I bought a pair of Nike trainers the other day. I’d long ago happily accepted that I’d never say those words again. It’s nearly twenty years since I last wore a swoosh on my feet and until very recently I had no desire to ever do so again. I’d worn Nike since school with Diablo and Wally Waffle leading to graduation and a pair of Wimbledons but sometime around a long time ago I went off them completely and haven’t looked in their direction since (except to mock).
The last pair I had were a pair of Cortez in navy with a white swoosh in 1994. I know this because theres a photo of me in them at the Oasis launch party for Definately Maybe at the Hacienda but they were on their last legs so I binned them not long afterwards. Around about the same time I threw out the trainers as well. For well-over a decade after that the only trainers I wore came from a limited pool of 3-stiped designs in the shape of countless pairs of Campus, Superstars, Stan Smiths and Gazelles in a range of varied colours including white, navy blue and white.
For the past 5-or-so years I’ve eschewed trainers altogether in favour of shoes and when neccessary, Vans authentics, having gone right off the idea of having any visible, vulgar branding whatsoever on my clothes. However with Vans now the ‘trainer’ du jour for every Tom, Rizzle Kick and Rioter it’s long been time to move on.
It’s nearly twenty years since I last wore a swoosh on my feet and until very recently I had no desire to ever do so again
Adidas have nothing I like save the Gazelles/Tobaccos/City series blah, blah, blah... but I’ve done that over-and-over. Adidas and it’s risible ‘Originals’ imprint is now the staple of the holiday camp hooligan with his Weller-cut/lager gut combination, further killing a once-great label with every shit step he takes. I’d rather look like Rizzle or Kick. I was mildly tempted by some New Balance but they’re the Volvo of trainers really and anyway I havn’t got a beard or the right kind of glasses. Beyond that there’s only really Nike left. So I bought a pair of Vintage Elite (from a shop, not online, shop fans. Tried them on and everything). I got a pair in navy with the swoosh fashioned from black suede (Nike insist the colours are navy, anthrasite and bone). There’s a white bit on the sole and white laces but other than that just blue and black. So they don’t shout too loud. Nike and subtle. I know black and blue (sorry, navy, anthrasite and bone) probably wasnt a colourway available back in 1977 so they’re not accurate re-issues but I’m not a geek/blogger so I’m not arsed.
There’s some lovely reissues flowing out of Nike this year. It must be for the Jubilee. I decided not to go for one of Nike’s true ‘vintage’ issues as the Haribo-addicted plug-ins who created them have taken to ‘vintaging’ their shoes by covering them in some form of ossified primordial scum. Far from giving the shoes the heritage feel of heady, sporty summers in 1970’s Oregon they look like good trainers covered in shit. Nike insist they have “crafted them to look 30 years old [with] 70’s grade nylon, aged laces and weathered foam”. I’m rolling my eyes here. It’s all the Japaneses fault.
My Nike retrogression has sent shock-waves through my firends in the Right-Wing section of the Northern Adi Dassler fanclub. The three-stripes brigade have weighed-in heavily with all-manner of pro-stripes, anti-swoosh propaganda and ignorant piss-taking but my conviction is absolute.
I was mildly tempted by some New Balance but they’re the Volvo of trainers
I got a proper whiff on nostalgia the second I first put them on and stood-up to feel a waffle under my sole. If I’d have closed my eyes I’d have had visons of standing outside North Manchester chippies, the bus from Cheetham Hill to Old Trafford and pretending to be Carl Lewis but I didn’t, I kept them open. After spending so long wearing pumps they felt like bubble-filled Air Max at first but I’m half an inch taller, they look dead smart and I really like them. I might even get another pair, the Pre Motreal Racer are really rather dashing. There’s not a great deal else to say about it really. It’s just a pair of trainers. Really.
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