Sole Team Shots: Nick’s Saucony Shadow 90

Sole Team Shots: Nick’s Saucony Shadow 90

Sole Team Shots - Nick Engvall's Saucony Shadow 90

words & images // Nick Engvall

Being the huge Wiz Khalifa fan that I am, when I first saw these I began imagining people seeing me out and about and uncontrollably beginning to recite “black and yellow, black and yellow, black and yellow!,” I knew I had to have them.

Well, maybe that isn’t the exact thoughts I had, but the colorway was one of the things that drew me to the latest Saucony Shadow 90. When I dug into the box, I was actually surprised (and stoked!) to see the neon yellow laces that match the inner lining attached to one of the shoes in a plastic bag. I liked the way the shoe looks with black laces, but with summer on its way, I prefer to have something a little loud on my feet.

A comfortable runner with bright colors just makes me wish the temperatures were warmer already. The Shadow 90 combines two of the Saucony Originals that have steadily become a regular part of my collection, and probably has worked its way to the top of my list, the way it combines the Shadow 5000 midsole with the Shadow 6000 upper. The transparent gum-like yellow midsole and combination of suede and mesh will be a regular this summer for me.

Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for that Wiz Khalifa track, though.

Available now: Saucony Shadow 90

 

Sole Team Shots - Nick Engvall's Saucony Shadow 90Sole Team Shots - Nick Engvall's Saucony Shadow 90

Sole Team Shots: Nick’s Saucony Shadow 90

Sole Team Shots: BRich’s Li-Ning BD Doom

Sole Team Shots: BRich’s Li-Ning BD Doom

words & images // Brandon Richard

One of my favorite things about growing up as a sneakerhead in the ’90s was the variety of brands we had to choose from in terms of basketball shoes. Of course Nike and Air Jordans were strong, but offerings from Converse, Reebok, adidas and FILA were strong as well. Somewhere along the way, our favorite brands from yesterday were left behind in the pack, and the variety that we all once coveted was no more.

Things have seemingly changed for the better in recent years, with new upstart companies looking to challenge the status quo. The situation gets particularly interesting when you take notice of the many Chinese sneaker companies looking to make a big splash stateside. One of those companies is Li-Ning, who may have the strongest footing in the U.S. market, with a Portland-based showroom and major distribution deals with retailers like Eastbay.

They started their U.S. push by signing Cleveland Cavaliers point guard to an endorsement deal, citing his approachable personality and laid back demeanor as a couple of the reasons. Prior to the 2009-2010 NBA Season, Li-Ning introduced the BD Doom, Davis’ first signature shoe.

As a fan of both new brands being thrown into the basketball equation and the overall design of the Doom, I had to make sure I added them to my ever-growing sneaker collection. My first thought upon receiving the shoes was how impressive the quality of the build and packaging was. Second, how sturdy and secure my feet felt while wearing them. The BD Doom isn’t a showpiece; it’s a legit sneaker that has spawned successors like the Li-Ning Defend & Conquer and helped contribute to the overall growth of a new and exciting brand.  With the price tag more affordable than ever, do yourself a favor and give the BD Doom a run.

Available now: Li-Ning BD Doom

Sole Team Shots: BRich's Li-Ning BD Doom

Sole Team Shots: BRich's Li-Ning BD Doom

Sole Team Shots: BRich’s Li-Ning BD Doom

Sole Team Shots: Sara’s North Face Abbey Chukkas

Sole Team Shots: Sara’s North Face Abbey Chukkas

 

words & images // Sara Accettura

In Northeastern Ohio, it’s still cold. In fact, it even snowed just last week. Between the cold weather and soggy ground, I’m still sticking close to boots. These North Face Abbey Chukkas are the most comfortable boots I’ve found, plus I think they are extremely fashionable cold-weather boots.

The North Face Abbey Chukka‘s upper is not only waterproof, but it has a beautiful velvet nubuck that is rimmed by full-grain leather around the bottom. What initially attracted me to these shoes was the PrimaLoft™ Eco insulation. Whenever I purchase something new, I always feel better if it has at least some element that is green. According to PrimaLoft’s website, their Eco insulation, “blends 50 percent virgin fibers with 50 percent recycled materials to create a resilient, performance insulation ideal for active outdoor footwear.” And it seems they got the blend just right, because my feet were warm with every step I took, but never sweaty or uncomfortable. These shoes were both breathable and insulated in the right amounts.

While the D-ring closures at the back serve the practical function of allowing you to adjust to the most comfortable fit, they also add a great style element when coupled with the dip in the foot opening and faux fur lining.

And while all of these things are wonderful, it’s the sole that I really loved. Even with the TNF Winter Grip™ rubber with Ice Pick™ temperature-sensitive lugs, it didn’t feel like I had anything between me and the ground. These are the most comfortable boots I own, but they’re so cute, I know I’ll wear them even when it’s not snowing.

Be sure check out the rest of our Sole Team Shots as well.

North Face Abbey Chukka

 

North Face Abbey Chukka

Sole Team Shots: Nick’s Vans Mountain Edition

Sole Team Shots: Nick’s Vans Mountain Edition

Sole Team Shots - Nick Engvall's Vans Mountain Edition

words & images // Nick Engvall

Vans shoes have always been near the top of my list when it comes to sneakers. Seeing as how my preferred mode of transportation is on a skateboard, and they’re a California-based company, it really wouldn’t come as a surprise to anybody that knows me. The Half Cab has always been a regular part of my sneaker collection, but I’ve been looking for a reason to add a pair of the Mountain Edition to my collection since they collaborated with Supreme in 2008.

The Vans Mountain Edition in this particular colorway I saw for the first time as the Giants were making they’re run for the World Series title, so it immediately made it on to the “must-have list.”

There are a few things about this version of the Mountain Edition in particular that spoke to me. First of all, there is a bit of orange, which is always a good start for me. Another thing I really like is the “cracked” finish on this colorway. It almost feels rustic to me. The extra padding around the collar gives it a plush feel and the 3M Scotchgard-infused upper means that it will last through the rain without losing that fresh and clean look. Most of all, I  love that it’s a nice quality shoe that looks good, and I can still skate in it.

Be sure check out the rest of our Sole Team Shots as well.

 

Available now: Vans Mountain Edition

Sole Team Shots - Nick Engvall's Vans Mountain EditionSole Team Shots - Nick Engvall's Vans Mountain Edition

 

Sole Team Shots: Luis’ Nike Zoom KD III

Sole Team Shots: Luis’ Nike Zoom KD III

words // Luis Sanchez

Let me start off by saying that this is one colorway of the Nike Zoom KD III that I absolutely just had to get on my feet. Simple and clean, with a perfectly executed color combo. Thanks to Eastbay, I’m extremely happy to say that I was finally able to add a pair to my KD III collection.

Now although the Miami Heat might be my all-time favorite team, I cannot deny the fact that Kevin Durant has become one of my favorite players to watch in the entire NBA, which is part of the reason why the Nike Zoom KD III has become one of my preferred basketball sneakers so far this year. Not only are they great on the court, but they’re also one of the most stylish off the court. Working in a predominantly white build with midnight navy and photo blue accents, they’re perfect for just about any casual outfit. Add in the forefoot Zoom Air cushioning, and you also have an amazingly comfortable everyday shoe.

Certainly not the last pair of KD IIIs I’ll be picking up this season, but more than likely the one pair that I’ll wear and appreciate the most. Priced at only $88, the Zoom KD III is one of the best deals on the market right now.

Available: Nike Zoom KD III – White/Midnight Navy/Photo Blue/White