NCAA Sneaker Madness

It’s that time of the year… March Madness is in effect and hot off Complex Magazine’s Top 25 NCAA Sneaker List and Nice Kicks Top 10 Fab 5 Sneakers (great lists by the way, many of which have been covered on my blog previously) I thought I would throw up some more pics of classic kicks from over the years… Enjoy! There will be more to come throughout the next few weeks. Leave us some comments and let us know what you like best, or if you got some pics we might have missed…

Tony Delk and UK in some Converse React, Camby and UMASS in some various Nike's circa 1996

The 1999 UCONN team was known for a wide assortment of NIke and Jordan heat

In 1983 Akeem and Houston rocked Adidas while Louisville had the Pro Keds in effect

Antawn Jamison in the OG Columbia Air Jordan 11

Mourning and the Hoyas wore some sick AIr Force 3 Highs and Duke still had a deal with Adidas until later on around the mid 90's

UK rocking the Converse and Ewing throwing down in the Hoyas' favorite sneaker, the Nike Legend which was the inspiration for their 1985 Nike Terminator

Posted in Adidas, air jordan, BTTYS Retrospective, Converse, dunk, Nike, Nike Basketball, vintage deadstock | Leave a comment

Memory Lane Pt. 6: Nike Air Maestro Flight 1992

some dope early 90's Flights, including Dynamic, Air Bound, Solo and of course Maestro 1 (Pic via

During the summer of 1992 I developed an even greater passion for basketball, in fact I played out-doors all summer, listening to Leaders of the New School and A Tribe Called Quest on this ratty old boom box. I was balling heavy in my Huarache Flights, which have a very soft foam-like sole, needless to say I destroyed those joints (shoulda had some AIr Raids for the streeball steez). So back to school I go, and I decide to go out for my junior high basketball team and needed a new pair especially for that. Back to the Foot Locker I go, this time around I don’t really remember picking the shoes, or what else I had to choose from. I also can’t quite re-call if I had seen the Maestro worn by NBA or NCAA players yet, but I think I remember Golden State Warriors Rookie Latrell Sprewell may have worn them and since I was a die-hard Warriors fan (still am) I wanted them. No matter how I came up with the decision, I now had my very own pair of Nike Air Maestro 1, in black/white – these went so hard!

This shoe was by far one of my all-time favourite shoes to ball in, they were light, well cushioned and those straps that attach to the laces really felt like they added some stability for your ankles. They also hat a similar inner-sock liner like the Huarache’s (also well used that year on the Dynamic Flights) which made the fit exceptional. I also loved the look of them, black/white was the hottest colorway for b-ball shoes in that era maybe due to the trend that NBA teams like Chicago Bulls set, usually deferring from the white based sneakers during the regular season, to the black based shoes for the post season, when the stakes are at their highest. Soon the black based shoes became the “away” color during the season, with white shoes as the “home” color.

Many NBA players and NCAA squads wore these shoes, including Scottie Pippen, Dan Marjele, Jason Kidd & Cal U, Michigan’s Fab 5, and many others. There were several other colors I can remember not pictured here, but mainly simple team bank colors (ex. white/green accents) but I think those ones pictured were the only one’s available for retail, but I sort of remember a white/black/red one too, if anybody out there can verify please let me know. There is also a high cut version, and later the Air Maestro 2 (might have been a few more in the series as well).

my DS Air Maestro black/red (Scottie Pippen wore these as well as the black/white pair)

When I was first getting into actually collecting sneakers a few years ago, one of the first vintage sneakers I copped was a pair of the black/red Air Maestro in an attempt to recapture my youth. But they didn’t cut it, I wanted the black/white ones. Finally I found a beater pair from a dude in France and got them pretty cheap. I plan to rock them because they are still wearable. I remember throwing out my original pair in a trash can by a park bench, they were soaking wet and stank to high hell so I borrowed some kicks from a buddy and tossed my Maestros. Nike has retroed the Nike Air Maestro II, but never the original

my beater pair of Maestro's, exactly like my original pair

Anybody else had the Air Maestro?? If not, whhad do y’all think of them? Should Nike think of retroing these or are some models better left untouched? Let us know in the comments.

Posted in Flight, Memory Lane, Nike, Nike Basketball | 32 Comments

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Vek’s Vault: 1999 Nike Air Max 95 Neon Retro vs. 2010 Nike Air Max 95 Neon Retro

Nike Air Max 95 "Neon" 1999 retro

For this edition of Vek’s Vault, we have another AIr Max 95 comparison, this time for the Neon 1999 retro and the 2010 retro that dropped last year. I had picked up the 2010 retro last summer down in Syracuse and patiently awaited the day I could get my hands on an older retro. Finally one day I had seen Gusto (great seller of classic and rare air max – peep the link at the top of my blog) post up a pair of 1997 retro in size 10, I had just missed out on them, but a few weeks later a DS size 11, 1999 retro popped up on his blog and I hollered at him right away! I couldn’t pass up that DS 1999 retro with the OG box! (Thanks again Gusto!)
Again there are many subtle differences across the board – the color of the gradient, the size of the air bubble, and the over-all shape of the retro seems kind of “skinnier” in comparison, like it went on slimfast over the past 10 years, yet the toe is wider. Another major difference is the 1999 retro was made in Vietnam while the 2010 retro was made in China. Peep the pics for further comparison, would love an OG pair of these bad boys!

Nike Air Max 95 "Neon" 1999 retro

1999 retro on left, 2010 retro on right - toe is a few shades lighter on the older retro

1999 retro on bottom, 2010 retro on top - tongue logo is flipped in reverse, insole is neon with black logo on older retro, white with neon logo on 2010 retro

1999 retro on right, 2010 retro on left - the 3m material is different, and notice the way fatter air bubble on the 1999 retro!

1999 retro on right, 2010 retro on left - 1999 has fatter air bubble and a bit darker gradient and neon swoosh *note the light makes the 2010 retro appear a bit lighter than it actually is

1999 retro on right, 2010 retro on left - another air bubble comparison

Posted in Air Max 95, Nike, Vek's Vault | 2 Comments

Memory Lane Pt. 5: Nike Air Huarache Flight 1992

OG Nike Air Flight Huarache "Volt Purple" 1992, pic via Nice Kicks

The year was 1992, Pharcyde was on a “Bizarre Ride”, Black Sheep let us know “The Choice is Yours” and Public Enemy had reminded us all that we “Cant Turss It”. Meanwhile back on the sneaker scene, all of the brands (lead by Nike of course) were getting a little more technical with it. There were a lot of bulky clunky models around this time, but Nike wanted to stream line a bit and make some lighter shoes. What did they come up with? The Nike Huarache series, designed by Tinker Hatfield, who set out to make a light-weight, form-fitting, comfortable performance shoe based off an idea he came up with while water skiing. Tinker was really digging how the water ski’s neoprene booties felt around his foot, thus sparking the idea which would not only be used on the initial Huarache series (Huarache runner, Huarache Trainer, Huarache Flight, Air Mowabb, Air Revaderchi, etc.), but on countless other performance models for many years to come.

In April 1992, for my 13th birthday present, my grandfather took me to Foot Locker at Bayshore Shopping Centre and I was given “carte blanche” and told I could pick any pair I wanted!!! I remember at that time, the AJ 7 was hot but I didn’t want to go with a Jordan, that was way too easy! I needed a pair not many other people would have, something expensive of course, but more obscure than a “no-brainer” like a pair of Jordans. I think I was down to 2 options, the Nike Air Force 180 (I love the Air 180 air bubble, it was so sick back then) and an even crazier looking shoe that I had just seen in the “Instant Karma” ad on TV, the OG Nike Air Flight Huarache… Even before I had seen the Fab 5 rock them (they wouldn’t wear those until that fall) I just knew I had to have them, so that is what I chose out of the whole store. The price was $160, and although I don’t have the kicks anymore, I held on to the box ever since then, mainly because it was such a cool looking, special box compared to the regular ones.

my OG 1992 box top

my og 1992 box label - sz 10 $159.99 back in 1992 was crazy expensive!

Today I still have not acquired another pair, although I do have the “Sagan Blue” retro from like 2003 or so, still not as dope as the colorway I had as a kid. I remember loving those shoes, I was just getting into basketball and I loved to play in them. The only problem was I played a lot outdoors on the cement, and anyone that knows these shoes knows how soft and spongy the soloes are. Needless to say they got thrashed!! Those were the first shoes i owned that had me scared for my safety – apparently some older high school kids were planning to jack me for them, but had a change of heart because a mutual friend told them not to. Later on I was really hyped to see Michigan’s infamous Fab 5 blowing up the spot rocking the Huarache Flights, and later the Air Force Max in the Tournament (which I wanted SOOOO BADDDDD).

my nike air huarache sagan blue retro 2003

Jalen Rose shooting the floater in the Nike Air Flight Huarache

Posted in Flight, Memory Lane, Nike, Nike Basketball | 4 Comments

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