Air Jordan 11 Concord

air11

Air Jordan 11 Concord

If we’re being honest here, it’s not exactly hyperbolic to suggest that the Air Jordan 11 Concord is one of the most iconic sneaker designs in history.

Released back in 1995, this part of the storied Jordan signature series had come about during an interesting time. As the brand moved away from the Air Jordan 10, a few things added intriguing context. First, MJ himself was officially back in professional basketball. Shortly after his father passed away, Michael decided to try his hand at pro baseball.

When he returned, the Air Jordan 10 was more or less on its way out. Tinker decided that the next shoe needed something completely remarkable and memorably unique. The legendary Nike designer has a habit of playing with aesthetics for his inspiration. But, this time around, he’d go on to inspire via the shoe’s materials instead.

The patent leather sections on the upper, seen on this upcoming 2018 Concord retro, was an impressive choice. In the early to mid-90s, that sort of build wasn’t just unheard of – it was also questioned in terms of its practicality.

The footwear industry had largely come to the conclusion that hoop shoes need to be made with a more traditional leather base. The reasoning for this involved durability considerations – builds such as the Air Force 1 had been seen as the pinnacle of material reliability.

But, Tinker’s case was, as always made, made elegantly. The patent leather wouldn’t lose out on its hard-wear reputation and would be a gleaming visual.

Then, we get the addition of a layer of phylon of a full Air sole unit. That was another bit of Tinker magic that wasn’t common basketball sneakers. The Jordan line had put something of a premium on court feel, and this cushion seemed to bottom load the shoe.

As it turned out, Jordan continued to destroy his competition in the Air Jordan 11, highlighted by iterations such as this upcoming Concord retro.

Whether you remember it for the good old days of pro hoops or because it’s a memorable aesthetic, you won’t want to miss these when they drop on December 8th INSTORE and ONLINE at sneakAvenue!

 

Release INSTORE and ONLINE: Saturday, December 8th at 9:00 (AM)

WWW.SNEAK-A-VENUE.COM

A Brief History of the Nike Air Force 1

AirForce1-Pack-02

A Brief History of the Nike Air Force 1

When the Nike Air Force 1 was making a special comeback, Dustin Tolliver was leading the effort. Tolliver is Nike’s Global Footwear Product Director. Being a veteran of the industry, he knew what had to be done.

The Nike Air Force 1 might come across as an easy shoe to retro. However, it does have some subtle considerations.

Knowing how popular it is doesn’t make things easier. The Air Force 1 stands as one of the most popular Nike models of all time. In fact, it’s even a go-to for those that aren’t crazy about shoes.

So, in short, Tolliver needed to get this release right. Luckily, he understood what made this shoe iconic. The job involved going back to the original glory of the early 1980s debut. A good example is the shoe’s shape.

When the Air Force 1 first released, it was a bit more streamlined. The silhouettes you see from the early 90s onwards added some bulk. This came mostly as the result of subtle upgrades. So, Tolliver and the Nike team began searching. They were looking for old lasts and shells that could help bring the OG back.

And it didn’t stop there. Sections of leather had to be stripped back to OG form. Overlays had to be restructured. Even the lather base itself needed to be brought back to its OG quality. So, there’s a question that comes to the uninitiated. Why all of this fuss over an old sneaker? You might even understand Jordan retros demanding this. But, why the Air Force 1?

Admittedly, not every part of the sneaker community would quite understand it either. To be sure, there is plenty of love for the AF1. However, the market is busy catering to other trends. So, what’s the big deal, anyway?

The Designer

Before we get into the shoe itself, we need to talk about the man. The Air Force 1’s current status is one of style. But, it debuts as a technological achievement. Specifically, the Air Force 1 drops as the latest addition to basketball wear. There are a ton of elements about its build that are innovative. A man named Bruce Kilgore inspired all of them.

Killgore is one of the first two employees under the Nike name. As most of you know, it was then known as Blue Ribbon Sports. Killgore made his presence felt early. He was charged with improving the track spike design. His work in this department impressed.

He was then moved over the brand’s basketball efforts. Known at that point officially as Nike, there was a lot of ambition. Nike wanted to lead the hoops category going into the early 80s. Killgore was initially provided with just one prototype. He would refer to it as something that “looked like the Michelin man.” Nonetheless, his work was quickly underway.

Nike’s team of advisers to Kilgore included podiatrists, biochemists, and an aerospace engineer. And yet, the designer managed to keep things neat. The Air Force 1 did come with quite a few tech innovations, though. One of the more remarkable aspects is the cupsole. This was added on for durability. After all, the shoe was meant for a very intense sport.

Another unique addition is the rounded outsole traction pattern. This may come across as nothing to obsess over. But, Kilgore’s outsole pattern focused in on the motions of a basketball player. He was particularly fascinated by the pivoting motion of the foot. The circular design allowed for smoother pivots without loosing out on traction.

The Air Force 1’s design also inspired Tinker Hatfield himself. Hired as an architect, the designer was given AF1’s to hoop in. It left such an impression on him that he would move over to footwear design. In fact, the AF1 even informs Tinker designs such as the Air Jordan XI.

On a more modern note, we look to Kyrie Irving. The Nike Kyrie II has a distinctive outsole. The forefoot sports a circular section. This is clearly inspired by the Air Force 1. Kyrie’s constant change of pace and angles need this design. Kilgore’s inspiration is as relevant today as it was in the 80s.

Today, the AF1 is more of a streetwear icon, but its hard to discount its performance design roots.

Everything you need to know about the Nike Air Foamposite One

Foamposite

Everything you need to know about the Nike Air Foamposite One

The Nike Air Foamposite One is a pretty revolutionary sneaker. The design and concept alone are worth exploring.

There also seem to be quite a few Foams dropping in recent years. In fact, it looks like Nike has a lot more left to release. So, we thought this would be a good chance to clue you in. Here’s everything you need to know about the Nike Air Foamposite One.

History

It makes sense to look back a bit. For most casual fans, Foams may not be such a big deal. Then again, it does depend on context. If you’re in New York, a pair of foams is as common as paved streets. But, in other parts of the world, this is still a truly strange shoe.

If you happen to fall into the latter category, don’t worry. You’re certainly not alone. Nike executives felt the same way. The design team, led by Eric Avar, found it tough to convince them. The whole idea of this very interesting shoe was confusing.

Everything about the original Foamposite design was outrageous. Avar wanted a shoe that incorporated none of the standard features of a hoops shoe. For example, there would be no leather base. He also wanted the look to be something totally unheard of. Inspired originally by a beetle, even the visuals were much too wild.

Technical difficulties

And then, there are the logistical and cost considerations. The Foamposite’s upper required a very specific manufacturing process. Nike went through provider after provider. They’d swing and miss multiple times before landing at Daewoo – makers of televisions and cars. Daewoo was able to put together a potent formula. What they devised was what we’ve come to know as the standard Foamposite upper material.

The process of making that upper was equally complicated. The wavy Posite section starts as a liquid. This liquid is then placed in a mold to create distinctive shapes. That mold was arguably the most important part of this process. It turned a bunch of shapeless goop into crispy Foams. But, each mold was also expensive. They reportedly cost $750,000 per piece.

Sitting on shelves

The Nike Air Foamposite One debuted as something of a bust. To be sure, it sold well enough to warrant a few color variants. But, this shoe was mostly sitting on store shelves. Although this isn’t horrible, it just wouldn’t cut it with Nike. This is, after all, a shoe that took insane amounts of time, money, and resources to produce. Anything less than a huge success was hard to accept.

This is where the mold comes in again. After the Foams didn’t do so well, Nike made a decision. Following a relatively short run, the molds were destroyed. There was no indication whatsoever that they would be coming back.

Penny’s shoe?

We all know the Foamposite as Penny Hardaway’s shoe. But, as it turns out, it wasn’t originally meant for him. In fact, it was designed for Scottie Pippen. Hardaway had reportedly seen the shoe in Avar’s bag. After being underwhelmed by everything else Nike showed him, Penny knew what he wanted.

Your shoe?

We can’t tell you what you should or shouldn’t buy. But, we can help you make a decision.

For the Foams, you’ll want to keep a few things in mind. First, they fit a bit snug at first. You might buy a pair and wonder if you should’ve gone a size up. Nope, you’re all good. The Posite material takes some time to break in and mold to your foot. After that waiting period, you should be good to go.

You’ll also want to be careful about hooping in these. NBA players like Markieff Morris swear by Foams. But, these are more of a style option for the rest of us!