The adidas Campus is sacred to us. This 1983 masterpiece that pushed the Green Star and Tournament into a new decade doesn't need another primer on how it hit different subcultures (we've seen it in metal, hardcore, hip-hop and skate contexts), but there's not too many shoes that can claim authenticity like this one. CT staffers old and new seemed to be united in their respect for this one (in fact we believe that it was Claw who helped with the development of the 1980s' cut of this shoe), but it's always best in suede, where the matt effect of that natural fabric took to some bolder colours and made them eminently wearable. We might even go so far as to say that this is tied with the Stan Smith as the greatest adidas shoe ever. When the Footpatrol team flipped the stripes on the medial side back in 2007 they gave us one of the best collaborations ever and burgundy, blue and grey are flawless colours. In mesh a year or so ago, the Campus was super slept on and these Campus 80s Primeknits feel like a collision of those and the Campus 80s Breath that Kuzuki and CLOT cooked up in early 2013. Primeknit on this shoe is a curious choice — it's something that we've enjoyed seeing on football boots and progressive running designs, but on the simplicity of the Campus, it's not really a showcase of what the technology can really do — the traditional leather, rather than sewn in, stripes were an unexpected thing to retain. Still, despite the high RRP (which seems to be a recurring trend in knitted upper footwear) which had us discussing the strange discrepancy between manmade and natural materials when it comes to pricing, having worn a pair, these are pretty comfortable and free of the fear of dreaded scuff that cause terminal injury to traditional Campus makeups and in the event of summer showers, you're gonna get waterlogged feet, but the shoes will survive. An odd choice for a cutting-edge reworking, but a good hot weather shoe nonetheless....

Posted by, Gary Warnett on 24 April 2014

We've run an interview with Sean McDowell here before (back in summer 2008), but who would have thought Lunarlon would be embraced like it was? Nike Free turning ten has made us feel elderly and the current brace of flagship flexible footwear bearing those siped soles showcases some of the most significant changes to the patterning in a while and gives some of the more anonymous instalments (while we loved Free 3.0 in 2007 when it debuted, we found subsequent closer to barefoot designs to lack their own identity) from past years their own character. And the biggest change over the Nike Free decade? People are actually running in their shoes, creating a new kind of crossover. Back in 2004, we were all more preoccupied with shoes from 1985 and 1987, (and on the hype side of things, unless it has a Supreme or HTM co-sign, not a lot changes) because of a drought of genuinely different running designs. Salutes to the Mayfly and Storm Beacon though. Sean McDowell is Vice President and Creative Director for Nike Running and from previous encounters, he's happy to chat enthusiastically about some cult classics as well as the future of footwear. Sean started at Nike in the late 1990s and gave us the polarising greatness of the Air Kukini cross training design (and if you followed this site from its Spine Magazine early days — shouts to Chris Aylen — you'll know that the Kukini is important to CT), the aforementioned Mayfly and, in case you don't mess with those classics — the Air Max TN. And if you don't at least respect the Air Max Plus, we feel bad for you.We caught up with Sean again for the London launch of Nike Free a week or so ago (hence the marathon/Mo mention), but we also dropped a few outtakes from an interview last summer at the end, because we know there's a few more trivia junkies out there who like to hear how some of these things came to be.Sean, how much do you consider trend level at design? Is how a shoe is going to look with...

Posted by, Gary Warnett on 23 April 2014

These dropped in a few other stores a few weeks back, but we're still waiting for our stock, so they warrant a closer look. We still love us some Nike Air Trainer SCs in their 1990 form. If you caught the ESPN Bo Jackson documentary in 2012, you'll know that Bo was a real-life superhero to match Jordan and we used to love his signature shoes just as much. Tinker went in with this one, resulting in a shoe that looked like the 1987, OG SC (now renamed the III) and TW Air Trainers on performance enhancing drugs. There was something in the bloodstream, with that variable with lacing, ski boot insert that exaggerated what we'd seen before with the Ace and Revolution and optional Velcro strap for those poor fools that couldn't handle that forefoot fastening. Sometimes some Rastafarian colours can come off very, very poor — more like a student with a dreadlock wig and rolled newspaper sized mock spliff than any mark of respect, but we can't deny the power of red, gold and green when they're combined. This makeup is a little too garish (yellow laces seem a little gratuitous) but if we'd seen Ninjaman busting out a pair with a click suit back when he dropped 'Murder Dem', it would have been life changing. More Sleng Teng than the usual Sandal's Resort steez of similar makeups, there's something carnival friendly about this variation of the SC.

Posted by, Gary Warnett on 22 April 2014

If you never did your homework or are just pretending to be into this shoe stuff, you probably labour under the misapprehension that adidas weren't top of their tech game in the 1980s. That would be a falsehood because the Germans went in with a handful of curious customisable creations long before everybody else got into the gadgets — removable pegs? Foam inserts that tailored cushioning (we recall Mizuno doing something similar too) to suit your foot? A digital readout on your shoe to calculate your pace? They were deeply experimental between 1980 and 1986. What's interesting is that the looks of the shoes that bore these ideas still had a timeless, classically adidas look to them, which is why they aren't derided like those PUMA RS joints that plugged into a Commodore 64. The most advanced and labour intensive of all adidas's technologies (actually the adidas 1 was pretty complicated) was the APS (AntiPronation and Shock absorption System) from around 1985. Requiring a novelty yellow key to work it, the shoe contained a polyurethane cassette in the sole that contained rods — by turning the key clockwise, the rods became closer, so you could determine the hardness of the midsole. As an anti-pronation precaution, the inside rods were harder than the outside ones. All this was visible on the outsole through a window that showed the yellow and green rods' positioning.We're not sure we've ever fully understood what APS did, but we know that any shoe that requires calibration is pretty novel. Most reissued pairs we've owned — and if you've been into this for a minute, you'll recall the oki-ni editions from 2005 that paid tribute to the Memphis Group long before the current adidas shoes doing the same thing and an expensive reissue at Foot Patrol in 2003 — have gone un-calibrated, much to our shame, but we appreciated the fact the shoes were brought back with that feature. How much effort must it have been to recreate that...

Posted by, Gary Warnett on 21 April 2014


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