I LOVE the Eire. The tribute to Ireland concept, the color scheme being that of the flag of Ireland, and the harp (the symbol of Ireland). Well done and well done not being overdone.
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October 3, 2012 BY Brendan Dunne / 4
10. Air Jordan IV ‘White/Cement’
How impossible must it have seemed to top the Air Jordan III when Tinker and co. went back to the drawing board for this one? And yet they ended up with a shoe every bit as timeless, refusing to rest on their laurels and make elephant print a recurring theme, slapping cement on there instead and breaking the mold once again. Not to mention the classic Buggin’ Out moment from Do the Right Thing.
While all of the OG colorways obviously have their spot in history the white pair pictured will always be my favorite, sporting the all important speckled sections that managed to do so much for a sneaker that was otherwise pretty plain in terms of color. Not my favorite Air Jordan of all time but definitely pretty high up there and definitely deserving of this spot.
9. Air Jordan III ‘White/Cement’
There aren’t too many white shoes that really do it for me, but how can you say no to this one? While they might not have as long a lifespan potential as some other Air Jordan III colorways thanks to that impeccably clean look I definitely think they look better right of out the box. When this colorway came back around last year I remember heading out to mall in the early morning to grab them and being impossibly tired but still unable to resist lacing them up immediately before heading back to bed, with the crispy white colorway being too much for me to put down.
It feels weird not to rank a sneaker that so perfectly embodies the word ‘fresh’ higher, but it’s that status that kind of holds them back for me at this point. I know that at the end of the day I probably wear these a lot less than some of the other sneakers on this list, which I suppose is sorta the gift and the curse of that brilliant white facade.
8. New Balance 1300 ‘Steel Blue’
OK so New Balance doesn’t have those eye popping Neon or Infrared shades splashed across its catalog of retro runners. What it does have those is the ‘Steel Blue’ New Balance 1300, a model that manages to convey that notion of an instantly recognizable colorway in a distinctly NB way. It just feels so in line with the smart and subdued lines of their big-N releases to have no doubt the most memorable of pairs not be hinged on some pastel 90s-nostalgia invoking(evoking?) shade, but on a grey a bit deeper than their usual silvery fare and some chilly blue sections to send them overboard.
Overall the New Balance 1300 manages to swerve around the typical retro runner look mentioned above and I don’t even really know how. Maybe its the straightforward platform on the bottom, no frills and not too chunky. Or maybe its those generous mesh sections that break up the lines of the sneaker. Whatever it is I love it, and the New Balance 1300 sporting this particular is hands down my favorite as far as the big-N pairs go, although not quite the top of the heap in general New Balance terms as you’ll see soon enough.
7. Air Max 95 ‘Neon’
I think one of the main reasons why I find this sneaker so awesome is the subtle approach as far as blocking in the OG greydient style colorways. That’s not to take anything away from Sergio Lozano’s killer human anatomy inspired design, but as you can see I’m a sucker for a grey sneaker and this has gotta be hands down one of the best. The way that neon tone is applied with such a level of restraint just makes the spots where it does appear jump out at you that much more. That awesome logo on the tongue. The tiny side Swoosh. The lacing system. And of course those chunky bubbles jumping out from the bottom bits of the sneaker.
The Air Max 95 ‘Neon’ is to me one of the best examples of Nike being able to whip up these palettes that have since become some timeless and iconic. And they did so with the namesake color not even being the most prevalent one on the sneaker. I feel like modern releases can sort of go overboard in that realm, with the whole ‘Volt’ thing or that distinct ‘South Beach’ style blue really being all up in the consumer’s face, whereas the Nike Air Max 95 sort of let it play the background and quietly become one of the most revered schemes of all time.
6. Nike Air Max 1 ‘Sport Red’
Another one of those must-include silos for me that has already been the subject of endless Tinker Hatfield centric lip service on this site and others. And after all these, years no matter how many times different folks both inside and outside of Nike do their best to build on that immediately head turning sport red colorway it still seems like it just can’t be done. The whole idea of the Nike Air Max 1 still seems crazy to this day, the notion of just totally exposing the guts with that all important window on the back end.
This shoe was actually born before me so I can’t sit here and pretend like I have OG’s upon OG’s tucked away, but I love it nonetheless for the footwear revolution that it precluded out in Beaverton, as marked by the air bag first bouncing off the track in slow-mo in the classic Weiden+Kennedy campaign of the same name. An amazing shoe from an amazing year for Nike that I’m pretty sure I’ll never tire of.
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