Men on the casual tip have a variety of options at Footlocker.com to fit any look. Nike, Jordan, and adidas lead a pack of selections that draw inspiration from the basketball courts of the past, and the paved surfaces and rugged trails of the present.
For a sporty look that draws from a hardwood heritage, turn to Jordan. This brand, named for the legendary Michael Jordan and spun off from Nike in 1997, features models worn directly by the legend himself, as well as hybrids that include features drawn from several of these models.
The Spiz’ike and its sequel, the Son of Mars, both pay homage to MJ’s relationship with filmmaker Spike Lee. It was Lee who reprised his character Mars Blackmon – from his 1986 film “She’s Gotta Have It” – for a Nike ad campaign in the late 1980s and early ’90s that launched the Air Jordan line into a unique stratosphere. The Spiz’ike debuted in 2006, featuring elements of the Air Jordan III through VI, the IX, and the XX. The Son of Mars followed in features elements from the same shoes minus the AJ IX.
Perhaps the most famous throwback model is Nike’s Air Force 1 line. Since debuting as a basketball shoe in 1982, the AF1 has been made available in countless styles and colorways. Some of its most popular are the classic clean white, and the all-black often chosen as a service-industry work shoe.
adidas Originals reaches into its archives for a classic as well, with its Superstar 2. This low-top sneaker is a re-release of the high-top hoops shoe that released in 1969. The simple shoe featured a midsole of ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) beneath a synthetic, layered upper with the noticeable, starkly colored 3-Stripes logo.
Casual options also tap Nike’s legacy of “revolutionary” running shoes, most notably from the Air Max models that debuted in 1987 as the leading edge of Nike’s “Air Revolution.” These shoes made visible the Max Air unit under the heel. This was a breakthrough for the Nike Air technology that debuted in 1979.
The Air Max 90 features this visible Max Air unit, and an upper of synthetic overlays included polyurethane eye-stays that helped lash everything together. Pronounced foxing, swooping from the heel counter to the toe box, often carries the color hits on the Air Max 90.
The Air Max 95 updates this re-release of the original 1995 with some of Nike’s latest technologies. That means a shift from the original ’95 – and its EVA midsole with windows to the Max Air unit – to the full-length Max Air unit and Dynamic Flywire of the current release. The Dynamic Flywire consists of a heavy-gauge thread that floats freely, allowing it to flex naturally with the foot. This lends itself to the thin straps that lashed the laces to the midsole on the original ’95.
One of the most popular casual options going is one that can go just about anywhere. Nike’s ACG Air Max Goadome features a full-grain leather upper that includes perforations for ventilation. This high-top “All Conditions Gear” boot rests atop an EVA midsole that houses a visible Air-Sole unit. Other variants feature a nubuck upper, with color-keyed laces.
Nike’s Goadomes look as good on the streets as they function in the fields and on trails.