Eyes might be on the prize— “holiday season” —but we still have one more week to enjoy the serenity that precedes the madness of the upcoming festivities. Halloween just happened, so we must first point out the skeletal Air Force 1 from Nike that’s a thrill-themed option, if you’re into that kind of thing. The rest of the weekend features highlights like a satin Jordan V in familiar colors, the newest Kith x Adidas shoes (a recognizable upper on a new sole), and five pairs of Royales from Greats. Add all that together with a bold take on the Air Max 270 Bowfin from Nike, and collaborations with NASA and Beavis and Butt-Head, and it makes for a pretty wild week in sneakers.
We’re suckers for themed shoes and this pair of Air Force 1s raised the bar when it comes to Halloween kicks. The iconic white uptown Air Force 1 Low is left intact with one major addition: a glow-in-the-dark skeleton foot has been added to the lateral side of each sneaker. This is not your dad’s black and orange holiday themed pair, this is next level, and will continue to be wearable well after the holiday. Unfortunately (and unsurprisingly), the shoes have already sold out on Nike.com, but check your local boutiques as the week progresses to snatch up passed over pairs.
Finally! Ever since Nike introduced the Air Max 270 Bowfin, they’ve teased us with this Atomic Violet colorway that elevates the silhouette to a whole new level. There’s a lot that makes this shoe unique, but it’s the complexities that you’ll notice first. Whether it’s the textured sole, the ribbon lacing system (with the lace locked laces), the exterior tongue that’s held in place by straps, or the variety of textures… it’s a lot. But rather than trying to muddy the complexities, this combination of black, white, pink, yellow, and purple highlight them to let the shoe be the best version of itself. And it really is the best version.
Our favorite sneaker from Greats, the Royale, hits in two different versions this week and you shouldn’t miss either of them. First: the classics. Stone white leather creates the upper for a Royale and a Royale High, placed on white soles. This off-white shade is a closet staple and something everyone should have a version of. Unlike pure white, it ages elegantly, so you don’t have to worry about the dirt and grime that sneakers invariably accumulate. The shoes are have a natural patina, too. Plus, they feel a little more sophisticated than a fresh, bright white pair ready for P.E.
The only thing that could make a favorite pair of sneakers better is a gum sole. Three different versions of the Royale appear with gum soles: black and red in the low and olive green in the high. Every gum sole is a reference to the very beginning of footwear when rubber was the only option for flexible bounce, but as the industry has evolved, it’s a look that forces reminiscence and the same passion that started many sneakerheads on this journey. The black and olive will wear amazing through the fall, and the red works into the holidays.
Adidas’ Continental 80 is a new fan favorite, thanks in large part to its retro look and affordability. This week sees four new colorways release, and each one is a great option to expand your sneaker collection—especially with some of these colors rarely seen in sneakers. The most obvious colors are the gray and navy. Each sit on a bright white sole with the typical red and blue ribbon extending from the throat of the sneaker to the toe. Adidas mixes it up is with the (rare) pale yellow pair on a white sole, and the burgundy pair that features a gum outsole. Plus, at this price, there aren’t many excuses to pass these by.
The third incarnation of Ronnie Fieg’s now-familiar texture on his Adidas collaborations appears this week on top of the amazing 4D sole technology. Why has Kith used similar materials across all these pairs? Ronnie says it gives us the opportunity to recognize the other changes in the shoes; each collaboration used different Adidas tech, while the upper has remained largely consistent. The 4D sole becomes the star in this version, a technology that easily takes center stage. 20,000 struts have been carefully calibrated to work individually and together to support the unique needs of each area of the foot. If you haven’t nabbed a pair of 4D kicks yet, know that the price tag is worth it.
The puns write themselves, so we’ll just stick to one: If you’re looking to take one giant step for mankind, you couldn’t do any better being laced up in this NASA x Vans collaboration. Two pairs of Old Skools and two pairs of Sk8-His celebrate the legacy and technology of our space program. Each pair features a ribbed vulcanized sole, a call back to the moon boots worn by astronauts. Each individual pair makes specific references, too. Whether it’s the mission patches on the Sk8-His with exposed padding (like in the spacecraft), or the white and orange colors of the Old Skools (like on space suits), the collection is a thrilling homage for an agency that deserves more love.
AIR JORDAN 1 “PSG”
The PSG Jordan Vs that released a few weeks ago stole the show. They were bold and hard to get—a combination that always sends sneakerheads scrambling. But this week, the more subtle Jordan 1 that’s releasing offers a look we prefer for most sneaker fans. The uppers are flat black with a combination of nubuck, leather, and woven textile, offering textural shifts across the entire shoe. The black continues on the outsole with a break of white in the midsole. The element that makes the sneakers unique is the black, white, and red stripes on the tongue tag, which also appear on the midsole at the heel. Again, these won’t be breaking any necks, but those who know will know. And that’s our favorite kind of stunt.
AIR JORDAN 5 SATIN “BRED”
The Black and Red combination from Jordan Brand was cemented when Jordan was first barred by the NBA from wearing sneakers in that color combination on court. That moment turned into a piece of mythos that the industry never let go. Now the color combination returns to the Air Jordan V, which we’ve seen before, but this time, it’s done entirely in satin. Satin is a material rarely seen on athletic shoes; it’s not the most resilient material. But the blend of athletics and delicacy creates a tension that is magnetic. It is a bold look and a fantastic execution.
Today in collaborations we never expected: Adidas teamed up with Beavis and Butt-Head to commemorate the MTV classic animated series from the ’90s (with a short resurgence in the last decade). The titular characters appear on the tongue tags of the 3MC skate sneaker, but most of the shoes are dominated by a unique print that celebrates Beavis and Butt-Head‘s complex relationship with fast food. Burger World burgers, fries, and drinks cover the print with the familiar mice and nachos, all together on a black textile to complete the look. Cue the nostalgia.