Dear Diary #7: Nike SB Stefan Janoski Zoom “Digi Floral”

IMG_7505I’ve said it before – “The original Zoom Janoski is without a doubt my favourite silhouette”. There are many great colourways of the original Janoski and few better than the classic “Black/Mint” ones. The original “Digi Floral” Janoski was one of those colourways.

I had no idea that they would create so much hype because this was before Janoskis became as popular as they are today. What’s crazy is that I was at Pivot, my local skate shop in Cologne, twice before they sold out. The first time I saw them I really the floral print but was unsure about getting a second pair of a silhouette I already owned (crazy, right?). The second time around I decided to get a pair but they only had a US 8 left.

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It only came to my attention much later that the Digi Florals were so coveted, that resellers on ebay were listing them for insane prices north of $400. It was probably because of the Supreme Floral Pocket Tee and Hoodie that released around the same time. I could never justify paying that much for a shoe, let alone a Janoski that cost €80 at retail, and started coming to terms with the shoe being unattainable to me.

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But I finally got my hands on a pair. They were pre-owned and slightly worn but it didn’t matter because I wear my shoes anyway and the price was right.

I just love the colours of the floral pattern – very similar to the House of Hackney “Midnight Garden” design – and how they are in a beautiful contrast to the white Swoosh and midsole. Brought together on the elegant silhouette, the Nike SB Stefan Janoski “Digi Floral” is subtly flamboyant.

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Dear Diary #6: Adidas Stan Smith “American Dad”

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The Adidas Stan Smith is a classic silhouette that I had been thinking about adding to my rotation ever since the Three Stripes brought it back in December 2013. After many months of putting it of because of the lack of urgency, I finally found a reason to get a pair in the classic white and green colourway.

Before I had ever heard of the Adidas Stan Smith, I had always associated the name with the lead character from American Dad. It was only much later that I found out that Stan Smith is a former World No. 1 tennis player that was signed by Adidas to endorse the Robert Haillet tennis shoe in 1971, which would later take on the name of the two-time Grand Slam champion.

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In October 2014 Adidas announced a special edition of the Stan Smith that payed homage to the American Dad. The face of the classic “Endorsed by: Stan Smith” graphic was replaced with a portrait of the cartoon character and the insoles were printed with picture of him posing in a tennis uniform in front of a Star Spangled Banner. As a fan of Seth MacFarlane’s work as well as the Stan Smith silhouette I wanted to get my hands on them.

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However, similar to the reissue of the Stan Smith in December 2013 the shoes had a very low priority, since they never looked like selling out and I wanted to wait for them to go into clearance. Even though Adidas never dropped the price, I noticed the stock getting lower and sizes disappearing on their website in March, which is why I finally decided to get my pair before it was too late.

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I had always wondered about the price tag, which was significantly higher than the regular Stan Smith. When I held the shoes in my hand for the first time I understood – the quality was remarkably superior to that of the regular model with upper boasting a much softer leather upper. The silhouette is very basic but is easily combined with a lot of outfits, which is why I know I will wear them a lot this summer.

Dear Diary #5: Nike SB x 8Five2 Lunar Janoski “Never in the Club 3”

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The Nike SB x 8Five2 Lunar Janoski “Never in the Club 3” is the latest addition to my sneaker rotation. I consider it to be the most underrated collaboration of 2014, not just by Nike SB but in general.

The Hong-Kong-based skate shop did a fantastic job with this collaboration. The Janoski already is a very classy silhouette but the black patent leather upper and white Lunarlon midsole look super clean and almost makes them appropriate for evening wear – although not everyone will agree with me on that.

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But ironically I slept on these myself – both Nike and Size? had plenty of sizes in stock for a very long time and I had hoped to get them when they went into clearance. And while they did eventually drop in price in the US, they just disappeared from the European sites overnight.

I managed to find a skate shop in Zaragoza, Spain called La Dolce Vita that still had them in my size. They were on sale too so I didn’t hesitate to pull the trigger.

Dear Diary #4: Air Jordan IV “Oreo” a.k.a. “Tech Grey”

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The Air Jordan IV “Oreo” was one of the releases I was looking forward to the most at the start of 2015 (as mentioned here). In particular for being part of Jordan Brand’s remastered programme, which promised better quality materials used for production.

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My biggest gripe with past Jordan Brand releases had been the poor quality of materials and workmanship that did not justify the high price. Unfortunately the use of better materials meant another rise in price that became even costlier for me with the recently unfavourable Pound-Euro exchange rate.

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Nevertheless, I was keen to get a pair because I am a fan of the Air Jordan IV’s silhouette and the basic “Oreo” colourway. When they arrived at my door, however, I remembered why I never bought a pair of IVs – the shoes are super heavy and the midsole is very chunky.

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The full-grain leather also looks like it would require a couple of wears until broken in. I do hope the shoes become more comfortable with wear them because I do like how they look on feet.

Dear Diary #3: Footpatrol x New Balance 1500 “Encyclopaedia”

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I hadn’t been this psyched about a shoe like the Footpatrol x New Balance 1500 “Encyclopaedia” in a long time. The last release to get me this excited was probably the TGWO x New Balance 577 “Autobahn Pack” in October 2013.

I really liked the whole “Encyclopaedia” and “Knowledge is Key” theme – it had an air of sophistication. The inspiration taken from the latest edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica was executed excellently with the black grain leather and suede and gold stitching.

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The ivory midsole and gum outsole were a great addition for a classy and elegant look. What really sold me on the shoes though were the printed insoles with the anatomy of the foot on them. I know that you can’t see the insoles when you’re wearing the shoes but I really appreciate it when collaborators use them as a canvas to communicate their idea. In this case the diagram played well with the shoes’ motto that “Knowledge is Key” – as pointed out on the inside of the tongue.

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I decide to mix and match the black and gold laces because I couldn’t pick between the two. The black laces look great because they look much more elegant than the glittery gold. However, the gold laces are stiffer and wider and don’t look as sloppy as the formless black ones. Maybe I should look into throwing a set of black waxed laces on them.

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Many people have been complaining about the shape of the New Balance 1500, especially the toe-box. The OG 1500 had more of a wedge-shaped toe while the more recent 1500s to come out of Flimby are a bit rounder towards the front. I don’t mind because the silhouette still looks great and Footpatrol did an awesome job with the collaboration. I’m really happy I was able to get my hands on these!

What are your thoughts on this collaboration? Which laces do you think I should go for? What do you think about the shape of the 1500?

Let me know in the comments below!

Dear Diary #2: Nike SB x Premier Dunk High “Northern Lights”

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My Nike SB x Premier Dunk High “Northern Lights” are my latest pick-up. Obviously the first time I saw the Yeezy 2 “Black/Solar Red” came to mind – the colourway I initially wanted but couldn’t get.

You probably wouldn’t believe me if I told you I was a fan of black, pink and green colourways long before I even knew about Yeezys. But back in the days of the original Need For Speed: Most Wanted I pimped all of my rides like that.

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Seeing that colour combo on a Dunk High meant I had to get my hands on them. I wasn’t sure how I felt about going for a Yeezy-esque colourway. Nike had already played the whole thing out serving up similar looking AF1s and Foams to feed the hypebeasts’ hunger.

Premier did provide a concept for the colourway. They drew their inspiration from Aurora Borealis, also referred to as Northern Lights. The black and grey base served as the night sky, the bright pink on the lining and glowing green outsole as the lights and the 3M speckles as stars.

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But Premier knew what they were doing. While the design was executed very well, I was really thrown off by the gold lace tips. To me they compromised the legitimacy of the entire concept.

Nevertheless, I’m glad I picked these up. The glow in the dark outsole is super dope, almost as good as the real thing.

Dear Diary #1: Asics x The Good Will Out Gel Lyte V “Koyo”

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Today I’m introducing something I’d like to call “Dear Diary”. This is not going to be a regular series but something I do from time to time when I have a new pair of shoes to show off.

Today I’m showing you The Good Will Out’s latest collaboration with Asics: the Gel Lyte V “Koyo”.

Over the summer I did an internship with Sneaker Freaker Germany, which made it one of the best of my so far insignificant life (I’ll talk more about it in future blog posts). They told me about this collaboration long before the public knew about it. The shoes released the weekend after I went back to Cardiff for Uni so before I left I asked them if they could talk to the guys from TGWO and get me a pair.

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It took a while but they sent me a pair which is why I want to thank the guys at Sneaker Freaker and The Good Will Out. I really appreciate you looking out for me and sending these my way!

If you’ve read some of my previous blog posts you’ll know that The Good Will Out is my local sneaker shop back home in Cologne, Germany, so I may be a little biased when talking about their collaborations.

But I really like this shoe. Just like the “Autobahn” 577s this Gel Lyte V has a great theme behind it that is reflected on the shoe perfectly. Koyo is a word used in Japanese poetry to describe the burgundy colour of the leaves in autumn.

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This colour is dominant on the nubuck leather upper and complimented by green and yellow accents. The little details are again what makes this collaboration stand out: the leaves print on the sock liner, tongue and insole, and the structured leather on the heel with the texture of a leaf. The green Asics stripes on the side of the shoe feature 3M, which fits nicely into the whole autumn theme.

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I also love that the shoe came with a variety of laces to choose from. The first time I saw these was when I was translating the latest issue of Sneaker Freaker and they had yellow and white laces on them. It was a bad look for them. I went for the burgundy and green laces because they go best with the overall shoe.

These are my first Gel Lyte Vs and I must say that they are really comfortable. I really like how the sockliner hugs your foot (like the Huarache). They have been the canvas for many great collaborations and this one was executed very well. I can see myself wearing these a lot in the future.

What do you think of these?

Let me know in the comments below.

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