After a crazy Memorial Day weekend of releases last week, this week initially looked to be a bit of a snoozer, in terms of impact drops. Boy, was I wrong about that…
As with last week’s “Top 5 Sneaker Releases”, this week is filled with drops from our friends at Beaverton (with a sleeper from a German rival). There were several dope releases this week – some hyped, some not – but only 5 could make the cut, which made this a laborious ordeal (as always). Let’s get into it…
5. Nike Air Max ’95 EM “Sunset”
In the fifth spot this week, we have the Nike Air Max ’95 EM “Sunset”, part of the Air Max EM “Sunset” Pack that Nike released this weekend. Using a Sneaker Hunt/Contest set in NYC and San Francisco, with the help of two of those cities’ biggest stars (Amare Stoudamire and Colin Kaepernick, respectively), to drum up anticipation and publicity for this release seemed to be a stroke of genius, although it doesn’t appear to have helped in regards to sales, as the shoes are still readily available at Nike.com (that’s a good thing, btw, as it means you still have a chance to cop!). It was hard to pick just one of the shoes in the sunset-inspired pack, but alas, it’s a “Top 5 Sneakers” list, not a “Top 5 Packs” list, and the Air Max ’95 EM stood out to me the most.
4. Nike Lunar Force 1 “Sheed”
Number 4 on the list is a new take on a semi-old school classic, the Nike Lunar Force 1 “Sheed”. For those of you young bucks not familiar with ‘Sheed, aka Rasheed Wallace, the newly-retired (again) power forward was a beast in his heyday, a force to be reckoned with, both with his game and his mouth. The tech-magnet known as ‘Sheed loved to hoop in Uptowns (aka Nike Air Force 1 Highs), so much so that Nike eventually rewarded his loyalty with his own version of the shoe, which featured an awesome logo on the side-heel area of Wallace busting a fadeaway jumper on some unseen sucker. Several colorways had been released of the Nike Air Force 1 “Sheed” in the 2000′s, and Nike continued that tradition this year, albeit in a slightly different way. The Nike Lunar Force 1 “Sheed” puts that ‘Sheed touch on the updated version of the classic AF1, featuring two Knicks-inspired colorways to honor the team ‘Sheed played for this past season, before retiring for what seems to be the last time. My pick for the the Top 5 is the dope “Away” version, featuring a black/orange/blue colorway. These shoes were extremely limited, released only at 21 Mercer, Nike’s NYC flagship store, so count yourself blessed if you were able to scoop a pair.
3. FTC x Nike SB Dunk Low “Finally”
At the middle of the list, in the Number 3 spot, is the collaboration between Cali-based skate shop FTC and Nike SB, the Nike SB Dunk Low “Finally”. The lush creation, featuring a plum/burgundy/cream/navy upper, was made to honor the 20 year anniversary of the iconic skate video that is the shoe’s namesake. The shoe features odd icons drawn by none other than Del the Funky Homosapien, a dope touch considering he created the original artwork for the “Finally” video’s cover 20 years earlier. A limited edition version of the shoe released last week at FTC’s locations across California, while a QS version (essentially the same release, sans special edition insoles) released at skate shops across the country this weekend. A shoe that is sure to sell out quickly, be sure to hit up your local skate shop ASAP if you plan on grabbing a pair. Skater or not, this pair would make an ill addition to any sneakerhead’s collection.
2. Damian Lillard x adidas Real Deal “Rookie of The Year”
Coming in at the Number 2 spot is one of the dopest adidas releases in years, in my opinion. Created to commemorate Damian Lillard’s win as the 2013 NBA Rookie of The Year, the Damian Lillard x adidas Real Deal “Rookie of The Year” is a shoe that honors Lillard’s amazing achievement, while showing love to various things important to the Blazers’ PG. The shoe features sick detailing, the likes of which have been seen on very few releases this year (if any); the coloring of the upper shows love to the various places Lillard made his name as a hoops prodigy by using their team colors – red for Oakland High, purple for Weber St., and black for his current NBA home, the Portland Trail Blazers; icons and lettering – like the “hands throwing up wings” logo on the upper, which represents his crew, the “Fly Guyz” – give props to his home and family. Going with the adidas Real Deal, Antoine Walker’s old shoe-of-choice, was a bit odd, considering Lillard mainly wore the adidas Rose 3.5 this season, but regardless, they knocked this one out the park. After releasing in very limited quantities last week, Shoe Palace ended up releasing an extremely small amount on Saturday morning at several locations across California, as well as online. If you were lucky enough to scoop a pair, consider yourself blessed!
1. Nike LeBron X “MVP”
At the Number 1 spot, we have a bizarre-yet-dope creation, yet another Nike that utilizes the “What The ?” theme started with the 2007 Nike SB Dunk Low “What The Dunk?”: the Nike LeBron X “MVP”. Featuring several design features taken from various LeBron X releases, the results are a hodgepodge of colors and patterns, with the left shoe and right shoe featuring totally different designs and colors, like the handful of other “What The?” creations we’ve seen in the past. It still baffles me that something that throws together a bunch of colors and designs, with seemingly little-to-no concern of how they match each other, can end up looking as cool as the “What The?” shoes usually do. Granted, these types of shoes are about as “hit or miss” as it gets; you either truly love or hate these kicks. But, when you think about it, that tends to be the case with most of the all-time greats, for whatever that’s worth… Take a crazy design and throw it on an uber-popular signature model, then make that shoe super-limited, and here’s what you get: one of the most hyped releases of the year.
Regardless of hype, this shoe is truly my favorite release of the week, which is why the LeBron X “MVP” takes the Number 1 spot. You might disagree with me, but this isn’t “Your Top 5″, pal; it’s mine. I make these choices based on my opinions and what I like, point blank period. It’s ok if you agree or disagree, but I’m gonna do me regardless. As should you. Thanks for tuning in this week, and make sure to stop by next week for another edition of “Top 5 Sneaker Releases This Week”! Let me know what you think of my picks this week in the comments below. Agree? Disagree? What should’ve made the list? Sound off below. And please, be safe and be smart with your sneaker purchases this week. See you next time!