Sole Facts – March 16th to March 22nd

by Ian Stonebrook

Spring is in the air and the latest Sole Facts finds all the big brands staying steady. While this week is arguably remiss of any juggernaut drops – save to high profile collabs – it does include signature styles from some of basketball’s best, an important Air Max, and two new launches from the Yeezy line.

So, what’s worth keeping your eye out for mid-March and why does it matter in the context of culture and history? Find out in the quick-hitting details below.


3/16

Nike Kyrie 7 “Chinese New Year”

  • The Nike Kyrie 7 is the latest signature shoe for Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving. Designed by Ben Nethongkome, the Kyrie 7 features Zoom Turbo cushioning and is listed as lighter than the Kyrie 6. 
  • This “Chinese New Year” style celebrates the Year of the Ox. Golden branding, pink patterning, blue laces and a jade forefoot counter carry this colorway to ornate heights.
  • Previously, the Nike Kyrie line has seen CNY styles on signatures 4, 5, and 6 as well as the S2 hybrid.

Maité Steenhoudt x adidas Samba ADV

  • First released in 1949, the adidas Samba launched in the inaugural year for the Three Stripes brand. Designed for training on hard or slippery surfaces, the model has made many transformations over the decades with its home taking place in indoor soccer.
  • Much like the SB Dunk, the adidas Samba ADV is the soccer shoe’s crossover to skateboarding. Stylistically, much of the model’s original DNA is intact with cupsole catering well to board feel.
  • This collaboration from professional skateboarder Maité Steenhoudt plays off the model’s storied history, appearing in black and white as it did on the indoor pitch but reimagined with hairy suede styling, magenta contrast stitching, and custom branding.

3/17

Bad Bunny x adidas Forum Low Buckle “The First Café

  • The adidas Forum High debuted in 1984 as a luxury basketball shoe set to tip the scales by retailing at a then-outrageous $100. In the ‘80s, the Forum High was a status symbol in the streets thanks to its prestigious price point and a go-to favorite on the court for Patrick Ewing as a rookie on the New York Knicks. Much like the Nike Dunk of the same era, the Forum found fame in the 2000s off the court by way of below ankle skate styling and countless casual collaborations.
  • This collaboration with Puerto Rican superstar Bad Bunny implements buckle ankle strapping, a double-stacked tongue, and an exaggerated ankle collar. The color palette is inspired by a cup of coffee in the morning, juxtaposing brown hues with bright blue lacing.
  • Retailing for $160, pairs are slated to launch exclusively via the Confirmed App in the US and Europe. Additionally, pairs will pop up in Puerto Rico via a partnership with Uber Eats.

Nike Air Foamposite Pro “Volt”

  • The Nike Air Foamposite Pro debuted in 1997 alongside the famous Nike Air Foamposite One. Synthetic in styling, the liquid molded Pros differed from Penny’s Foamposite One by bearing a Swoosh on the sidewall and no 1 Cent branding.
  • When released in 1997, the Foamposite Pro was best known for its “Pearl” colorway. At the time, the Foamposite Pro retailed at $170 a pair while the Foamposite One was listed at $180.
  • In 2014, the Foamposite Pro was released in “Volt” for the first time. This 2021 retro release is the first time this bright tonal take has returned. Doused in the neon hue, black on the carbon fiber, tongue trim, and heel embroidery offers the only contrast.

3/18

Nike Dunk Low “College Navy”

  • Touching down during the 1985-86 NCAA basketball season, the Nike Dunk has since seen its wings spread to lifestyle and skateboarding in the subsequent decades. The Nike Dunk Low “College Navy” is yet another lifestyle take on the Sportswear version of the Dunk.
  • This “College Navy” makeup is not an original colorway but once again harkens Be True to Your School blocking. A navy base with grey overlays liken these to a Georgetown feel with red perimeter branding and a semi-translucent sole taking these all the way to the Sportswear sector.
  • Originally, the “College Navy” Dunks were deemed a women’s exclusive slated to first launch in Europe. Now, this ladies launch is coming to America, Europe and Asia.

3/19

adidas Yeezy Quantum “Sea Teal”

  • Following years of preview wear and buzzy by Kanye West, the adidas Yeezy QNTM/BSKTBL released in Chicago at All-Star Weekend 2020. Pairs were famously distributed on the streets of the city in Sherp ATVs.
  • Though almost identical in styling, the QNTM pair is produced for casual wear while the BSKTBL variation features performance tooling and fit that favors getting buckets on the hardwood.
  • This “Sea Teal” take appears to be exclusive to that of the QNTM model, revising the Primeknit pattern on the upper and closing off the outsole in gum fashion.

Nike Air Tuned Max “Celery”

  • The Nike Air Tuned Max debuted in 1999 as somewhat of a sequel to 1998’s Nike Air Max Plus. Tuned Air is featured in pronounced fashion, proving the calling card for Nike’s turn of the century running releases.
  • Receiving retro treatment for the first time, the Nike Air Tuned Max is an Alpha Project design that was famously featured in irreverent print ads.
  • This “Celery” colorway was the spirit animal for Skepta’s storied Nike Air Max 97 Ultra collaboration from 2017, sporting the same sentiment in tones and metallic finishes.

Nike Go FlyEase

  • Serving as the first hands-free sneaker from the Swoosh, the Nike GO FlyEase introduces an origami upper designed to be stepped into and kicked off without lifting a finger. A Kickstand Heel and Diving Board Footbed provide effortless entry and exit for all on the move.
  • The footprints of FlyEase technology date back to 2012 when young athlete Matthew Walzer asked Nike to make shoes that didn’t need tying due to his condition of Cerebral Palsy. Working with Tobie Hatfield, brother of Tinker and long-time Nike designer, the two created FlyEase technology for Waltzer to wear test. By 2015, it was introduced to the market and has updated Air Jordans, LeBrons, and more ever since.
  • Retailing for $120, the Nike GO FlyEase first launched on 2/15 for Nike members, now releasing in a wider fashion.

adidas x Reebok ZX Pump “A-ZX”

  • Though for sale, Reebok is owned by adidas as the German giant acquired the British-American footwear company in 2005. This co-branded collaboration crosses Reebok’s Insta Pump Fury with that of the adidas ZX 8000.
  • Using both model’s iconic original colorways — “Citron” and “Teal” – this hybrid take is reliant on the technology and overlays of the Insta Pump Fury with ZX DNA popping up on the heel counter, underlay branding, and nylon styling.
  • Previously, Reebok and adidas have collaborated by way of adding Boost tooling to the Insta Pump Fury.

Reebok Question “Why Not Us”

  • The Reebok Question debuted during the 1996-97 NBA season as the signature shoe for then Rookie of the Year and #1 Draft Pick Allen Iverson. A success from the start – both the player and the shoe – the Question became a fixture at retail for years to come, almost always available in some fashion since its ‘96 start.
  • This “Why Not Us” motif is a direct nod to the pair Iverson wore in the 2001 NBA All-Star Game in Washington, DC. The White/Black colorway carried Iverson and the East to a 21-point comeback in which AI was named ASG MVP.
  • Look for these to launch at Reebok and Foot Locker for $140.

Kim Jones x Nike Air Max 95

  • Nike designer Sergio Lozano made the leap from ACG and tennis to that of running with the task of the Air Max 95. Lozano’s lens on the annual Air Max was a departure from previous pairs as Nike Running wanted to bring in new blood and take a risk.
  • The model’s most recent collaborator, Kim Jones, is a fashion designer best known for his work at Dior and Louis Vuitton, now joining Fendi. In 2020, Kim Jones famously collaborated with Shawn Stussy on a range of highly regarded runway looks. Kim Jones has paired with Nike on the Air Zoom LWP 16 and Air Max 360 Hi models. He is also credited due to his work at Dior on the infamous Dior x Air Jordan 1 collection.
  • The “Total Orange” pair is slated to release worldwide on SNKRS while the “Volt” pair will be exclusive to the United Kingdom.

AURALEE x New Balance R_C2

  • The New Balance R_C2 is a casual model from the legacy running brand, juxtaposing archival details with new school materials. AURALEE is a Japanese label known for its consideration to quality and tailored essentials.
  • This collaboration follows the partner’s 2019 take on the same silo that was graced with GORE-TEX set to sepia tones.
  • Look for this collaboration to launch online at New Balance Japan, AURALEE, and New Balance T-HOUSE.

3/20

adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2 “Ash Pearl”

  • The adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2 is the second generation of the famed 350 Boost. First released at retail in 2016, the model has remained on the market every year since and has seen a slew of styles touching a variety of themes, regions and sizes.
  • This “Ash Pearl” colorway is the latest of an “Ash” theme, following “Ash Blue” and “Ash Stone” styles on the adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2.
  • Slated to launch in the US and Europe, this mostly tan take is contrasted by neutral tones on the perimeter and a marbled mudguard panel.

Air Jordan 3 “Georgetown”

  • Released at retail in 1988, the Air Jordan 3 stands as perhaps the most important model in the ever-iconic Air Jordan lineage. Designed by Tinker Hatfield, the shoe is said to have kept MJ at Nike after rumors that he was going to leave the brand.
  • After retro releases of OG colorways in 1994, the Air Jordan 3 expanded to new colorways starting in 2001. In the years that followed, the elephant print pair had expanded to numerous new releases by way of the LS, or lifestyle, line. Since then, tons of new Air Jordan 3 colorways have been released in both limited, general release, and collaborative form.
  • The Air Jordan 3 “Georgetown” is an homage to the school in Washington DC sponsored by Jordan Brand. In recent years, the Patrick Ewing coached program has seen numerous AJ3 PEs. This retail rendition is drastically different than their grey suede exclusive, electing navy tumbled leather and elephant accents.

3/22

Air Jordan 12 “Hyper Pink”

  • Designed by Tinker Hatfield, the Air Jordan 12 debuted during the 1996-97 NBA Season as Michael Jordan and the Bulls chased their fifth title. Inspiration on the model included Japan’s Rising Sun Flag and women’s high heel shoes.
  • Pink palettes are no stranger to the Air Jordan 12. In 2004, the Air Jordan 12 Low touched down in “Real Pink” to crossover success. Since then, the mid has made its way to retail in “Deadly Pink,” “Racer Pink,” “Vivid Pink” and “Sunrise” styles.
  • The Air Jordan 12 “Hyper Pink” is slated to launch in GS, PS, Infant, and Toddler sizes.

Images via adidas, New Balance, Nike, and Reebok

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