Fall sport roundup: Sport inspiration updates classics
adidas and Nike reintroduce sport-inspired casual looks for a unique off-court look this autumn.
By Striperpedia staff
These days, performance and style footwear crosses all categories. More often than not, casual shoe designs find their inspiration from other categories. And not surprisingly, casual shoes need to adhere to the latest trends, as well as pull from the past.
We sat down with Mike Kozlowski, Footlocker.com’s Cross Channel Merchandising Coordinator, to get an idea of what sport-inspired casual footwear will be hitting the streets this season.
“As casual shoes continue to evolve in 2012, they take their inspiration from fashion, style, and basketball,” he said.
Comfort, support, and durability need be a part of the shoe. The demand for top-of-the-line casual sneakers increases every year.
For Nike, the famed Air Force 1, available on Footlocker.com, a staple for casual shoes since their introduction in 1982, continues to inspire new designs, colorways and concepts.
“This year marks AF1’s 30th anniversary,” Kozlowski said. “The Air Force 1 continues to evolve, and this iconic model is releasing new colorways. For fall 2012, 15 new colors are added to the spectrum, while four Olympic colors are also added.”
2012 marks a milestone anniversary for another celebrated model, the Nike Cortez, which turns 40 and also is available on Footlocker.com.
“The classic, vintage running shoe, created back in 1972, was one of Nike’s first, popular models. Today, 22 different color combinations can catch your eye and complete your style,” he said. “Along with your traditional nylon and leather, Nike Cortez marks another milestone for Nike.”
Also, Nike continues to develop its wide range of Max Air cushioned sneakers. In recent years, mid to highs are increasing in popularity.
The Nike Air More Uptempo, available on Footlocker.com, was inspired by styles from the ’90s. The Uptempo offers another chance to capitalize on that. This retro hoops sneaker gives players and sneaker collectors that iconic style of 1996, the year of its original release. Its leather upper features the hard-to-miss “AIR” incorporated into the design down the side, plus a full-length Air-Sole unit and a rubber sole.
The Nike Air Force 180, made famous in 1992 and available on Footlocker.com, it featured a leather upper and Phylon lightweight-foam midsole. The visible Max Air can be found in the heel. Part of the iconic look came with a hook-and-loop closure at midfoot for stability and security.
For Nike, the Dunk continues to be a casual staple, in part because of the 19 colors available at Footlocker.com. The old-school, classic hoops shoe is ready for downtown moves and uptown grooves. The leather, or leather/synthetic, upper is comfortable and conforms to the foot. The ankle straps with hook-and-loop closures were made to ensure a speedy on and off.
“Mid and high models, inspired by basketball and fashion, are trending right now,” Kozlowski said of the popular adidas Originals. “It’s amazing how retro looks combine with modern looks too.”
He added, “One of those popular models, the adidas Originals AR 2.0, available on Footlocker.com, is a fresh high-top look.”
The sneaker was inspired by both the court and the quarter-pipe. It has a leather upper and a rubber outsole as well as an ankle strap so the laces don't get in the way.
Another classic, new-age look with a retro feel, the adidas Originals adi High EXT, available on Footlocker.com, was an update on a past basketball silhouette. For modern style, the shoe blends patterned nubuck overlays with a patent leather collar. It also features the original adiRise binding, rolled edges in the heel and a large Trefoil tongue, for a retro feel.
Together, the adidas Originals Top Court HI Fat Stripes and the adidas Originals Top Court Mid, available on Footlocker.com, bring back that mid-’80s basketball shoe aesthetic. It combined a leather upper with a padded collar for super-durable style, adidas’ 3 Stripes details and a vulcanized rubber outsole with the adidas wordmark and Trefoil.
“The Samoa has been one of the hottest-selling models each week with its very clean lines and pops of color,” Kozlowski said. With the iconic colorful stripes, the adidas Originals Samoa, available on Footlocker.com, blends a mix of upper materials. An injected-rubber outsole featured the unique Trefoil tread, one of adidas’ recognizable styles. The ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) midsole provided the cushioning.
Converse has seen popularity come and go, but at its height, all types of people pull off this old-school look. No matter the style – rock or rap – the classic Chuck Taylor is undeniable.
“The classic Chuck Taylors, both High and Ox, are made from canvas and leather, and continue to be fashionable,” Kozlowski said. “We have the Chuck Taylor High on Footlocker.com, currently in 11 colors and Ox in 20 different colors.”
The design hasn't changed a bit, Kozlowski added.
“But it is still so fashionable,” he says. “The classic Converse is comfortable and durable with the canvas upper and rubber sole.”