let’s be honest, no one’s buying these Countdown Packs for the throw-ins, and I can already picture an abundance of 17s and 19s on ebay.

Anyways, getting back to the topic of this post: the IVs and the VIs. When first introduced in 1989, the IVs were welcomed with lukewarm praise, and skeptics viewed it as tacky and cheap. Oops. The IVs quickly gained popularity among the public, and were even showcased in Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing. Two years later, the VIs were released and coincidentally Jordan won his first title…adding to the legend and mystique of the sneaker. The VIs were also secretly worn by Batman in Batman Returns, and we all know Batman kicks ass in style (minus Michael Keaton).

With both the IVs and the VIs, I share the sentiment of the masses. These sneakers were definitely ahead of their time and play to the nostalgia of sneakerheads. I commend JB for re-releasing these two colorways and hope they keep it up but just not in Countdown Packs. If only JB retros the IIIs…

Pigeon Dunks

April 11, 2008

My typical day starts with me rolling into work late. Not too late but just late enough that my boss and I exchange uneasy stares as I walk past her desk. Within five minutes, my laptop starts up and I’m reading email, chatting, and most importantly checking the sneaker sites. I hit my usual online spots for cool releases, and then the online magazines for upcoming sneaker news.

Anyways, while perusing I’ve come across a pair of infamous sneakers that I want in my collection, the Nike SB Pigeon Dunks. The “infamous” tag for the shoes came during their release in February 2005. Around seventy people waited for days outside a shop in the Lower East Side, hoping to get a pair of these exclusive colorways. When the shop opened only twenty pairs were allowed to be sold, and a mini-riot broke out that ended with NYPD calling taxis to escort the lucky buyers out.

The colorway of the pigeons are definitely head turning, with the two shades of grey complimenting the orange lining and sole. As far as I know, this colorway has not been repeated or mimicked.