As we are one day away from hitting the middle of the year, I sat back and had a look at the several releases that were presented to us from 01/01/2012 onward till today and spent some time figuring out which shoes would make the honor list of being my favorite 3 releases of 2012 so far.
Now of course, this judgment is made on personal taste and liking. It should not be seen as a set in stone thing or a guideline for your next sneaker purchases. Just like any influence should never go that far to be able to change your own personal taste or liking of a certain shoe.
N° 3 – Nike Air Flight One NRG Galaxy
These were released in both the original white black and blue color way as well as a new color way part of the galaxy series released for the All Star game festivities.
When they released, I was able to pick up both color ways pretty easily from one of our local stores and figured I’d also take the galaxy one since it was available but not without much believe or love for the color way.
As always with new shoe purchased, it only took a couple of minutes before the urge to try them on became unstoppable. And it was during their first wear that they blew me away with every step I took. The full 3M treatment which you are reminded of with every step you take was the first thing that struck me. The Nike logo on front which is a patch that you can rotate any goofy way you like made me smile, I don’t take myself very serious when it comes to sneakers, so you’ll find me goofing around and doing childish stuff like putting the logo upside down and things. The pods on the side which have also received the glow in the dark treatment really make them stand out all while they still remain pretty subtle, dare I even say classy?
And from all the galaxy releases I was able to get, these seriously *G*L*O*W*. Compared to the Lebron and Foamposite which I have to force into giving me a glow by holding them up against an artificial light for a few minutes, these seem to absorb any kind of light at a much higher rate. As soon as I step into any kind of shadow, the glow is there.
The only downside on these is the fact that they get very very ugly creases. Since the toecap is also in full 3M, the creases create a full line horizontally across the shoe, which kind of has started scaring me off from wearing them more often.
Let’s be honest here. We are like kids, we like glow in the dark sneakers to glow. And I’m not afraid to admit it puts a smile on my face when they glow.
N° 2 – Nike Lebron 9 PS Elite South Beach
When the Lebron 9 first came out, I have to admit, I didn’t like it. I had absolutely no understanding for that padding extravaganza on the sides and was disappointed with how they looked. But that all changed the when I spotted the “Miami Nights”-dubbed color way at my local Foot Locker and decided to try them on. Comfort wise, they improved again compared to the 8 and let the comfort of the 8 be the reason why I bought the black-red when it came out at our retailers!
On top of that, once on foot, as I looked down to my own feet, I liked the look of what I was seeing, a bit bulky, yet not too much. A strong mix of technology and materials that blended together to make a darn nice shoe!
The trend of what the LeBron 8 started was easily continued and also expanded with the LeBron 9. Ever since the Air Jordan line, Nike seems to have struggled to get another player endorsed shoe back to the broader public and to have it embraced as a fashionable lifestyle shoe. However, with the LeBron 9 it is safe to say that Jason Petrie was successful at forcing a performance basketball shoe back in the lines of lifestyle. As the NBA season started to near it’s end, the first pictures of the Nike Lebron 9 PS Elite came out and the price hit us like a slap in the face. Priced at $250 for the US market and €220 for the European retail market, this shoe marked the spot as being the most expensive performance sneaker ever released in the history of Nike.
When we got the South Beach color way in one of our local stores months before the planned release date and even before the generally released color ways, it was without much hesitation that I picked up a pair at the hefty retail price. I wanted to know and find out what justified the price and the fact it was the south beach color way was of course a very nice plus!
At first, from a looker’s point of view, I wasn’t too convinced. Nike stripped down a lot of the shoe to make it lighter, and somehow, the different tongue that didn’t pop the way the regular 9’s tongue would and the somewhat more sleek build of the shoe were something awkward to get used to.
But once I started stepping around in them, everything changed! If you think your regular 9’s are comfortable, go grab a pair of Elites if you’re financially able to drop that much money on a shoe. The zoom air in the forefoot and the stripped down structure of the shoe really makes them a totally different shoe as compared to the regular 9’s.
And the more I wear it, the more I absolutely love the way it looks! Be it under a pair of jeans, while rocking shorts or even when in my undies, these look so darn sexy and are so comfortable I could rock them for say 30 days on end!
Oh and I’m still undecided on which laces to put in them…
N°1 – Nike Zoom KD IV – Year Of The Dragon
In the past years, the Nike Zoom KD always made me get a smile on my face but was never able to impress me that much that I’d invest in a pair for my own collection and for the purpose of trying them out. Maybe it also had to do with the fact they were barely available at my local retailers except for a boring all black color way.
But when the KD IV came out, I was intrigued. Maybe it was because of the fact it had a strap. I have a thing with straps. It goes back as far as when the Nike Air Raid came out around the same time the Nike Air Jordan 8 came out. I loved it, crossing straps on a shoe. Did they do much for the performance? I don’t know, I think they didn’t really. But were they cool? Dear lord, yes!
But the strap wasn’t the only thing that caught my attention. The fact they were low and have a very distinct shape really made me curious. The first color way didn’t do much to me and wasn’t able to convince me to get a pair.
As Christmas came around, the Christmas edition was announced. I had to have them. I got was lucky enough to get them and after my first wear I knew enough, I would be getting more color ways of this shoe. Not only did it look refreshing, did it have a strap and big tongue. It was also comfortable for every day walking!
Not much after the Christmas edition, I saw a pictures of the Year Of The Dragon version and was sold, these were a must have! When they released, I was quick to order them online! A few days later they arrived and as I opened the box, I was amazed. Nike had outdone themselves on this color way. A great set of details were added to this color way. The dragon on the back. The insole with it’s print. The pattern on the tongue. I was sold and anxious to wear them! After my first wear, it didn’t take me long to pull them out again, and I think from all of the shoes I got so far this year, these have seen the most wear and have had the most looks as well. Must be something about the blue.
Congratulations to the designers at Nike for their creativity shown on many of the other releases like the Nerf, Weatherman, N7’s, YOTD’s, BHM’s, Aunt Pearl’s and Scoring Title’s. And even on the general releases like the rogue green’s! And thank you for a great shoe at such an affordable price!