Sneakers. Surely the most pleasurable purchase a man can make. It’s sort of like the polar opposite of paying your gas bill or shelling out to get the boiler fixed. An outgoing you actually look forward to making whenever the opportunity arises.
Well, if said gas bill is due today, don’t worry about it, because with all the heat that’s on offer courtesy of this week’s sneaker drops, you won’t have to touch that thermostat once. From multicolour madness and Gore-Tex goodness from Nike to classy throwback minimalism via Converse, these are the drops to cop right now.
Converse Pro Leather
Back in the 1970s, beloved sneaker brand Converse showed the world that it wasn’t just canvas basketball shoes it could nail. The Pro Leather was the label’s first full-grain leather hoops shoe, and also the first to feature the now-iconic Star Chevron logo.
The Pro Leather put Converse Basketball back on the map in the ‘80s and ‘90s with its ultra-clean white uppers and punchy red accents. It also helped to define a generation of revolutionary players, including Julius Irving, aka Dr J.
For 2019, Converse is reintroducing this classic style stitch-for-stitch, and as far as we’re concerned, it’s every bit as hard-hitting as it was back in its heyday.
Rarity Rating: 4/10
Design History: A remake of one of the ‘80s and ‘90s defining basketball shoes
Best For: A change from your Chuck Taylor All Stars
Nike Air Force 1 Gore-Tex
Ever wondered what would happen if a bunch of sneakerheads and outdoor enthusiasts designed a shoe together? No? Well, us neither to be honest. Still, that doesn’t make this Gore-Tex version of the classic Air Force 1 any less appealing.
Tapping into one of the key streetwear trends of 2019, Nike has given one of its most iconic silhouettes a seasonally appropriate makeover using the world’s best-performing waterproof material.
The Nike Air Force 1 Gore-Tex comes in three subtle and one not-so-subtle colourways, but it’s the black and orange that really caught our eye. Standing on a loose paving slab on the way to the office and accidentally getting muddy water all over your favourite sneakers never felt this good.
Rarity Rating: 5/10
Design History: One of Nike’s most-loved silhouettes remade with the winter in mind
Best For: Tackling rainy days without diminishing your street cred
Adidas Manchester United Barcelona ‘99
You don’t need to be a raging Man United fan to appreciate this latest terrace fashion-friendly trainer from the Three Stripes, but it probably helps.
Created in conjunction with the world-famous football club, the Barcelona ‘99 celebrates the 20th anniversary of Manchester United’s Champion’s League final triumph in 1999.
This collaborative effort features subtle nods to that iconic moment, including the numbers 91 and 93 to each tongue – the minutes in which Man U scored the equaliser and winning goal – a red devil to the heel and the word ‘treble’ printed on the laces. Be prepared to pay resale prices though, as this one is already a big hit with collectors.
Rarity Rating: 8/10
Design History: A celebration a Manchester United’s proudest moment, in shoe form
Best For: We would say chanting on the terraces, but given the collectable value you probably won’t want to take them out of the box
Reebok x Bronze 56k Club C Revenge
One’s a gritty, underground skate label from New York City, the other is a sportswear brand from, erm, Bolton. On paper, you’d probably never put the two together, but as it turns out, the unlikely duo makes one hell of a trainer.
Reebok’s Club C model has been having a bit of a moment for a few years now. Its retro styling and remarkable way of somehow looking even better when it’s a bit beaten up have made it the go-to sneaker for too-cool-for-school urban hipster types. It’s difficult to imagine how it could be improved upon, but Bronze 56k has done a pretty good job of it.
Available in two colourways – black and white – this updated Club C Revenge sneaker features ‘Bronze’ lettering to each heel, tricolour detail to the toe and hits of contrasting colour. Simple, but effective.
Rarity Rating: 6/10
Design History: The classic Reebok silhouette reimagined by NY’s foremost bunch of humorous skate punks.
Best For: Tearing up your local skatepark…in Bolton
Nike Air Jordan 1 Mid Fearless ‘Blue The Great’
The first shoe to emerge from Nike’s ‘Fearless Ones’ line comes courtesy of LA-based artist Blue The Great. Known for his use of punchy primary colours, Blue’s take on the Jordan 1 mid is reworked in a patchwork of brightly coloured canvas and corduroy.
To the heel, the artist’s graffiti tag is patched on below a towelling-textured black Swoosh.
This release marks the beginning of a collaborative line with boundary-pushing creatives. Later drops are set to feature work from the likes of Japanese label Facetasm, cooking collective Ghetto Gastro and streetwear designer Edison Chen.
Rarity Rating: 9/10
Design History: Nike’s iconic debut Jordan reimagined by one of LA’s best artists
Best For: Buying because it looks cool and then realising you don’t have anything to wear it with