The end of June marked the very first Bespoke Air Max 1 Course offered by the guys at London Sneaker School (LSS). The five-day intensive course began on Monday the 22nd of June and wrapped up on Friday when the three shoemaking students unveiled their final products to a crowd of onlookers. I was lucky enough to be invited down to the workshop over the course of the week to meet the guys, snap some photographs and get a feel for how LSS conduct their sneaker construction lessons. The experience as a whole was so much fun and I learnt a lot just from watching and listening, despite not participating myself.
Prior to the start of the course, London Sneaker School provides you with a template of an Air Max 1, as well as a list of materials which are on offer to use. This gives you an opportunity to become familiar with some of the leathers and other materials which you will use during your time at LSS. It also means you can come up with some design ideas before stepping into the workshop.
Upon arrival, I was shown through the schedule for the week to follow as well as the impressive underground workshop located in Hackney, London. The three students; Morgan, Danny and Damon each had their own ideas about the direction they were heading in with their own AM1 designs. While for some it was solely an idea in their head, others had exact mockups of what they wanted their shoes to look like.
Every component of the Air Max 1’s you create during your course at LSS is fully customisable meaning you have complete creative control over your finished sneaker. Even the colour of the outsole, midsole and air bubble can be selected to fit your preferences, achieved by using Nike ID (or By You) soles as donors for your handmade pair.
Some materials available, for example, more stretchy leathers, can be harder to work with, which can prove problematic if it’s your first time using them. However, as part of the course, you first assemble a practice upper of an Air Max 1. You do this in the same fashion as you would if you were making your final piece, serving as a tester to experiment with materials and processes which you will rely on further in the week.
‘Piet Mondrain’ Nike Air Max 1’s by Damon (@Damonma1)
During the five day course, students are taught everything there is to know about how a sneaker is assembled by hand. This is perhaps the feature of the course which piqued my initial interest, as not only do you end up with your own bespoke’s, but you learn about the fundamentals of shoemaking. The guys were directed through everything from material selection, cutting and sewing, stitching and clicking panels, lasting and sole bonding by Thomas and Jase.
‘Horween Beast’ Nike Air Max 1’s by Morgan (@Morprime)
While previous experience may play a factor in the outcome of your shoe, it is not necessarily important. The three shoemaking students each had a varying experience when it came to shoemaking, yet each of them left the course with a sublime pair of Air Max 1’s assembled from scratch. While there may be some glue marks or imperfections, this is to be expected. Any handmade product is more than likely to have a few flaws here and there, especially if you haven’t done anything like it before. But these ‘imperfections’ only add to the character of one’s shoe and, in my opinion, serve as a reminder of the experience as a whole.
‘Kickin’ Off’ Nike Air Max 1’s by Danny (@Dannychillman)
Both Thomas and Jase are excellent teachers and their knowledge of shoemaking is clear from the moment you meet them. After witnessing the course first hand and seeing the final products come off the last I am even more keen to jump onto the course myself. If you share the same excitement as I do and would like to learn how to construct classic sneakers yourself, head over to the London Sneaker School website. At the time of writing this there are three upcoming sessions in the near future which are as follows:
Furthermore, the guys at LSS are currently running a giveaway in collaboration with @Morprime giving you the chance to win a spot on their Air Max 1 course for free! Follow the link below to London Sneaker School’s Instagram to enter:
With the ongoing pandemic, many of our favourite sneaker and streetwear brands have come together in an effort to provide aid to the healthcare systems around the world. Healthcare systems worldwide have become strained with the overwhelming consequences of COVID-19. Here is what they are doing to help and how you can contribute.
The well-known sneaker and streetwear reselling platform, StockX, has been busy setting up numerous raffle-based sales in an effort to raise money for COVID-19 relief. The platform is donating 90% of all proceeds from the sale of raffle tickets towards the fight against the pandemic. Headlines were made this week when rap legend Eminem got on board, donating a pair of his elusive Carhartt x Eminem Air Jordan 4’s. The collaboration came about in 2015 to celebrate the 15th Anniversary of Shady Records and pairs were auctioned off on eBay for charity. On secondary markets, pairs of Eminem’s Jordan 4’s have reached well over $10,000 but StockX is now offering a pair for the small amount of $10 with purchase of a raffle ticket. Only one pair is to be raffled off in a size US10.5 (UK9.5) and you can donate and enter the raffle by clicking the link. Good luck!
Slim Shady’s Air Jordan 4’s are not the only bit of heat in StockX’s charity raffle. There are numerous pairs available for the same price of $10 a ticket. These include; a signed pair of Ludacris WHO x Puma Clydes, StockX Jordan 3’s, Sacai x Nike LD Waffles and many more. You can buy up to 1,000 tickets per auction so what are you waiting for, the bigger the donation the better. Follow the link above to donate to any of the StockX relief raffles.
Supreme is famous for its simplistic box logo design, only producing one product a season with the distinguished box logo on the front. In 2011, Supreme released the ‘Japan Relief’ box logo T-shirt, proceeds of which went towards assisting the earthquake and tsunami victims in Asia. This year with the devastating pandemic in full force, Supreme released another relief themed box logo to provide aid to healthcare facilities. The brand teamed up with Takashi Murakami to produce a very memorable box log T-shirt, one which incorporated the contemporary artists’ acclaimed flower design. The T-shirts released towards the end of April and were exclusive to the U.S. and Canada with the aim of raising $1,000,000 for COVID-19 relief. As you can imagine, people were upset that it wasn’t a worldwide drop as consumers in Europe and Asia were denied the chance to get one and donate. This is probably one of the most desirable Supreme box logos ever.
Yesterday another streetwear heavyweight, Palace Skateboards, dropped three items aiming to raise money for the health services. Palace has a deep-rooted London heritage, meaning the money raised from the drop went to the National Health Service in the U.K. The three items all feature the brand’s Triferg logo, with the letters changed from ‘Palace’ to ‘National Health Service’ in a collection dubbed ‘NHS TRI-TO HELP’. The drop consisted of a white hoodie, a short-sleeved and a long-sleeved T-shirt each with a light blue triferg, referencing the NHS logo. As you would expect, the drop was an instant sell-out and it is now hard to find any piece from the collection if you didn’t manage to secure yours. This is due to many reselling platforms and groups banning secondary selling of charitable items.
In an effort to combat the scarcity of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), many companies have changed their production to the manufacture of face masks and other PPE equipment. At the forefront of this change is New Balance, the first sneaker manufacturer to make this extreme but crucial transition. Working with medical professionals, New Balance has created a face mask for general use to be used by healthcare workers in the field. Their goal is to produce 100,000 units of the FDA approved masks every week, with coordination from authorities for distribution purposes. NB has now also moved into the production of gowns, foot coverings and other protective equipment in the fight against Coronavirus.
These are just some examples of how our favourite brands have been helping during these pressing times. But of course, it’s not just the big corporations that can help. Anyone can donate to support those in need whether that’s through one of the charity raffles listed above, giving money directly to your local health services or volunteering. Below I’ve left a few charities which you can donate to right now! Thank you to all the Healthcare and Key workers keeping the world afloat!
2019 has had a lot to offer in terms of the sneaker releases, retros and collaborations which we have been treated to by many of the big brands. In this article, I will be sharing my year in regard to which creps I copped to rock, sold and restored, including a few stories along the way. This article is not to be confused with the ‘Best Sneakers of 2019’, which is currently in the works!
I began the year with a bit of a heater, a shoe which actually released towards the end of 2018 but I didn’t get my hands on until February. Originally deemed a Shanghai exclusive the Concepts x Nike ‘Green Lobster’ Dunk SB thew SB fans into a frenzy trying to get secure a pair. The collaboration first released in Shanghai as a surprise drop on the morning of the 22nd of December and then received a slightly wider, but very limited, release on the 28th. I managed to get a pair of the converted Lobsters through an early morning campout and a bit of good fortune! I was actually camping out for a pair of the Concepts ‘Purple Lobster’ Dunk SBs with my brother, Max, at Concept’s Dubai location. We arrived just before 4am with the aim of bringing home two pairs of the Purple Lobsters! After about six hours in line, we were informed that there were hardly any big sizes available, much to the despair of sneakerheads towards the back of the line. Luckily for Max, he got his hands on a pair in his size but took the only UK10. Due to the uproar in the line, the management agreed to give those who missed out on their size first dibs on the stash of ‘Green Lobsters’ which were set to be released. So I put my name down and left empty-handed. About a month later the release date for the green pair was announced but unfortunately, I was back in the U.K. getting on with my studies. Knowing I should have a pair on hold, I sent my dad who was more than willing to wait a little while and bring home the Lobos. He found it hilarious that people in line were photographing each other’s sneakers – a very normal thing in today’s culture. After a bit of negotiation, he got my pair! Unfortunately, the only pair left was half a size big so I actually ended up selling them after failing to swap them for my true size. Out of the rainbow of Concepts Lobster SBs, I have to say the greens are certainly my favourite. Followed closely by the blue and purple colourways.
The next sneaker I picked up this year was a low key model which also released in 2018. If you read my ‘Best Sneakers of 2018’ article I wrote last year, you will know how much I love the Nike Skylon II. Last year I rocked the purple/pink/white Skylon II’s to death and was keen to get another pair. Coming in at the retail price of £84.95, the model is a no brainer if you want a casual run-around shoe or something to wear for the summer months. In March I bought my second pair in the orange/yellow/white colourway, one which I had had my eye on for some time. I managed to scoop them up off eBay for about £30, an absolute steal for a shoe which received a lot of wear in the following months.
In May, we witnessed one of the most hyped sneaker releases of the decade. Especially amongst the modern sneaker enthusiast, and in the current climate, people would put this shoe in their top ten list in recent years. We all know about Travis Scott’s relationship with Nike/Jordan Brand by now and his second Air Jordan instalment had people going nuts! The shoe responsible was Travis’ Jordan 1 which featured a colour palette never before seen on the model as well as an outlandish reserved swoosh. At first, sneakerheads were divided but those not in favour must have been swayed by the hype, as you hear nothing but praise for the collaboration today. This was one of those releases that was always going to be near impossible to cop, but somehow I managed it. This will probably irritate some of you reading but I didn’t really try! Dover Street Market came through with the W, and was the only raffle I entered just on that off chance. It’s funny because I never get wins when it comes to modern-day releases but the only two I have both came from DSM. The other pair was the original Off-White Nike Air Max 90’s from ‘The Ten’. Whilst those stayed in the collection, the Travis Air Jordan 1’s did not. The asking price at the time was pretty high so I sold them for cash plus one of the commemorative T-shirts from the drop. Looking back I wish I had held onto them for longer, as they currently go for double what I sold them for! But I was not in the financial condition to do so… student life and all of that.
Later that month, I picked up probably my most worn pair this year. If you follow me on Instagram you will have seen that I have rocked these non-stop since I grabbed a pair in the Footlocker sales. The pair is the Nike Air Max Plus ‘Grid Yellow’ a re-retro which first released alongside other Grid patterned TN’s in 1999. The pattern on the mesh upper alongside the clear cage make this shoe a showstopper in my opinion. I have also been tempted by the grey/red pair but am yet to pull the trigger. I recently travelled to Australia and my Yellow Grid TN’s were my crep of choice for the trip! The photo below was taken by Max whilst we were in Melbourne.
2019 has given birth to a revival of many models which had been long forgotten. Nike finally retroed the Tailwind IV and the Air Max Plus III. One model which is not in the same category but has seen a resurgence in popularity is the Air Max 90. Now despite all of this I actually didn’t buy any of the new 2019 Air Max 90’s despite trying to cop a few. Instead, I managed to get a pair of Dave White x Nike Air Max 90’s which were part of the ‘Wet Paint’ Pack in 2005. This is a big grail to many 90 collectors, myself included, and I copped this pair for a major steal of £50 back in June! As is usually the case with any Air Max over the age of ten years, the pair is no longer wearable, due to midsole crumbling but fear not, a restoration is currently ongoing. I had an old pair of Air Max 90’s with a very similar coloured air unit which I have used as a donor. The midsoles have been repainted and the OG outsoles have been attached. The only step outstanding is the reglue of the Dave White upper onto the doner soles, which in truth I am petrified of doing! I will get there eventually. A comprehensive tutorial article will be posted towards the beginning of next year outlining each step of the process, as well as the equipment needed and the overall costs. I have never done a sole-swap before so the article will be aimed more towards beginners, like me, who want to give it a go!
In August, I picked up my only non-Nike sneaker of the year, the Hypebeast (HBX) x Asics Gel Kayano 5’s. Honestly, Asics have killed it this year with collaborations from Ronnie Fieg, SneakerFreaker, Awake and numerous other high profile brands. Not to mention a variety of incredible GR colourways on some of their more desirable models. The Hypebeast Gel Kayano 5’s were certainly the standout pair for me and after eyeing them up for a while I finally got my hands on them during summer. The bulky 1990’s aesthetic of the model is perfect for today’s streetwear and high fashion inclination, and the materials used on this particular pair are second to none.
Nike’s Air Max line is my personal favourite thing in creps and over the years I have been collecting each OG colourway of each given model. One of these which I had not yet added to the collection was the OG Air (Max) 180’s in the Ultramarine colourway which originally released in 1991. The Air 180 was the first Air Max to advance past the standard air unit with its air bubble being visible at 180 degrees around the shoe. In October I was blessed by my boy Omar (shoutout to Omarni) with the 2011 retros of the 180’s for my birthday. What a hero! They have got plenty of wear since then, despite the wet conditions at the moment and could certainly do with a cleanup. A few OG colourways still elude me, in particular, the Air Max 360’s… but hey we’ll probably get a retro shortly!
One month later I copped my next pair and it was a bit of an impromptu one. This was the Gortex x Nike Air Force 1’s in the black colourway. I acquired these on a day out in London with my girlfriend where we spent far too much money and each returned home with a new pair of creps. While I copped the Gortex AF1’s, Lydia got a pair of the Nike Air Max 95 SP ‘Multicolours’ (rainbow slices) which released earlier in the year. I have hardly taken off the Air Forces since I got them! The Gortex and rugged leather upper make this shoe a very durable option for the weather to come in the next few months. I was drawn to this shoe mainly by the orange detailing which is present on the tongue and the heel, and the benefit of using them as a Timberland alternative!
My final sneaker pick up of the year was probably my favourite of the year. I secured a pair of the new re-crafted Nike Air Max 90’s in the ‘Hyper Purple’ colourway whilst in Dubai for Christmas. When I wandered into Nike DXB I was shocked to see both the purple and the volt colourways of the new Air Max 90’s sitting on the shelves. The purple pair, in particular, has been on my radar since we saw the first images online a few months back so these were a must cop! Whilst I was also tempted by the Volts in the OG colour blocking I am planning on waiting it out for the green pair dubbed the ‘Chlorophylls’. It’s fair to say I left the best till last. The new recrafted 90’s are honestly so much better in hand than they look in photos. The updated shape is beautifully done and makes the shoe feel much sleeker compared to the bulkier 90’s we’re all used to. The box size has been narrowed to match its original 1990 size and the pair comes complete with a Nike hangtag and arch supports. The box, hangtag and arch supports are all purple to match the theme of the sneaker which I think is a great touch from Nike. I can only imagine that the Volt, Blue and Green pairs, as well as the OG Infrared, will all release with similar packaging in their designated colours. This is such a good release, and the fact I was able to secure a pair two weeks before they drop in the U.K was pretty cool!
So that is my year in sneakers!
What did you pick up this year? Let me know what your personal favourite pickups were of the year by commenting below, or through Instagram @crepcultureblog
Prior to 2019, the Nike Air Max 90 was going through a rough patch. While the model has remained somewhat popular amongst enthusiasts, the Air Max 90 has been cast out of the limelight in recent years. The popularity of the shoe has been at a low, and other Air Max models such as the 97 and 98’s have soared in demand in comparison. This is mainly due to the fact that the 90 has almost been neglected by Nike. The general release colourways were poor, and there had not been any collaborations on the model for a very long time. This lack of buzz surrounding the model had knock-on effects in the secondary markets, and as a result, the market for Nike’s Air Max 90 was almost dead. I remember seeing people struggling to sell some proper grail status 90’s during this time for hundreds of pounds less than what they were worth. We’re talking about some of the best; Tounge & Cheeks, Kaws, Warhawks… it was crazy. While sellers struggled to move their pairs, people looking to buy the model could find amazing steals. I took advantage of this and was able to find my personal grail, the Nike Air Max 90 x DQM ‘Bacon’ (2004) in my size and in amazing condition. I bought this pair in 2017 and paid no more than £140… I still can’t believe it. You’ll have to excuse me because I feel like I bring up my pair of Bacon’s every time I mention an Air Max 90, but they are number one in my opinion. Anyway moving on!
I also want to add that even though I’ve said the last few years have not been exciting for the 90’s, there have been a few one-off standout releases. There have been a few decent GR’s and QS’s, for example, the Halloween Air Max 90’s which released in 2014 along with a few nice colourways of the ‘Ice’ quick strikes.
Nike Air Max 90 ‘Halloween’ worn by @william_nikelondon, shot by @amieejerrard
Obviously, Nike’s Air Max 90 debuted in 1990, meaning next year, 2020, is the models 30th Anniversary. If you think back to 2017 when Nike celebrated the Air Max 1’s 30th Anniversary, it’s hard not to get excited about what is to come next year. Air Max month in 2017 had it all; retros of OG colourways, new Air Max models, the ‘Vote Forward’ campaign, the Atmos elephant retro! I honestly cannot wait to see what Nike will give us for the anniversary of one of their most iconic models. This year, Nike has already started pushing the Air Max 90 in preparation for 2020, and the buzz around the model has already begun.
The Air Max 90 madness began in March when Nike dropped the ‘Mars Landing’ Air Max 90’s. This was a follow-up release from the famous ‘Moon Landing’ 90’s which are one of the most eye-catching Air Max’s you will see, constructed of a fully reflective 3M upper. Given the popularity of the Moon Landing’s, sneakerheads went crazy for this release and we saw an AM90 sell out for the first time in years (with the exception of the Off-White collaborations, which I have discounted due to the hyped nature of all Off-White x Nike drops). The release of the Mars Landing 90’s proved just to be a taster of the hype we would witness surround the model to come.
Nike Air Max 90 ‘Mars Landing’ by @sole_obsession
A retro of the ‘Python’ Air Max 90’s, which originally released in 2003, came next at the start of June. All features of the shoe were kept true to their OG form, and the pair flew off shelves! They were released alongside a green Python colourway which proved just as popular. Each colourway has since been restocked so if these take your fancy you can still get your hands on them.
Nike Air Max 90 ‘Green Python’ by @pattajunky
Later in the same month, Nike celebrated Pride Month with a commemorative pack of shoes called the BETRUE pack. The pack consisted of an Air Max 720, Air Tailwind 79, Zoom Pegasus Turbo and an Air Max 90, which proved to be the more desirable of the bunch. The pair had a multilayered swoosh in different colours of the LGBTQ flag as well as a bold yellow heel wedge.
Nike Air Max 90 ‘BETRUE’ by @juttenutte
In June we were treated to a very special release comprised of two pairs of Air Max 90’s, the ‘Mixtape Side A/Side B’ collection. This set of sneakers was inspired by the days before streaming services and CDs. One pair, dubbed ‘Side A’ features a clean white and grey upper with yellow accents. If you’re looking for a pair with crazy details, look no further! The attention to detail on this pair is amazing. On the tongue, you will see embroidered text reading ‘Side A’ as well as ’33 1/3′ RPM, which is the speed at which a record plays.
Nike Air Max 90 ‘Mixtape Side A’ by @lowricrook
This is the same story as the ‘Side B’ pair, but instead with a contrasting colourway featuring an all-over covert black and grey makeup. On the outsole of both shoes, you will discover a ‘Tracklist’ (in keeping with the theme of the pack) which lists eight iconic Air Max 90 colourways. These are; ‘OG Infrared’, ‘King of the Mountain’, ‘Anniversary Cork’, ‘Moon Landing’, ‘Lemon Frost’, ‘Untold Truth’, ‘OG Ostrich’ and ‘BRS Powerwall’. In my opinion, these are the heavy hitters from this year’s surge of Air Max 90 releases, in particular, the ‘Side B’s’. I was gutted not to get a pair for retail when they released! That being said, the resale price has dipped a little bit in the last month or so. The only pair for me which competes with these will come a little further down the list!
Nike Air Max 90 ‘Mixtape Side B’ by @emilyhol_x
‘Viotech’ is a term for a colourway which is used from time to time by Nike on various different models. In 2002 the Swoosh brought us the Viotech Nike Dunk low featuring an array of primary and secondary colours in a mismatched colour block scheme. In 2003, an Air Max 1 dubbed ‘Viotech’ was released in collaboration with Tokyo based sneaker boutique, Atmos. This different type of Viotech incorporated a variety of neutral tones and a bold purple swoosh. This year, Nike dropped two Air Max 90’s using the original 2002 Viotech Dunk colour scheme with an upper composed of vibrant suede. Enthusiasts went crazy for the distinctive pairs and both 90’s dropped in August, making them one of the better summer releases of the year. The second colourway (2.0) is still available at some stores so be sure to have a look if you like the look of these.
Nike Air Max 90 ‘Viotech 2.0’ by @shoezen.one
Nike spiced up the return of the Air Max 90 further with the implementation of the model to their ‘Nike By You’ program, the modern-day Nike ID. Not only was the 90 available for customisation, but there was a limited run of Levis options allowing sneaker enthusiasts to use premium materials and colours on their own unique pairs. The response to this design opportunity was enormous, and the Levis/Nike by You options expired after about 5 minutes! People who were quick enough conjured up some pretty remarkable pairs, making those who failed to secure a pair that much saltier! In years gone by, the Air Max 90 probably would not have been the model of choice by Nike to use for a design collaboration this huge. This is one of the reasons perhaps that the popularity of the model has diminished. The drive by Nike this year to propel the Air Max 90 back into popular demand amongst old and new sneakerheads has been amazing. The releases and collaborations thus far have been some of the best of the year, and the boom in adoration for the model has come perfectly in time for its 30th Anniversary next year.
Levis x Nike By You by @mikeknowsbest
The final set of Air Max 90’s which I want to touch on are hands down some of the best from the year. This pack is, of course, the Basement x Nike Air Max 90’s which consists of three colourways, each representing a different city in the United Kingdom. Nike and the Basement have linked up only once before back in 2017 on pair of Nike Dunk Lows. While the limited Dunk was exclusive to a pop-up put on by members of the Basement collective, the 90’s were widely available at various retailers around the country. The overall theme revolving around this pack of sneakers was ‘Real People Doing Real Things’ and the Basement portrayed this message incredibly well through the construction of each pair.
The first of the three to drop was the ‘Glasgow’ pair on the 5th of October. Arguably the best of the bunch, the shoe featured a fully water-resistant tonal grey upper, with a leather orange tongue and reflective swooshes. The materials on this particular pair were selectively chosen to embody a street-ready shoe for everyday wear. The Basement/Nike logo is embossed on the tongue, another small detail which makes this shoe a scorcher!
The Basement x Nike Air Max 90 ‘Glasgow’ by @jay.zed_
Next came the ‘Manchester’ Air Max 90’s. This subtle sneaker was reasonably slept-on compared to its other city pack counterparts, but nevertheless, it packs a punch. The Manchester pair of 90’s feature an all-over black upper, made up of water-resistant Codura, which is offset by hits of neon green on the heel-tab and pull-tab. The detail which really sets this pair apart from the others is the use of the Jewel swoosh, rather than the traditional swoosh. This is the first and only time a Jewel swoosh has been used on an Air Max 90 but I doubt it will be the last.
The ‘London’ Nike Air Max 90 was the final instalment of The Basement’s City Pack trio. This pair came complete with a range of premium materials in different tones of grey. Each grey hue on the upper had its own set material, giving the model a different yet harmonious feel across the shoe. The stand out feature on the London pair was the use of interchangeable velcro swooshes, which give the owner a degree of personalisation. This is an element which Nike has deployed on a number of models over the past two years, most notably on the Nike Air Force 1 and the Air Jordan 3. The Basement 90’s arrived with four different swoosh options which only added to the desirability of the collaboration. I mentioned earlier that only one pair competed with the ‘Side Bs’ for my Air Max 90 of the year, and this is it. The London pair from the Basement trio is my favourite from the pack and is honestly close to perfection.
The year as a whole has been an extremely exciting period for fans of the Air Max 90. The buzz has been brought back to the model through various releases, events and collaboration surrounding the icon, that is the Air Max 90. It is fair to say that Nike’s neglect of the shoe is well and truly over! I have seen 2019 to be a bit of a ‘resurgence’ of the Air Max 90, hence the title of this article, as even one year ago no one really cared about it! I understand that popularity and hype surrounding a model doesn’t make it a good shoe but it is nice to see the 90 getting a bit of love once again. This year, despite the madness, has only been a taster of what is to come in 2020. Already, we have been treated to some information regarding the future of the model next year.
In 2017 Nike brought back a remastered Air Max 1 much to the enjoyment of fans of the model. Similarly, next year the Swoosh intend to revisit the Air Max 90 and bring it back in its true OG form with adjustments to the shape, construction and detailing of the shoe. The cut of the toe box and mudguard have been altered to sit more at the height at which they did 30 years ago. The most obvious change to current 90’s is the stitch which runs over the swoosh, which Nike has incorporated on the remastered pairs. Nike is also meant to be recreating the ‘skinny-box’ design which was so prominent throughout the 1990’s – completing that true OG Air Max 90 feel!
So far we know that the sneakers are releasing in their OG Infrared colourway, a must cop for many Air Max nerds like myself, along with Volt, Blue, Obsidian and Teal renditions. A special 30th Anniversary pair with a White/Sail upper will also be available featuring commemorative dubrae’s.
I for one cannot wait for what is to come in 2020 surrounding Nike’s Air Max 90 and I know many of you feel the same way! I also want to say a huge thank you to everyone who sent in photos of their pairs for me to use in this article. For this one, I really wanted to get as many people involved as possible, rather than using stock photos or photos from the big blogs. The response I got back from everyone was immense, so thank you all!
The Nike Cortez originally released in 1972. Designed by Bill Bowerman for the 1972 Olympic Games, the Cortez was hailed as the first ‘modern’ running shoe. The Cortez is without a doubt one of Nike’s most iconic and important models, with a rich history which dates back even before it was officially known as the Cortez. The shoe has been worn by athletes, celebrities, East-coast gangsters and sports enthusiasts alike, and is still one of the most popular models in existence.
(Above) Tom Hanks holding a fresh pair of Cortez’s in their OG colourway, in the 1994 film ‘Forest Gump’.
In my personal collection, I only have one pair of the Nike Cortez. My pair is a leather Cortez from 1999 featuring a predominantly white upper with a bold yellow swoosh and grey trimming. On the heel of the shoe, you will find the OG Nike lettering as well as a swoosh on each heel. This is an awesome pair! I acquired these about two years ago after finding them in a thrift shop in London. £20 is the price I paid, which is a steal in my eyes, especially given the condition I found them in!
A pair of shoes of this age is however not without its faults. After a few wears, the outsole began to separate from the midsole, due to the age of the glue holding them together. As well as this issue, they could certainly do with a bit of cleaning! Luckily, the Cortez is not a complicated model, so the separation problem should be an easy fix! Other models, such as any Nike Air Max silhouette, of this age would require much more work to get them back to looking their best. The photo below shows the issue with the sole separation, a problem which is apparent on both the left and right shoes.
There are a few things you will need if you’re planning on carrying out a similar restoration:
Sole cement: I used the SneakersER Sole Bonder 125ml (£14.95)
Paintbrush: preferably a flat one
There aren’t actually too many steps to this reglue due to the simplicity of the model. The first thing I did was to remove the laces and the insoles from each shoe. Then I inspected the surface which I would be regluing. If there is any excess factory glue left on the surface, you will need to remove it using a thin layer of Acetone (nail polish remover). On my pair of Cortez’s, there was no factory glue left so I skipped this step. I then gently opened the gap between the outsole and midsole and applied a layer of the SneakersER sole bonder to both surfaces. You want to then leave the glue to dry for 15 minutes. In order to get a firmer bond, a second layer of sole bonder can be applied after the 15 minutes is up.
After 15 minutes, you want to press the surfaces together, making sure they line up perfectly. In order to get the best possible results, you want to clamp the part of the shoe you are regluing, which ensures the sole will not separate again the first time you break them out! Unfortunately, I did not have any clamps to hand so I improvised by placing a brick inside each shoe and propping up the toe. As I was only regluing the heel area of my Cortez’s, I needed to concentrate the weight of the brick towards the heel.
You need to leave the shoes in this position for a good 24 hours for the best results!
Once you have left the glue to set, remove the bricks (in my case) or clamps. Check that the bond is firm by applying a light pull on the area which you have glued together. If the bond feels firm and the area is not separating, you’ve done it! After I completed the sole binding process, I gave the shoes a quick clean using a sneaker cleaning solution. You can use any solution but I used Crep Protect Cure, in particular, the Crep Protect travel kit, which comes in a small pouch with the cleaning solution, a brush and a microfibre towel (£14.95).
So there we go! The 1999 Nike Cortez’s are good for another 20 years (hopefully). After restoring my pair, I wore them for a whole week straight to test the durability and its fair to say they held up nicely. I’m very glad to re-add these to my rotation!
Let me know if you have any questions regarding any sneaker restoration! Or get in touch on Instagram by following @crepcultureblog
Streetwear and sneakers have been around for decades but in certain parts of the world, these things are only just starting to become recognised. Dubai is no exception. While the city is often known for its extravagance, including the fashion industry, home to pretty much every superbrand in existence, it’s streetwear scene is only just getting started. I have lived in Dubai for most of my life so I thought it would be appropriate to put something together regarding the improvements I’ve noticed over the past few years!
Dubai has no problem attracting big fashion houses such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton or Balenciaga to come and open up shop in the city, but for many people perhaps on a lower budget or more streetwear orientated, the options have been limited. Two years ago, however, we were blessed to have Boston based sneaker boutique, Concepts, open its second overseas branch in Dubai. This was HUGE for Dubai, as not only does the store stock a nicely curated selection of trainers, it also sells a lot of quality streetwear brands. Some of these include; Stussy, Patta, Stone Island and Yeezy. These types of brands were very hard to come by in Dubai until the opening of Concepts. Furthermore, the store provides us with a far better selection of footwear than what was previously available and gives residents of the United Arab Emirates a chance to get their hands on converted sneaker releases, previously only available in Europe or the United States. In December of 2018, Nike did a collaboration with Concepts on the Nike SB Dunk … not the first time the two have joined forces on the model. The Dubai branch of Concepts received and sold both the “Purple Lobster” and “Green Lobster” colourways of the shoe, which my brother and I camped out for. We were lucky enough to snag a pair in each colourway. Away from the Concepts collaborations, the boutique also carries numerous brands and limited releases which were impossible to get in the UAE prior to its opening.
Crep conventions and events are no new thing to sneaker culture and they take place in every major city around the world. Sole DXB is Dubai’s answer to Sneaker Con or London’s CrepeCity. It is essentially a sneaker and streetwear event which happens every year in Dubai’s Design District. In 2018, the 8th annual event took place and it was bigger than ever! The event attracted some of the biggest influencers, icons, brands and musicians to the melting pot of Dubai to celebrate the growing scene in the Middle East. Brand involvement included the likes of Adidas, Highsnobiety, Medicom, Dior, Reebok and Puma just to name a few. The venue for Sole DXB is all outdoors and features a range of pop-up shops and activities including an outdoor basketball court. Last year the team from Sole DXB managed to attract the likes of Giggs, Nas, Joey Basda$$ and many more to perform during the closing party on the newly assembled stage setup. A$AP Rocky even made an appearance at one point! The main attraction for me was the inclusion of some icons of sneaker culture from both past and present. DJ Clark Kent and Futura were both present and were greatly involved in the organisation and execution of the event itself. Furthermore, the ever popular YouTube show ‘Full-Size Run’ shot a live episode whilst they were attending Sole DXB. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the last event and in truth, I was gutted I missed out! This year I am determined to get back to Dubai in time to be there and hopefully get the chance to meet some people and take part in full!
The boom in popularity of the sneaker and streetwear scene in recent years has brought about an expansion in these outlets throughout Dubai, making it even more accessible to get hold of the latest trends. There are a number of new stores and boutiques which are certainly worth visiting if you find yourself in Dubai. The first which spring to mind would be; Amongst Few, WORTHY and the new Nike Store in Dubai Mall. The Nike Store opened in the summer of 2018 and covers a 3,290 square meter space, the largest in the Middle East. If you ask me, it is on the same level as Nike Town in London or the brand’s new Flagship store in New York. The Dubai branch of Nike has been branded as ‘Nike DXB’, giving an identity to the growing sportswear and sneaker movement in the city. Furthermore, they stock a range of limited edition clothing and footwear, exclusive to Dubai. Personally, I own a few different Nike DXB bits and pieces, the stand out being a pair of Air Force 1’s which you were able to customise in-store with Dubai inspired designs and graphics. The photograph below shows my pair. The Arabic on the heel of the shoe means ‘Dubai’ and the details on the toe box depict the city skyline, with various other Arabian illustrations. These are a pair I had to own, given I grew up over in Dubai!
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To summarize, the growth in popularity of sneakers and streetwear has had a huge impact on what’s available in the Middle East. Air Jordan’s have always had a big following in Dubai, mainly due to the Americanisation of the city. Now, Dubai finds itself with its very own Jordan store located in the Dubai Mall. BAPE recently opened an ‘AAPE’ store and have plans for a new ‘Bathing Ape’ store. Even a few years ago, there was nothing in the way of streetwear in Dubai and meant that people had to outsource to the U.K or America to get hold of certain things. Just like the city itself, the sneaker and streetwear scene has expanded rapidly over the past two to three years, and I am excited to see how it will continue to do so.
Let me know what you have to say about Dubai’s up and coming streetwear scene or whether you plan on visiting any time soon! Follow @CrepCultureblog on Instagram for daily updates!
2018 has been a monumental year in terms of footwear. We’ve seen a whole load of new technology and models introduced, along with extremely coveted collaborations and huge growth of an already booming sneaker industry. In this article, I want to break down my ten favourite releases of the year, along with some honourable mentions. Bearing in mind I am a Nike guy so the list may be a little biased!
Also, huge shoutout to Dan Freebairn (@kickposters) for letting me use his illustration for the featured image of this article. Follow the link below to view his website and check out some of his other work!
An unlikely contender for most people’s top ten but a certain for mine! The Skylon II originally came out in 1990 and was the first Nike model to feature heel and forefoot air in its foam midsole. This year was the first time the model has been retroed since its original debut and the timing couldn’t have been better (especially with the ‘retro runner’ trend at the moment). The vibrant colours used on the Skylon definitely make it a stand out! The two colourways featured above were my favourite from the year.
9. Adidas Yeezy 700 Wave Runner
I had to include one Adidas shoe on the list and it’s got to be this one. Probably the strongest model (IMO) in the Adidas Yeezy locker, the 700 wave runner. Despite technically dropping last year, in very limited numbers and exclusive to the US, the model saw a global release this year and made waves in the sneaker community. Kanye’s first 700 colourway has sold out instantly on every drop. I would love to get my hands on a pair but unfortunately, the retail price on this pair was pretty high – £250 I believe.
8. Air Jordan 4 ‘Cactus Jack
Travis Scott has had a huge impact on sneaker culture over the past two years or so. This is his third collaborative effort with the Swoosh, this time with Jordan Brand on the Jordan 4. The inspiration behind the colourway came from the jersey colours of Travis’ hometown basketball team, the Houston Oilers. These 4’s released just around the time Travis dropped his latest album ‘Astroworld’ and contributed to the hype of the album further. I was lucky enough to be gifted a pair for my birthday!
7. Nike Air Max Plus OG
The Air Max Plus (or TN’s) saw another retro in its OG colourways towards the end of the year. Even though this model has been re-released in its OG form a handful of times, this release was certainly an anticipated one amongst air max enthusiasts. Nike got this release spot on and the packaging was next level! The box design featured the pattern of the TN’s toe box all over it, and the shoes even came with autonomic arch supports! This addition is something we haven’t seen in Nike packaging since the early 2000s, mainly because they’re a bit outdated but it definitely helped regain that vintage feel. My favourite of the three colourways was the OG ‘Tiger’ pair.
6. Nike Air Max 98 ‘Gundam’
In 2017 we saw a variety of Air Max 97’s released in a range of OG and new colourways for the 20th Anniversary of the model. This got sneakerheads excited for this year as we hoped for the same on the Air Max 98. Nike did not disappoint. The first two colourways we saw this year were the ‘Tour Yellow’ and ‘Gundam’ 98’s, the best of the lot if you ask me. The ‘Gundam’ colourway takes the number six spot on the list. The OG colourway is the perfect combination of blue, red, white and black and is bound to turn some heads. I always love the OG’s and this one is on right at the top of my hit list.
5. Nike Air Max 1 ‘By Day’
I’ve already written about my love for this shoe in a previous article so I’ll keep this one brief! The Air Max 1 ‘By Day’ or the Pompidou Air Max 1’s released in September and was a relatively slept on drop in the grand scheme of things. The sneaker features coloured piping all around the white upper, reminiscent of that of the Centre Pompidou in Paris. I love that Nike has gone back to the routes of the Air Max and delivered a colourway in celebration of them. Click the image above to read my full article on Nike’s history with the Pompidou Centre.
4. Nike React Element 87 ‘Sail’
Nike made some serious headway in 2018 with retros, collaborations and entirely new models. This falls under the category of the latter. Nike React was a technology introduced to us through their running shoe the ‘Epic React’ and was seen as a counter to Adidas’ beloved ‘Boost’ technology. This is the first time the springy sole was utilised on a lifestyle shoe and was, and remains to be, extremely popular. The new model also features a semi-translucent upper. The ‘Sail’ colourway was the first of many to be debuted to the world, and in my opinion, the best of the bunch. The model’s popularity is reflected in its resale price, currently selling for roughly £330 (Stock X).
3. CDG x Nike Air Max 180
The Air Max 180 was seen a whole lot throughout 2018 in a variety of colours and makeups. One of the leading colourways was this 180 by Comme Des Garçons and Nike, a partnership spanning almost a decade. The sneaker was pushed into the eyes of the world at Paris Fashion Week for SS18 and made an immediate mark. Three colourways of the model were released, all with a bold pink foundation, but the black and pink version was my personal favourite.
2. Parra x Nike Air Max 1
Piet Parra and Nike join forces once again on the Air Max 1. This is the third time the pairing has worked on an Air Max 1 together (not including the Albert Heijn Air Max 1’s which were not released to the public), the first time in 2005, the second in 2009. A slightly different approach was taken on the 2018 collaboration; the shoe featuring colours and patterns in the style of Parra’s artwork. A Nike Air Zoom Spiridon was also released beside the Air Max 1, as well as a full tracksuit. The model flew off shelves and was very difficult to get hold of. This shoe (and the surrounding release) was executed perfectly to continue Piet Parra’s legacy with Nike.
1. Sean Wotherspoon Air Max 1/97
I really did not want to put this in first spot due to the number of these I have seen this year… and the fact I wasn’t able to grab a pair… but how could I not. The whole story behind these is enough to sell the shoe alone. The fact that Sean Wotherspoon, a vintage collector, curator and co-owner of Round Two was able to take part and win the Nike ‘Vote Forward’ Campaign is something you dream about. The drive behind his Air Max 1/97 hybrid got everyone talking and as a result was probably the most hyped release of the year. This has taken the number one spot on my list because of Sean’s backstory and the process of building the shoe surrounding the Air Max day campaign. The material and colour combination is entirely unique to a Nike model and the hybrid wave is back in full effect as a result. I have written a full-length article on this sneaker and its importance in today’s crep culture. To read it, click on the photo above.
So yeah Sean’s 1/97’s rank supreme in my eyes.
It was incredibly hard to narrow the list down to just ten pairs so it wouldn’t be right to do ‘the Best Sneakers of 2018’ without a few other mentions, worthy of the top few spots. So in no particular order:
Nike Tailwind 87:
Originally released in time for the Honolulu Marathon in 1986, the Tailwind changed the course of Nike footwear forever. The shoe was the first ever to feature the brands famous ‘Air’ cushioning in its sole. The model officially hit retailers the following year in 1979 and sold out straight away! In 2018 we saw a retro of the iconic model, in a colourway as close as possible to that released to the public in 1979. The shoes also came with a pair of white and blue Nike socks incorporating the vintage logo, a nice touch!
Skepta x Nike Air Max Deluxe
Finally, this year we saw retros of the Air Max Deluxe, a model not seen since 1999. The silhouette had a big year releasing in a variety of OG colourways as well as this collaboration with U.K. rap artist, Skepta. This was Skepta’s third collaboration with Nike and went hand in hand with his tour, ‘No Sleep on Tour’.
Supreme x Nike Zoom Streak Spectrum Plus
Supreme and Nike had probably one of their weakest years in terms of collaborative footwear. Out of a bad bunch, however, came these gems. The Streak Spectrum Plus’ debuted in 2003 and were designed for Japanese runners by Steven Smith. The most eye-catching feature is, of course, the flames, which run from the toe backwards. This design was inspired by the hot rod culture in the U.S. Before this collaboration, the model was pretty much forgotten, so it’s always good to see a banger like this make a comeback.
Diamond x Nike SB Dunk
Nicky Diamond and Nike SB have an incredibly important history in the formation of the crep culture we see today. In 2005, the original Diamond Supply Dunk shook the world. It was like no skate shoe anyone had seen before, featuring the famous ‘Tiffany’ (Diamond) colour and black crocodile leather on the upper. Towards the end of 2018, we began seeing leaks of another Diamond Dunk low and we got three of them! The photos above depict my favourite of the colourways, the third being an all over yellow dunk, releasing in quantities of around 250 pairs. The dunks feature the platinum silver swoosh used on the original pair, this time removable, revealing tiffany hints. Just like the original, these are extremely sought after. Dunks are back!
Air Jordan 11 ‘Concord’
Around Christmas time every year, Jordan brand releases a Jordan 11 which used to cause havoc, with just about everyone trying to get their hands on whichever 11 was being brought out. In recent years the hype surrounding this seasonal release has not been what it once was. If there was a Jordan 11 which was going to change this, it’s this one. The Concord has been a classic since 1995 and certainly deserves a place on this list.
Air Jordan 1 x Union Los Angeles
The Jordan 1 had a huge year in 2018, with numerous colourways dropping and mass public appeal. These two pairs of Union Jordan 1’s were the best of the bunch in my opinion. Nowadays everyone is trying to get their hands on the original 1985 Jordan 1’s and this collaboration brought the OG’s to life in the present day. They are made to look old, with slight a discolouring to the midsole, laces and tongue. The yellow detailing around the panels certainly makes them a stand out amongst other Jordan 1’s and the mismatched upper is something we haven’t seen before on the model. I couldn’t make up my mind about which pair I preferred so they are both included!
Dragon Ball Z x Adidas Yung-1 ‘Frieza’
The Adidas Yung-1 has been one of Adidas’ most popular models this year and one of my personal favourites. This collaboration with Dragon Ball Z featured two models; the Yung-1 and the ZX-500, the first being the stronger of the two. The bold purple and pink detailing certainly make this sneaker stand out from the crowd. As well as this, the packaging was executed superbly, which always makes a big difference!
Daniel Arsham x Adidas 4D Futurecraft
Adidas’ 4D Future craft has got to be the most revolutionary innovations in footwear we have seen for quite some time. The technology is essentially, a 3D printed midsole on a running shoe. When we first heard of this project, people had a lot of questions. Will it even hold up? Is it comfortable? The answers are yes and yes. I have never tried on or even held a pair of these (due to their rarity and very high retail price), but have only heard good things. The reason these are included in this list is mainly due to the sheer technological advancements that have been made by Adidas and the possibilities this may lead towards in the future.
What do you think of my Top 10?
Let me know in the comments which you would or wouldn’t include! Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more articles coming soon.