Words by Lesedi Baipone
“I drop jewels, wear jewels, hope to never run it, with more kicks than a baby in her mother’s stomach” –Nas / Halftime
2017 has been an exciting year in the sneaker game with releases from traditionally dominant brands such as Nike and Adidas as well as the growing impact of brands such as New Balance as they focus on their rebrand and renowned approach on impacting the culture. Check out 5 of the stand out releases of the past month below.
Air Jordan 4 retro
The Jordan 4s have been iconic since 1989, the year the shoe first dropped, also making our list of top 10 most iconic Jordan shoes released. It was inspired by Jordan himself, the most revered men to hit the court. The Air Jordan 4 retro, nicknamed “motorsport”, commemorates Michael Jordan’s motorsport teamn and was designed by Mark Smith together with Tinker Hatfield. The Air Jordan 4 motorsport edition was designed for Jordan’s motorsport team and drivers in white, black and royal blue. The shoe dropped on the 25th of March.
Alexander Wang and Adidas
Alexander Wang, best known by his peers and hypebeasts as “the master of cool kid clothing and Prince of Street fashion”, has returned with his long awaited second collection and collaboration with Adidas. The collection dropped on the 1st of April worldwide and included a unisex collection made of both apparel (trefoil suits, sweats, shirts) and footwear. Wang is known to be a designer who embodies youth culture and rebellion and has the affinity for streetwear and culture. The shoe has a boost laden silhouette that comes in earthy tons of white, grey and burnt sienna. The shoe also comes in a low cut that is specifically designed for skaters which comes with a thicker sole.
Nike Air More Up-Tempo
1996 was the year that the Up-tempo first dropped, this was era were graffiti was extremely popular in the streets and being a subculture of hip hop, the oversized “AIR” letters that dominate the shoe capture that graffiti influence. This also gave the shoe a distinct look and as hypebeasts would say, one could notice the “AIR from space”. The aim when rocking a pair of kicks is to always turn heads from a distance and the Uptempo achieved this. The shoe gained immense popularity in the late 90s when Chicago Bulls players Scottie Pippen started rocking them on the court. The Chicago bull inspired colourway dropped on the 1st of April and more colourways which include white and black and triple black are set to drop later this month.
New Balance Deconstruct premium pack (Sakura)
“I sport New Balance sneakers to avoid a narrow path” -Phife Dawg
In Japan, Sakura, Sakura season takes place from late march to mid-April or even early May it’s a period of when the country’s symbolic cherry tree “Sakura” blossoms blanketing the city in pastel pink. To announce the arrival of this season in 2017, New Balance has created a three shoe collection drawing inspiration from versions of 300s, 580s and 996s silhouettes which dropped on the 1st of April. Premium off white complements the restricted pop of pink, with stark white midsoles. Each shoe features a minimalist upper design and more than enough cushioning for comfort.
Adidas NMD City Sock 2
Adidas continues to ride the NMD and boost technology wave. They have dropped the NMD city sock 2 with two new features added to the shoe; still with the prime knit material only this time an embroidered detailing on the forefoot and a tan heel tab. Now that Adidas has found its footing in the boost technology these shoe ensure endless comfortability. The NMD city sock 2 dropped on the 6th of April.