It’s time to go from jumping in the pool to diving into the books, from swimsuits to school gear, and bike rides to backpacks. Starting a new grade provides the opportunity to express who you are and sport the brands you love through your clothing and more importantly your shoes! We’ve put together a list of the top 10 back-to-school shoes for this fall so you can look good and feel good all while rocking the latest trends.
Get ready to walk the walk this school year.
adidas Originals Stan Smith
True fashion never goes out of style, which is why the Stan Smith sneakers, though originally a favorite of tennis pros in the ’70s, are now a closet staple for everyone. A leather upper and rubber outsole provide durable comfort to last the whole school year.
Bill Bowerman’s first masterpiece – the Cortez – is a retro style perfect for your back-to-school look. The upper and outsole were built for traction and durability, while the midsole keeps your feet supported with a lightweight feel.
Jordan Retro AJ1 Mid
The first AJ1 dropped in the ’80s with full-grain leather and the “Air Jordan Wings” stamped on the side. Since then, it’s kept the timeless look we love, but updated the rubber outsole with flex grooves to give you the durability and flexibility you need.
Nike Air Force 1 Low
The Air Force 1 has been a staple since it debuted as a basketball sneaker in 1982. Over the years, the shoe has stayed on-trend through various colorways and cuts, but one thing that’s remained the same is the iconic court style that’s built for a premium fit and feel.
Nike Air Max 90
The running shoe created by Tinker Hatfield has evolved into one of the most iconic streetwear classics. Updated for modern style, the Air Max 90 is the perfect back-to-school sneaker. A padded ankle collar provides optimal comfort and support while a Max Air unit in the heel absorbs impact and makes you stand out among your classmates.
Nike Air Max 97
The Air Max 97, inspired by earlier models, took the Air Max line to a whole new level. As Nike’s first shoe with a full-length Max Air unit, the 97 keeps your feet cushioned while the layered colors keep your shoe game strong.
Vans Old Skool
Step into the school year with style in this true throwback. Originally designed for skateboarding, the Old Skool quickly turned into a mainstream shoe. Its classic canvas-and-suede upper and the trademark side stripe complete your back-to-school look while giving your feet all-day comfort.
Nike Air Max Plus
If you’re looking for a shoe that’s all about the details, look no further. The Air Max Plus started as an experimental design in 1998 and has since changed the shoe game forever. This sneaker is wrapped with ribs for an edgy look and injected with Air technology for supportive cushioning.
Nike Air Max 270
The design of the Air Max 270 pays tribute to the original ’91 Air Max 180 with the exaggerated tongue and logo, but still brings a modern vibe with an updated look and elevated comfort. As the first Air Max shoe designed to be worn casually instead of for performance, the Air Max 270 is the perfect choice for an everyday sneaker.
adidas Originals NMD R1
A breathable, flexible, and stylish shoe perfect for everyday wear, the NMD R1 was born from an inspired past and built for the future. This shoe has a tried-and-true silhouette and is the first lifestyle sneaker from adidas featuring the bouncy Boost midsole. Confidently stride into school with this popular Three-Stripe sneaker.
Each week, we’ll showcase the most popular upcoming shoe drops. We’ll give you the lowdown on the prices and sizes, break down the history of each shoe, and fill you in on the newest tech features. Check back every week for the hottest shoe drops. If it’s hyped, it’s here. You can check out the full list of releases on Eastbay’s Release Calendar. Here’s what you have to look forward to this week:
JORDAN RETRO 1 HIGH OG – JAN. 10 AT 10 AM ET
This February, the greatest basketball players in the world will face off in Los Angeles for the 2018 All-Star Game. But before the opening tip, you can get ready by grabbing these special Jordan Retro 1 High OGs inspired by the City of Flight. The black premium leather upper and metallic gold accents give these kicks a first-class look, but the real MVP of this shoe is the insole which features a map of LA. Men’s $160.00. Boys’ $120.00.
NIKE WOMEN’S SF AF 1 HIGH & MID – JAN. 11 AT 10 AM ET
What do you get when you take an iconic hoops shoe and update it with a military-inspired design? You get a one-of-a-kind shoe. These women’s Nike SF Air Force 1 shoes obviously have a stand-out look, but they are also made with a premium leather upper for durability and an Air-Sole unit for cushioning. In other words, you’re getting max strength, premium comfort, and a style that can’t be topped. Women’s Hi $180.00. Women’s Mid $160.00.
Some shoes are so iconic, that they stay front and center for decades, outlasting the various style trends that come and go in the blink of an eye. Nike is one of the best brands at creating these sneakers. Take the Air Force 1, Air Huarache, and Air Max BW, for example. They’re here to stay. But recently, Nike has been making some subtle improvements to these old-school kicks in the form of Nike Ultra. At Eastbay, we’re loving the changes and stocking up on as many as we can.
Nike Ultra shoes are slimmed-down, streamlined versions of their classic counterparts. So, if you enjoy rocking Nike’s style staples as much as we do, you’re going to love the breathable, lightweight comfort of Nike Ultra.
Ultra uppers cut down on bulky seams and take breathability to a whole new level with laser perforations and open mesh throughout. Your feet will feel dry, fresh, and light all day long without compromising your style.
The Ultra versions of these classic Air Max styles might look the same as the traditional shoes, but don’t be deceived — the Ultra updates are drastically lighter. This is because the cushioned midsoles are now doubling as outsoles, with light layers of durable rubber placed only in high-wear areas. Additionally, these midsoles are cored out, cutting down on even more weight and adding extreme flexibility to each shoe. This means you get all the durable traction you need and none of the extra bulk you don’t. Here’s a comparison of some of the Ultra options:
Nike Air Max 90: 14.3 oz.
Nike Air Max 90 Ultra: 10.7 oz.
Nike Air Max 1: 10.2 oz.
Nike Air Max 1 Ultra: 7.9 oz.
Don’t worry — the traditional Air-Sole units you know and love are still present in each shoe, keeping your feet cushioned and comfortable all day long. Combine that with the breathable Ultra upper and lightweight midsole/outsole and Nike has created some of the most comfortable casual shoes around.
Eastbay has a huge array of classic Nike and Nike Ultra shoes. So, now that you understand the differences, it’s time to explore the options. Lace ’em up, try ’em out, and tell us how it feels to walk on Air.
words // Brandon Richard
images // Darrell Martin
This year, Nike sportswear has supported its Air Foamposite One releases with similar make-ups of the Air Force 1. Before the all-new ‘Triple Black’ Foamposite releases next week, its Air Force 1 counterpart
The ‘Triple Black’ Air Force 1 features a full suede upper, with tonal stitching and branding hits. Black also works the shoe’s textile lining, midsole and outsole.
Pick up a pair of ‘Triple black’ Forces at Eastbay for $100 tomorrow at 8:00 a.m. EST / 7:00 a.m. CST. Follow @Eastbay on Twitter and @OfficialEastbay on Instagram for all release information and updates.
More Release Dates
words // Brandon Richard
images // Mary Hoffmann
The Nike Air Force 1 is presented in an all-new white-based colorway for the warm weather seasons.
Crimson works the inner lining of the high-top, while purple venom handles the cross-strap and outsole. In an interesting twist, elephant print has been added to the toebox and side panels. Grey also appears on the heelstay and midsole.
These timeless Nike basketball shoes are available now at Eastbay.