Never trust a man in retro tennis shoes

Do companies like Nike come up with new designs for shoes anymore, or do they just re-release shit from a long time ago?

I only ask this because I accidentally clicked, on Twitter, a link to a post on Complex about the top 10 sneakers of the year (I know), and the only ones that weren’t identifiable to me as something people used to wear at some point or another in my childhood were Kanye West’s Air Yeezies – and even those look like a pair of ’80s-era Nikes that he made a lot gayer by adding a few unnecessary features, in a process not unlike how he produces rap songs by taking songs from the ’70s and ’80s, speeding them up, adding autotune and what have you.

You guys know I could generally give a rat’s ass about shoes. I wear shoes that look like I may have gotten them for free from one of those charities that collects shoes people don’t want anymore and airlifts them to Africa. It’s the rare occasion when I shop for shoes, and when I do, I’m not sweating the design as much as the price and the overall quality of the build. Fuck trying to look cute. It used to be only teh ghey guys and people from unfortunate backgrounds gave a shit about trying to impress people with their shoes.

Which brings me to my point: How can kids possibly think they’re cool, wearing the same shit we used to wear when we were kids? People didn’t do that shit when we were kids. When my father was a kid, he wore Converse All Stars; by the time I was a kid, you could buy two pairs of knockoff All Stars, known as buddies, for $5, from a big-ass metal bin at a store called Venture. They didn’t even bother to separate them by size. I guess they figured, if that was all the ambition you had in life, you had plenty of time to dig through the pile. But at some point, the cycle was broken. Kids these days don’t pay $15 for a pair of Air Jordans. They’re probably paying more than people paid back in the ’90s. (Obviously, I wouldn’t know.) What gives?

I was very young at the time, but I seem to recall these Dunks, which might be the most popular retro tennis shoes, being the very first Nikes you could buy at K-Mart. They were very basic-looking, and hence had been shoved aside in favor of Nikes with ever more elaborate designs. They cost about the same as Pro Wings, which had fairly elaborate designs but were made out of shittier material, and you were arguably better off with a pair of Pro Wings than a pair of Dunks. At a glance, it looked like you had on a pair of Jordans or some shit. Whereas, in a pair of Dunks, it was obvious that was the most your parents could afford. Someone even came up with an acronym. The word Nike was said to stand for Niggas In K-Mart Everyday. Lollerskates.

And I’m assuming that’s why you can no longer find Nikes at K-Mart. Not because there isn’t a shedload of money to be made selling shoes at a lower price point, but because doing so would detract from the perceived value of the Swooshtika. Which of course has no real value, other than what people attach to it, based on their own fear, insecurity and idiocy. It could be worth hardly any more than the leather it’s made out of, or it could be worth hundreds of dollars, depending on what you can trick people into paying for it. But you can’t have a pair on the one hand that cost $15 and a pair on the other hand that cost $150. People might start to wonder what’s the difference between the two.

Otherwise, why wouldn’t they make shoes to sell at both K-Mart and Foot Locker? The materials probably cost more or less the same, i.e. hardly anything at all, regardless of the shoe’s design. And cost of labor obviously wouldn’t be an issue, since we all know Nikes are made in sweatshops and/or foreign countries where they just don’t have the same standard of living as we do here in the US. With a shoe like the Dunk, which has been around since forever, you’re not spending any more money to design and market it, so there isn’t as much of a mandate to charge a premium for it. For all we know, the profits on the two of them might be more or less the same, what with as much as they pay these athletes.

It just goes to show how much more sophisticated marketing has become since the days of the Air Jordan and those TV commercials with the Beatles’ “Revolution.” (The latter of which, as I recall, was Michael Jackson’s fault.) These days, you can’t just find an athlete people admire (because they don’t know what a sociopath he is off the court), or a song people like (regardless of what it’s really about), and use it to trick people into buying shit they could give a rat’s ass about otherwise. The book No Logo by Naomi Klein, which was recently re-released to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the Battle of Seattle (I believe there was a movie about it with Andre 3000), breaks down the process through which corporations like Nike have gradually sold us off into modern day slavery, using the concept of branding. It’s some deep shit, and I’m sure the science behind it has only gotten that much more advanced in the interim.

In that sense, it’s hardly any wonder kids these days are fascinated with retro tennis shoes. Their minds are warped from having grown up bombarded by brand messages from Nike and the rest of these corporations. They were born into an age when there was already such a thing as the Air Jordan and a Nike commercial with a Beatles song in it. I experienced a little bit of that, having only been born in the ’80s myself, but not nearly to the extent that they did. So, every now and again, I’ll contemplate buying an expensive pair of shoes, on the outside chance that it might convince a girl to have sex with me, but then I’m reminded that it would only work on the kind of girls who got AIDS from Darnell “The Bossman” McGee. Kids these days probably never even heard of Darnell “The Bossman” McGee.

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  • 412

    air yeezys are gay

  • DV8

    in related news, they had to shut down a midnight sale of the Space Jam Jordans at a mall out here in Sacramento. Seems these “sneaker heads” (about 1,000 or so) got a little to0 rowdy over some $150+ dollar sneakers (on Christmas Eve mind you).

    • D. $cience

      Yeah I saw that on the news out here…for the Space Jam J’s??? I already have the 11′s in black and white, what the f*** do I need to drop $150 more on the ones he wore in Space Jam?

  • General

    Damn Bol, I’m starting to think your the only one on this site that actually puts any work in and that ain’t sayin much…

    Actually Chuck Taylors were big in the 80′s again, hell Converse made crazy money sellin those things again, but your right that they don’t seem to be steppin into any new territory with the sneakers these days…

    I do remember when AI and Tracy McGrady actually had their name on some shit from Reebok and Addidas that people wanted, but now all anyone wants is the old shit…

  • $ykotic/Don McCaine

    Bol was copping rejects. Funny sh*t.

    No Pro-Keds 69′ers?

    Anyone remember Jox by Thom McAn? The Nike waffle racer was made like those.

    But I don’t blame the shorties. I’d rather wear throwback kicks than those 3/4 high TK Society’s by Supra…the skinny jean kicks.

    • S.I.O

      @ $y

      I’m going to Do You one better, do you remember “Olympians” from “Fayva” around 84 -85 ( Ahh them shits were the worse, it was child abuse rocking them fake shits) Ha Ha Ha

  • tommy gunz

    roo’s with the hidden pocket to stash your nix>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    • Thorton Melo


      Damn forgive me if they’ve been said. But I had to jump in:

      Big up on the jox, olympians, city wings (red/black, white/baby blue, purple/yellow lol), roos–which were actually “real”, the fakes which I rocked were called greyhounds…haha

      but let’s not forget concepts(the fake adidas with the xtra stripe), jumps (the fake fila) and stadias lol Fayva, Thom macan, Alexanders…etc

      wooo good stuff, peeps Yo, in NY in the 80′s sneakers was like a religion. If I remember corectly, they even has certain Pumas that were fake. They had to be made in a certain country and shit. The real ones were called Basket or Wicked….and then the fakes were named everything from intimidater to f—kin defender (idk)

      What’s crazy is I distinctly remember the sneakers I wanted were the Pumas or the Stan Smith Adidas and they were ONLY like 30-40 dollars!!!! And still mom’s had me lookin at cavas joints!

      Good shit, peace

  • eddiesixes

    i’m from seattle and was both upset and embarressed that they made a movie about the wto riots. i knew a kid that was on the cover of the newspaper getting arrested, upon seeing this i called him a fag. the only good thing that came out of that mass gathering of smelly ass suburban hippies was the footage of a news reporter gettin tear gassed and all the free stuff people got when display windows started gettin kicked in

  • YoungDyce

    My lil cuz was in that madness tryin to get him a pair of those bitches.

    “The only good thing that came out of that…was the footage of a news reporter gettin tear gassed and all the free stuff people got when display windows started getting kicked in.” Ha ha! Co-sign. I was only like 15, but I remember that shit. Town business.

  • awesome arsenal

    i used to tell dudes they only started reissuing the jordans was because they knew there were a lot of poor folks with families that couldn’t afford them when they came out. fast forward 10 years and those dudes grew up, got jobs/hustles and would go cop which ever shoe they coveted in all the colors just for nostalgia sake. you could tell who they were because you would see said guy with baby momma and kids in tow, all with matching jordans and the baby momma had this proud look that you can only really see if you never had nothing that said “yeah, we stuntin on ‘em baby!”

    • DetroitDraper

      Lmfao…I fux wit you Bol but That was almost better than the post lol


  • sealsaa

    LMAO @ Venture shoe rack. I grew up in Chicago, and we had one on the west side. Woolworth’s too. I used to hate going there. Funny, I went to Darwin Australia when I was in the Navy, and saw a few Woolworths there. Though out there, they resemble a Walgreens as opposed to the department stores that they used to mock.

  • El Tico Loco

    Well there’s always the annual Jordan. Other than that you’re right is all retro.

    Damn Bol’s puttin in more work than the NEWS and I know there’s shit poppin somewhere.

  • TheR

    Even wikipedia doesn’t know who “Darnell McGee” is so you may want to drop a reference more relevant

  • $ykotic/Don McCaine
    • capcobra

      was InI pete rock’s group home?
      forgot all about that tru master track..tuff
      best song after passin me by.
      pmd my dude but he sound kinda shook…lol.
      is that dmx?..during shows 9 would freestyle acapella and lose the crowd..every show.
      classic reggie noble shit.
      erick sermon could’ve been a superproducer.

  • Trackstar the DJ

    Bol without you the legend of Bossman McGhee would probably die out. Salute.

  • chillin mayne

    as a former foot locker employee, dudes go ape cra-z for jordans son…even the employees, were part of the vicious circle, spending the dough they made workin in foot locker…at foot locker…cmon now…only kicks i copped while i was there was some 10 dollar filas that i still got to this day…my discount plus a store discount…sickness..regardless, 10 dollars is about what all these kicks are REALLY worth


    Swooshtika mwhahahhahaha

  • Tony Grands

    Jordans are to young, trendy cats what Stacy Adams’ are to old, mackadelic niggas. In 25 years, niggas are going to be wearing J’s to weddings, funerals & barmitzvahs.

  • Tony Grands

    & call me old school or whatever, but crispy, snow white Air Force 1′s >>>>>

    You just can go anywhere there’s people, or touch your laces until you wash your hands with bleach.

    • S.I.O

      @ Grands

      Can’t go wrong with a fresh pristine pair of white on whites, but you got to bring your tooth brush with you for emergency situations (Yo you scuff my shits) Ha ha ha.

      • Tony Grands


        Hellzyeah, you already know!

        I admire the young cats, with all the colorful shit, because you can’t see scuffs & minimal damage.

        But, I’m from the crispy white AF’s -or- manilla Timbs generation. Them shits go with everything, but can’t take any hits, whatsoever.

        Tooth/suede brush travel kit is a must, in booth situations…

  • ayre

    I remember those Pro wings used to scuff up the basketball court at my local Boys club. They were eventually banned.

  • ayre

    I remember those Pro wings used to scuff up the basketball court at my local Boys club. They were cheap as shit.

  • $ykotic/Don McCaine
  • $ykotic/Don McCaine

    And oh yeah, don’t think I wasn’t gonna post on how XXL takes a massive loss 4 taking the week off.

    Like Hip Hop stops for the holidays.


    • Tony Grands


      Who works harder than XXL, yet doesn’t take a week off:

      Postal service
      Fire fighters
      Real drug dealers
      Mall Santas
      Asians that own liquor stores
      Asians that own restaurants
      Bootleg men
      Mall cops
      Dog catchers
      Fonzworth Bentley

      …The list can go on forever.

      • General



        Its like I said, Bol is the only one on this site that consistently puts in work…that should tell you something about the rest of the people that work for XXL

  • Brooklyn

    i knew mad niggas camping outside of footlockers all over the city for them space jams and i thought that shit was funny as fuck. it was about twenty degrees outside and these niggas in lawn chairs and shit for a pair of sneakers that are virtually indistinguishable from the black and white 11′s. personally, i don’t buy new jordans, because since they bring them back out every couple of years, them shits never really get old. i’ll cop them space jams 6 months from now, when they go down to $100.

  • Trackstar the DJ

    @$ykotic get at me

  • Master CHeef

    I hope these fanooks at xxl are kicking their points to DOn.

  • capcobra

    i was never a big jordan fan…i’d get the mandatory J’s and that was it..i was a fan of the air max/huraches track type of nikes…i’d get the crazy colors so nobody else would have ‘em and i can show ‘em how to play ‘em.

  • 3rd eye clear

    Cats could never understand why I stayed with a pair of “Tretorn’s” on! How you stackin when you constantly spendin!!!

  • $ykotic/Don McCaine

    @ cap

    Hell yeah InI was PR’s Group Home!

    LOL @ PMD sounded shook…but his solo was overlooked…and Erick was the better solo artist. I put that up so dudes could see & hear Agallah(Dipset producer).

  • Anonymous

    vai gaga