The sneaker industry is never without controversy. Nike often finds itself at the centre of such disputes, although usually surrounding releases of the most sought-after silhouettes through the SNKRS app. Every sneakerhead will tell you about their love/hate relationship with Nike’s app, but with millions trying to cop a limited supply of sneakers, Nike can not do much. However, the latest controversy sheds new light on what is happening behind the scenes of the sportswear giant.
It is not all bad news from the sneaker community this week, though, with the return of a fan-favourite collaboration between Ronnie Fieg’s KITH and Asics. Everybody’s favourite Full Size Run co-presenter Trinidad James also looks set to receive his own sneaker finally. Take a read below at what caught my eye in sneakers over the last week.
NIKE SHREDDING SNEAKERS
You read that right; rumours are coming out of Germany that Nike is shredding new sneakers to make up Nike’s materials it so proudly uses as part of the new sustainability programme. An investigative documentary called Sneaker Hunt follows the returns of like-new and unworn sneakers to Nike, which leads to the shredding of shoes at a facility in Belgium. The shredded sneakers are then turned into Nike Grind, a rubber compound Nike use to produce new silhouettes.
Nike recently set up a system where you could drop old sneakers off at Nike stores which were sent to a facility to be broken down, thus creating a circular economy. Unfortunately, though, it looks as if Nike is using the shredding facility to break down all returns to begin this process.
This rumour not only brings Nike’s integrity and its Move to Zero sustainability promise into question but also breaks German laws. Germany deems it illegal to destroy any product believed wearable or usable, with fines of up to €100,000 possible.
RONNIE FIEG RETURNS
Claiming Ronnie Fieg is returning is, of course, slightly tongue in cheek. Fieg continues to be one of the hardest working men in fashion and streetwear. His collaboration with Asics is returning, though, as confirmed by the man himself.
Speaking on the Complex Sneaker Podcast, Fieg confirmed that for the 10th anniversary of KITH, some of the greatest silhouettes from the KITH x Asics archives are making a return. Fans of the two brands are in for a treat, with the iconic ‘Salmon Toes’ and ‘Leatherbacks’ possibly returning to honour the anniversary.
Thanks to the limited nature of the initial releases, I expect sneakerheads across the globe queuing around the block outside of both KITH and Asics stores if these two legendary colourways do drop.
A FULL SIZE RUN
Superstar rapper and one of the most famous sneakerheads around Trinidad James finally has the opportunity to add his flare to his very own sneaker. The Full Size Run co-host’s clothing line Hommewrk links up with Saucony to release a vibrant take on the Jazz silhouette. The sneaker perfectly encapsulates James’s personality, with the Jazz dressed in a vivid red and pink colourway.
The sneaker also features a translucent toe box and gold detailing throughout. Saucony has suffered a quiet few years, with brands like New Balance pushing ahead with eye-catching collaborations. Linking up with a known sneaker collector like Trinidad James may be just the move to put Saucony back in the discussion for Sneaker of the Year. I can’t wait to see what the ATL-rapper and the Massachusetts-based sneaker brand do next.
THIS WEEK’S RELEASES
A MA MANIERE X AIR JORDAN 1
James Whitner steps back into the sneaker game, reigniting the collaboration between his A Ma Maniére brand and Air Jordan. This time taking over the highly coveted AJ1 silhouette, the premium take on this classic is clear for everybody to see. Grey, cracked leather underlays are contrasted by the inclusion of faux snakeskin, with co-branding present on the shoe’s tongue. A quilted sock liner completes this elevated take on the Air Jordan 1.
After the first collaboration on an Air Jordan 3, we know what to expect from A Ma Maniére and Jordan Brand. Celebrating Air Jordan silhouettes with luxurious execution is the aim, and the upcoming AJ1 does not disappoint.
YEEZY BOOST 700 FADE AZURE
Kanye West is back at it again, rejoining adidas for a brand new take on the Yeezy Boost 700. The uppers are crafted from a mix of materials, with suede, mesh and leather all featuring. This silhouette is covered in a striking teal hue with contrasting blue and brown panels featuring across the toe box.
Underfoot, the teal colourway continues across the sole unit. A pop of orange also features, with the sole unit housing the groundbreaking adidas Ultra Boost technology. If you are yet to secure a pair of Yeezy Boost 700s, then make sure to grab a pair of the Fade Azures. The combination of colours and comfort is truly unbeatable.