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Jan 22, 2018
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Nike Unveils the PG2, Paul George’s New Signature Sneaker

Image via: Nike

Image via: Nike

This past Saturday in Cleveland, Paul George debuted his latest Nike signature shoe, aptly named the PG2. The new model foregoes the the bootie construction and the forefoot strap of its predecessor, and instead goes for a more traditional tongue construction. Tony Hardman, designer of both the PG1 and PG2, wanted a tight lockdown fit to be the hallmark of the line; consequently, he developed “dynamic wings” at the forefoot, improving the overall fit while also accommodating athletes with wider feet. Another key feature is a larger Zoom Air unit in the forefoot, which has been increased by 10 millimeter to provide greater propulsion. Finally, in addition to improved lockdown and responsiveness, the PG2 will offer improvements to overall traction. 

George wore a special colorway of the kicks at Quicken Loans Arena on Saturday night, one inspired by his favorite video-game console, the Sony PlayStation 4. Launching through Nike SNKRS on February 10, the shoe comes complete with light-up logos on the tongues. Check out detailed looks in the gallery below.

Release Date: 2/10/18 (Saturday)

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Jan 17, 2018
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My 5 // Archie Bradley’s Sneaker Rotation

It’s the middle of the 8th inning in Chase Field located in downtown Phoenix. The LED video board shows a bearded man with flames behind him as Jay-Z’s “Public Service Announcement” is playing throughout the stadium accompanied by cheers from the home team and sounds of defeat from the visitors. Archie Bradley, the electrifying relief pitcher for the Arizona Diamondbacks, owns the mound with swag and his upper 90 MPH fastball. He can also rake in a few runs come crunch time, but that’s not the only heat Archie has in his arsenal.

We sat down with Archie and talked baseball, his energy and, as always, his current rotation. Check out what Archie wears off the mound in our latest installment of My 5.

 

Archie Bradley: Air Jordan 11s are my favorites. I love them. If I had to pick a colorway, it’d have to be the Cool Greys. Those are absolutely my favorite. I just love the way they look. When I think about Michael Jordan and I think about his shoes, I always picture him wearing these. When I really first got into shoes and into Jordan, the 11s are what peaked my interest. They’re everything I saw and wanted. I buy my shoes to wear them — I don’t deadstock them or anything. I can’t explain it with these. The design, the colorways, the outsoles. All of it. As a baseball guy, I always see CC Sabathia wearing them too on the mound.

Supreme x Vans Collection

Archie Bradley: I have to give a  quick shoutout to my teammate Jake Lamb for really putting me on Vans. I wear my Vans everywhere, whether I’m heading to Chase Field or I’m out at the bars. They have a ton of variety with their collabs which I like. They have the Supreme, Peanuts, Duck Hunt, Toy-Story and a bunch of others. I like the versatility of them because you can wear them with anything. Unlike some of these other shoes that get up on price, the Vans are always going to stay at a pretty decent price point.

Archie Bradley: That elephant print worked into the shoe. I wouldn’t call myself a sneakerhead and I’m not out there for every release but when I did my own research and started getting into shoes and colorways, I ran across these and knew I had to have them. The elephant print just adds something to it and makes it really pop so I like it.

Archie Bradley: The way that the cement pops on the white. I look at shoes that I see a lot of people wearing and these always come up. These 4s are so popular. When you really get into the history of the shoe and everything, you appreciate it. Much like the 11s, the 4s really hold their value. These, the 11s and the 3s will never go out of style for me.

Archie Bradley: I have two pairs of these because I love them so much. I have the Moonrocks too that I need to start wearing. Just like most people when it comes to the Turtle Doves, I fell in love with the craze. I fell in love with the way the shoe looks. They kind of remind me of the elephant print when I look at the upper. I can wear them every day, and they’re super comfy.

Keep up with Archie Bradley and his adventures on Twitter and Instagram. Be on the lookout for his heat both on and off the mound this upcoming season. 

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Jan 7, 2018
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Prada Dropped a New Sneaker at Mr Porter

Striking similar to the model worn by A$AP Rocky at an Art Basel performance last month, Prada has released a new shoe exclusively at Mr Porter.

Sporty and futuristic, the casual shoe showcases a below the ankle black base with no laces needed. Mesh and leather star on this unnamed model with red hits and a velcro strap standing out.

Running a steep 5, pairs are available now in select sizes at Mr Porter.

Source: Hypebeast

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Jan 3, 2018
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Fear of God Military Sneaker “Royal Blue” // Available Now

Favored by Future and many other CSS favorites, the Fear of God Military Sneaker “Royal Blue” sees a colorway Coach Cal might rock. Super high in cut and hand crafted in Italy, this premium pair packs a premium price tag just the same but an equally unique look.

The Fear of God Military Sneaker “Royal Blue” is available now at Fear of God.

Fear of God Military Sneaker “Royal Blue”

Price: ,195

Fear of God Military Sneaker "Royal Blue"
Fear of God Military Sneaker “Royal Blue”

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Jan 2, 2018
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Swizz Beatz Reveals New Reebok DMX Sneaker

Now well into his tenure as Reebok Creative Director, Swizz Beatz wastes no time revealing upcoming collaborative releases with the brand. This one is of the DMX variety.

A partnering release with Disruptive Kind, contemporary styling adorns the futuristic silhouette which is grounded by the brand’s foundational DMX technology. Shiny Metallic Copper rests just above the parsed, pod centric midsole, while the upper denotes a modern lacing system and slip-on styled foot opening.

What are your initial thoughts on this upcoming Disruptive Kind x Reebok DMX collab? Grab a look below and share your thoughts.

Since it’s 2018 let’s not waste no time!!!!!????? Disruptive Kind X Reebok ! Let’s not waste no days!!! Happy New Year !!!! #twothousandgreatteen !!!!

A post shared by therealswizzz (@therealswizzz) on

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Dec 28, 2017
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NICE50 // The 50 Best Sneaker Releases of 2017

Was 2017 better than 2016? On just about every front, we’ll say it was.

Sneakers? No exception.

Following a year that saw the rising momentum of adidas and running shoes hurdling hardwood favorites, trends changed as they always do, though some things remained the same. The Swoosh and the Three Stripes continued to duke it out, with Nike going all in on Air and turning the clock both back and forward with a variety of can’t-miss collaborations. Conversely, adidas continued to ride the Boost wave with both the Yeezy and NMD shifting shape but still holding their space.

So, how did we at Nice Kicks see and rank the year that just was in regards to releases? See below in the 2017 NICE50 and make sure to hit us on social media with your own favorites and sleepers.

50. Kith x adidas Copa Mundial Ultra Boost “Cobras”

The soccer aesthetic has become more prevalent in today’s style with the likes of Alexander Wang and Palace debuting several football-oriented collections this year. Always at the forefront of the incoming waves, Kith also released a soccer collection with Adidas this summer, the pinnacle of which was the Adidas Copa Mundial Ultra Boost. This iteration of the Ultra Boost was like nothing we had ever seen on the model. The combination of the iconic soccer boot with the captivating Adidas midsole encapsulates this year in fashion and footwear. – Anthony Guillen

49. Patta x Vans Old Skool “Mean Eyed Cat”


photo by @vladieboi

Since opening its doors in 2004, the Dutch boutique has become a staple in the European streetwear scene. This year Patta teamed up with Vans for a return of their “mean eyed cat” Old Skool collaboration. Originally a Japanese exclusive, these had many Vans enthusiasts excited to get what they once missed out on. Premium materials, solid detailing, and giving the fans what we wanted help this release crack the top 50. – Anthony Guillen

48. Nike Kyrie 3 “Bruce Lee”


photo by @maallymall

The Kyrie 3 Bruce Lee, “Mamba Mentality” pays homage to Kobe Bryant and the KB V. A great silhouette in its own right, the Kyrie 3 took major design cues from one of the most illustrious sneakers of Kobe Bryant’s career. With a blend of the Kyrie and Kobe logo to go with full-fledge Bruce Lee detailing, this shoe was a remarkable turnout for Nike Basketball fans altogether. Kyrie is on a tear this year, and with that release, we got to see the foresight that Nike occasionally exudes. Now imagine if Kyrie decided to do this for more Kobe sneakers? Success at Success at Success. – Creighton Phillips

47. Nike Air More Uptempo DB

The Doernbecher Collection is always one of the most exciting drops in the world of sneakers. With the resurrection of the Nike Air More Uptempo, Brody Miller went in, drawing inspiration from a comic hero he created, “Generator Man.” Although Brody battles with a rare brain condition, it doesn’t limit his imagination at all. Brody replaces the “AIR” lettering on the upper with his name, elevating his shoe to one of the best of 2017. – Luis Torres

46. Air Jordan 1 Flyknit


photo by @airjordank

Following a near two-year process, Jordan Brand this fall introduced the contemporary Air Jordan 1 Flyknit. Debuted in OG “Banned” and “Royal” colorways, the strategy to reveal this non-traditional silhouette in styles that date back to the shoe’s inception was a stroke of genius. Blending history with new technology is often an issue for brand purists; many of those same individuals took issue with the Flyknit 1s. Yet for those who embraced its newness, they found the model be the most comfortable Air Jordan 1 to date. Much more is forthcoming from the Air Jordan 1 Flyknit in 2018, including more OG colorways and themed editions. To greater effect, this shoe marks a great jumping off point for more Flyknit retros to come. – Darren Griffin

45. Vans Taiwan Slip-On

If we put the GR Black/White Vans Old Skool at #1 for 2017 (spoiler alert: we didn’t) there’d be plenty of proof given the overwhelming endorsement from your favorite artist and middle-America high schooler alike.

Why is that? In an era where it’s all about the outfit, sneakers have become more accessory than statement piece with low prices and big branding propelling the Old Skool to Chuck Taylor and Air Force 1 status. Still, any good accessory adds personality and prestige to an ensemble without stealing the show. That’s exactly what the Vans Taiwan Slip-On offers: quiet confidence with can’t miss cool. – Ian Stonebrook

44. Off-White x Hyperdunk 2017


via BR Kicks

When Virgil Abloh initially announced “The Ten” collection, the excitement for the Off-White x Air Jordan 1 and the Off-White x Nike Presto made momentous waves that made sneakerheads and Hypebeasts alike marvel at Virgil’s creations. Aside from the Zoom Fly, the Off-White x Nike Hyperdunk is my favorite from “The Ten.” Ever since the NBA tipped off, players such as Devin Booker, Jordan Clarkson and Draymond Green have been spotted with the Hyperdunk on the hardwood, growing support for the shoe throughout the culture. Be on the lookout for a guy at your local indoor gym rocking these while putting up a triple-single. – Luis Torres

43. John Elliot x Nike Vandal


photo by @gentfashionco

Operating in the same influential space as industry powers Jerry Lorenzo and Virgil Abloh, John Elliott’s apparel designs helped shape sneaker culture long before his collaborative dealings with Nike this year and last. His foundational Villian hoodies heightened by side zippers and an early foray into tailored sweatpants with the Escobar, allowed Elliott to manipulate the way we wore sneakers long before he ever designed a pair. It was that early experience that allowed Elliott to forecast what silhouettes would work, what materials to use, and what colors would hit hardest. His Vandal pack hit hard like a Bo Jackson home run in the late ’80s, Elliott favorite sports figure and dual threat much like himself. – Darren Griffin

42. Nike Air Shake Ndestrukt

Dennis Rodman’s gender bending style, tattoos and rockstar vibe couldn’t be more on trend in 2017 and more ahead of its time during his reign as Rebound King. His politics in 2017? Well those aren’t exactly ‘brand safe’ in the modern market.

Because of this, we’ll probably never get a Nike Air Worm retro, a second run of the Converse AS 91 or reissue of the Converse All Star Rodman. For Dennis the Menace purists, this year’s Nike Air Shake Ndestrukt retro is as close as we’ll ever get to capturing the energy of The Worm, and Nike Sportswear did a damn good job.

Reviving OG colorways and avoiding modern material makeovers like hybrids of years past, these hit home with fans of #91. They also hit sales racks, which anybody old enough to see Rodman play back in the day will tell you isn’t a bad thing at all. – Ian Stonebrook

41. Big Baller Brand ZO2


photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images via Zimbio

A signature shoe for a player that had never stepped onto an NBA floor. A brand that was known for metallic foil logo tees printed at a nearby mom & pop in Chino Hills, California — and had never produced anything close to as complex as a high performance basketball sneaker. Lonzo Ball’s debut model also carried with it a 0 pre-order price tag, and oh yeah, a 6-month wait for the shoes to actually arrive.

On paper, every last variable sounded entirely ridiculous, and that’s before even getting to his father LaVar Ball’s brash and bold declarations. Even then, the venture and premise was admirable and rooted in ownership, not simply endorsement, making Big Baller Brand’s very first model, and its remixed edition, an instant classic marketing case study for years to come. – Nick DePaula

40. New Balance 247 Luxe


photo by @airjordank

New Balance was in dire need of a hit earlier this year. Bad press has stifled the brand, and the home run that was the 247 literally saved their season. The Luxe edition stands as the better of the whole, brimming with premium updates and endless functionality.  – Darren Griffin

39. Vetements x Reebok Instapump Fury


photo via @michi_moss

Since hitting the scene, Vetements has made noise the same way any other entities get buzz in this generation: they’ve been controversial and they’ve tied themselves to celebrities. Whether one applauds their merger of streetwear and high fashion or scoffs at their price-points, their 0 Reebok Instapump Fury is everything mentioned above and it’s awesome. A statement shoe visually and financially, do these leverage DIY doodlers or cash-in on the trend of positioned price gouging? Ironed on irony? The Instapump Fury is much more than a Gildan tee, but are we much more than co-sign curators? The pen may be mightier than the sword, but the Sharpie just stole a spot on the Nice50.  – Ian Stonebrook

38. Air Jordan 1 Satin “Royal”


photo by @airjordank

Draped in satin, but also maintaining its seniority and superiority as the Jordan 1, it feels as delicate as it looks. The Satin Royal 1 was a surprise release at two of the oldest JB accounts in America, in Atlanta at Walter’s and Houston’s Active Athlete, respectively. Catching many off guard, this may have been one of the best releases for the brand to date in terms of turnout. With Satin Breds floating around at spots like FlightClub and Stadium Goods, the Royals seem to be just as coveted due to the release. After personally waiting in line for a pair and striking out, I witnessed the hype and commotion firsthand. With rumored releases in patent leather on the cusp and having seen Flyknit variations as well this year, there’s really no end to the Air Jordan 1 madness. Not that there ever has been… – Creighton Phillips

37. adidas Iniki

adidas Iniki Runner
photo via Black Market USA

No one will confuse the Iniki Runner as a hyped release selling out at every possible retailer. But the affordable inline shoe that blends heritage-based design cues with modern-day technology is about as consistent and versatile as any adidas shoe this year. Moving to both men and women and to fans of all ages, the Iniki Runner isn’t exactly turning the sneaker world on its head, but it’s certainly a powerhouse in its own right. – Darren Griffin

36. Packer Shoes x J Crew x ASICS Gel Lyte III


photo via @kicks_addict_

Over the years, menswear bros have fallen deeper and deeper in lust with annual offerings from J.Crew and ASICS. This years output was produced in partnership with Packer Shoes, in celebration of its 100th anniversary. The four-piece pack was a menswear aficionado’s wet dream — a slumber where he trades in his oversized, pleated trousers and herringbone topcoat for grailworthy sneakers in vibrant pops of color, premium leather, and supple suede. There was juxtaposition, tonal expression, complexity and minimalism all in one collection canvassing just one sneaker. That far-reaching aspiration champions this pack as one of the best from J.Crew and ASICS ever. – Darren Griffin

35. Tom Sachs x Nike Mars Yard 2.0

Tom Sachs x Nike Mars Yard 2.0

The Tom Sachs Mars Yard 2.0 was up for a re-release of sorts and got one this year in 2017, right on the cusp of the five-year mark that Nike and Sachs initially worked together. With an elaborate rollout for the shoes, like attending Governor’s Island and doing an array of different exercises, you were allowed an opportunity to purchase the sneakers once all was said and done. Sachs may be one of the most important contemporary artists of this generation. With sneakers that are built for wear and tear, and while there are a plethora of fakes floating around on sites like eBay, this is exactly what Sachs wanted. To make a mockery of the sneaker industry in itself while still giving his offering. After mocking Nike and Nasa, what could be next? More conceptualism and hopefully more sneakers. – Creighton Phillips

34. Gucci Ace


photo via Mr Porter

The Gucci Ace stares down the traditional all-white tennis shoe and defeats it in an old-style Western standoff, conquering it by shooting laser beams out of its eyelets. If you talk to Gucci creative director, Alessandro Michele, that’s probably not too far off, considering much of his vision in the new design process is comprised of a series of “out there” designs, including inspiration from, well, aliens… This silhouette features everything from a plain white makeup with the brand’s classic red and green webbing on the quarter panels to embossed snakeskin tabs on the heels, and even a series of caricatures embroidered into optional removable patches that cover the laces. Cross-pollinating in both the luxury and streetwear realms, the Italian house label is continuing to prove that this aesthetic is not subject to just one idea in every way, shape and form, which is why it continues as one of our favorites styles for 2017. – Henry West

33. Under Armour Curry 4

After a few years of having to hear the critics loud and clear, Stephen Curry injected himself into the process of creating his signature shoe more than ever before, fusing his input along the way and resulting in his most beloved model yet.

Designed by Kort Neumann, the Curry 4 featured a sleek and contoured silhouette with a knit collar and sculpted midsole, bringing the series to a modern place with a fast look on and off the court. As the story goes, Stephen loved the shoe so much that he urged his team at Under Armour to allow him to debut the shoe a full six months early, on the grand stage of the 2017 NBA Finals no less, as he went on to win his second NBA championship. – Nick DePaula

32. Don C x Nike Air Force 1 High

Over the years we have seen many things done with the Nike Air Force 1, including everything from a Lunar sole, Flyknit upper, and even a slimmed sole for a “downtown” look to the Uptowns. Don C took an entirely new approach, bringing together three of the most notable models of the Nike Air Force line – 1982’s Air Force 1, 1987’s Air Force II, and 1988’s Air Force III.

What makes this shoe so great is not just the concept of bringing together the three models into one, but executing it in a way that the design seems so fluid, despite the shoes using the most noticeable characteristics from each of the original models. The AF100 creation is without a doubt a Nike Air Force 1, but a true fan of the line and connoisseur will recognize the different elements that represent the other Air Force models on Don’s new creation.

Oh yes, and with the luxury touches in true Don C fashion, the shoes are finished off with a pearly white Air Force II heel cup, butter soft leather with rolled edges, gold tips, and a reptilian strap and Swoosh. – Matt Halfhill

31. Parley x adidas Ultra Boost

Parley x adidas Ultra Boost Collection

Trash to treasure? That’s exactly what Parley does. It is impossible to not celebrate a shoe that pulls 17 bottles from the ocean per pair made, while also spreading an “earth first” message to the masses. Parley x adidas is one of the greatest partnerships for not only great looking shoes, but shoes that really make a difference on our planet. – Matt Halfhill

30. Nike ACG Komyuter

Nike ACG Komyuter SE "Birch"
photo via Notre

After a street ninja rebrand mixed with a reliance on retros, the ACG line is back at home and nothing displays it better than 2017’s Komyuter. Out of the box inspiration (in this case a paper bag) mixed with on-the-trail tones and performance, the Komyuter avoids chasing denim like most of its brand-brethren and ends up curving the category towards it just the same.

Put on some Patagonia, get away from the pavement and enjoy the great outdoors as Nike originally intended it. Welcome home, ACG. – Ian Stonebrook

29. Coogi x PUMA Clyde


photo by Ray P

PUMA and Coogi linked for an epic collaboration, bringing together the brand’s iconic pattern to the timeless PUMA Clyde. Paying homage to one of NYC’s greatest, two of the drops fell on the anniversaries of the birth and tragic passing of Notorious BIG, paying respect to the legend. Around the country, you saw solid story telling paying respect to the best to ever wear the Coogi sweater. – Matt Halfhill

28. Nike Air Force 1 “Rocafella”

If you love Hip Hop and Sneakers, this collaboration has a special place in your heart. From copping Jay-Z albums at FYE to wearing Rocawear velour suits and Flight Jackets, the impact of the label and its founders had on culture is forever cemented. There would be no Nelly – Air Force Ones without Jay-Z and Rocafella repping the shoe first.

Nike officially teamed up with Kareem “Biggs” Burke, co-founder of Rocafella, just after Reasonable Doubt’s 20th anniversary to launch the once unicorn friends & family shoe to the public. They did it correct. The design itself is simple, a white-on-white AF1 with the logo on the heel. However, in-hand it’s so much more. The leather quality is premium and supple, like the OG.

The label may be defunct, but Rocafella lives forever through this collaboration. I hope you tripled up, word to Dame Dash and Biggs. – Ray Polanco

27. Nike Air Max 97 OG


photo by Ray P

The 20 year old classic that looks like it could’ve been designed today easily makes this list of best of the year so far. With the runner era upon us, the Air Max 97 fits the current trends and style perfectly. A unique design, an obnoxious pop of 3M and 360 degree Airbag make this shoe a certified neck breaker. Both original colorways dropped and sold out in a matter of minutes. Adding to this release, the Air Max 97 designer Christian Tresser, formerly of Nike, got together with Nice Kicks for his first in-depth interview ever on the silhouette and its inception, which you can read here. – Ray Polanco

26. adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2 “Zebra”


photo by @airjordank

In somewhat of a shocker, the ‘easy Yeezy’ we were all waiting for ended up being the “Cream” 350s, as opposed to the simple styled Powerphase. A case study in supply and demand, both silos have the admiration of the masses, but are core sneakerheads ready for something new? We’ll say ‘yes,’ as we anxiously await the Season 5 Runner and similarly styled Basketball shoe. Until then, the “Zebra” 350 V2s and its “Cream” counterpart serve as the hyped head-turner and attainable flex in a footwear market where a rapper/producer still moves the needle. – Ian Stonebrook

25. Nike Air Max 1 OG


photo by @airjordank

This shoe needs no introduction when released, but it was really nice to see Nike take the time to bring back and engineer materials as close to the Original from 1987 as we have ever seen. This year’s Nike Air Max 1 OG really lives up to its name, more than ever. – Matt Halfhill

24. Fear of God x Vans


photo by Shaniqwa Jarvis via Hypebeast

Teasing the project back in June, Jerry Lorenzo follows up his first Fear of God Sk8-Hi and Era with a second collection of Vans that released in November. Making their debut at ComplexCon with a wider, but still very limited release the following weekend, the brand continued to show streetwear enthusiasts that Vans are still a very relevant streetwear essential.

Playing off the original all-over Fear of God script that appeared on the Era in the first capsule, the second project continues the sought-after motif once again – this time appearing on both this rendition of the Era, as well as the Mountain Edition. The collection continued even further by incorporating two colorways of the Style 147, which is basically the Classic Slip-On, but with an adjustable velcro strap across the top, as well as a metal Fear of God badge accent. – Henry West

23. Nike Cortez

Nike’s rollout of the Cortez for its 45th anniversary couldn’t have gone any smoother. They’ve brought back the “Forrest Gump,” served up a few other OGs, and funneled the shoe into a fashion staple for men and women similar to the road taken by the Stan Smith upon its re-emergence. With a Flyknit version on the way, things are definitely looking up for the west coast lifestyle classic. – Darren Griffin

22. Supreme x Nike Air More Uptempo


photo by Mrs Teriyaki

The Nike Air More Uptempo is an icon in any era, but the allure of the chase made the bold model a sellout hit on its third retro run in 2016. Multiplying the variables of scarcity and brashness, the Supreme collaboration of 2017 is a standout in every sense and one of the most coveted kicks of the year. As both brands navigate mainstream growth from the top of the totem pole, limited launches like these will always preserve their cool cache. – Ian Stonebrook

21. Sneakersnstuff x Adidas NMD


photo via @cop.v.few

The NMD was THE shoe of 2016. Debuting at the tail end of 2015, the model made waves in ways unimagined as it took the lane of the Roshe Run and caused campouts at malls and admiration from both guys and gals both young and old.

Whether or not it did too much in one year or if one year was all it ever had, the shoe slowed down in 2017, with ahead of the curve shoppers feeling a sense of ‘been there, done that.’ Still, the Sneakersnstuff two part pairing on the NMD excited even those that claimed they were over it, flipping over the fabric for an inverted glitch pattern that played up the pop favorite fittingly in pop tones. – Ian Stonebrook

20. Nike Air Zoom Generation

Nike Air Zoom Generation Retro
photo via Sneaker Politics

Seven years ago, Nike released the “South Beach” LeBron 8 shortly after King James shocked the world with his move to Miami. The limited launch put performance basketball into the lifestyle realm with countless colorways of signature shoes sold in bunches for the next few years to come. Five months ago, the two parties released their first tandem retro release: the “First Game” Nike Air Zoom Generation. Different market, different trends — it’s tough to tell whether these were too soon, too late, or even both. Regardless, the first retro LeBron is a rare wear in 2017 and could prove the most significant sneaker of the pack five years from now. – Ian Stonebrook

19. Balenciaga Speed Trainer


photo via Pintrest

The Balenciaga Speed Trainer takes the notion of futuristic to the next level, combining exceptional comfort with a sock-like knit fit. These Italian made sneakers are designed with a quirky sculpted midsole to give the overall look its space-age appearance, while the insole is constructed using a memory foam technology that takes form of each person’s foot. Debuting back in November of 2016, this silhouette has seen several restocks throughout 2017 – completely selling out each time. Despite the fact that you might think this shoe is ugly, ugly is currently en vogue and there isn’t a single retailer that’s been able to keep a size run in stock since its initial release. – Henry West

18. UNDFTD x Nike Air Max 97


photo by @airjordank

The Air Max 97 had an amazing 20-year anniversary. Nike flooded the streets with countless colorways and collabs. One collab that stood out amongst the cluster is the UNDFTD x Nike Air Max 97. The lifestyle brand took their talents to Beaverton to squad up with the Swoosh and created two Gucci-inspired colorways, prompting Unicode to develop a new flame emoji. Both colorways took over the final months of the summer, culminating instant sellouts for their September releases. – Michael Kelly

17. Sean Wotherspoon x Nike Air Max 97 Hybrid

Sean Wotherspoon Nike Air Max 1/97 “More Air”
photo by @kicksvision

Air Max Day 2017 was a big day within the sneaker universe. As one of the community’s own, Sean Wotherspoon claimed victory in Nike’s “Vote Forward” campaign. A design campaign set out to connect the creators with the common Nike enthusiast, Sean didn’t create the hybrid Air Max 1/97 on his own, he assembled a super team that featured the famed jeweler Ben Baller. Together, they constructed an instant classic featuring one of the most timeless textiles, corduroy. Seven layers of corduroy to be exact. A global release is coming Air Max Day 2018, so be on the lookout. – Michael Kelly

16. Air Jordan 1 “Gold Top 3”


photo via Overkill

At first I didn’t get the appeal. Not even gone front. Been there, done that last year with the OG colorways. Plus Mike ain’t event wear ‘em. But she grew on me. Dropping at ComplexCon was cultural props.

Jeters. Fragments. Off-Whites. Is it making Mount Rushmore of non-OG 1s? Debatable. Did it impact culture and disrupt the industry for a hot sec? Most def. – Leslie Hunter

15. Nike PG1

2017 has been a busy year for Paul George. He became an All-Star for the fourth time and helped lead the Pacers to their second straight playoff appearance. After George made it quite clear he was going to sign elsewhere when he became a free agent in 2018, Indiana swiftly traded their franchise player to the Oklahoma City Thunder, shocking the basketball world with the suddenness of the move. On top of all of this career change, George’s first signature sneaker – the Nike PG1 – was released on March 3.

With its relatively low retail price of 0 and a myriad of colorways, the PG1 has instantly cemented its status among the Nike signature family. George’s signature sneaker is so popular, that several other players throughout the league have been sticking with them all season long. Since Nike continues to give George exclusive PEs, the PG1 has quickly become one of the most stylish basketball sneakers on the market. – Ananth Pandian

14. Aleali May x Air Jordan 1


photo by @airjodank

What a year it has been for Aleali — and what a year it has been for women in the sneaker world thanks to her opportunity to create with Jordan brand. In addition to being heavily involved in the discussion panels and campaign for the Nike x Off White release, she brought to life the roots of her childhood atop one of Michael Jordan’s most iconic silhouettes. Thanks for leading the way chica. – Mrs. Teriyaki

13. atmos x Nike Air Max 1


photo via @hiroto_kondo

Previously released in 2007 only in New York and Japan, the Atmos Air Max 1 was a unicorn indeed. So much so, that fans recently voted the shoe back to receive the retro treatment in Nike’s first ever “Vote Back” campaign for Air Max Day. To no surprise, this is another Nike retro that stood and will continue to stand the test of time. Similar to what Steve Jobs said about the iPhone, the Atmos Air Max 1 is just beautiful. – Ray Polanco

12. Nike Air VaporMax


photo by Mrs Teriyaki

Nike went all out to introduce the Nike Air Vapormax for this year’s Air Max Day. The shoes bring the concept of walking on Air to new levels, with a cushioning setup far better than any 360 Max Air we have ever seen. As awesome as the ride is, don’t sleep on the Flyknit upper, that looks solid with simple branding and design. – Matt Halfhill

11. Off-White x Nike Air Presto


photo by @airjordank

The Jordan 1 from Virgil’s collection was an automatic lay-up as the fan favorite, but the Presto came through and crushed the buildings. It’s the most wearable pair of The Ten and for that reason, everyone wants it. The upper is actually an Air Max 90 turned inside out, sitting atop the Presto’s cage and cushioning setup. Virgil Abloh wears this pair the most himself, so that alone lets you know why it ranks amongst the best of the best for 2018. – Ray Polanco

10. Balenciaga Triple S


photo via @sneakerprophet_

Balenciaga pulled off something extremely difficult this year with their whimsically chunky Triple S sneaker: they created both the most beloved and hated sneaker in 2017. No sneaker is so culturally popular yet equally unpopular all at once. Some feel it’s just a high-end shoe that’s no better than a pair of Sketchers we’d never buy. Others have come to the conclusion that we simply weren’t progressive enough to appreciate this modern enhancement on a primitive yet graceful design. Deliberately weathered to appear wore-in, the aesthetics are a continued progression of what others like Kanye West began with early installments of YEEZY Season — battered apparel that looks and feels used and thus carry sentiment. However, Balenciaga wasn’t very sentimental when pricing the Triple S, running a steep 5 USD. The shoe sold out nonetheless. Which if nothing else, indicates this shoe won’t slow much in 2018. – Darren Griffin

9. NikeLab Zoom Fly SP


photo via @kinhowong1807

Adidas has more than shaken up the performance running scene from a mainstream sense, but don’t expect Nike to rest on their laurels. While Air Max Day saw Boost buyers become NikeBoyz, the most compelling story out of the Swoosh camp was their Breaking 2 documentary. Performance first, style second, it was the first time since Lunar launched that mileage seemed more important than marketing. Appealing to Ekins by toting tech and cool guy flair, the NikeLab Zoom Fly SP is the sleeper shoe of the year by bridging the gap between style and speed. In a market running away from retro and getting back to innovation, these are it. – Ian Stonebrook

8. adidas Yeezy Wave Runner 700


photo by Ian Swisher Stonebrook

Regardless of resale, the adidas Yeezy Wave Runner 700 is the most interesting new release from the most influential man in sneaker culture. Yes, it was Virgil’s year, and no, Kanye didn’t drop any new music. Even in a quiet year for West that seemed more about rest and rebuilding, he continued to do what he does best by adding new layers and new textures to either what’s now or what’s next.

In this case it was the chunky dad runner we now know as the Wave Runner 700. Cozy in conception and practical in proportions, the 700 was much louder than its pop shoe peers, given the Yeezy paint stroke of a progressive Pantone and an understanding of the youth. Less about walking laps around the mall before opening and more about dropping the kids off at daycare before a studio session with Pusha T, the decked out dad shoe both looks and sounds a lot like the father of two himself. – Ian Stonebrook

7. Alexander Wang x adidas Collection


photo by Meara Kallista Morse

Trends move at a million miles an hour and designer steeze is flavor of the month. While Alexander Wang’s peak popularity in a streetwear sense may have come a few years back, let’s not get it twisted — this guy is really, really good. He proved that on the footwear front in 2017, with a range of heaters with adidas Originals. Drapey, gender neutral sweats and soccer uniforms bared inverted branding and stayed true to the T line launcher. Still, his re-imagination of the basketball and skate sneakers were the greatest triumph for the designer that claims NYC as home. – Ian Stonebrook

6. Tyler the Creator x Converse One Star

Golf le Fleur x Converse One Star Collection

With three separate colorways, and ultimately applying a more grandiose theme to Converse One Star sneakers, Tyler deserves much credit for the turnout of the Golf Le Fleurs. Taking the Flower Boy theme and adding reassurance, it’s easily one of the better casual sneakers this year. Converse has been having one hell of a year on the collaborative tip, with a range of releases that fall in line with Tyler The Creator’s recent creations. Tyler has been having one hell of a year himself, with a Grammy nod for Album of the Year that falls in line with his Converse offerings. Definitely a step away from his work with Vans, you can look for more motivational messages and vibrant colors on kicks from the “Garden Shed” rapper ahead. – Creighton Phillips

5. NERD x adidas NMD Hu


photo via @blakejjohnson

Adidas found exactly what they’re In Search Of. Striking while the iron is hot, the exclusive release of the N.E.R.D x NMD HU Trails are easily one of the most coveted sneakers on the market right now. Fetching thousands of dollars on the resale market while still staying true to previous Pharrell x Adidas releases, the N.E.R.D x NMD HU Trails are a culmination of hot and fun. A hot silhouette with a fun pairing like history-making and genre-bending group N.E.R.D, to coincide with a release/listening party at the popularity contest that many people exclaim has become ComplexCon.

With the NMD having tons of iterations at this point, the NO_ONE EVER REALLY DIES branding seems to be fitting. Do sneakers ever really die? With the proper collab, perhaps not. With limited availability and most pairs gifted to Friends and Family, it was a great way to commemorate the success and newest N.E.R.D album. Whether your favorite is Fly or Die or Nothing, the shoes are definitely something to marvel at. Unless you’re willing to spend more than many folks’ life savings on them, I suggest indulging in the music. – Creighton Phillips

4. Air Jordan 1 “Royal”


photo by @airjordank

Even if you don’t love the color blue, you love the Air Jordan 1 Royal. Jordan Brand brought back the original packaging, Nike Air labeling and the best quality we’ve seen since the 1985 version. The details alone make it one of the best sneakers of the year. Royal 1s are one of those timeless sneakers that no matter if it’s a general release or limited, they will sell out instantly. These are as smooth as MJ’s fadeaway jumper, nothing but net. Pro Tip: Jordan 1s last forever and won’t crumble after 10 years. – Ray Polanco

3. Skepta x Nike Air Max 97 Ultra


photo by Ray P

U.K represent! It’s crazy to see the impact our urban culture is having on fashion, music and now sneakers. The Air Max 97 is already a British icon, and with Nike’s focus on it over the summer, Skepta’s release was one of the most anticipated.

With heavy influences from Morocco and the brand’s original Tuned Max silhouette, Skepta’s take is like something we haven’t seen before on the 97. It’s bold iridescent bronze tone is a real attraction and makes a statement on streets from London to LA. We’re sure a lot of mans is happy with the placing of this one. – Mrs. Teriyaki

2. KAWS x Air Jordan 4


photo by @airjordank

Typically speaking, trying to please everyone is the best way to let everyone down (or at least yourself). Somehow, Jordan Brand appealed to almost all on the KAWS x Air Jordan 4. Choosing the silo most nostalgic and fashion friendly this side of the 1, the KAWS collab created the type of chase collectors covet, lining up the likes of [email protected] Companion coppers from years back, while also gaining glory from today’s fly guys and flippers. Surprisingly striking in both black and grey suede, the quality, collab cache and cool factor make these the one shoe that everybody wanted thus far in 2017. – Ian Stonebrook

1. Off-White x Air Jordan 1


photo by @airjordank

It’s the exact shoe, and series, that Nike and Jordan Brand were so desperately in need of. After losing recent ground to rival Adidas in the realms of creativity and influence, Virgil Abloh’s collaborative capsule lent a layer of freshness atop nine beloved brand models, and the newest Hyperdunk.

With buzz and demand impressively spanning the entire calendar year, the Air Jordan 1 proved to be the pinnacle of the bunch, taking on quirky shifts to the iconic inaugural Jordan, and finding favor everywhere from high fashion to NBA arena arrivals and influencers in between. – Nick DePaula

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Dec 25, 2017
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5 Things To Expect From Dwyane Wade’s Li-Ning WoW 6 Signature Sneaker

words and photos // Jordan Keyser:

As Dwayne Wade’s 15th NBA season is under way, he welcomes a new journey with the Cleveland Cavaliers and a new signature sneaker with Li-Ning. Since leaving Converse and Jordan Brand for the Chinese based sports performance company, Wade has amassed a core loyal following with the Way of Wade series. The line blends the potential Hall of Famer’s progressive style while offering a solid shoe to hoop in.

The newest WoW 6 is a vast improvement from its predecessor in weight, fashion, and function. I could show you better than I could tell you. Recently while attending Art Basel in Miami, Nice Kicks got a hands on look at what the future of Dwyane Wade’s sneaker line will look like. From limited colorways, to better cushioning, and thinking about life after his own career, the Li-Ning Way of Wade 6 takes the entire line to the next level.

Read ahead for five things to expect from Dwyane Wade’s Li-Ning WoW 6 Sneakers:

NEW, RE-DESIGNED LOGO

A small detail, but noteworthy change on the 6th installment of the Way of Wade line, is the simple but meaningful changes to the logos found on the WOW6.  The updated logo now features 15 Circles to represent Dwayne Wade’s 15th NBA Season, along with the 82 saw teeth around the logo, which represent the NBA’s 82 regular season games.


LIMITED EDITION COLORWAYS

While down in Miami, Way of Wade gave me an exclusive look at the upcoming color ways for rest of 2017 and wha’ts in store for 2018.  Some of the limited WOW6 color ways celebrate Holidays, including a Red/Blue pair for Veterans Day, as well as a Green, Red and Black pair which celebrates the upcoming Christmas Holiday.  Some of my other favorites were the “Sunset” WOW6 which features a Black, Pink, and Orange hits throughout the upper and midsole, and the “Pumpkin” WOW6 which really popped with the use of Fall colors such as Orange, and Yellow, and a glow in the dark outsole.  These along with a slew of other upcoming releases will help the Way of Wade team bring the newly unveiled Way of Wade 6 to life.


PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENTS

The Way of Wade 6 features some noteworthy performance upgrades, including the use of a breathable-performance mesh upper, as well as the addition of a carbon fiber mid-foot strap that is sure to improve lockdown and stability. The Biggest performance upgrade definitely comes with the introductions of Li-Ning’s newest cushioning technology– Drive Foam Technology.


DRIVE FOAM TECHNOLOGY

The introduction of Li-Ning’s new Drive-Foam Technology is by far the best improvement found in the WOW6, the comfort is next level. Li-Ning teamed up with BASF to create this all new cushioning system found in the WOW6. Those of you unfamiliar with BASF, they are the company that designs and licensesBOOST technology to adidas. So, it should go without saying that this new Drive-Foam Technology is the real deal in terms of comfort, both on, and off-court.


NBA ON-COURT PRESENCE

With Dwayne Wade’s on-court time seeing a reduction this year, Li-Ning and WOW are looking to grow their on-court presence through other NBA players signed to the brand such as José Calderón of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Glenn Robinson III of the Indiana Pacers, and both, Evan Turner and C.J. McCollum of the Portland Trail Blazers.


Dwyane Wade’s Li-Ling WoW 6 is currently available right now online. Retail price is starts at 0 for select exclusive colorways. Browse below for an exclusive look at what’s in next for Wade’s newest signature sneaker with Li-Ning.

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Dec 22, 2017
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My 5 // Cassidy Hubbarth’s Sneaker Rotation

ESPN NBA sideline reporter Cassidy Hubbarth has been on point all season, but she’s perfectly fine playing off the ball some day in the All-Star Weekend Celebrity Game. Growing up in Chicago during the dynasty Bulls days as a two-sport star, her hoop game favors defensive stoppers like Gary Payton and Ron Harper but her shoe game garners that of the GOAT.

“If I ever make the move from the sideline to the court I’m definitely playing in Bred 11s.”

We’re gonna hold her to that.

While we hope a celeb game run is in her near future, her immediate future has her talking to the likes of Russell Westbrook and James Harden between breaths on ABC’s Christmas Day coverage. Though she has King James as her midseason MVP and she loves the LeBron 15, her current rotation keeps it Chicago with memorable Mikes and even a classic from Kanye.

See the shoes getting wear from Cassidy right now (and hopefully soon, *hint hint*) in the latest My 5.

Air Jordan 11 “Playoff”

History of Holiday Air Jordan 11 Releases

Cassidy Hubbarth: My favorite shoe is the Bred 11s. They’re my holy grail and when it comes to Js I stay in my lane. I like the 11s and I don’t bust out my 11s just to walk around in, it’s usually for an outfit. I grew up in the Jordan era in Chicago and the 11s were always that shoe that I wanted but couldn’t afford. I’d never seen a shoe like them before as a kid so when I finally got them in my adult life I treat them with such a high regard. The patent leather? They’re a work of art. When I saw Mike wear them they just stuck with me. I love all the 11s from the Space Jams to the 72-10s. I wore 11s during the Summer League because it’s more casual and I didn’t have to wear heels.

Air Jordan 1 “Chicago”

Cassidy Hubbarth: The Chicago 1s get a lot of love whenever I wear them. The sneaker culture is huge and even if I’m in Nike Town or Flight Club where everyone is surrounded by shoes, people still point out my kicks. These work for me from an aesthetic standpoint, they’re just such a pure sneaker. I grew up hooping but I never played in Js. As I grew older and started paying more attention to design I really started to love the 1s. I can venture into other models like 3s and 4s, but really I love the 1s and 11s.

adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2 Black/Core Red

adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2 Black/Red

Cassidy Hubbarth: My go-to travel shoe is the Yeezy Boost 350 V2. They’re so easy to slip on and off on a plane. They’re so lightweight. I finally found a shoe that I feel like I’m stunting in [Laughs] and they’re easy to travel in. There are so many wild colorways of the Yeezys, but I just love how simple these are.

adidas NMD

Cassidy Hubbarth: I love NMDs for the same reason I love Yeezys: because I’m traveling all the time. I love the design. Adidas has really been putting out some quality product and I’m not loyal to just Nike. I kinda went crazy and bought a bunch of NMDs [Laughs]. I love the black pair with the blue and red, the original ones. I don’t love Ultra Boosts because they kind of suffocate my foot a little bit, but I feel like the NMDs are more breathable and that’s why I like them more.

Off-White x Nike “The Ten” Collection

Off-White x Nike Air Max 90

Cassidy Hubbarth: My obsession right now is the Off-White x Nike “The 10” Collection. Nike really hit on these. The Jordan 1s are dope but if I had to pick one pair from these it would be really tough. I love the Blazers, the Air Maxes are dope, I just haven’t pulled the trigger yet. So, do you have the plug?

Check out Cassidy Hubbarth on Christmas Day as the sideline reporter for the Rockets vs. Thunder Game on ABC at 8PM ET. Can’t wait til then? She’ll be on the second screen experience on the ESPN App tonight with Jalen Rose, Adrian Wojnarowski, Bobby Marks, our own Nick DePaula and Mike Schmitz.

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Dec 21, 2017
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Celebrity Sneaker Stalker // The Best of 2017

If 2017 doesn’t go down in history as one of the best years in hip-hop, it’ll certainly go down as one of the busiest. From upstarts like Lil Uzi Vert and Playboi Carti to OGs like Sean Carter and Marshall Mathers, there was more music released than most had time to digest.

With anyone and everyone on promo run, Celebrity Sneaker Stalker was busy just the same.

A change of the guard year to some in regards to aesthetic and influence of the youth, outfits were interesting again and retros still reigned. Crunching down 50 weeks of sneaker stalking into one recap, see 150 of our favorite photos below.

A$AP Rocky in the VLONE x Nike Air Force 1 High
A$AP Rocky in the VLONE x Nike Air Force 1 High
Luka Sabbat in the Nike Air Force 1 "Playstation"
Luka Sabbat in the Nike Air Force 1 “Playstation”

Tyler the Creator in the Air Jordan 1 “Shattered Backboard”

G Eazy in the NERD x adidas NMD
Playboi Carti in the Supreme x Nike Blazer High
Playboi Carti in the Supreme x Nike Blazer High

Orange Calderon in the Air Jordan 1 “Royal”
Big Sean in the A Bathing Ape Roadsta
Big Sean in the A Bathing Ape Roadsta

Travis Scott in Louis Vuitton sandals
Justin Bieber in the Kith x Naked x Adidas NMD CS2
Justin Bieber in the Kith x Naked x adidas NMD CS2
Russell Westbrook & Carmelo Anthony in the PSNY x Air Jordan 15
Russell Westbrook & Carmelo Anthony in the PSNY x Air Jordan 15
Quavo in the Air Jordan 3 Retro "Grateful"
Quavo in the DJ Khaled x Air Jordan 3 Retro “Grateful”
 Bella Hadid in the Kith x Nike Air Maestro 2 F&F
Bella Hadid in the Kith x Nike Air Maestro 2 F&F
Nas in the Gucci Sneakers & Nicki Minaj in the Reebok Freestyle Hi
Nas in Gucci sneakers & Nicki Minaj in the Reebok Freestyle Hi
Odell Beckham Jr. in the Louis Vuitton Don "Red"
Odell Beckham Jr. in the Louis Vuitton Don “Red”
DJ Khaled in the Air Jordan 4 "Royalty" & Fat Joe in the Eminem x Air Jordan 2 "The Way I Am"
DJ Khaled in the Air Jordan 4 “Royalty” & Fat Joe in the Eminem x Air Jordan 2 “The Way I Am”
Bloody Osiris in the Air Jordan XV White/Purple TB
Bloody Osiris in the OG Air Jordan XV White/Purple TB
Pope Francis with the Air Jordan 5 Retro PE "Michigan"
Pope Francis with the Air Jordan 5 PE “Michigan”
Seth Rogen in the Nike MAG 2016
Seth Rogen in the Nike MAG
DJ Khaled in the Don C x Air Jordan 2 "Arctic Orange"
DJ Khaled in the Don C x Air Jordan 2 “Arctic Orange”
Quavo in the Air Jordan 1 Satin "Banned"
Quavo in the Air Jordan 1 Satin “Banned”
Chris Paul in the Air Jordan 11 Retro
Chris Paul in the Air Jordan 11 “Jeter”
Pharrell Williams in adidas Chanel x Pharrell Williams Hu NMD
Pharrell Williams in adidas Chanel x Pharrell Williams Hu NMD
Andre 3000 in the Nike Air Flightposite
Andre 3000 in the Nike Air Flightposite
Fabolous in the PSNY x Air Jordan 12 "Wheat"
Fabolous in the PSNY x Air Jordan 12 “Wheat”
Jerry Lorenzo in the Fear of God x Vans Vault sneakers
Jerry Lorenzo in the upcoming Fear of God x Vans Vault Slip-On
Adrianne Ho in Nikecourt Flare 23
Adrianne Ho in the NikeCourt Flare AJ1
John Calipari in the Air Jordan 8 Retro "OVO"
John Calipari in the Air Jordan 8 “Coach Cal” Pack PEs
Quavo in the Levi's x Air Jordan 1, Offset in Yeezy Season 3 Boots & Offset in the VLONE x Nike Air Force 1
Quavo in the Levi’s x Air Jordan 1, Offset in Yeezy Season 3 Boots & Offset in the VLONE x Nike Air Force 1 (photo by Kevin Wong)
DJ Greg Street in the UNDFTD x Air Jordan 4
DJ Greg Street in the UNDFTD x Air Jordan 4
Katy Perry in the CDG x Nike Air Vapormax
Katy Perry in the CDG x Nike Air Vapormax
Allyson Felix in the Atmos x Air Jordan 3 Retro
Allyson Felix in the Atmos x Air Jordan 3
Skip Bayless in the Air Jordan 1 "Chicago"
Skip Bayless in the Air Jordan 1 “Chicago”
Tyga in the Nike SB Dunk Low "Tiffany"
Tyga in the Nike SB Dunk Low “Tiffany”
21 Savage in the Nike Air Force 1 Low
21 Savage in the Nike Air Force 1 Low
Asahd Khaled with the Air Jordan 3 "Grateful" PE
Asahd Khaled with the Air Jordan 3 “Grateful” PE
Conceited in the Air Jordan 7 "Miro"
Conceited in the Air Jordan 7 “Miro”
Wale in the KAWS x Air Jordan 4
Wale in the KAWS x Air Jordan 4
Lil Yachty in the Air Jordan 1 "Shattered Backboard" & Macklemore in his Air Jordan 6 PE
Lil Yachty in the Air Jordan 1 “Shattered Backboard” & Macklemore in his Air Jordan 6 PE
Takeoff in the Supreme x CDG x NikeLab Air Force 1 Low
Takeoff in the Supreme x CDG x NikeLab Air Force 1 Low
Fabolous in the Air Jordan 13 Retro Low "Brave Blue"
Fabolous in the Air Jordan 13 Retro Low “Brave Blue”
Travis Scott in the Nike Air Vapormax
Travis Scott in the Nike Air Vapormax
MadeinTYO in the Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG "SBB"
MadeinTYO in the Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG “SBB”
Travis Scott in the NikeLab Air Force 1 Low "Jewel"
Travis Scott in the NikeLab Air Force 1 Low “Jewel”
A$AP Ferg in the Nike Air Max Plus
A$AP Ferg in the Nike Air Max Plus
Bun B in the Air Jordan 5 Retro PE "Fab 5"
Bun B with the Air Jordan 5 “Fab 5” PE

Virgil Abloh in the Off-White x Air Jordan 1
ASAP Rocky in the Nike Air Force 1 Low "VLONE" & Tyler the Creator in the Converse One Star Pro
A$AP Rocky in the VLONE x Nike Air Force 1 Low Custom & Tyler the Creator in the Converse One Star Pro
Kylie Jenner in the Vetements x Reebok Instapump Fury Sneakers
Kylie Jenner in the Vetements x Reebok Instapump Fury
Adrianne Ho in the Supreme x Air Jordan 5 Retro "Desert Camo"
Adrianne Ho in the Supreme x Air Jordan 5 “Desert Camo”
OG Chase B in the Air Jordan 3 Retro "Cool Grey"
OG Chase B in the Air Jordan 3 Retro “Cool Grey”
G-Eazy in the Nikelab x Acronym Air Force Downtown High
G-Eazy in the ACRONYM x NikeLab Air Force 1 Downtown High
Anthony Hamilton in the Air Jordan 4 Retro PE & Pusha T in the Adidas Equipment Running Guidance "KING PUSH"
Anthony Hamilton in his Air Jordan 4 PE & Pusha T in the Pusha T x adidas EQT Running Guidance “Black Market”
Cameron in the Nike Air Foamposite
Cam’ron in the Nike Air Foamposite One “Pink”

Lil Yachty in the Air Jordan 5 Retro LS “University Blue” onstage at the MTV Woodies Awards (photo by Tim Mosenfelder/MTV1617/Getty Images for MTV)
Adam Levine in the Nike Kobe 11 Elite "Mamba Day"
Adam Levine in the Nike Kobe 11 Elite “Mamba Day”
J Balvin in the Opening Ceremony x Vans Old Skool
J Balvin in the Opening Ceremony x Vans Old Skool
John Mayer in the BAPE x NEIGHBORHOOD x adidas Consortium Superstar Boost
John Mayer in the BAPE x NEIGHBORHOOD x adidas Consortium Superstar Boost
Travis Scott in the Air Jordan 4 "Cool Grey"
Travis Scott in the Air Jordan 4 “Cool Grey”
Mannie Fresh & Juvenile in the Sneaker Politics x Humidity x Reebok Workout Lo Clean
Mannie Fresh & Juvenile in the Sneaker Politics x Humidity x Reebok Workout Lo Clean
Wale in Air Max 1 Supreme "Animal Pack"
Wale in Nike Air Max 1 Supreme “Animal Pack”
Allen Iverson in Air Jordan 12 Retro "Flu Game"
Allen Iverson in the Air Jordan 12 “Flu Game”
Future in Fear of God Boots
Future in Fear of God Boots
Vashtie in the Air Jordan 3 "Flip"
Vashtie in the Air Jordan 3 “Flip”

Earl Campbell in his Air Jordan 11 Custom by Nard Got Sole
Odell Beckham in Air Jordan 11 Retro PRM "Grey Suede"
Odell Beckham in the Air Jordan 11 “Grey Suede”
Travis Scott in the Air Jordan 1 Satin "Royal"
Travis Scott in the Air Jordan 1 Satin “Royal”
Lil Uzi Vert in the Nike HyperAdapt 1.0
Lil Uzi Vert in the Nike HyperAdapt 1.0
Bloody Osiris in the Nike Air Foamposite Pro "Carolina" & Billy Boy Dior in the Nike Air Foamposite Pro "Dr. Doom"
Bloody Osiris in the Nike Air Foamposite Pro “Carolina” & Billy Boy Dior in the Nike Air Foamposite Pro “Dr. Doom”
Grant Hill in The Shoe Surgeon x Pizza Hut "Pie Tops"
Grant Hill in The Shoe Surgeon x Pizza Hut “Pie Tops”
A$AP Rocky in custom Nike Air Force 1s
A$AP Rocky in custom Nike Air Force 1s
Lil Peep in the Jeremy Scott x adidas Panda
Lil Peep in the Jeremy Scott x adidas Panda
Curren$y in the Jet Life x Reebok Club C 85
Curren$y in the Jet Life x Reebok Club C 85
A$AP Rocky in the OG Air Jordan 1 "Metallic Navy"
A$AP Rocky in the OG Air Jordan 1 “Metallic Navy”
Dave Chappelle in the Air Jordan 1 DMP "Celtics"
Dave Chappelle in the Air Jordan 1 DMP “Celtics”
Jay Z in the Air Jordan 11 Low "Concord" & Blue Ivy Carter in the Converse Chuck Taylor
Jay Z in the Air Jordan 11 Low “Concord” & Blue Ivy Carter in the Converse Chuck Taylor
Kawhi Leonard in his Air Jordan 11 PE
Kawhi Leonard in his Air Jordan 11 PE (shoutout @airlessjordan)
April Holmes in her Air Jordan 11 PE
April Holmes in her Air Jordan 11 PE
 Orange Calderon in the Nike Air Force 1 Low Canvas
Orange Calderon in the Nike Air Force 1 Low Canvas
Wale in the Air Jordan 5 Michigan PE
Wale in the Air Jordan 5 Michigan PE
Bill Self in the adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2 Black/Copper
Bill Self in the adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2 Black/Copper
SZA in the Pharrell x adidas NMD
SZA in the Pharrell x adidas NMD
A$AP Rocky in the Gosha Rubchinskiy x Reebok Phase 1 Pro & A$AP Ferg in the Air Jordan 14 Low "Laney"
A$AP Rocky in the Gosha Rubchinskiy x Reebok Phase 1 Pro & A$AP Ferg in the Air Jordan 14 Low “Laney”

Pete Carroll in his custom Nike Air Monarch IV PEs
DeMarcus Cousins in the Air Jordan 3 "Mocha"
DeMarcus Cousins in the Air Jordan 3 “Mocha”
Ugly God in the Air Jordan 14 "Thunder"
Ugly God in the Air Jordan 14 “Thunder”
Lil Uzi Vert in Kanye West x Reebok S. Carter Samples
Lil Uzi Vert in Kanye West x Reebok S. Carter Samples
21 Savage in the Air Jordan 15 Retro "Kubo"
21 Savage in the Air Jordan 15 Retro “Kubo”
Nav in the Adidas Yeezy Boost 750 "Triple Black"
Nav in the Adidas Yeezy Boost 750 “Triple Black”
Rich the Kid in the Supreme x Air Jordan 5 Retro "Desert Camo"
Rich the Kid in the Supreme x Air Jordan 5 Retro “Desert Camo”
Luka Sabbat in the The NikeCraft x Tom Sachs Mars Yard 2.0
Luka Sabbat in the The NikeCraft x Tom Sachs Mars Yard 2.0
Fabolous in the Nike Air Max 95 Premium
Fabolous in the Nike Air Max 95 Premium “Animal”
Kanye West in the Yeezy x adidas Season 5 Runners
Kanye West in the adidas Yeezy Season 6 Runner “Black”
Dan Levy in the adidas Yeezy Boost 350 "Pirate Black"
Dan Levy in the adidas Yeezy Boost 350 “Pirate Black”
Nas in the Kith x Coca Cola x Converse Sneakers
Nas in the Kith x Coca Cola x Converse Chuck Taylor
Drake in the Kaws x Air Jordan 4
Drake in the Kaws x Air Jordan 4 “Black”
Kobe Bryant in the Atmos x Nike Air Max 1
Kobe Bryant in the Atmos x Nike Air Max 1
Wiz Khalifa in the Off White x Nike Blazer
Wiz Khalifa in the Off White x Nike Blazer
Wale in the Nike Talaria
Wale in the Nike Zoom Talaria
Asap Rocky in the Off White & Air Jordan 1 Retro
Asap Rocky in the Off White & Air Jordan 1 Retro
Fabolous in the Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG
Fabolous in the Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG
The Weekend in the Puma x XO Parallel
The Weekend in the The Weeknd x Puma Parallels
Kanye West in the adidas Yeezy boost 350 V2 "Frozen Yellow" & Kid Cudi in the adidas Yeezy Powerphase
Kid Cudi in the adidas Yeezy Powerphase & Kanye West in the adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2 “Frozen Yellow”
YG in the Air Jordan 5 Retro
Kendrick Lamar in the Kim Jones x Nike LWP and YG in the Air Jordan 5 “Red Suede”
Drake in the Kaws x Air Jordan 4
Drake in the Kaws x Air Jordan 4
Kirk Knight in the Air Jordan 4 Retro "Black Cat"
Kirk Knight in the Air Jordan 4 Retro “Black Cat”
Lil Yachty in the Nike Air Yeezy 2 "Red October"
Lil Yachty in the Nike Air Yeezy 2 “Red October”
G-Eazy in the Nike Air Yeezy 1 "Tan"
G-Eazy in the Nike Air Yeezy 1 “Net”
Marshawn Lynch in the Air Jordan 11 Retro Low "Baron"
Marshawn Lynch in the Air Jordan 11 Retro Low “Barons”
Lil Uzi Vert in the Clot x Nike Air Vapormax
Lil Uzi Vert in the Clot x Nike Air VaporMax
Stalley in the Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG "Fragment"
Stalley in the Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG “Fragment”
Kendrick Lamar in the Nike Air Max 97
Kendrick Lamar in the Nike Air Max 97

Skepta in the Skepta x Nike Air Max 97
John Mayer in the Nike Air Max 90 "Pickle Rick"
John Mayer in the Nike Air Max 90 “Pickle Rick”
Paul Pogba in the adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2 "Cream White"
Paul Pogba in the adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2 “Cream White”
Usher in the Supreme x Nike Air More Uptempo
Usher in the Supreme x Nike Air More Uptempo
Kendrick Lamar in the Nike Cortez Shark
Kendrick Lamar in the Nike Cortez Shark

Beyonce in the PUMA Clyde “4:44”
Russell Westbrook in the Nike Air Monarch
Russell Westbrook in the Nike Air Monarch
Quavo & Takeoff in the Balenciaga Triple S sneakers & Offset in the Gucci sneakers
Quavo & Takeoff in the Balenciaga Triple S & Offset in Gucci sneakers
Kim Kardashian in the Yeezy BOOST 700
Kim Kardashian in the adidas Yeezy Wave Runner 700
Famous Dex in the Undefeated x Nike Air Max 97
Famous Dex in the Undefeated x Nike Air Max 97
Jay Z in the Nike Air Force 1 Low "Def Jam"
Jay Z in the Nike Air Force 1 Low “Rocafella”
Offset & Takeoff in the Solefly x Air Jordan 17 Low
Offset & Takeoff in the Solefly x Air Jordan 17 Low
Tyler the Creator in the Golf Wang x Converse One Star
Tyler the Creator in the Golf Le Fleur x Converse One Star
Lebron James in the Nike Lebron 15
Lebron James in the Nike LeBron 15 Custom by The Shoe Surgeon
Kanye West in the Yeezy Sneakers
Kanye West in an unreleased adidas Yeezy Basketball shoe
John Wall in the Kith x Nike Air Pippen 1
John Wall in the Kith x Nike Air Pippen 1
Lebron James in the Off-White x Nike Air Force 1
LeBron James in the Off-White x Nike Air Force 1
Travis Scott in the Nike Air Max 1/97 "Sean Wotherspoon"
Travis Scott in the Nike Air Max 1/97 “Sean Wotherspoon”
Lebron James in the Air Jordan 4 Retro "Oregon" & Dwyane Wade in the Nike Zoom Generation
LeBron James in the Air Jordan 4 Retro “Oregon” & Dwyane Wade in the Nike Air Zoom Generation
Isaiah Thomas in the Nike Air Max 97
Isaiah Thomas in the Nike Air Max 97 “Country Camo”
Kyrie Irving in the Air Jordan 3 Retro
Kyrie Irving in a “Gold” Air Jordan 3

Teyana Taylor in the adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2 “Semi Frozen Yellow”

Kanye West in the adidas Yeezy Boost 700
Chris Paul Rocks New Air Jordan 4 PE
Chris Paul in a new Air Jordan 4 PE
Rich the Kid in the adidas Yeezy Powerphase
Rich the Kid in the adidas Yeezy Powerphase
Don C in the Nike Air Force 1 Low "Roc-A-Fella"
Biggs in the Nike Air Max Tune Up & Don C in the Nike Air Force 1 Low “Roc-A-Fella”
Joey Badass in the Balenciaga Triple S
Joey Badass in the Balenciaga Triple S
Jay Z in the Fear of God x Vans Era
Jay Z in the Fear of God x Vans Era
Odell Beckham in the Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG "Art Basel"
Odell Beckham in the Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG “Art Basel” Set
Jaden Smith in the Louis Vuitton Sneakers
Jaden Smith in Louis Vuitton Sneakers
Lebron James in the Nike Lebron 7
LeBron James in the Nike Air Max LeBron 7 “Red Carpet”

Kanye West in the adidas Yeezy 700 V2

Kevin Hart in the Air Jordan 1 “Gold Top 3”

Metro Boomin in the Fear of God x Vans Era

Nick Young in Prada sneakers
Travis Scott in the Nike Air Force 1 Low "Travis Scott"
Travis Scott in the Nike Air Force 1 Low “Travis Scott”
Eminem in the Air Jordan 4 Retro "Eminem"
Eminem in the Air Jordan 4 Retro “Eminem”

Bradley Cooper in the Riccardo Tisci x NBA x Nike Air Force 1 High & Jonah Hill in the Gosha Rubchinsky x adidas ACE

A$AP Rocky in OG Air Jordan 1s

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Dec 19, 2017
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Interview // John Gourley of Portugal. The Man Talks Musical Origins, Individual Style and The Sneaker That Started It All

Photography by Maclay Heriot

It’s night time (precisely 8:15 PM) in Austin, Texas, and a crowd of 50,000+ people in Zilker Park are starting to get impatient. Their jitters are accumulating; voices becoming louder and louder. Suddenly, everybody stops — the stage lights darken, and the crowd roars.

The stage lights turn red, and Portugal. The Man takes the stage to shred a cover of Metallica’s “For Whom The Bell Tolls” — and the crowd loves it.


Portugal. The Man, by Maclay Heriot.

Portugal.’s frontman, John Gourley, is one guy keeping the rockstar bloodline alive and he’s doing it in style. The Alaskan born, Portland native is one of the biggest ambassadors for streetwear and sneaker culture in his genre. Let’s just say it takes a special kind of rockstar to perform on live television wearing a pair of Off-White x Nike Air Max 97s before they’d even released. People notice that shit.

Fresh off of his 2017 Grammy nomination, John took some time to talk with us about his earliest encounters with sneakers and streetwear, and how he’s managed to merge his sense of stylistic individuality with his ever-lasting rockstar appeal.

Check out our full conversation below.


Portugal. The Man, by Maclay Heriot.

Nice Kicks: You’re no newcomer to the culture — you actually grew up with an affinity for hip-hop didn’t you?

John Gourley: Yeah yeah, that’s kind of how I got into music. I was into a lot of artists at the time but I’ll just give you the one — and I’m sure it’s a lot of people’s one — and that’s Wu-Tang. Hearing Wu-Tang for the first time as a kid really opened up my eyes to all of this. Just, what was happening in the world and the whole changing of the guard of what was happening in music at that time. What connected with me was the production. It was RZA more than anything. It is the group — and the whole group mentality, like the family mentality — that I had grown up with, so right away I had this connection of just family and togetherness. How everybody gets their verse, and it all centers around this chorus, where there’s this stomp or whatever it is.

Nice Kicks: It’s not very often you’ll hear a rock band who’s biggest inspiration was Wu-Tang.


John Gourley, by Maclay Heriot.

John Gourley: It was the production man. RZA just… ok, so — myself having done this before — you don’t know you’re doing it while you’re doing it. RZA captured something really amazing in sampling the soul records that he went into. What he was capturing was something that resonated with so many people, across all cultures and all genres, because he was sampling this era of music that everybody is familiar with. It was so nostalgic in a way. You wouldn’t need to know what song he’s sampling. What you were hearing was a really limited amount of amplifiers and mics and guitars at the time, and you’re hearing the mic that was used on those old Motown recordings. It may not be a Motown sample, but it was the same mic that was used on a Motown recording. Same type of amplifier, same type of guitar.

He was capturing all these tones that were very nostalgic for me, being a kid that grew up with oldies radio and Motown and soul and The Beatles and things like that. He was capturing a lot of these tones so it was just something that was immediately familiar to me. Immediately nostalgic. Then suddenly, so was this whole, new sense of community. Of cool, flow, vibe and just… Fuck it. [laughs] I don’t give a fuck, it’s my verse, I’m gonna say what I want. Even if it doesn’t relate to the verse that came before it — it’s my turn. It was just really exciting, it was really eye opening to see this approach to music that doesn’t necessarily relate to the chorus. It just revolves around it; that this is my experience and my life, revolving around this centerpiece.

Nice Kicks: Was this while you were still in Alaska?

John Gourley: Yeah yeah yeah. Everybody in the group of friends was… Oh, I’m RZA, My buddy is Ol’ Dirty Bastard, my other friend is Raekwon. Like, We got The Chef! That was all of our group of friends, and I’ve met so many people who have the same thing within their group of friends. So we’d joke, Which one of you is Method Man? You know?


Portugal. The Man, by Maclay Heriot.

Nice Kicks: Was listening to Wu-Tang and other rap artists how you got into street culture?

John Gourley: Yeah, I would say so — obviously like Beastie Boys, Run DMC… LL Cool J was Kangol and Adidas. It was just kind of a part of it, you know? Granted, I grew up in Alaska so you have to understand too, we don’t have stores! We don’t have the same shops that they do in New York or LA, or any other city. So we were really like, kids, out trying gather these different pieces that we would find to just try to dress that thing, to do that style as best we could. You could only get so far but we made it work.

Nice Kicks: That’s funny, I was curious how accessible sneakers were out there. I’d assume there weren’t very many sneaker camp-outs in Alaska?

John Gourley: No, no. There were not [laughs]. I remember the first pair of sneakers I ever got was the Jordan 7s. That must of been around 1992; they were the Cardinal 7s. I remember, getting those shoes and immediately after I got ‘em — again I’m a little kid, I wear like a size 8 — a story came out that somebody had been killed for their sneakers in Fairbanks, Alaska, for the same Jordan’s that I had! My mom was immediately like, Alright, well… you can’t wear these.

For some reason that story has always stuck with me, like, man they’re killing people for sneakers out here? Really? In Alaska? I just remember that story and going to the movie theater (where that incident had happened). Every time I would go to that movie theater I would just think about that horrible story like Oh my Gosh! and then — the Jordans my mom wouldn’t let me wear.

Nice Kicks: Did she ever let you go back to them?

John Gourley: Nope. I actually never got to wear them to their full potential, because I just really was not allowed to wear them. At the same time though, that experience kind of grew with me and developed my whole mentality on sneaker culture now. I know some people that like to buy sneakers and put them up on a shelf, and clean them up and do all that. But because I never wore — like really got to wear — my first pair of Jordans, the way I look at it is like… what the hell! Why keep them on a shelf? So now, whenever I get some shoes I want, I wear them. I just wear them, just like a kid would wear them.


Portugal. The Man, by Maclay Heriot.

Nice Kicks: Fast forward; how has your access to these types of sneakers / high end fashion changed since then? I saw you wore the Off-White Nikes on stage before they released.

John Gourley: Okay, so, obviously I live in Oregon now. So, I mean every flight I get on — basically every flight I take to LA — I’m riding next to Wex. Someone will say Jon Wexler’s on the flight [laughs], we just run into each other all the time. Like we’re tight though, he’s great, and he’s such a music fan! That’s something that I’ve always respected about Wex, is that he’s very, very aware of all types of artists. Not just hip-hop, he’s into everything. A lot of people don’t know that about him, but he’s from Chicago. The dude came up in one of the meccas of music, you know? And he’s punk rock. I love following him on Instagram because he just gets so many shoes.

Yeah, I get it you got a lot of shoes man! But no, he get’s everything. That’s what’s so exciting about him, is that he still genuinely gets stoked. He’s hyped up on everything he does and genuinely enjoys it and loves it.

That’s just one of the things that comes along with living in Portland. You have Nike in Beaverton, Adidas in Portland, kind of everything is just centered here so I have a lot more access now. It’s something that I really didn’t think about for a long time when I first came down, mostly cause I couldn’t afford anything! We started touring because we realized you could play shows for gas money. Like, if we get to the next city, we’re good! We’re gonna thrift shop! We’re gonna be at Goodwill and we’re gonna wear Chucks or whatever shoes we can get our hands on. But as we’ve come into the last eight years or so I’ve gotten back into the culture, kind of out of necessity. Just ’cause there’s like a practicality to what we do.


Portugal. The Man, by Maclay Heriot.

Nice Kicks: Do you ever find yourself inspired by anything outside of music?

John Gourley: Yeah definitely. Style, for sure. My love for streetwear for instance comes from watching movies, just growing up and watching a lot of films. I grew up in a place where it was cold all day long in the winter and dark all day long, I would watch three movies a day most days. That’s where my sense of style sort of comes from; basically watching a stylized version of reality, throughout my entire childhood. The style that was in the movies or in the music videos, that was the style that I was exposing myself to and being attracted towards.

Art for sure. Sneakers— people like Wex! There are just really inspiring people that we get to be around. There’s all kinds of things that inspire you in different ways. I like the sense of community, that’s what makes you want to come write music.

Or watching the Trailblazers, seeing how Dame runs the team and takes charge. It’s seeing that sense of community in different things outside of music, and seeing that style in things outside of music. If I were just following rock ‘n roll, I’d be wearing a leather jacket [laughs] and have a cool haircut. But that’s not rock ‘n roll to me. The Trailblazers are rock ‘n roll to me. Plenty of painters; Cleon Peterson is rock ‘n roll to me. Virgil man! Wex. These dudes are all punk. It’s just real.

Keep up with John and Portugal. The Man via Instagram and be sure to tune into the Grammy Awards come February!

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Dec 18, 2017
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Celebrity Sneaker Stalker // The Best of Kobe Bryant Off-Court

A hero on the hardwood, a rebel on the red carpet, Kobe Bryant has rocked with the best of them both on and off the court.

Well versed in retros and a company man for his signatures lines with both sponsors, see what Bean sported when he wasn’t getting buckets in this special edition of Celebrity Sneaker Stalker.


Kobe Bryant in the adidas Pro Model

Kobe Bryant in the adidas The Kobe 1 “Sunshine” (photo via Sole Collector)

Kobe Bryant in the adidas The Kobe II “Eggplant”

Kobe Bryant in the Converse Weapon

Kobe Bryant in the Air Jordan 3 “Fire Red”
Kobe Bryant poses by DeLorean DMC-12 in the Nike Hyperdunk "McFly"
Kobe Bryant in the Nike Hyperdunk “McFly”

Kobe Bryant in the Nike Air Yeezy 1

Kobe Bryant in the Air Jordan 5 Fusion “Grape”

Kobe Bryant in the Air Jordan 4 “Fire Red”

Kobe Bryant in the Nike Zoom Kobe V “Chaos”

Kobe Bryant in the Nike Air Huarache Trainer (photo via Sneaker Bar Detroit)

Kobe Bryant in the NikeLab Air Flight 89

Kobe Bryant in the Air Jordan 13 “Flint”

Kobe Bryant in the Nike Kobe VI “3D”

Kobe Bryant in the atmos x Nike Air Max 1

Select imagery via Zimbio

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Dec 14, 2017
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My 5 // John Gourley of Portugal The Man’s Sneaker Rotation

Lead image by Maclay Heriot

Portugal. The Man is unstoppable this year. In 2017 alone, the Feel It Still group has toured the globe, broke Billboard records and even earned their first Grammy nomination along the way.

As a certified rockstar holding it down for the sneaker community, the band’s frontman John Gourley has developed a personal style that is rather unique. Whether he’s taking his daughter to school in his Yeezy Powerphases or pulling up to the American Music Awards in a pair of then-unreleased Off-White Air Max 97s, John is consistently breaking the norms of traditional rocker-style.

Check out John’s current sneaker rotation below in our latest My 5. Also, be sure to peep the full conversation on how he came to be one of the biggest ambassadors for sneakers in rock music next week on Nice Kicks.

Nike Flyknit Racer

I got back into sneakers through shoes that were durable for me… we were playing festivals and all of these shows; I couldn’t wear my nice shoes around the festivals, so I got the Flyknit Racer.

John Gourley: It’s just the perfect tour shoe for me. I got back into sneakers again through shoes that were durable for me, shoes that you could throw in the wash because we were playing festivals and all of these shows. I couldn’t wear my nice shoes around the festivals, so I got the Flyknit Racer. That was the pivotal move back into the culture and it also was about the same time that we could start affording shoes again. [Laughs] Having left Alaska and finally being able to afford shoes, the first thing we went for was the Flyknit Racer. Honestly, it was just because it was such a great festival shoe. That shoe to me is just one of my favorite things to wear to a festival because if it’s rainy or muddy or whatever, you know, fuck it. Throw ’em in the wash.

Adidas Yeezy Powerphase Calabasas

adidas Yeezy Powerphase

John Gourley: I just kinda dig them, man. I’m a big fan of the dad shoe. [Laughs] I actually do take my daughter to school in these shoes, too. They aren’t flashy, you know, but they still have a presence and I like that.

Common Projects BBall Low

It’s a 0 shoe… yet I could wear that shoe everyday for the rest of my life and be totally chill with it. Also, you don’t have to keep them clean — that’s a status thing. I stay out of that.

John Gourley: That’s actually my go-to, everyday shoe. I like how well put together that shoe is. It’s a shoe that I could legit wear in Alaska and run around in. I actually wore it in our video for “Noise Pollution.” I’ve had that shoe for four or five years now, but it’s still the same shoe it was when I bought it! Sure they’re a little beat up. But again, if I wear them into a shop, everybody stops and says “Yo, what the fuck is up with your shoes?” That’s just cause everybody wants them to be clean. If it’s a 0 shoe, I would hope that you could wear it and have it stay together.

I kind of feel bad wearing my Off-Whites how I do, ’cause there’s so many people who can’t get them. But at the same time, I play music for a living. It just comes with the territory at this point.

The Common Projects, they may seem expensive, but I could wear that shoe everyday for the rest of my life and be totally chill with it. Also, you don’t have to keep them clean — that’s a status thing. I stay out of that.

I have so many friends who will just go buy a new pair if they get scuffed up at all. Like what! What are you doing man! They just look better, they feel better once you break ‘em in. Don’t do all this work breaking in the shoe and the second it’s scuffed you’re gonna take it out of rotation! You gotta wear ’em!

adidas Stan Smith

John Gourley: The Stan Smiths and the Flyknits, even the Ultraboosts, are just kind of comfort shoes to me. All of those shoes are like, “I can wear this and walk around all day, and chill type” of shoes. Honestly, the Stans? Those always have to be in my bag. That’s just what I hang in, so it’s probably the easiest one for me.

Off-White x Nike Air Max 97

I’m pretty sure Virgil would agree, that… you don’t wear the tag… I get it, it’s a part of the culture and like yeah… but I can’t have that tag snagging on my cables when I’m wearing it on stage [laughs]!

John Gourley: That’s a pretty amazing shoe. It’s funny, I was looking at it and I just love the 97s anyway. So out of all of The Ten collection, those were just the ones for me. And I got a lot of shit when I took the tag off of them! I know a lot of people who were like, “Yo dude you’re not supposed to— leave the tag on! You gotta leave the tag on!” I was just like, “I’m pretty sure Virgil would agree, that you don’t wear the tag.” Like the tag is not on there to be worn. I get it, it’s a part of the culture and like yeah you want to keep it pristine and keep it mint and all that stuff, keep it clean. Again it’s just not how I approach that stuff. I can’t have that tag snagging on my cables when I’m wearing it on stage! [Laughs] That’s ridiculous!

Fuck it you gotta do your own shit anyway, be your own person. I like customizing shit, too. I like to do art as well, and paint and that sort of thing — I’ll paint up a pair of shoes I don’t give a shit.


John Gourley, by Maclay Heriot.

Keep up with John Gourley and Portugal. The Man via Instagram, and be sure to tune into the Grammy’s come award time!

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