Anyone that knows me, knows how hard it is for me to pick out only 5 of all the releases this year so I started off by limiting my picks to sneakers I actually was able to pick up. There were a lot of dope retros this year as well as some sick new designs too. Here are my top picks in no particular order...
Nike Air Tech Challenge II
Back in 1990, these were the first Nike Air's I ever owned, so seeing them retro this year was like an answer to my prayers! I can honestly say these are one of my top grails of all-time and I think Nike did a pretty good job of re-creating them. My OG's are long gone at this point, but my buddy has OG's in the Lava colorway and i made the comparison to the retros, pretty damn close compared to some of the botched retro monstrosities like the ATC III from the year before.
Nike Hyperdunk (Chris Bosh PE)
Just like Bob Hopeless, I had to pick the Hyperdunks, you just can't front on these! They represent the essence of what first made me a fan of Nike back in the late 80's/early 90's: technical innovation and advancement, as well as stylish aesthetics. Although there were many sick colorways and player editions of this shoe released, I had to cop some of the Bosh's because Nike showed love to Canada with the CB4 PE exclusive.
Air Jordan VII "HARE" (CDP)
Although my main pick from all the Count Down Packs released this year was the Carmine VI's, I didn't get a chance to snag a pair! I did however, get lucky enough to find a pair of the Hare VII's by themselves for a real good price, and I can't front, I think they are probably one of the best out the CDP's period, they just look so fly! I'll be honest, when the VII's first came out in 1992 I wasn't really feeling them, except for that huarache style sock liner... the colors were also way crazier than previous Jordan's. Glad they brought these back, hind sight is 20/20!
Nike P-Rod II High SB
This year over-all Nike SB had some solid releases, but for the most part (with the exception of the Supreme Trainer II's) not too many really stand out to me as much as these P-Rod 2 Highs. Something about them reminds me of old school late 80's high top basketball shoes, sorta like Air Delta Forces. I waited so long for them to release and i wasn't disappointed once they did, only thing is everyone and their mamma's-cousins-room mates-brother-in-law's-boss's son copped them too!!!
Nike ACG Air Blazer Mid GTX
My general opinion on Nike's latest trend of "fusions" (using various pieces of pre-existing shoes to create a totally new one) goes something like this:
I don't like when they do a fusion just to say that they did, for no real functional reason. (for ex. the Air Jordan/ Air Force 1 fusions or those god awful Air Tech Challenge I,II,III,IV,V,VI mixed into one).
I do tend to like them when it is for the sake of form and function (Air Max 90 boot, Wildedge, AM 90 Current, etc.)
I especially love these ACGed out versions Nike has been working on. Living in Canada, we get some rough weather and rugged terrain, you got to love kicks that are rugged and tough, yet actually look good too. I'm a huge Blazer fan and I love Gore-tex kicks, they really come in handy when it comes to winter and thats almost half the year here! Nike tweaked these out with air insoles for comfort and a special boot-like rubber out sole for higher traction. I'm definitely rocking these all winter long because its all about kicks that are boots, yet sneakers!!