Sneaker Freaker’s retro’d Blaze Of Glory seems like a waste of a great opportunity. The two names could work together in celebration of 5 years since their Blaze of Glory but instead we get the same shoe. That’s not to say that these shoes themselves are no good, it’s more the notion that five years later it looks like someone at Puma has said “well Sneaker Freaker seems to be doing well, and that BOG we did with them was pretty nice so let’s do it again”. Instead of allowing the magazine to rework the shoe even in a different way, they have simply re-released it with some minor details altered. What it serves to do is basically make both parties look lazy and gives the whole venture a wiff of “fast money” but that might just be me. Whining aside I’m actually pretty stoked, this was one of the better collaborative releases and the comfort of the Trinomic sole is pretty amazing. The chance to grab some new pairs isn’t something to be hated on, although I do wish the metal aglets would’ve got the flick as you get sick of the shoe constantly un-tying itself rather quickly.
Generally speaking though when it comes to sneakers, rehashing an idea very solemnly works. Immediate examples include Jeff Staple’s ongoing “all Pigeon everything” campaign, which seem to lack the initial impact and cohesiveness of the SB. Solebox nailed it right off the bat with their first ever New Balance 1500, but the subsequent “Finals” version 5 years later fell short because of the changes to the model and UK factory’s quality standards. The same fate could be written for Crooked Tongues’ re-appropriation of their 576 colourways onto the 1500 as well. Maybe the fact that these aren’t trying to be anything but a retro of a collaboration from 5 years ago will work as an advantage, the notion of re-releasing a shoe to a whole new crowd is a galant one and on Sneaker Freaker’s part it shows a fair bit of confidence in their initial design (and rightfully so). It’s funny to think back about this shoe’s initial release and the European gents drawing parallels with the Huarache Light and basically accusing people of weak design chops. Today it remains one of the most unique and ballsy projects going.
At the same time; Supreme is going hard in the public eye, people are complaining about not being able to get it in Australia, kids are talking about $1000 Visvim shoes and obscure Japanese fabrics, Air Max 1s are in high demand and the world is freaking out about a shoe designed by Kanye West with line-ups being prevalent for any release that has a name attached to it. I feel like we’ve just gone full circle and have returned back to where we were in 2008, in which case maybe Puma knows exactly what they’re doing and I’m a complete fool for questioning them.
I wonder if in five years from now we’ll start seeing some Ronnie Fieg releases getting a re-release. In the meantime I regret not picking up the early David Z Asics from years back when they were all on clearance shelves. Now they’re someone’s grail… I wonder what those Alife ones sell for now.