11 Coolest Sneakers of the Week
This week in sneaker releases represents one of the most diverse collections we've ever seen. Nike reaches way back into its archive for an OG take on the Air Max 1, and Brooks looks to the past for a new court sneaker. Adidas has a series of hits, from its new retro-inspired runner, the Iniki, to a duo of collaborative City Socks from Kith and Naked, and all the way over to some sneakers from Alexander Wang that are set to challenge even the most entrenched sneakerhead. Plus a lot more. Get excited.
1| NIKE MAX UPTEMPO "ALL STARS"
Baby blue is rarely used in sneakers, and Nike's Air Max Uptempo line seldom sees enough attention on the launch calendar, but this week the Swoosh brought them both together for a unique pack. Celebrating the afterglow of All-Star Weekend, these specially colored pairs of the Uptempo '94, Uptempo '95, and Uptempo '97 offer looks you're not going to find anywhere else. They are from a totally different generation of athletic footwear, calling up nostalgia with a fun new twist.
2 | ADIDAS INIKI RUNNER
The Iniki is Adidas' latest foray into the retro runner trend while still avoiding an actual retro runner. Adidas brought those influences to bear on a totally new silhouette, placing it on top of a Boost sole. Sneaker fans are already scooping these up as fast as they can, and if you want to be an early adopter this is the week to do it.
3 | BROOKS DOHERTY
Brooks is betting heavily on the return of court sneakers with its new Doherty shoe. The sneaker takes inspiration from Reginald and Laurence Doherty, two tennis players who rose to fame at the end of the 1800s, playing in the 1900 Olympics. A mix of leathers and mesh, the shoe has all the elements of the modern court sneaker movement while maintaining a retro aesthetic for anyone who wants that classic style.
4 | ADIDAS X WHITE MOUNTAINEERING NMD R2
The folks at White Mountaineering couldn't slow down if you begged them. This week they're back with yet another Adidas release, taking on the new NMD R2. The sneaker is relatively smooth, with the now popular lateral sole plugs removed. The upper is all black with the proprietary White Mountaineering branding tape making three stripes across the toe of each shoe.
5 | NIKE AIR MAX 90 ULTRA 2.0 FLYKNIT "INFRARED"
There is no Air Max 90 like the "Infrared" colorway, one of the most classic Nike shoes of all time. Each year Nike finds a new way to remix this beloved colorway, this week reconfiguring it with Flyknit. The brand has done a similar treatment in the past, but this version is super clean and sleek, proving proficiency with this technology is truly a way to see classic looks in brilliant new ways.
6 | NIKE AIR MAX 1 OG "ANNIVERSARY" RED
This is the shoe that started it all. Based off the surprising inspiration of The Pompidou Center in Paris, when Tinker Hatfield brought his design for the Air Max 1 back to Nike's campus in Portland, it launched the new Air Max program. Since then we've had generations of Air Max sneakers and an entire history of Air. The shoe has been rereleased a handful of times but this year the design team went back to the beginning, bringing back the original shape of the shoe in the original colorway. Hopefully it'll make the impossible-to-please hardcore purists happy (for maybe the first time in their lives).
7 | BROOKS X ALUMNI REGENT "GREAT MISTAKE"
Brooklyn-based sneaker retailer Alumni looked to New York City history for its Brooks collaboration, considering "The Great Mistake" of 1898 when Brooklyn officially joined New York City. More than a hundred years later, the city is strong, but Brooklyn is its own culture, as represented on the shoes with mismatched pairs in the same colors and materials. It's a subtle shift, but each shoe asserts its individuality.
8 | ADIDAS X KITH X NAKED NMD CITY SOCK 2 PK
Adidas' Sneaker Exchange continues with the three-way collaboration between Adidas, Kith, and Naked. The resulting duo of City Sock 2s dive deep into accessible, relatively neutral colorways with heathered texture. The beige and pink knit sock-shaped sneakers sit on Boost soles, each with a three stripe ribbon up the center of the shoe. The left of each pair features branding from Kith and Ronnie Fieg, while the right shows branding from Naked.
9 | ADIDAS X ALEXANDER WANG AW "RUN CLEAN"
Alexander Wang's vision is in high demand and for good reason: He has a way of making us see things in new ways, subverting expectations and subtly shifting paradigms. This week he has two offerings with Adidas, the first being a new silhouette: the "Run Clean." The shoe is deceptively simple with a multipiece white mesh sock on top of a Boost midsole and gum outsole. Tones of beige and white play off each other over the whole silhouette, while an inverted Trefoil logo sits at the heel.
10 | ADIDAS X ALEXANDER WANG AW "RUN"
Alexander Wang's new "Run Clean" is gussied up for the simply named "Run." The sock upper has an added overlay that comprises almost the entire lacing system, attached at the toe and the heel. The laces wrap around to the back, preferring a drawstring closure at the heel instead of the traditional expectations of a bow closure on top. If you want the Wang look but the "Run Clean" goes a little too far for you, the "Run" is a happy medium.
11 | AIR JORDAN 15 RETRO "OBSIDIAN"
The Air Jordan 15 isn't the post popular silhouette the brand has ever made: The off-kilter shape and materials make it a hard sell for casual sneaker wearers, but connoisseurs know what they're looking at. This week's "Obsidian" release is a bolder look than the blacked out version that released just a few months ago, featuring a navy blue upper cut by bright white. If you're on the fence, we urge you to take a second look. The 15 grows on you.
This story originally appeared on Esquire.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.