I promise I’ll hold off on the Nike/footwear posts after this, but the sneakers below are release-of-the-year in my opinion, and I couldn’t not document them.
Twelves years ago, Nike introduced the Air Woven, a creatively constructed shoe with an unusual aesthetic that reigned popularity amongst sneaker heads and enthusiasts alike. Last week, Nike dropped the Free Inneva Woven, a modern take on its predecessor, which attempts to mimic the natural biomechanics of the foot by applying the meticulously developed 360-degree hand-woven system throughout the entire upper. From the speckled Free 5.0 sole to the premium-leather heel unit, waxed laces and embossed NSW branding throughout, it’s clear that Nike took no shortcuts in the production of this 8-hours-to-complete runner.
The hype and popularity surrounding these extremely limited Free’s resulted in them selling out internationally within a matter of hours. Luckily, I was fortunate enough to have the good folks at Off The Hook notify me the second they got these in stock, which earned me the first of twelve pairs they received in-store.
Nike’s been absolutely killing it this year. Between the Mayfly Wovens, Roshe Runs, Inneva Wovens and now the Air Solstice, they really don’t give you much chance to break-in a pair before pulling the trigger on the next.
This timeless sneaker, whose influence derives from the Nike Tailwind, Vortex and Safari, features an all leather-and-suede upper with an incredibly successful and tasteful use of both textures and patterns throughout. The perforated toe, tongue and swoosh for example are all lined with a light-reflective sub-layer, while the predominantly grey silhouette is tied together with a contrasting neon orange ankle collar and a rich, dark tan inner, all of which is placed atop of a air-cushioned sole unit.
This extremely limited Tier Zero release comes in both grey and black. I was lucky enough to get my hands on a pair, as most stockists, if not all, have unfortunately sold out by now.
I recently picked up the Fred V boot by Grenson — who have been making quality footwear since 1866. After much debate, I settled for the Burnt Pine (though also available in Tan or Black) while they were on sale over at End. I’d been meaning to pickup a nice brogue for quite a while now, so the timing was perfect.
The boot itself is surprisingly light — compared to my Red Wing 877 anyway — and features a smooth calf upper with a Vibram Morflex sole put together by a storm welt, oversized brogue detailing, waxed leather laces and canvas pull tabs. The weather isn’t quite right for these just yet but I look forward to giving them some solid wear come spring and fall.
Sometime last month, before the snow started hitting the ground, I began a search for a rugged, ankle-length boot that would facilitate the transition between early fall and the beginnings of Montreal’s snow-covered winter. As is usually the case, Red Wings seemed to have the answer to all my problems and it wasn’t long before I was pretty much set on the Wabasha boot, part of their Heritage collection. Cash in-hand, I headed to local upperground boutique Off The Hook and swiftly walked out with a pair of #9185 in size 11.5 (sized down a half from my usual size).
The boot is a 6″ (though the #9184 offers a slightly lower cut) and features leather tanned at their own S.B Foot Tanning Company in Minnesota, a Vibram mini-slug sole, olive-brown waxed canvas hugging each side, quality two-tone raw-hide laces and like all their boots, are triple hand-stitched in the US using waxed thread.