Top 3 Quarantine Kicks by Sadé Lawful
Sources: Nike, Union Jordan LA
Although summer in quarantine is coming to an end, the sneaker industry did not hold back on shoes to cop over the recent months. Back-to-back releases made sure that we all had fresh kicks to rock on our daily outings to the living room. I don’t know about the rest of you, but continuously checking the SNKRS app and KicksOnFire was the only way I kept track of what day it was. Here’s my controversial list of the top three sneakers released during quarantine from beginning, middle, to end.
#3: Travis Scott Air Max 270 Cactus Trails
The colorway is inspired by hiking trails, using browns and tans, and the upper combines fleece and wave-like grooves to create texture. The waves are somewhat reminiscent of the Air Max 97, giving the shoe a 90s feel, and the midsole consists of an air bubble in Nike React Foam. Each shoe contains the Cactus Jack logo, but only the Preschool and Toddler sizes have a backward Nike Swoosh. The retail price was $170 USD.
#2: Union Jordan 4s
The Union Jordan 4sThe Guava Ice colorway was inspired by the previous release of the Union Air Jordan 1. It used muted blues, reds, and yellows to achieve tones of cerulean blue, pinks, and cream colors. The biggest feature on the shoe is the tongue, which was designed to be folded over with removable stitching to have the option of feeling like a traditional Jordan 4. There is also a slight change to the silhouette with an extra mesh panel added on the toe where leather would usually be on a regular Jordan 4. This was a design choice made to balance out the suede and mesh ratio on the upper. The retail price was $250 USD.
#1: Grateful Dead Nike SB Dunk Lows
These were released in the middle of summer in three colorways: orange with a green sole and Nike swoosh, yellow with a blue sole and swoosh, and all green with a blue sole and swoosh. Grateful Dead is most identifiable by their little dancing bears, so if you could not guess, these SBs have a faux fur and suede upper. Notable features include a zig-zag design on the swoosh, lightning on the aglets, and a zipper pocket combined with the tongue. These were released at a retail price of $110 USD.
Now, here’s the tea: I strongly dislike the Travis Scott Air Max 270 Cactus Trails. I much prefer the toddler and infant versions rather than the adult shoes. Although the smaller sizes are missing the wave-like grooves, I do not like the gold brushing on the Nike React Foam and the bubble that the adult sizes have; It gives the shoe the feeling of a worn look, which I do not mind, but that is something I can do on my own over time. I feel like these particular sneakers were overhyped because of the name attached to them.
The Guava Ice Jordan 4s were probably my favorite release this summer. I simply like this shoe for its colorway and the suede upper. Unfortunately, most people hated this shoe, and it had many complaints, from the color palette to the folded over tongue. When it was revealed that there was removable stitching to reveal a traditional tongue, most of the haters kept quiet and no longer said a word! The shoes mysteriously sold out even though everyone “hated” this collab by Union LA with Jordan.
Grateful Dead is notorious and most of their releases go down in history; anything Grateful Dead is automatically “grailed” just because those are the rules. I did not fall in love with these shoes right away, but the concept of doing what most people won’t is what attracted me. They are unique and require daring souls, so handle with care at your own risk.
Quarantine was accompanied by crazy releases. There were so many other shoes I could have mentioned, but these were the sneakers that stood out to me. What’s on your feet?