2018年06月14日

Q4 Sports Nforcer Performance Review

Today I’m sharing my Q4 Sports Nforcer Performance Review with you all, and spoiler alert: Q4 Sports is one up-and-coming brand that you should keep your eye on.


The traction on each of Q4’s models is simple: herringbone, maybe a pivot point, and an outrigger. No frills, no gimmicks, just a pattern that’s been proven to work and an outsole durable enough to last.


While the adidas nmd NForcer was tested indoors and outdoors, we’re constantly asked what shoe can withstand the blacktop without the outsole grinding down to nothing in a matter of weeks. If you forgot to put an asterisk with the question along with “what *Nike shoe” then you’ll want to keep looking.


Believe it or not, the cushion on the NForcer is the shoe’s standout feature. Yes, new brands can have great cushioning. Just look at Under Armour…early Under Armour, the Micro G days.


Q4 Sports uses a foam that it calls KOMpress for the midsole. It’s a open celled foam in certain areas for rebound and tightly celled foam in others for court feel. The bounce I’ve received from this setup has been awesome. I’d say it’s the brand’s most comfortable tooling setup other than what’s featured on the Millennium Hi model.


I’ve been using the model outdoors since testing them indoors and I am in love with the cushion for the blacktop. The feedback I received from the foam along with its low profile forefoot make for a really fun ride.


Materials on the Q4 Sports NForcer are slightly dated. Like the recent And1 Attack Low, the build of the shoe seems more like something you’d have found on a basketball shoe back in 2008. The toebox does utilize a thin knit at the toe, but its backed with a thin TPU fuse material (as are the overlays).


Luckily, the fuse used is thin enough to make breaking in the shoe a breeze while the material is still able to retain its shape and strength. There are many types of fuse materials that vary between thickness, hardness, resiliency, etc., and Q4 Sports uses a variety of options on each of its models. If I were to compare this fuse material to a shoe I’ve worn in the past then it would have to be the SkinFuse from the NIKE KOBE 1 PROTRO. It’s just about as thin and moves just as well with the foot. The fit isn’t the same as the two models are built on different lasts but the feel and performance of the material is very similar.


While Q4’s models don’t all fit the same, I recommend going true to size if you’re looking at the NForcer. Wide footers might be able to get away with going true to size, but some very widerfooters may want to go up 1/2 size.


Lockdown in the shoe is pretty standard. The Q4 Sports Nforcer fits nicely from the midfoot to the collar and when laced up tight you don’t feel any slippage or dead space. Much like the outsole, there’s nothing fancy to see here — nothing special or extraordinary, just something that works and works well.


Materials are one area where I wasn’t feeling 100%, and support is the other. While the support on the Q4 Sports NForcer relies on its lockdown, fit, and ability to move one-to-one with your foot, it would have been nice to see the support pieces in place be a bit more sturdy.


The heel counter was my main concern. I never felt like I was going to roll over the footbed at any time, but a strong heel counter goes a long way. The Nforcer’s torsional plate could have used a bit more rigidity as well. Although, Q4’s product description reads “T.S.S./26 midfoot shank technology that “moves when you move” for optimal motion and fit” — which it does. When you’re locked into the shoe and onto the footbed you never feel like the midfoot torsion is lacking. It’s noticeable in-hand but not on-foot.


Overall, I really enjoy the Q4 Sports NForcer. I still feel the Millennium Hi is the brand’s most well-rounded performer, but I also think that that will change with the upcoming PE Collection.


When I tested the Q4 495 Lo I had enjoyed the materials and build but felt the tooling and outsole could use an upgrade. I was surprised that the NForcer, a shoe that retails for a $10 less than the 495 Lo, offered a better cushion and traction setup. I thought that it would be awesome to see the two areas of each model combined to make one really solid sneaker and sure enough the brand seems to have been on the same page — and no, I never brought it to Q4’s attention. This was purely coincidence.


Because of this, I’m very excited to play in one of the upcoming 495 Lo PE’s. It should offer the bouncy cushion setup and grip from the NForcer but the smoother feeling knit build of the 495 — in low top form, which is a big plus for me.


I feel Q4 Sports is still very much slept on. The brand is still very new to the market so that isn’t a surprise to me, but I hope that people will be willing to give it a try. Like most shoes that are overlooked because they’re missing a Swoosh/Jumpman emblem, the Q4 Sports NForcer just might surprise you.


However, if you’re truly into performance and the brand really doesn’t matter more than your dollar then look no further. Again, the Yeezy v2 350 was tested indoors, and it works well so long as there isn’t too much dust, but outdoors the rubber bites and it bites hard. Unlike outsoles from plenty of other brands that we test, there are no signs of rubber fraying or wear. For a shoe that retails for just $100, your dollar will go a long way.

  


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2018年06月08日

adidas Parley Ultra Boost Perforamnce Reviews



I have a love/hate relationship with Adidas trainers.

I LOVE (like have run 6 marathons) in the Ultra Boost and currently have 5 pairs on rotation – the older pairs get given to friends and recycled. However, I haven’t got on too well with their Pure Boost X or Ultra Boost X – these are the trainers they’ve developed specifically for women (click on the links to read my reviews).

I was recently sent the Parley Ultra Boost, and couldn’t wait to test them. I love the concept behind the trainers, utilising marine plastic pollution and recycled material to create the shoes. Each pair’s upper is made from 95% waste plastic dredged from the oceans around the Maldives – recycling 11 plastic bottles, plus the rest of the shoe including lining, laces and the heel is made from recycled material.

The Adidas yeezy collection was made in partnership with Parley for the Oceans, to address the millions of pounds of plastic currently polluting our waters (records suggest that there’s currently 40 million pounds in the North West Pacific alone). There have been five huge vortexes of debris formed, these slow moving whirlpools affecting marine life worldwide, not to mention the rubbish that washes ashore.

Parley are promoting for us to Avoid using plastic bags and products with micro beads, reducing the influx of virgin plastic into the supply chain, Intercept plastic marine debris before it gets into our oceans, and to Redesign our views on eco/recycled material, inventing new methods and mindsets for the future.







The quick review is that these trainers fell somewhere in the middle…

Lets start with the part I love;

  • As mentioned above, I really appreciate that they’re made out of recycled plastic, and that Adidas are helping to bring attention to the plastic problem in our oceans.

  • I’m a massive fan of the Boost technology sole. I think it’s really responsive, very bouncy and perfect for road running, esp for neutral runners.

  • They’re really lightweight, perfect for travelling and for running fast!

  • All Adidas Boost use Continental Rubber on the soles (the same as the tyres), to increase grip and stability on both wet and dry surfaces.

  • They look gorgeous…. come on, gone are the days where all we cared about was function from our running shoes!






I don’t love;

  • How tight the upper is across my foot. I never know whether to wear socks with these style of knit shoes, but as someone with quite wide feet, I find the shoes very tight and a little uncomfortable for runs over 30 mins. I go up a full size in Adidas shoes, so wear a 6.5 in these and they’re still a little snug.

  • The back comes up quite high – above ankle socks – and rubbed my ankles to the point of bleeding (major sad face). I found this a major problem with the Pure Boost X – perhaps it’s more to do with my foot shape and running style than the design? Apparently it’s been designed to keep the heel in place and reduce wobble and lifting out of the shoe while you run.




Have you ever tried Adidas NMD Boost ? Love them? Hate them?  


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2018年06月07日

adidas Pure Boost Performance Reviews

I haven’t done a shoe review for a while, but I couldn’t not let you guys know exactly what I think about these well publicised new Adidas Pure boost. These little beauty’s have been all over Instagram & Facebook as well as print media. You’ve probably seen them- they’re bright pink and blue, and have a floating arch…they’re hard to miss. They also have a rather gorgeous black pair, and a white/grey pair, plus a Stella McCartney for Adidas hi print pair.


Adidas-Pure-Boost-X


Let me give you a bit of background first, these women specific shoes have taken 3 years and 100 prototypes to come to market, from original brainstorming to actual conception. As I’ve mentioned they have a floating arch, basically a hole between the shoe upper and the sole which feels pretty snug and looks cool. Women’s running style is a little different to men’s, with more flexible ligaments, a greater angle is created in the arch of the foot than in men. The infamous floating arch provides a sock like ‘hug’ and supports the arch in a way that other Boosts don’t.


RunnerBeans_31Jan_Final_009-1024x683


They are amazingly light, and feel very cushioned (as all Boost are with the brilliant Boost technology). They’re a neutral shoe but even still feel like they’re more minimalist and less supportive than the Boost and Ultra Boost. Personally I wouldn’t be able to run more than 3-5 miles in them, and Adidas themselves recommend building up the mileage slowly in them. By the end of a 5 miler I could really feel the ache in my feet!


RunnerBeans_31Jan_Final_006-1024x683


Let me warn you, the shoes come up SMALL! I usually wear a side 5.5-6, I’ve got a pair of 6.5 UK and my right toe is right up at the top of the shoe and I wish I’d chosen a 7.


The front and the sides of the shoes are really bouncy and comfortable however the back comes up rather high in my opinion and rubbed my ankles when I was wearing ankle socks, and I know I’m not the only one they felt this way; a few people had a blister before leaving the press event.


RunnerBeans_31Jan_Final_002-1024x683


Nonetheless, with high enough socks the shoes are very comfortable, and so lightweight that you can almost forget you’re wearing them. They were perfect for my 1Rebel workouts this week, as well as my strength and conditioning PT session- apparently you could literally see my foot wobbling within the shoe whilst I tried to balance doing TRX lunges. These will become a firm favourite for treadmill workouts, HIIT style classes and definitely during Barry’s Hell Week but unfortunately they just aren’t supportive enough for training runs for me.


If you’re looking for a half or full marathon training shoe, these are not the ones, however they’re brilliantly light for gymming and short runs.


Adidas Pure Boost X were released on 1st Feb and retail for £90-£150.


RunnerBeans_31Jan_Final_008-1024x683

  


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2018年06月06日

Better Air Jordan 6: “Slam Dunk” or “Cigar”

Jordan Brand has used their popular Air Jordan 6 silhouette in multiple packs as well as a few collaboration. Showcased today is the “Slam Dunk” and “Cigar” releases.

The Air Jordan 6 “Slam Dunk” rendition was a unique collaboration between Jordan Brand and Japanese artist Takehiko Inoue, creator of the Slam Dunk cartoon series. It came in an all-red upper with imagery from the 31-volumed manga series.If you look closely, the Air Jordan 6 Slam Dunk has tonal 3M red characters throughout the uppers from the magna which are subtle on the red base. The brand will also use a white midsole, translucent sole, tongue and heel tab.

From the Air Jordan 6 “Champagne and Cigar” Pack that celebrates Michael Jordan’s first championship in 1991, the year he wore the model of the shoe. Looking back at the “Cigar” colorway, this release features a Brown leather upper to mimic the look of a cigar with Metallic Gold, Maroon and Bright Red accents. Finishing of the theme was a championship ring lacelock added to each shoe.The Air Jordan 6 “Championship Cigar” features a Rich Brown leather upper with Crimson and Infrared accents, Gold lace locks, embossed heel stamp, and a cork insole. The Air Jordan 6 “Championship Champagne” features a Green patent leather upper with Gold accents and lace locks, sitting atop a Black and Gold speckled midsole finished with a translucent tongue, heel tab and outsole. Having already shared both individual and group shots of the previously mentioned duo, we’ve got another look for you all to enjoy. Whether you like to pop bottles or light one up, a cigar that is, these forthcoming offerings have both of your vices covered

Looking back at both, which would you guys consider was the better release? Cast your vote below and leave your thoughts in the comments section.  


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2018年06月05日

The adidas Ultra Boost Performance Review

When adidas first revealed their groundbreaking adidas Ultra Boost performance runner back in January ahead of its global release the following month, much of the excitement surrounding the progressive silhouette aligned intimately with its marketing campaign. adidas felt they had produced “the best running shoe ever,” a bold claim that at first mention seemed like gerrymandering in its highest form.

But what happened next would both compel and intrigue. Runners would begin to co-sign adidas’ brassy claims. It was exactly what the brand wanted to happen. I, too, was almost instantaneously overwhelmed with how well the shoe ran. But as any avid runner will insist, it’s not that first mile that counts, but the next few hundred that truly lend to the character of the shoe.

This would be the median in which I hoped to delve into such a paramount creation. How would the adidas Ultra Boost facilitate betterment after 100 miles? 200 miles? Then upwards to the 400 mile mark, where most experts suggest to replace a shoe for safety precautions. Likening the sartorially savvy shoe to car tires was where my rubber would meet the road.

Typically, if consistency extends its hand to my aid, running about 15 miles per week satisfies my appetite for cardio. That, along with a few sluggish episodes on the hardwood. The adidas Ultra Boost has pleasantly been my footwear choice for each and every run since early February until now, mid-September. And for argument’s sake, let’s say I’ve been steady in my endeavors. I’m approximately 400 miles in at present time.

Firstly, Primeknit construction is what makes it all worthwhile. Lightweight, breathable and with a unique stretching ability that allows for free motion, the shoe’s unique collar sleeve helps cradle the foot with lockdown support perfect for a runner – not too strenuous but firmly secure. Comfort is at a premium here, and that would lead to all sorts of profoundly positive revelations later on. Many of which I still have a hard time believing. And much of that – as corny as it sounds – is because the wear is so seamless the minutes, hours and miles go by like the snap of a finger.

Unlike performance basketball models, I don’t feel much like a quarterback when evaluating likeness. I’m not going through progressions with each step. Nor am I reading and assessing terrain like a field general does opposing defenses. In a more literal sense – this is a marathon, not a race. Day in and day out, I’m looking to feel good through the duration of my run and most important, after that continual and often exhaustive conditioning is done. That, for me, is where the Ultra Boost serves its greatest long-term value.

Recovery is almost absent with the Ultra Boost. The energy return uniquely makes everything easier over time. Thus, the strain on your body is far less damaging. So whether I’m moving at a lesser pace towards a greater distance, or at a faster stride for interval training, recovery, or lack there of, doesn’t change. This is huge. adidas has effectively and systematically allowed me to run longer, stronger and with less strain on my legs.

Speaking of legs; I kind of have a bum right knee. Now, I’d like to think it’s a result of savagely embarrassing my friends on the basketball court over the years, but that’s only true in my often misleading imagination. Whatever the cause, it’s been a hindrance where running is concerned. So much in fact that I’ve been relegated to running with a compression sleeve on said knee. But after a few months in the Ultra Boost, I had the genius idea to remove UNDFTD x adidas Ultra Boost .

Risking further injury, my thought was that maybe my issue wasn’t bad health but less-than-stellar running shoes and true to size fitting. And much to my surprise – although technically unproven medically – I was right. I’ve been running fine without the sleeve for months now, with no discomfort and seemingly with better posture and form.

Boost cushioning undoubtedly plays a critical role in this remarkable turnaround. Layers of buffering bolster stronger footing. Though it’s a fleeting thought, even the most graceful runner inflicts a grave measure of force on their feet with each stride. Boost cushioning turns the track, trail or treadmill into something else, something softer. Even after enduring roughly 400 miles, there is still some tread on those tires, which is really, really impressive.

In a densely populated running shoe market that orbits around singular potency, the adidas Ultra Boost set its course on a daunting vocation. Whether it was aforesaid or simply inferred by the grandiosity of the release, taking down the best of Brooks, New Balance and Saucony in one fell swoop was assuredly the mission. Did adidas accomplish what they set out to do? Absolutely. Did they make “the best running shoes ever?” Surprisingly, as grand sweeping as it may sound, yeah, they did for a large legion of fans both old and new.

I count myself among their unwavering followers in that regard. In fact, I did something I’ve only done once before, and never with a running shoe. I bought a second pair. As far as I’m concerned, any shoe that can make me do that deserves all the praise I can muster.  


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2018年06月04日

Reebok CrossFit Nano 8 Flexweave Performance Review

Reebok owns CrossFit — well, at least the CrossFit Games — and seeing what the brand thought would be a huge market (it is), Reebok partnered with the workout system early and the benefits have been amazing. Eight years later, we get the CrossFit Nano 8 Flexweave, the newest shoe built specifically for the Games. Performance review, you say? Sure, why not…

Like a hot knife through butter. No, really, the blade traction pattern in the forefoot grips everything in the gym with no issues at all (basketball Shoes designers should take note). The forefoot uses a widely spaced wiper-blade pattern with the second and third rows slightly turned under the ball of your foot, giving some additional lateral coverage. This rubber is thick, solid, and finally showing signs of wear after almost four months of three day a week workouts.

The midfoot and heel are more linear in pattern, which helps with lateral traction and climbing activities. For those that have never done a CrossFit workout, or never worn a CF-specific shoe, the midfoot usually has traction under the arch of the foot that extends up the midsole of the shoe. This is called the RopePro on Reebok shoes, and it helps immensely in keeping your feet on the rope and going up instead of down — the rest is up to you.

Going from mostly runners and basketball to a CrossFit shoe is a serious endeavor. While cushioning is premium in the other lines, weight training/CrossFit is more about transition and stability. The CrossFit Nano 8 follows that same platform, with a little more.

The midsole is a solid EVA that rides low with only a 4mm heel to toe drop. This means you are almost flat on the floor in the shoe. There is, however, additional forefoot cushioning to help with impact off landings from jumps and runs. It isn’t enough to make the shoe seem slow or wobbly, but it does take the sting out of those last few sloppy landings when you are dead dog tired and wanting to quit or puke.

For any activity where stability is a must (cleans, squats), the low-riding flat base never faltered or felt like it would crush under stress. It isn’t as solid as a true squat/deadlift shoe (like the Reebok Legacy), but the CrossFit Nano 8 has enough for most gym rats that lift and work on other exercises.

The CrossFit Nano 8 uses Reebok’s latest Flexweave material that was reviewed on the Fusion Flexweave last month. In case you missed it, this means you are getting a textile upper mixed with TPU strands that is flexible over the foot but solid and strong for lateral movements and containment. yeezy 350 is based on a figure-8 design and the strands can be intertwined to create some serious looks.

Beneath the Flexweave is an internal bootie that keeps any of the TPU from chafing and rubbing. (It’s needed, because Flexweave isn’t the softest material to the touch.) The bootie runs around the heel collar and feels great on bare feet or in socks. It does hinder ventilation around the midfoot to the heel, but the toes stay airy and cool.

With the wide use of textile/mesh uppers and internal booties fit has never been better across the shoe industry, and the CrossFit Nano 8 falls right in line. The Flexweave fits right over your foot in the toebox and forms around the midfoot almost perfectly. Any dead space is taken by the inner bootie. Additionally, the forefoot features a wide toebox for splaying and gripping while working out and climbing — but not so wide you want to go a half-size down. It is designed to be wide, don’t overthink the shoe.

The midfoot is locked down by a fairly normal lacing system — no bells and whistles — just seven lace holes spaced perfectly for good fit. The heel is locked in by the internal bootie, padding, and the lacing system, which comes high enough to lock the heel into the back of the shoe. As for length, I did go a half size down, something I have done in Reeboks since the first Question shoe.

The only real support structure in the shoe is the TPU split heel cup, and honestly, that’s enough. The heel cup works well with the lacing system to lock you in and the midfoot is supported by the upper. Really, the best support “piece” on the shoe is the low ride and wide base. As the shoe lands, the foot is allowed to spread or splay for better balance and grip so there is little danger of rolling over.

The midsole is structured for arch support (just right) and with an almost zero drop the shoe doesn’t allow much bend under the arch at all. While the cushioning wasn’t exactly “cushioned,” this is the place it shines; the midfoot is solid and stable, even on the edges, so there is no tipping under heavy weights or difficult landings — just a solid, supportive base that won’t give out on you.

By now, I have tested quite a few training shoes. When I started doing them, I lifted weights, I ran, and I did some other plyometric exercises, but never felt the need to change from basketball or running shoes just for that. Since I have been reviewing trainers, it makes sense; if there is a need for basketball shoes that are different from runners, then trainers for the weight room or other exercises makes sense.

The adidas hi is a well-rounded shoe built for the gym. The upper is supportive but flexible and the cushioning will handle anything a workout can throw at it. If you are looking for a shoe that will come back for more when the plates and bars and ropes are done, look no further.

If you need a more cushioned ride, or enjoy more cardio/running, you may want to look at the Reebok Hydrorush or Watt II (still my favorite). Otherwise, why are you still reading this? Get to work.  


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2018年05月25日

Air Jordan 1 “Royal” 2013 VS. 2017 Comparison

How many of you are planning on picking up the return of the Air Jordan 1 “Royal” on April 1st? I’m sure a lot of you guys answered yes, and for good reasoning too.


Jordan Brand is finally giving us a remastered release of the Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG “Royal” as they continue to bring back legendary original Air Jordans.

Last seen in 2013, the classic Air Jordan 1 will return in its OG high-cut that’s dressed in the traditional Black and Varsity Royal color scheme. The shoe features a clean Black leather upper with Royal overlays on the toe, heel and Nike Swoosh logos. Staying true to its heritage, the release will also come with OG Nike Air branding on the tongue and outsole.

Similar to recent remastered reissues, this Air Jordan 1 release compared to the 2013 version will come with better quality. Featuring a mix of smooth and premium textured leather that’s dressed in the OG Black and Varsity Royal with Nike Air branding throughout.

Look for the Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG “Royal” to release on April 1st at select Jordan Brand retailers. The retail price tag is set at $160 USD.

  


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2018年05月23日

Which is The Best Shoe to Resell: adidas or Air Jordan?

It’s a common question among beginner sneaker resellers who are not sure what brand to sell:

What’s better to resell, Adidas or Nike Jordan?

(if you want to know how to sell both and all brands of shoes profitably as a business, check out the Reseller’s Field Guide here.)

We will give an answer to at the end of this article. Although there is a winner in this article, this number one spot is both subjective and subject to change. However, for the following reasons, one of these two is the winner right now.

Let’s first dive in to what gives a shoe resale value to answer this question.

There are 3 main factors for shoe resale value:

History
Hype
Scarcity
So let’s rank Adidas vs Nike Jordan on these 3 factors.

Nike Jordan

History

Nike was born in 1964, co created by track athlete Phil Knight and his coach Bill Bowerman out of Oregon State.

It quickly rose to become the authority in athletic footwear for both track athletes, runners, and aerobic exercisers as it passed older competitors like Reebok in market share.

As Nike made a move in to the basketball arena, it was first met with mixed reviews. Nike needed the endorsement of a professional athlete. Tinker Hatfield was recently enlisted as Nike’s primary shoe designer. Nike and Tinker went for the biggest partnership possible in the basketball world, which was an agreement with the undisputed reigning king of the court Michael Jordan, but it wouldn’t be easy.

Nike had first partnered with Jordan to make the Air Jordan 1, and it remains one of the great Jordan designs with excellent resale value to this day. However, after the Air Jordan 2, it seemed that Jordan was losing interest in the continued partnership with Nike. Nike needed to do something to keep the Jordan brand valuable.

The year was 1985, and Tinker Hatfield and Nike were able to arrange a meeting with Jordan, but the basketball great arrived hours late and it seemed like he was not interested at all in the partnership.

Tinker then unveiled the Air Jordan 3 black cement. Jordan was so impressed with the overall design, with both its luxurious looks and its unprecedented comfort and performance, as well as its bold elephant print accents which became a Jordan signature of many shoes that were valuable on the resale market.

Based on this, Jordan’s History is quite strong. It has had resellable shoes for over 30 years and continues to have models every month that have resale value.

Hype


The hype for Jordans is real. Ever since Jordans released online in the early 2000s, there has been a large group of people going after Nike Jordans to profit on the resale market, with increasingly sophisticated methods as the years go by.

However, the hype in recent years, especially 2017, has shown to drop drastically as Jordans sat on shelves and historically hyped releases like the Nike Air Jordan 11 which had been releasing with great resale value every December, in 2017 its “Win Like 96” Variation struggled to resell with the hype of past 11’s.

The Air Jordan 11 Win Like 96 is just one of my examples of Jordans that did not do well last year.

However, last year was also the debut of the Kaws Jordan 4’s which saw resale value in the thousands of dollars, as well as a collaboration with Off-White for a whole slew of Jordans that were worth close to or over $1,000. Nike also has released some of the most hyped sneakers of all time with Kanye West and the Air Yeezys, the Air Mags from Back to the Future, and Drake OVO Jordans, which each have aftermarket values in the thousands of dollars presently or at some point in the recent past.

On the overall hype scale, Nike and its Jordans are still up there, but there are so many models to sort through, it is hard to know which shoes are best to resell or which shoes to avoid as possible flops or financial losses.

Scarcity


There are so many Jordans now, including lifestyle models like the Air Jordan Future and Eclipse which both never have resale value. Jordans are everywhere and are not the least bit scarce as a whole.

However, for rare models like certain Retro Jordans, scarcity seems to be making a come back in the upcoming years.

Jordans are becoming harder to buy in 2018, first told at the end of 2017, and proven by the resale value and difficulty to get of recent releases like the Air Jordan 1 Bred toe. This increase in current scarcity will certainly revitalize Nike Jordan’s spot as a great sneaker to resell.

Adidas

History


The brand with three stripes is actually older than Nike, having started in 1949. Although it had a solid run of releasing athletic shoes, it was more well known in the soccer arena than it was in the basketball court, and there is much more resale value in the latter than in the former. Adidas never did have the longevity or greatness of a partnership like Nike did with Michael “Air” Jordan, but it did have greats like Kareem Abdul Jabbar, for which the three stripes brand had the very first basketball player endorsed sneaker in history with its Adidas Superstars, years before Nike and its Air Jordan. However, these Adidas Superstars were not a unique design as Adidas released many non Jabbar superstars. Surprisingly, the Kareem Abdul Jabbar is known more to depreciate than to have resale value, with pairs sitting as low as $10 on eBay at the time of this writing in March of 2018.

2015 marked the beginning of a renaissance for Adidas with its partnership with Kanye West made official, kicking it off with the Yeezy Boost. Its boost technology spread on to many more valuable pairs of sneakers like the UltraBoost, NMD and Pharrell Human Race, some of which commanded resale values that greatly surpassed that of many Nike Air Jordans.

Adidas surpassed the market share of Nike’s Jordan brand for the first time ever in 2017. However, with new scarcity to Jordan models for a revitalized hype and resale value, Adidas will have to fight to maintain its number one spot.

 

Hype


Thanks almost entirely to its partnership with Kanye West, Adidas is reaching a level of hype that a lot of the younger crowd (who don’t know the full history of Nike Air Jordans) prefers to Nike and its Jordan brand. Adidas’ UltraBoost technology and cozy Primeknit technology has garnered copycats from brands like Skechers and Zara. Copying is a classic form of flattery and also a sign of hype in the shoe resale world.

Hype also centers around celebrity partnerships. Following its marriage with Kanye West, who is the undisputed king with a Midas touch for a shoe company, Adidas is looking to add Drake to its team as soon as this year in 2018, which will make things very interesting and certainly birth some of the hottest and most hyped shoes to date with juicy profit margins.

Interestingly, Yeezy hype is fading. Kanye arguably went too far in his newfound creative freedom and released one too many (or five too many) Yeezy models that saw record lows in resale, with more than one shoe model, including the Yeezy 950 and the Yeezy cleats losing resale value. Familiarity creates boredom: have you ever heard your favorite song too many times and then gotten sick of it? Kanye is dangerously close to doing this with the Yeezy brand and its shoes.

Other Adidas models like the Human Race by Pharrell and new Bape collaborations remain super hyped, as do NMDs and UltraBoost in the fashion world as Adidas continues to innovate and maintain its hype level.

Scarcity


The Adidas Yeezys 350 go from impossible to get to just about impossible to get. Even when Yeezys have low resale value and they are considered “general release” by Yeezy standards, a lot of people left empty handed who wanted a pair. Examples include the recently released Beluga 2.0’s and Blue Tints which values dropped to below 100% above retail for the first time ever for Yeezys, which remained scarce despite large release numbers since the number of people trying to get them was so large.

On top of Yeezys being hard to get regardless of how many there are, recent hard to get shoes like the Adidas Dame 4 “Bape” and the Adidas Pharrell HU NMD prove that the Adidas models worth reselling remain scarce and hard to get, making the resale value high.

 

Conclusion

Which shoe brand is better to resell, Adidas or Nike Jordan?

Although Adidas has been Pepsi in comparison to Nike as Coca Cola, it seems like in 2018 the tables are turning. Nike is putting up a fight by making Jordans rare again, but Adidas definitely has the attention of the younger crowd who makes up a large part of the resale community. Coupled with the supposed upcoming collaboration with Drake and his OVO brand, Adidas is better overall to resell if you were to just focus on one shoe, especially given that Yeezys are an Adidas shoe.

Jordan came in a terribly close second place and collaborations like its “Off-White”, KAWS, and of course Supreme, make it hard to overlook. However, as the world changes and Adidas aggressively innovates, and since there had to be just one winner in this match, Adidas will win this one, in an overtime that is arguably still going until the partnership between Drake and Adidas is official.

Of course it’s best to sell both of them, and to make tons of money doing it.

For those curious about what it takes to do so, and for the best step by step guide complete with history and info about Sneaker bots, streetwear and more, have a look at the full 5 part field guide available exclusively on this site.  


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2018年05月22日

Better Air Jordan 11: “Gamma” or “Cap and Gown”

Every year Jordan Brand either releases original or new colorways of the Air Jordan 11 typically during the holiday season.


Back in 2014, they introduced the Air Jordan 11 Gamma, which featured a Stealthy all-Black upper highlighted with Gamma Blue and Varsity Maize accents.The Jordan Brand serves up an all-new colorway of the iconic Air Jordan 11 for Holiday '13. This retro features a black cordura and patent leather upper with Gamma Blue 11's Jumpman Branding. Varsity Maize provides subtle detailing on the tongue and heel. A blue-tinted translucent outsole caps off the look below

For May 2018, Jordan Brand will be releasing a dressed-up Air Jordan 11 Cap and Gown that also comes in a full Black-based upper with premium detailing. It comes with a suede base, Metallic Jumpman logos and laces that resembles graduation cords.the Air Jordan 11 ‘Cap and Gown’ which will release on May 26th.


While both pairs strongly resemble one another, if you could only select one, which would it be?  


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2018年05月18日

Nike Kyrie 4 vs. Flytrap head-to-head performance review

Affordable entries to Nike Basketball’s signature lines have a track record of not just being great values, but great sneakers, period. Devoid of frivolous gimmicks and not-quite-ready-for-basketball tech features, sneakers like the KD 2, Kyrie 1, and PG 1 put all of their resources where they mattered most: performance.

Those aforementioned examples utilized tried and true tech and combined it with “best practices” design elements to create sneakers that just worked. They may not have broken much ground, but they represented the full realization of past innovations.

Thanks to that history, last October’s announcement of an even more affordable addition to Kyrie Irving’s signature line was welcomed with open arms. It offered the potential to not only make the line more accessible to Irving’s fanbase, but offer another viable performance option for players who prefer no-frills models on court.

Based on my cushioning preferences and its unique fit system, the $80 Nike Kyrie Flytrap looks like an even more attractive sneaker than the $120 Nike Kyrie on paper. But how do those features translate to performance?.

Hover over the dots below for a head-to-head breakdown of the two models, and an analysis of which one does it better.

Nike Kyrie 4 vs. Nike Kyrie Flytrap - Fit

Advantage: Nike Kyrie 4
It may not be fancy, but the Kyrie 4’s half-bootie construction allows for a glove-like fit thanks to its sculpted shape and traditional eyestay construction. When fully tightened, the upper fully engages and hugs the foot, offering a reassuring fit that inspires confidence through cuts. Unfortunately, my first time lacing the shoe up resulted in a ripped eyelet. To the shoe’s credit though, the reinforced backing prevented the rip from tearing completely though, and it caused no further issues.

The concept behind the Flytrap’s closure system is a solid one, but the execution falls flat thanks to a sloppy overall shape and sub-par materials. I typically only play in a single pair of socks, but had to double up in order to fill some of the excess space that couldn’t be tightened out of the shoe when fully laced. Going down a half size may help alleviate some of the extra room, but it is more of a volume issue than length.

Nike Kyrie 4 vs. Nike Kyrie Flytrap - Ankle Support

Advantage: Nike Kyrie 4
The Kyrie 4 and Flytrap have different cuts, but both rely on the collar padding to provide heel lockdown. In theory, they should match up well based on utilizing the same philosophy on ankle support, but the corners cut on materials in the Flytrap give a clear advantage to the more expensive Kyrie 4. The padding, while shaped properly, is just not dense enough to actually engage and fully stabilize the heel. The Flytrap’s ankle support isn’t necessarily bad, just not as comfortable or confidence-inspiring as the 4.

Nike Kyrie 4 vs. Nike Kyrie Flytrap - Cushioning

Advantage: Nike Kyrie 4
My favorite cushioning configuration from Nike is Zoom Air in the forefoot and and foam in the heel because I find it provides a perfect combination of responsiveness and impact protection where each is most needed. That should have boded well for the Flytrap, but not all Zoom Air is created equal. The bag found here is comically small—roughly the size and shape of a quarter—and about as effective. It’s placed directly under the ball of the big toe, which is fine, but it’s so low volume that it offers nothing in terms of response. Even the shoe’s insole is of the cheapest persuasion possible; there’s not as much as a Nike logo screen printed on the wafer-thin unit.

Meanwhile, the Kyrie 4 improved greatly in the comfort department over the nike Kyrie 3, despite using the same configuration of heel Zoom and forefoot foam. I found the 3’s ride to be downright harsh, but the addition of a Cushlon midsole turned the cushioning into one of the high points of the 4. It’s not as protective as a shoe like the LeBron 15 with its massive Zoom Max hybrid units, but for players who want more court feel, it’s an excellent compromise.

Nike Kyrie 4 vs. Nike Kyrie Flytrap - Traction

Advantage: Nike Kyrie 4
Traction is the one area where the Kyrie 4 and Flytrap share the most similarities, and it’s a positive point for both shoes. But despite using a very similar traction pattern, the Kyrie 4 edges out the Flytrap thanks to its level of refinement. The large zig-zag groove that runs up the middle of the sole enhances its radiused shape and offers a sticky surface regardless of the angle from which it engages. It also has the additional benefit of creating a smoother transition. That same groove is implied on the Flytrap, but doesn’t offer the full benefits of the effectively decoupled design of the 4.

Nike Kyrie 4 vs. Nike Kyrie Flytrap - Conclusion
Image via Nike
Advantage: Nike Kyrie 4
The Nike Kyrie 4 tops the Flytrap in almost every measurable category, including value. “Affordable” doesn’t always equate with “good value”—sometimes, like in the case of the Kyrie Flytrap, it mostly means “cheap.”

It’s commendable for Nike to offer such a budget-conscious option for Irving’s fans, but it’s just not one I can recommend from a performance standpoint. There’s simply not enough support and protection other than for the smallest and lightest of players. Furthermore, excellent performers like the PG1 have been regularly available on sale for even less than the Flytrap’s $80 retail price, rendering it’s primary selling point moot.

But the Kyrie 4 doesn’t just win this head-to-head matchup because the Flytrap is so bad. The Flytrap feels so cheap that it doesn’t even feel like it was made by Nike—but the Kyrie 4 is good in its own right. While not spectacular at any one thing, it’s a well-rounded sneaker that does pretty much everything one could ask for in a performance model, at a price point that’s still relatively affordable in context of the signature sneaker world. And it feels downright premium in direct comparison.  


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