Now that 2014 has come to an end I thought I’d share with you my favourite sneakers of the past year. I have compiled three top threes of sneakers I missed out on, sneakers from before 2014 that I picked up this year and sneakers from 2014 that I managed to get my hands on.
Here is my Top 3 of Sneakers I missed out on this year:
New Balance x Nice Kicks 1600 “Grand Anse”
The New Balance x Nice Kicks 1600 “Grand Anse” deserves an honourable mention because it is a shoe that I really wanted and still want. It reminds me of the beautiful white beaches and bright blue waters of the Bahamas. That idea is not too far fetched because the shoe was inspired by the Grand Anse beach of Grenada.
These shoes released on the same day as the Nike SB x Diamond Supply “Tiffany” Dunks. I did try to buy them online at Sneakersnstuff while standing in line at City Surf but I received an error while checking out.
The reason why these aren’t in my Top 3 is because they are easily available for very fair prices. Compared to other releases that keep popping up adding this shoe to my rotation can wait.
New Balance x Concepts 997 “Rosé”
The New Balance x Concepts 997 “Rosé” also deserve an honourable mention. The first time I saw these was while translating the latest issue of Sneaker Freaker gracing one of the covers. I loved the pink and silver colour combo, which reminded me of the Porkie Dunks Concepts did last year. The suede upper and croc-embossed leather tongue gave the shoe a luxury theme inspired by the Piper Heidsieck rosé champagne bottle.
But that luxurious theme and choice in material gave the “Made in USA” shoe a luxury price tag of $235 at retail! Unfortunately they only released at Concepts in-store and online. I could not justify paying that plus $70 for shipping and the inevitable customs charges. No shoe is worth paying that much to me. Had they been released in Europe for a reasonable retail price I would probably have gone for them.
As I don’t regret not buying these as much because of the crazy retail price I didn’t include them in my Top 3 either.
- Air Jordan XI Low “Concord”
I was in Paris about a week after they dropped and I walked into a sport wear shop near my old school and saw the Air Jordan XI Low “Concord” on the shelf. I couldn’t believe it because they had sold out everywhere and thought they were fakes at first.
But they were the real thing. Paris has a lot of smaller sneaker shops that get Quickstrikes, unlike the UK or Germany where only the bigger boutiques get to stock them.
They only had one pair left and they were my size too, but as I was outlet shopping the day before I didn’t want to spend any more money unsure. Plus I was sceptical of the quality of the shoes since I had been let down by Jordans before.
But the shoe is still one of the best Jordans out there and I prefer the Low XI to the High. The colourway is one of the freshest there is so I regret not pulling the trigger on them.
- Nike Air Max Lunar90 “Moon Landing”
This release was a weird one because the Nike Air Max Lunar90 “Moon Land” was set to release on a Sunday, which is unusual for Europe. The shoe was released on the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission that made Neil Armstrong the first man to walk on the moon. To celebrate this scientific milestone Nike threw a lunar surface print on the Air Max Lunar90.
I’m not a huge fan of Air Max. I feel that they have been worn out and the shape just doesn’t appeal to me. But for some reason this shoe just ticked all the boxes for me: Space theme, Lunarlon sole, Hyperfuse upper, mismatched heels with the Star Spangled Banner, 3M and yes, the Tier Zero status probably played a big part in my longing for this shoe.
There were a few possibilities for getting this shoe: Nike would release them online, before that END were going to have them and Nigh, the sister store of my local sneaker boutique would also get them because it has the Tier Zero account. I placed all my eggs into the NikeStore basket so I intentionally missed the release at and on Saturday night.
That turned out to be a huge mistake because I forgot to set an alarm for the NikeStore release. What was weird though was that I woke up at 9:30 AM EST, 30 minutes before they went live. But I was so tired that I couldn’t keep myself awake for the next 30 minutes and dozed back off to sleep. I woke up 40 minutes later to realise that I just overslept what was to be on of the biggest NikeLab releases of the year!
“No biggie,” I thought to myself. Nigh was going to release them at midnight so it shouldn’t be much of a problem. But it was a problem. The Nigh servers were not capable of handling the traffic that surged to the site when the shoes were to go live and crashed. What made the whole thing even weirder was that these did not release in-store at all. Nigh is only open Fridays and Saturdays, but because Nike scheduled to release them on Sunday they decided to sell them online rather than waiting for the following Friday. This meant I didn’t have the home field advantage that I had hoped for.
Because no shoes were sold at launch at midnight I sacrificed my lunch break to go to The Good Will Out and ask whether I could just buy a pair in store. But the guy who was there in the morning said they would have to see if there were any pairs left after the orders and asked me to leave my size and phone number so he could give me a call if there was a pair left in my size. In theory I had put in my order before anyone else could have because I was the only one there that morning but I still couldn’t get a pair.
People always say that you get caught up in the hype whenever a shoe drops and you get mad when you miss out. Then one week later you will have forgotten all about that shoe. But here we are five months later and I’m still thinking about it…
- Nike Air Yeezy 2 “Red October”
This shoe is a weird one to put at number one of the list because it’s not so much that really wanted to the shoe but rather that I missed out on the opportunity to buy them.
I don’t really consider myself a hypebeast although some may want to argue that. I bought my Yeezy 2 “Wolf Greys” because I liked the shoe, because I am a fan of Kanye West and because I wanted to experience a camp-out.
I was prepared to do it again for the Red Octobers if they released, less because of the shoe itself but more because of the camp-out. Although I didn’t dislike the shoe itself the biggest appeal to me was its limited availability. I wouldn’t mind owning a pair of Red Octobers but I wouldn’t pay more than retail for them.
When Kanye left Nike in December of 2013 no one knew whether they would ever make it to retail. So Nike took everyone by surprise when the Red Octobers dropped outta nowhere in February of this year, Randy Orton steeze.
In true Quickstrike fashion Nike tweeted out a link to the Red Octobers on February 9th at 6 PM BST without any prior announcements. I don’t usually hang out on Twitter much. I basically use it for Nike’s Twitter only releases. Only when I am really bored with nothing better to do will I go on Twitter. And February 9th was one of those days. I remember wanting to click the bookmark sometime that evening but then thinking to myself: “Today you are going to stay clear of social media,” which I did, until a friend of mine wrote me on Facebook to tell me the Red Octobers dropped…
I was livid. Not because I really, really wanted the shoe but because I had missed out on the opportunity to buy them. At the time I didn’t have a red pair of shoes in my rotation so they would have fit in there nicely. They were online for 11 freaking minutes. That is unheard of these days in the age of bots and add-to-cart-services (an issue I will address in a future WOMMW). Most mainstream media sites were astonished by these 11 minutes because they thought it was very short timeframe for shoes to sell out. But compared to your average Jordan retro release that seems to go down every other week that is eternity. Surely, I could have bought a second pair if I had discovered the tweet early enough. I could have traded them for some Black/Solar Red joints. Coulda, woulda, shoulda, but I didn’t.