We won't pretend we ever cared much about the 1988 Nike Sky Force on its release. We were too hyped on basketball shoes with Nike Air, like the Assault, Revolution or Air Force III to pay attention to a non-Air, affordable basketball design. And while it's not as impactful as the mighty Court Force (with which it shares similarities), the Sky Force looks a lot better with age. Still, we were a little disappointed with the difference in materials between this year's Sky Force 88 VNTG when it finally made production, jettisoning the soft leather of the sample. Some colourways in the Stussy TZ releases were okay but it needs an extra premium push to make its mark in a crowded marketplace, because it can't sustain on that phenomenal FORCE tongue branding alone (as homaged on one of the best original Crooked t-shirts), especially when it's so tonal that it's barely legible.
This duo of makeups improves the materials, adds a wool-effect fabric around the collar, a Scotchlite strip on the toe and - for no real reason - some hooked lace fastenings to broach the hiking theme that refuses to abandon its industry ascent. With all those alterations, the winterised Sky Force is the best of the reissued versions so far, with the extra details and alterations making up for the no-frills nature of the source material. Both these colourways arrive in the Crooked Tongues store next month.