Vans Authentic

ImageThe story goes… “On March 16, 1966, at 704 E. Broadway, in Anaheim, California, brothers Paul Van Doren, James Van Doren, Gordy Lee and two other partners opened up the first Vans store. The Van Doren Rubber Company manufactured shoes and sold them directly to the public. On that first morning, twelve customers purchased Vans deck shoes, which are now known as “Authentic”. Vans displayed three styles of shoes, which were priced between $2.49 and $4.99, but on the day the store opened for business, the company had only made display models actually manufactured, but no inventory ready to sell. The store rack boxes were actually empty. Nevertheless, these 12 customers came into the store and selected the colors and styles they desired. The customers were asked to come back later in the afternoon. In the meantime, Van Doren and Lee rushed to the factory to manufacture the selected shoes. When the customers returned that afternoon to pick up their shoes, Van Doren and Lee realized that they had forgotten to have cash available to make change. The customers were given the shoes anyways and asked to return the following day to pay for them. Each of the 12 customers did return the next day to make the payments.”


Vans Authentic are a classic. Every sneakerhead should own a pair in my opinion because they are such great shoes but they are also very cheap as well. Personally, I own three pairs and will be getting a fourth very soon. There are so many colors that there is no way you can’t find a pair you’ll like. They have everything from classic black to cheetah patters and two-colored shoes. They can go with anything from skating clothes to khakis and a button up shirt. They’re very versatile in these ways.


As far as wear goes I put them right on par with Converse Chuck Taylor. They are super light but have a thick rubber bottom. This makes them great to wear in the summer because the upper is thin or in the winter because they have a thick bottom. Also, because they were made for skateboarding they have a flat bottom which makes them comfortable for just about any foot. Obviously, if you need shoes with a lot of support then these aren’t for you nor Chuck Taylors.


Vans Authentic is sold in so many stores, with Vans itself having the most options available. However, you can also go to stores like Tilly’s, Journey’s, and order from The 2013 Spring collection is already up for sale at Vans so be sure to check them out.





On a side note I’ve been doing this blog for a class and this is the last one I’m required to write. I’ve noticed I’ve gotten a few “likes” and follows so I greatly appreciate that. It’s pretty cool to be honest but I don’t know where my blog goes from here. I’d like to continue but who knows?



Ever noticed that every blog I start off addressing sneakerheads? Ever wondered what that is? Today’s blog is my own explaination for those that read my blog but aren’t connected to what I write.

“Why do people collect sneakers?” “What is this little explored subculture all about?” “Collecting sneakers seems kind of like hoarding if you ask me.” I’ve heard it all.

 You’ve heard of stamp collecting, coin collecting, comic collecting and maybe even penguin knick-knack collecting but what about sneakers and what are called sneakerheads. Why do people go out of their way to collect sneakers and accumulate 50, 100, sometimes even hundreds of sneakers—most of which they may never wear?

 For sneakerheads (the term of art of sneaker collectors) sneakers are not just something you wear on your feet to get you around.  For those that collect sneakers, sneakers are a sign of belonging and status. To be able to collect sneakers is to be able to own a bit of a culture the sneakerhead feels a part of. It connects them to something bigger than themselves and it has several aspects.

 It starts with the look and feel of the sneakers. Sneakerheads get sneakers because of the look.  For the collector it is like a tie, the color and cut are a fashion statement that tells you about the wearer’s sense of taste—the right kind of shoes designate someone who knows what is beautiful. A true sneakerhead, like an art collector, can tell you all about sneakers they collect, from when they came out to what the minute differences between them are.  They are objects of beauty.

It is also about a sense of connection for ssneakerheads, whether it is to skateboard culture, hip-hop culture or to the NBA.  Sneakerheads feel connected via what they wear on their feet. It is no accident that Air Jordans are still the most popular sneakers because we want to connect with the heart of excellence in their cultures.

 And yes, it is also about status.  Being able to collect 10, 20, 40, 100 sneakers or more (at $100+ a pop) is as much of a status symbol as driving a BMW, or owning a home.  For some it is a marker for how far you have come and a celebration of one’s success but when you rock a pair of Lebron’s or your first pair of Jordan’s nothing else matters.  Walking into a party or an event, you know all eyes are on the kicks, especially if you have an exclusive pair on.

And being a sneakerhead is not quite as unusual as some people think.  The keyword, “sneakerhead” gets almost 2 million results on Google People love their sneakers—they love staring at them, knowing they have them, and even, on special occasions wearing them out. It’s never too late to start and whether you have 1 pair or 1,000 as long as you’re passionate then you’re a sneakerhead to me.


Adidas D Rose 3.5

droseThe adidas D Rose 3.5 is yet to make its NBA debut on its namesake endorser, but hopefully it actually comes this season. Nevertheless, the shoe has been worn in the college game by the likes of Louisville and UCLA. I decided to test them out on the blacktop.
The D Rose 3.5 has an incredibly simple sole, but sometimes simple does the trick. I was pleased with how the traction performed on indoor and outdoor courts, especially after going back and forth between the two surfaces.
Open hole mesh is present in the midfoot and tongue portion of the upper, but that’s about it. Breathability is certainly not a strength of this shoe, but it didn’t lead to any discomfort or playing issues.
The adidas D Rose 3.5 feels really great on the foot. While it doesn’t debut or showcase any cushioning technology, the padding is present in a manner that doesn’t take away from court feel. They felt ready to play in from the first step and have molded to my feet after weeks of runs.
I didn’t have problems with the D Rose 3.5 when cutting, jumping, sliding, starting or stopping. Overall, responsiveness was solid, but the 3.5 lacks that second skin feel that makes other shoes a five in this category.
For most guards, lockdown is the most important component of a basketball shoe. The adidas D Rose 3.5 offers a snugger fit with an updated spiral version of Sprintweb technology. This proves more flexible and form fitting than earlier installments of the tech debuted on the Crazy Light series. For an ideal fit, I chose to lace these up to the top eyelet.
As stated in the lockdown portion, the Sprintweb construction used on the upper of the D Rose 3.5 is a big improvement on previous generations. This makes for a better and stronger fit that is also more comfortable. The molded ankle cup is also a major improvement compared to the gore-ankle strap seen on the Rose 2 and even the GEOFIT foam used on the Rose 2.5.
Transitioning from indoor to outdoor and back again is usually a gauntlet for basketball shoes. With that said, the D Rose 3.5 held up well on both surfaces. The upper and lining look unworn after numerous runs with only the midsole and outsole showing any signs of wear. These are well built.
They go for $160 on Foot Locker and I think they are certainly worth it for basketball purposes. I just run up and down the court so I feel like I really put them to the test. As far as actual style I’m not convinced I would just wear them around.

Nike Free Run

Sneakerheads! Today is about coming out of the box a little bit and talking about Nike Free Runs. A lot of people have this conception that being a sneakerhead is all about how many Air Jordans you own. I disagree and say that it is about collecting sneakers, whether your collection is big or small, and just buying what you are into. It makes no difference how or why you started, just that you did. Obviously there are many Air Jordans that you will come to like but every brand makes some good shoes even if they are passed over by others. I have met someone who has an entire wall full of New Balances, so that does not make them a sneakerhead? That’s nonsense if you ask me.

Nike Free Run is now in its third rendition and I currently own one pair of 2’s and one pair of 3’s. In my opinion they are the most comfortable running shoe that is out right now; certainly the most comfortable that I own. They have a great amount of cushion but are also super lightweight. Really the only downfall is that your feet would get soaked in the rain, but I honestly never run in the rain anyways and plan ahead when I want to just wear them around as all sneakerheads should. It’s never a good thing to ruin a pair of sneakers just because of the weather and especially if you did not want to.

The next thing to talk about the Free Run is that they are Nike+ compatible so you can purchase the Sport Kit and track all your running. I actually use this every time I run and set goals for myself. Obviously, the easiest way is to have an Apple device so you can download the app and just run with the chip inside of your shoe, but it can be done other ways as well. So many people have Apple devices and usually more than one that it just makes sense to use the app. However, I do think Nike should add other devices such as computers, Kindle, Google, etc. because not everyone is a fan of running with their phones and they should not have to be.

Most sneaker and sports stores carry Nike Free Run in multiple colors and you can actually create your own custom pair on should you feel so inclined to do so. Exclusive shoes are always a good addition to any collection.

Air Jordan 8.0

ImageHello sneakerheads! Today I am bringing you the Air Jordan 8.0 “Bugs Bunny”. These released in March of 2012 for $150, however I just picked them up at Nike in the Wrentham Outlets for just over $50. They are mostly white but also include black, grey, and red in them. I am not really sure why they are referred to as but I have read that it could be because those are the shoes that the Looney Toons character or “Hare Jordan” wore in Space Jam (the best basketball movie ever in my opinion) or because the straps are meant to look like bunny ears.


Overall I think these shoes are extremely comfortable and would be great to play basketball in. The inner part is glove-like so your foot is snug and also the straps keep you locked in. There is also a lot of impact absorption which adds to how comfortable they are.  I like the look and colors of the shoe, but I dislike the straps. They are made of a weird material and I just think they look dumb compared to the straps on the Jordan 8’s. I think the best change from the 8’s is on the back there is a circle opening to pull the shoes on instead of a little pull tab. In addition, the basic colors in this version allow for you to wear just about anything with them which is cool as well.


The major differences between the Jordan 8.0 and 8 are the previously mentioned back to help put the shoe on and the straps. The straps on the 8 are wider and the same material of the outside of the shoe. However, other differences are on the tongue which features a different logo and the midsole which is made of a different, lighter material. Personally, I like the original Jordan 8 better but I enjoy the upgrades that were made other than the straps. Actually writing this blog I am considering just cutting the straps right off. I dislike them that much!


Also to note is that the Air Jordan 8 “Bugs Bunny” is actually re-releasing on April 20th of this year at places like Nike, Finishline and Foot Locker. However I do believe that these are going to be very popular and will sell out quickly unlike say the Air Jordan Crimson 3 that released this month so do your research and prepare if you want to pick these up.

Lebron X Cork



Hello sneakerheads! Here we have the Lebron X Cork which came out in February at a retail price of $250. The idea behind the cork is that Lebron James and the Miami Heat won the NBA championship this past season and Lebron’s popping bottles to celebrate. They were actually delayed by Nike more than once and it actually got to the point where rumors around the internet started that they would never release and would be exclusive to Lebron himself. Also, in select locations you could also get a special box and they would cost $305 instead. To me these are probably the most unique shoe that we’ll see in 2013 even though it’s obviously very early on. I’ve already seen them up on eBay for over $800 so that alone shows you they’re extremely hyped.


About the shoe itself, it’s definitely unique. It’s made of cork which is really cool; it’s not just painted onto the shoe. The tongue is brown leather, the bottoms are white, and the shoe lace eyelets and accents are red which present a good contrast of colors but keep a very clean look. They appeal to the eye and you’ll get a lot of looks when you wear them. I’m not sure I would ever wear them on a basketball court because they would never match my team’s uniforms, but I could easily find outfits to match the basic tan color of the cork. The biggest problem that I noticed is if you get them dirty then you’re in trouble. They’re going to be near impossible to clean without ruining because of the cork material. However, maybe you can look at it as if no two pairs will be the same because of the stains and creases. If money were no object and I could’ve purchased these because they didn’t sell out in mere minutes then I certainly would have. It’s an awesome shoe to be able to say you own.


Because I wasn’t actually able to purchase these shoes I went to Sneaker Junkies in Providence, RI and checked out a pair that the owner, Bilal, had for himself. Unfortunately they weren’t my size but from what I could see they were actually more comfortable than first expected. I thought that the cork would make the shoe sort of rough and flimsy but because it is a basketball shoe it has great support and cushioning inside. Bilal also told me he bought a half size larger than his usual shoe, but that’s how Lebron’s run anyways. After my review I really wish I could’ve purchased these because they’re such a unique shoe that we won’t see anything even similar at all this year in my opinion.

You can purchase other Lebron X colors at for example.