The adidas Torsion Response Lite retro came as a bit of a surprise but in no way is that a complaint. A bit of sneaky adiPRENE on the sole is a touch out of place but realistically it’s not going to do much other than make them a better shoe and it’s more about that spring-loaded lace lock (one of the few times that word is used correctly) and the tiny T’s on that branding. Having similar vibes to the utterly fantastic (and incredibly underrated) Torsion Allegra Consortium brother to the Solebox release given the impending warm weather these are on the radar. Another honourable mention needs to be given to the unusual move to re-release the Temper Run shows that the heads over at adidas have the ability to attack just about every angle of the sneaker market right now.
The back end of 2014 for the three stripes will be all about Tubular but unfortunately for people like me it wont be at all related to pumpable adidas technology, instead it will be more likely linked to that Kanye fella. Basically adidas has dubbed the sole unit seen on the cult classic Qasa (pron. Ka-sa for those not aware) with the infamous moniker and it gets the affordable treatment later this year in a few forms. In a rather oddball move it seems that the original Tubular runner upper will be put on top of the new rather un-Tubular sole. Not sure how I feel about this one but if that upper tooling is still around there’s hope that in a bit the correct sole will re-emerge on them. Given Nike’s digging up of the Huarache Light (that Ultramarine retro Size? just dropped seems to be orange than red though) I’m remaining positive.
These New Balance 980RX “Night Runners” are fantastic. The detail and finish on these things is next level and like Flyknit when it first dropped it’s nice to get hyped on something that wasn’t designed 20 years ago. Given the trend of all-black everything it’s easy to overlook a lot of stuff but these along with those Lunar Solstice Lunarglide 6s (which I funnily had cued up in iD before they released) are both solid shoes in solid colourways. It’s tricky to skirt the line between “dad’s black runners” and something genuinely interesting when playing with a palette like this on a current release but the material mix is what pushed these into the winning category. The yard stick for this class still remains the Surface 2 Air Asics Gel DS Trainer (if anyone has a US10, I need another pair as mine are dead).
The one piece upper gets fully reflective underlays (and by that I mean they are ALWAYS lit up) and the smooth mesh has some wicked carbon fibre textured overlays. It’s none of that stupid printed carbon either it’s got a sheet and depth to it reminiscent of the old days of CT discussions on Flimby’s “carbon” and “true carbon” materials being the lynchpin on whether a release would get swiftly acquired or be labelled almost there. Blessed with the (unfortunately named) Fresh Foam sole these are comfortable as all hell and a welcome addition to the rotation of shoes that most kids will not even recognise.
Denim is a funny game, I’ve never been one of those guys that buys 10 pairs of raw denim and rotates them and wears different cuts. For me it’s always been the one pair at a time, generally worn more times than appropriate ala everyone’s dad. Having spent a good three or so years on my pair of Noir Jean01 and getting them to this point means that my quest to get them into that light blue hue that seems to only exist on pre-washed denim and internet fan sites is still unobtainable. I guess that might have something to do with the fact that most of my time is spent sitting on my arse and generally lazing around instead of digging holes and other manly activities.
Luckily Pete Da Gawd rectified it by taking the new Noir Jean04 and gave it a heavy wash to really bring out the texture and character in the slubby 18oz Japanese denim. Normally the pre-faded denim route is a slippery slope, with those mass-produced knee scuffs and pocket ware meaning that unless you’re the right built it’ll look like you’re wearing jeans loaned to you by your mate with legs that are a foot longer than yours. With the focus more on bringing out the colour and character of the material it’s less of an issue and given that they’re constructed entirely in Japan these are a guaranteed winner. They should be available from UpThere tomorrow for a price that’ll probably scare most but given how much you probably spend on sneakers that you’ll wear once and then put on Ebay it’s worth it.
TSPTR (another annoying name) has been garnering a bit of interest around their S/S15 range, what is of particular interest is the inclusion of legitimate Peanuts collaborative pieces. Given the significance of bootleg Snoopy imagery during the Vietnam war it’s almost odd to see it recognised with an official sign-off. Supreme did it well a few seasons back but TSPTR pushes things a fair bit further with a full range including special-ops tiger cam. Whilst on that topic, Goodhood once again did a great job delving into the history of Peanuts and Vans ahead of their collection release.
References don’t stop there, one catching my eye is the nod to the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops aka Ghost Army; a collective of artists and hollywood minds (amongst others) that set out to decieve the German forces in WWII. Stories of blow-up tanks, fake mortar attacks and audio recordings of moving artillery add a rather charming story that I intended to use as inspiration at a later date but given these efforts and previous homages by Acapulco Gold will probably be abandoned.
Funnily enough not long after Mark Mcnairy’s newest range showed some similarities to research material I had been compiling for something inspired by Australia’s convict heritage. I’m not sure whether the WIP folders on my computer are proof of me having some form of ESP but I doubt half-assed parody tees will be big… oh wait they already are.