Anyone else think that PYS and BAIT's work with Saucony might be some of the best of the year?
PYS's Blue Apple makeup of the Shadow 6000 eclipsed the majority of collaborations we've seen lately (and we love some of PYS's previous projects and exclusives) and this BAIT Grid 9000 is a tremendous makeover that supersedes their fine ASICS work too. Ever since we saw the first samples of Saucony's resurrection of their ultra-tech 1994 Grid-assisted silhouette, we've seen some great colourways from Bodega (via the Elite project and this model's debut as a retro) and Packer. This one maintains the standards set and makes some damned good use of the wealth of detailing the shoe delivers, but crucially, delivers something that's fresh looking rather than ultra referential.
What could have been just another Gucci homage is far more because of the bluey viridian green shade used (hence the "Viridian Burner" project name) and the white reflective material, plastic lacestay and Grid material beneath the outsole complement the fade from green to black on that midsole perfectly (we know "epic fades" are usually confined to internet denim geek outs, but we think it's applicable here) and the nubuck rear collar is a premium contrast to the stretchy neoprene synthetic element of this shoe that's key to its superior fit. BAIT's California-based retail and gallery space (newly opened this summer) is a tasteful one and their clean branding is another element of this shoe that pays off.
We've found a lot of shoes a little mehh this week, but we're full of positives for this one because, whereas so many hyped pieces of footwear look more than a little haggard and glue stained, with weak materials once they're in your sweaty mitts, thanks to one too many Photoshopped previews, these actually look better in the flesh, and that's quite an achievement. We judge many shoes from that top-down glimpse and can testify that the view of good quality suede in that viridian shade is a good one. It's all on the details and these go on sale at midnight in the Crooked Tongues store in very limited amounts. It's been a long time coming since their initial release Stateside, but it's one that's well worth the wait for once. Saucony, PYS and BAIT — we salute you for doing something different.