words // Nick Engvall
When it comes to trail shoes, there are few companies who continually push the envelope to create great products on a regular basis. Salomon is one of those companies, and one of the shoes that has kept them near the top of the game over the past few years is the Speedcross model.
Now moving into its third edition, the Salomon Speedcross 3, gets a bright and bold, attention grabbing colorway to help launch the newest version. This aggressive trail running shoe is equipped with a mesh upper that is designed to keep debris at a distance and you on your pace. Kevlar laces and the Quicklace technology make for an easy on and off, while the Quickfit system keeps the laces snug and tucked away from interfering with your running. Salomon’s Sensifit system keeps thing properly in place and comfortable surrounding your foot and a combination of molded and injected EVA in the midsole provides cushioning.
words // Nick Engvall
Following up the Hoth Forum Lo, the latest installment of the ever-expanding Star Wars x adidas Originals collaboration, is the adidas Originals Superstar 2. The timeless shell-toe carries on the successful line of Star Wars inspired designs from adidas Originals.
Inspiration for this camouflage colorway comes from the Rebel Alliance’s Rogue Squadron, remembered in the Star Wars story line for bringing down the Galactic Empire. The colorway is accented in hints of Orange and features the Rebel Alliance logo on the heel, a second on the lower ankle, and “Rogue Squadron” across the tongue just above the adidas Trefoil logo. Images of X-Wing Fighters add the final touches on the tongue, allowing you to show your affiliation in the battle against the Dark Side of The Force.
Lionel Messi sneaks one past Iker Casillas and Cristiano Ronaldo.
words // Nick Engvall
The debate about the world’s greatest athletes is always subjective. Most of the time, as fans, our dedication to our favorite players and teams is a heavy influence on our belief of who is best. When it comes to the greatest soccer player in the world, often times two names are most often brought up, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Luckily for fans of these players and the sport of soccer, Ronaldo and Messi are often on the same pitch, as the rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona, is one that is a frequent match up. This week the Supercup brought the two sides together again, and unfortunately the competitiveness of both sides led to a bench-clearing shoving match that took away from the 5-4 aggregate win for Lionel Messi and Barcelona. The win marks the 10th victory in Spain’s Supercup for Barcelona.
Check out the latest Soccer Watch coverage below courtesy of Yahoo.
Cristiano Ronaldo in his signature Nike soccer cleats.
Cesc Fabregas makes his Barca debut in the Nike Total90 Laser.
Iker Casillas wearing Reebok soccer cleats.
Lionel Messi celebrates one of his goals in the adidas adiZero F50.
Carlos Marchena of Villareal controls the ball in the adidas adiPower Predator.
Gareth Bale of Tottenham in the adidas F50 adiZero.
Dominic Odura of Chicago Fire in wearing PUMA soccer cleats.
Brandon McDonald of DC United makes a pass in the latest Nike soccer cleats.
Graham Zusi of Sporting Kansas City in the adiPower Predator.
Shalrie Joseph of the Revolution wearing adidas soccer shoes.
words // Zac Dubasik
images // Nick DePaula
The Air Jordan 2011 was both luxurious and ambitious, offering perhaps the finest leather ever found on a hoops shoe, along with its interchangeable midsole system. It was also a solid performer, excelling in the cushioning, finishing and materials departments. But while it was very capable on court, it was expensive, and made a few sacrifices to performance to enhance its high-end feel. The Q Flight strips down much of that luxury, and brings pure performance based materials to the upper. “When you look at what the 2011 does,” begins the shoe’s designer, Tom Luedecke, “in terms of blending some leathers that are really, really high end, along with comfort and performance and a really hand-crafted construction, there’s a price point attached to that. Now, we know the shoe performed well, in terms of cutting, traction and there was a modularity system there too, but now, it’s about, ‘How do we take some of the good stuff out of that shoe, and bring a product to market that more kids can have access to?’
So, out went the plush leather, and in came Jordan Brand’s first use of a fused upper. If you are familiar with the Hyperfuse, then the multi-layered upper of the Q Flight is nothing new. “It’s the same composite as the Hyperfuse, just laid out in a different way with the windows and beams,” explains Luedecke. “I just wanted to look at a fast and sleek way to pull those windows in there. That was a challenge for me, and I did maybe fifty or sixty sketches on just the windows to see how they’d end up being shaped.” Performance wise, the hard worked paid off. The upper of the Q Flight is both flexible and secure. It doesn’t have the refined last shape of the Hyperdunk 2011, but its pliability allows it to conform closely to the foot, and hold the foot securely over the footbed. The upper’s construction also allows for a better-than-average level of breathability.
While the fused construction of the upper is in stark contrast to the premium leather of the Air Jordan 2011, some things that you can’t immediately see are identical on the Q Flight. “We have the exact same comfortable bootie from the game shoe. At $120, you’re getting this ultra-high comfort bootie that we’ve proven out on the 2011,” says Luedecke. And comfortable it is. It envelops the foot in a padded, yet non-bulky liner that effectively protects the foot from the footbed-to-eyelet lacing system. My only complaint about this upper and liner is that it doesn’t offer heel lockdown on par with the best out there. The dog bone-shaped collar molding that Jordan Brand has been expertly using for the past couple years isn’t present here. The heel lockdown isn’t bad, and to my feet, even felt just a bit better than on the AJ2011 (probably just due to the non-modular cushioning system), but for a shoe that does everything else so well, it’s one of my few criticisms.
Cushioning-wise, the Q Flight is outstanding. The heel and forefoot Zoom bags feel similar to those found in the “Quick” setup of the Air Jordan 2011, although not quite as close to the foot. What differs greatly from the AJ2011 though is the shoe’s transition. The fact that the modular cushioning system actually worked, didn’t shift around, and felt just like any other shoe was quite an accomplishment, and gave wearers an unprecedented level of cushioning options in a single shoe. But it also made the transition decent, but less than perfect. The Q Flight on the other hand is about as smooth as it gets. The Zoom KD II serves as my current benchmark to compare heel-to-toe transitions to, and this is probably the best example I’ve felt since. While its 14 ounce weight isn’t anything to write home about by today’s standards, the shoe plays very light thanks to the extra-smooth transition.
I criticized the Air Jordan 2011’s traction for focusing too much on the graphics side of its performance graphic-based outsole. It wasn’t bad, but when such better traction can be had through herringbone, I’ll always criticize a shoe when the aesthetics of an outsole prevent it from performing its best. That said, I was disappointed when I realized that the outsole of the Q Flight is identical to that of the AJ2011. Surprisingly though, I found that the solid white rubber used here was noticeably superior to the clear outsole of the 2011. It still doesn’t quite match up to the very best available, but I have no complaints.
While the AJ2011 may have been a great shoe, its high-end materials didn’t necessarily make for the most performance-orientated experience. The shoe was so nice in terms of quality, that they may have been hard to actually go hoop in. “We wanted to build a shoe that kids are not hesitating to beat up, and hesitating to take to the court, where they might worry if someone is going to step on their beautiful leather Js and mess them up,” explains Luedecke. “And really, our entire brand is shifting towards more and more performance, and better and better performance, so every chance we get, we’re going to try and take a step towards that.” The Q Flight is an easy recommendation, and for a shoe offering both elite cushioning and next-generation construction, is an impressive value at $120.
best for: Most players other than those favoring higher cuts
colorway tested: Black/High Voltage
key tech: heel and forefoot Zoom Air, fused upper construction, full-length inner bootie, performance graphics outsole
pros: transition, cut, cushioning, traction
cons: fit less refined than the best of the competition
improvements: return to molded collar of AJ2010 for better heel stability, refine last shape
buying advice: If you liked the Air Jordan 2011, you’ll love the Q Flight. It doesn’t have the modular cushioning system, so you are stuck (which is NOT a bad thing) with Zoom Air, but it improves on the transition, weight and traction (same pattern, different material) of the flagship Game shoe.
words // Nick Engvall
Although most of the time we use the blog to show off the latest styles designed for the big kid’s of the sneaker world, some of us got started in our passion for sports and sneakers much younger. If you’re one of the people passing the torch along to the next generation of sneaker lovers, the latest colorway of the Nike Kobe VI is available in Big Kid’s sizes.
The Nike Kobe VI is covered in shades of Grey, Black and White in a camouflage print that covers the snakeskin-like finish of its upper. The popular Concord color fills the inner lining and the Swoosh on the side panel. Details like the Kobe logo on the tongue and Bryant’s signature emblazoned on the heel, let it be known that despite being pint-sized, are still most definitely Kobe shoes.
Available now: Nike Kobe VI Big Kid’s