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:
At Eastbay, we pride ourselves on offering the hottest shoes from the best brands. We are your go-to destination for all the biggest releases. As 2016 comes to a close, let’s look back at the shoes that took the sneaker world by storm.
adidas Originals Yeezys
This year’s Yeezy season was hotter than ever. We restocked the popular ‘Pirate Black’ colorway of the Boost 350. Later, Kayne West and adidas shocked us with the release of their 350 Boost V2 in the Beluga colorway, followed by the release of not one, not two, but three V2s at one time! And we can’t forget about the 750 Boost in the light brown colorway either. That wasn’t all — one of the biggest hits for this Yeezy season was the Boost 350 Cleat and the black/white V2s. With instant sellouts and surprise releases, the Yeezy made 2016 a year to remember for all of us at Eastbay.
adidas Originals NMD Runner
One of adidas Originals’ biggest hits this year was the release of their NMD Runner. Every colorway we dropped sold out almost instantly. Why was this shoe such a big deal? It was new and unlike anything we’d seen before. The striking combination of shapes, angles, and materials redefined the shoe game as we know it. Toward the end of 2016 we saw some updates to the NMD with the addition of fabrics, cages, and more. Will it be just as hot next year? I guess we’ll have to wait and see what adidas Originals has up their sleeve.
adidas Ultra Boost
One of the hottest kicks on the planet in 2015 carried over to 2016 and shows no signs of slowing down. The adidas Ultra Boost craze has reached a whole new level this year. The minimalist look and undeniable comfort give this shoe the effortless cool factor that everyone craves. And just when we thought they couldn’t get any better, adidas brought us the first colored Boost in its Uncaged models, making it an obvious choice for our top launch list. We saw red and black Boosts at the end of this year, unlocking so many opportunities for 2017.
Jordan Retro 11 – ‘Space Jam’
The most anticipated Jordan Retro 11 dropped this year in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the movie “Space Jam.” Fans everywhere remember how Michael Jordan wore this shoe as he defeated one of his toughest opponents: the Monstars. This sneaker is considered one of the greatest Jordans ever, partly because of its connection to the film and because of its out-of-this-world look. Dedicated Jordan fans were able to get this hot sneaker and all of the Jordan Space Jam hookups, right here at Eastbay.
Jordan Retro 12 – ‘French Blue’
The Retro 12 hit big this year with two major releases. Jordan lovers waited a decade for the release of the AJ 12 ‘French Blue’ and they finally got it. The silhouette, comprised of white tumbled leather and French Blue overlays, had everyone swooning, making a perfect pick for our 2016 list.
Jordan Retro 12 – ‘Flu game’
Another Retro 12 dropped this year that brought back all of the nostalgia for Jordan fans. Everyone remembers the playoff series game when MJ put up 38 points, grabbed seven boards, and dished out five assists, all while sick with the flu. These shoes brought back that memory of MJ’s will to win and sealed this sneaker’s spot in our top launches of the year.
Jordan Retro 1 OG – ‘Banned’
The ‘Banned’ AJ 1 originally stormed onto the scene during Michael Jordan’s rookie season and returned this year, making our list of top launches. The black-and-red color scheme violated a league policy, resulting in a $5,000 fine each time MJ stepped onto the court in the sneakers. Like Michael Jordan himself, the ‘Banned’ AJ 1 defied expectations and norms making it an obvious choice for our top launches of 2016.
Jordan Retro 3 – ‘True Blue’
Rounding out our top launches of 2016 is the Jordan Retro 3 ‘True Blue.’ This sneaker became famous when MJ returned to the NBA to join the Washington Wizards. This highly-anticipated launch dropped on Black Friday after not being available since 2011. The all-white leather upper with cement grey detailing with blue and red accents complete its classic look Jordan fans crave.
Well there you have it — our top launches of 2016! If you hadn’t noticed, our list was dominated by two brands: Jordan and adidas. Will next year be the same? Can we expect more from Yeezy? What will Jordan be retroing next? Stay tuned in 2017 by checking our release calendar and our blog for the latest and greatest launches.
Happy New Year!
As noted in our Sole Shots Spotlight, the iconic “Cement” Air Jordan Retro 3 will be making a return to retail this Saturday after last doing so back in 2003. Worn by Michael Jordan when he won his first league MVP during the 1987-1988 season, the “Cement” III may be the most defining sneaker of the entire Jordan line.
Designed by the legendary Tinker Hatfield, the Air Jordan III completely flipped the sneaker world upside down. The addition of visible Air was only the start of a massive transformation undertaken by the Jordan line. Arguably the most notable design cue in the history of basketball sneakers, elephant print, was used to accent and reinforce the toe and heel of the shoe. The iconic Jumpman, which many argue could replace the NBA’s current logo, was employed for the first time on the Jordan III. Throw in the beginning of the Mars Blackmon ad campaign featuring director Spike Lee, and you have one of the most important pieces of footwear to ever be created.
Today’s wallpaper keys in on some of those famous Air Jordan III attributes. You’ll also get a detailed look at the packaging and accessories that accompany this year’s release. Be sure to look out for the Air Jordan Retro 3 ‘countdown clock’ on Eastbay this Friday.
Michael Jordan’s 1987-1988 campaign will go down as one of the best individual NBA seasons in league history. Though his first championship ring was three seasons away, Michael launched a statistical assault on the rest of the league, separating himself from his peers in the process. Jordan laid claim to virtually every accolade possible during the season, including League MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, All-Star Game MVP, Scoring Champion, Steals Leader, 1st Team All-NBA and 1st Team All-Defense.
The way Michael was redefining the way we looked at basketball as a sport, he was doing the same with basketball footwear. Along with perhaps the greatest sneaker designer of all time, Tinker Hatfield, Jordan and Nike launched the Air Jordan III during the same season. The shoe featured revolutionary concepts, like Visible Air, elephant print and the first public appearance of the Jumpman logo. To help market the Air Jordan III to the public, Nike called on Michael’s good friend and film director Spike Lee, who reprised his She’s Gotta Have It role as Mars Blackmon for the advertisement campaign.
The most well-known Jordan memory created while wearing the Air Jordan III is also one of the defining moments of his career. Looking to repeat as the NBA Slam Dunk Champion, Michael took the floor against dunk nemesis Dominique Wilkins at the Old Chicago Stadium during All-Star Weekend in 1988. The two athletic juggernauts squared off, matching each other dunk for dunk until they eliminated the “competition.” In the finals, Dominique took a lead after two dunks, setting the stage for a final dunk showdown between the two.
With Michael needing to post a big score, he reached into his bag of tricks for a dunk he attempted in the previous year’s contest – the free-throw-line dunk. Though he had done the dunk before, Michael felt he could add enough flair to put it over the top, and that’s exactly what he did. On his second attempt, Michael ran down the court, took off from the free throw line, cocked the ball back in mid air and kicked his legs out, completing the best-looking free throw dunk the world had seen at that time. With Wilkins’ final dunk only scoring a 45, Michael was able to seal the deal on a second-straight Slam Dunk Title.
The shoes Jordan wore for the ’88 Dunk Contest were the “Cement” Air Jordan IIIs, which will make a return to retail a week from tomorrow for the first time since 2003. Perhaps the single most iconic sneaker in the entire Jordan line, the shoe features tumbled white leather, signature cement grey elephant print, a black midsole, and red detailing on the tongue and inner liner. This year’s version will come almost exactly the same way the Air Jordan III came in 1988 – with cement-printed box and paper, orange hang-tag and tech booklet.
To celebrate the return of the Air Jordan III, Sole Shots has captured some of the best “Cement” Air Jordan III photography from members of the Sole Collector Forum and beyond. Be sure to leave a comment and let the photographers know how you feel about their work below.
Pat Lauder aka quickster, Gilroy, California
Andre Aranez aka FINESSE, Southern California
Jerek Hollender aka jmh97213, Oregon
joegon103, Northern Miami
JHONNYC410, Queens, New York
If you’re interested in submitting your photos for Sole Shots, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name and location with your submissions. You also have the option of providing us with a link to your online photo album or website to link back to when we post your work. You do not have to be a registered member of Sole Collector to participate.
There are very few people in the world that have left a greater impact than Michael Jordan. As far as sports goes, there is nobody that has, and there will likely never be someone that has the impact MJ did, and still does to this to this day, years after he stepped off the court. With unbelievable skill on the court that dazzled the crowds and dizzied opponents, Michael’s legacy not only left his name at the top of the page in most record books, but also left an icon that would forever change sneaker culture, clothing, and for that matter, pop culture as well.
Sure, the line of Jordan shoes began with all eyes focused on the Jordan 1, which was banned by the NBA and subsequently cost MJ $5,000 a game for breaking the uniform code. The Jordan 2 with its “Made in Italy” quality helped further secure Michael’s place at the top of the sneaker world. However, it was the Air Jordan 3 that Tinker Hatfield designed that kept Michael as a member of Nike. Amongst the inner turmoil over the future of the League’s brightest star, Hatfield created the iconic shoe that would forever change the world in which we live.
The Air Jordan 3 gave birth to one of the most recognizable icons the world has ever seen, the Jordan Jumpman logo. For those that were into sneakers in 1988, the first time seeing the Jumpman logo on the tongue of the Jordan 3 is likely something they will never forget. That year Michael also made sure that it was a logo that fans and opposing players would never forget either. MJ put up one of his greatest years ever while wearing the Jordan 3. He was awarded the Most Valuable Player, the All-Star game Most Valuable Player, the NBA Defensive Player of the Year, and his second Dunk Contest title. The Dunk Contest, a duel with Atlanta Hawks star Dominique Wilkins, proved to be one of the most memorable moments in the NBA over the last few decades. Jordan captured the eyes and hearts of nearly every basketball fan in the world while flying through the air in his Swoosh-less, Elephant Print-laden Jordan 3.
You can relive the memories with the Jordan Retro 3 when it returns on January 22nd.