The Sneaker Drop: This Month’s Releases From Nike X Sacai, Adidas And New Balance

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The Sneaker Drop: This Month’s Releases From Nike X Sacai, Adidas And New Balance

Words by Mr Jim Merrett

5 July 2021

The time for shorts is upon us. So, the big question: socks or not? Or rather socks or invisible socks, since the no-sock option is a shortcut to sweaty, stinky sneakers. If you do go for full-length socks, we suggest athletic tubes or perhaps pastel shades. Then again, bright block colours, tie dye or leopard print might be more your bag. As for which shorts to sport this summer, we have an answer of sorts here. But then comes an even bigger question: which sneakers should you slip into once you’ve settled on your socks? Step this way.

990 V1 by New Balance

Probably New Balance’s most revered silhouette, the original 990 model was famous for its price tag, becoming the first running shoe to break the $100 mark. But it’s legacy goes much further, ushering in an era of innovation, and challenging what was to be expected from a pair of sneakers. For the Boston brand itself, it set a template that, while not rigid in the sense that function followed form, became the standard for the next wave of sneaker technology. It means the evolution of this model is similar to that of a VW Golf; each iteration is recognisable because its underlying, unmistakable DNA runs through the design. This reissue features pigskin suede, plus the addition of a motion-control device in the footbed, triple-layer EVA cushioning and a Vibram outsole.

Malmö Net Spezial by adidas Consortium

Of city-break destinations, Malmö might not have the obvious cache of, say, Barcelona, Amsterdam or Paris – or even Copenhagen, over the Øresund Bridge. In truth, this functional gateway into the Scandinavian Peninsula is perhaps as unlikely the setting of a gritty cop drama (The Bridge) as it is the jumping-off point for a shoe. And yet here is the latest entry in adidas’ City Series, based on the Handball model of the late 1970s, renamed in honour of the birthplace of the shy and retiring Mr Zlatan Ibrahimović. This shoe, too, is proudly Swedish, emblazoned in the original colours of the nation’s flag, which themselves are drawn from Sweden’s 1442 coat of arms, but perhaps today also conjure images of flat-pack furniture and meatballs. (The official Pantone references are 301 C and 116 C, although adidas has opted for “Bold Gold”.) In any case, it makes for a worthy pitstop on the sportswear brand’s ongoing European tour.

Low Blazer by Nike X Sacai

“Muted” is perhaps not a word readily associated with Sacai’s punk-zine reworking of Nike’s very first basketball shoe. However, there’s no doubt that this dark grey colourway adds a touch of maturity to Ms Chitose Abe’s Frankenstein design. The sneaker itself is an interplay of materials as much as reference points from the Nike archives, with textured leather details layered over the dark suede backdrop. Sacai’s Blazer doubles down on everything from Swooshes to tongues as a reminder that this is far more than your average reissue.

Have the drop on