This past Friday, Nike launched #BETRUE, a series of shoes commemorating Pride month. The three pairs of shoes in the series are inspired by three different cities with robust gay communities: NYC, San Francisco and Portland. As each of the three cities are quite different, the pairs of shoes have their own personality, too: the New York shoe is more tailored and fashionable while the San Francisco is a bit more edgy (think black leather) while Portland is something completely different. If you want a pair of the shoes, you’ll have to make a pilgrimage to one of these three cities pick them up; each is only sold in its respective city.
While the designs of the shoes are pretty slick (you can see a video of some sort of launch party where the shoes’ designer, Shawn Ormsby, is introduced and says a sentence about the shoes) the #BETRUE shoes are just one aspect of Nike’s commitment to visibility and Pride. On the same day that the shoes launched, Nike hosted the first global summit focused on eliminating anti-LGBT discrimination from sports. That’s a pretty big step in the right direction.
P.S. The #BETRUE slogan is not new for Nike. Sans hashtag Be True was the original Nike Dunks campaign slogan in 1985, the first time team colors were used in collegiate footwear.
I would never dare to say that I’m some kind of expert on shoes, but I know when they catch my eye. Take the Y-3 Sly from Yohij Yamamato, which aren’t a show or a sandal, they’re a shandal. Now think outside the box with me a for a bit on this one. We rarely see a new type of footwear appear, unless it’s some sort of horrible anomaly like the Shape-Up. So I think it’s exciting that Yohji has managed to craft something that’s just slightly off from the norm, that’s not quite a full show but neither a sandal.
It seems to me like it’s a pretty high tech looking shoe. I’m not sure if just anyone could rock these, but I’d certainly be willing to try. I don’t wear socks anyhow, so this actually might be better for me. Though at around $300, I’m not sure I’d be willing to try.
Over the last few months I’ve become a big fan of Tom Sachs. If you’re not familiar you could describe him as an artist, a jack-of-all-trades, a thinker and a dreamer. You could also read his Wikipedia page to get the full rundown, it’s a good read. Tomorrow night he’s opening up a show called SPACE PROGRAM: MARS which seems pretty rad.
Artist Tom Sachs takes his SPACE PROGRAM to the next level with a four week mission to Mars that recasts the 55,000 square foot Wade Thompson Drill Hall as an immersive space odyssey with an installation of dynamic and meticulously crafted sculptures. Using his signature bricolage technique and simple materials that comprise the daily surrounds of his New York studio, Sachs engineers the component parts of the mission—exploratory vehicles, mission control, launch platforms, suiting stations, special effects, recreational amenities, and Mars landscape—exposing as much the process of their making as the complexities of the culture they reference.
At the same time he’s got this amazing collaboration with Nike called Tom Sachs: NIKECraft. The collab features an eclectic range of products – The Mars Yard Shoe, the Trench, The Marsfly Jacket, and the Lightweight Tote.
Nike design and Sachs applied materials that have never been used in sportswear, taken from automotive air bags, mainsails for boats and the space suit itself. Each piece is packed with functionality that would prove useful in the voyage through space. Zipper pulls that double as storage containers, paracord that can be fashioned as a tourniquet and embellishments like the periodic table of elements screened on the inside of a jacket – they all merge visual interest with purpose.
To say I want this whole collection would be an understatement. How cool would it be to walk around in space shoes?
When I think about footwear technology, I really don’t think of any other brands than Nike. Reebok is doing that bizarre toothpaste squiggle which looks horrible, and other then that I draw a blank. Then I came across these new shoes from Adidas adiPure line simply called Adapt. They strike upon the newfound success of the barefoot run, trying to better simulate running without shoes on like our cavemen forefathers did.
The Adapt are extremely simple looking, mostly an upper piece with a firm but flexible sole. I think they look really cool, I’d totally want to try a pair of these on. My biggest beef with running shoes is that they’re too sturdy and structured. I’m glad to see Adidas get into the technology side of footwear, hopefully this starts driving more competition in the market.
To promote Nike Free Run+ they’ve released this super cute video of two star crossed lovers who are going to run across the United States to see each other. Problem is, the man isn’t in quite the same shape as the woman is, and hilarity ensues.
I like that they took this super cheesy idea of doing anything for love and and brought some reality and humor to it. The commercial certainly hits you at the core, emotional feeling at the end as well, which I was surprised it did. It’s also worth mentioning that the two most popular commentd on this video are “running does lead to sex?” and “how do i make her my wife??” I think the commercial has done it’s job.
As a kid I always wanted to be Marty McFly. He could play guitar. He drove a Delorean. He had some mean skateboard skills. He was clumsy and his pride got the best of him. But at 88 miles an hour he could travel through time.
And he got the coolest shoes never made.
In Back to the Future II, Doc and Marty go to 2015. In the process, Marty found the greatest shoes ever made. And in 1989, they were the hottest shoe that no one could have. Two years ago, Nike created 350 McFly Hyperdunks to satisfy the demand for the futuristic high tops. On Ebay, you will be lucky if you get them for a couple thousand USD. They are pretty sweet but not quite the perfect copy.
Now Nike has put out the MAG: the recreation of the coolest shoe ever. Although they lack the power laces, these might just be the coolest shoes of all time. The outer sole has rechargeable LED panels so you can always stay lit up. The Nike logo on the front strap stays lit up too. All proceeds from the eBay auctions will go to the Michael J. Fox Foundation to help eliminate Parkinson’s Disease. Google founder Sergey Brin will match all donations as well.
Buy them here if you want to have the ultimate talking point on the planet. Go ahead. Blow your savings. Or tell your significant other to prove their love to you.
If you’ve not heard of Tinker Hatfield, you’re sorely missing out. Tinker Hatfield was originally hired by Nike as their corporate architect in 1981, designing showrooms and stores. But then in 1985 he was asked to start designing shoes, realizing that designing shoes was going to be a big deal in the near future. He was responsible for designing the Air Max 1, probably one of the most well known shoes with it’s clear window, back in 1987. To me, the guy is a visionary, he’s helped shape the way we look at athletic shoes. He also seems like the nicest guy on earth, someone I’d want to grab a beer with and pick his brain about design. Here’s my favorite quote from the video, which I think is nice:
“When you sit down to design something, it can be anything, a car, a toaster, a house, a tall building or a shoe, what you draw or what you design is really a culmination of everything that you’ve seen and done in your life previous to that point.”