The weekend ending March 25th was a bit more contentious than on the 18th, but it was still, ultimately , a Nike Sportswear shoe that took the top spot as most- coveted heat: the Air Max 1 Master.
Nike wrapped up its month-long celebration of the Air Max 1 with special, limited releases on both Saturday and Sunday the 26th (Air Max Day proper).
Sneaker Saturday saw the long-awaited Master drop, and a five- pair slate of the all-new Vapormax silhouette, plus other Nikelab fare capped things off the next day.
Adidas had heat on offer as well , releasing the second colorway of its popular new 93-17 Support Boost in White/Turbo Red, plus City Sock and NMD Trail collaborative efforts.
Jordan Brand , meanwhile, was relatively quiet , widely-releasing the Motorsports Retro 4, and a Grade School 6 retro. With another Grail of a I (the Broyal – Black and Royal) slated to drop the following Saturday on April 1st, this was a more than logical move.
First things first:
Time to Shine Nike BBall Pack
Nike warmed buyers up for the weekend’s ‘Grand Finale’ on Friday the 24th, with releases for all five of its signature Hooper styles in the Time to Shine pack. Although decent to behold, most of the styles were sure to be passes for buyers. One shoe sure to entice, however, was the restock of the PG 1 Shining colorway.
As it had during its debut three weeks ago, the $110 , budget-priced PG 1 Shining sold out, and was once again pegged at a $200 price cap (not a penny higher), proving that Nike buyers know exactly how to love a release even if they’re not head over heels thrilled with the silo all of the time.
The Kyrie 3 might currently be the best-selling NBB shoe, but the fact that this (limited?) release
is still available shows that it’s popularity is likely due more to its budget price point than anything else.
After all, for those who miss out, there isn’t exactly a bidding war for pairs in the aftermarket.
LeBrawwwwn is still Nikes number one son, and there are still those who cling to the thought that his line will be resurrected in significance.
Hence, the sell through of the LeBron 14 TTS is understandable, especially seeing as it was apparently a NDC exclusive.
Once again, however, the sell through was a false alarm. Resold pairs have been price capped at $240 ($50 over box) and have traded in low volume.
It is definitely not an ” I neeeed those” shoe.
Kevin Durant’s Nike BBall t shirts are fire, but for whatever reason, the man’s kicks elicit a shrug most of the time they drop; why is that?
The latest KD 9 can be found right chea.
It seems this did not release….
Air Max 1 Premium
Rewind: No Air Max Month
As readers would know, the three Air Max 1 colorways that dropped prior to the penultimate Master were insanely hard to get a hold of for most buyers. The Sport Red, Sport Blue, and Atmos drops were , in many cases, raffle-based, sold out online within minutes, and fetched at least three times retail immediately afterwards. The two Sport colorways have since levelled off to just over double their box price, but the more recent (and rare) Atmos Elephant is still trading at grail prices of $4-$500. All three were definitely “you (most buyers) ain’t getting these” shoes.
For any who’d been trying-and-failing to cop any of the celebratory AM1s , the Master colorway represented far more than a trip to the local or digital store; it was out and out quest for a WIN.
Likewise for the lucky, well connected an/or well-heeled, securing the shoe would be triumphant completion of the collection, a strong “fuck yeah” fist pump to the fact that the well-trodden path of the classic sneaker chaser was still viable and worthwhile.
For the Master, I decided to try my luck through Nike, was releasing the shoes via a live-draw that would open at 10 AM on Saturday.
This sort of release was interesting, because, unlike the boutiques which had app-based drops (Atmos), or a random email notification system (Kith), Nike’s live-action raffle – complete with a countdown game clock – actually made one feel like there was a good chance for one to score.
So, at 10 AM, when SNKRS went live, I wasted little time, just seconds running off of the Game Clock before I’d logged in, navigated the simple series of clicks to select my desired size and payment method, and completed my entry for a pair of the masters, size 11.5.
It was exactly 37 minutes after the snazzy game clock hit Zero and the draw closed that I was kindly informed of the ‘L’ I’d been handed for the shoe.
Welp, that was the end of my quest and it had ended it absolute failure, once and for all, not a single friggin cop all month.
I shrugged this off, and focused elsewhere; fuck the Masters.
As any hyper-limited Nike heat wouldn’t, The Master didn’t disappoint the lucky and well-connected at resale, although this did mean that the well-heeled had to dig somewhat deeply into those pockets to secure their pair in the aftermarket.
The shoe performed as true Grail, jumping out of the gate at 400 Shmackers, and rising steadily to $5 hundo and better. How high can it go?
Who the hell knows?
With the opening acts out of the way in the build up to the Main Event, Nike reserved AM Day proper for the non-collaborative (the OG Vapes were a CDG joint drop) debut of a new silhouette based on its own all-new cushioning system (take that, Boost), Vapormax.
For the cynical, the shoe was an obvious join-em-to-hopefully-beat-’em move by the Swoosh, a nod to the undeniable importance of the cushioning breakthrough – Boost- that has propelled rival Adidas straight up like a moon-bound rocket over the past two years. Vapormax signalled a call to arms.
For many buyers, though, the Vapes were simply the latest “themed hype” from Nike: limited edition “pretty things” whose value as a shoe or silhouette was as yet undetermined, but whose potential as limited, Nike flippers was very, very promising.
The only problem potential buyers faced with the Vapes was “which ones are worth the cop?”
- For the well-Heeled buyer the answer was simple: buy them all, if possible.
- For the well-connected and mercenary, the answer was “whichever was the most limited.”
And the most-limited Vapormax was, without a doubt, the Nikelab- exclusive Triple Black, and Mark Newson VMAX boot (made that name up myself). Proof of this came when the 21 Mercer gang informed those thirsting for pairs via a tweet that those styles would be in-store only. Since there is but one Nikelab in all of the US of A, it didn’t take much insight to see that buyers with access to the NYC store had been offered the chance of a lifetime: a cornered market. One can thus imagine the ensuing stampede and rabble that converged on the Soho shop from near and far in the wake of that revelation.
Sunday: AM Day
Needless to say , the NYC exclusive Triple Blacks were the Star shoe of AM Day 2017, the most limited ,likely most desirable Colorway of bunch fetching prices of at more less double its $190 box price, all while selling in good volume. It’s Nikelab partner – the Aqua and Tan Vape boot- sold for similar numbers , but in far less volume, the high-socked construction perhaps a bit much for what is an already fashion-forward silhouette.
As for the more accessible VMAX releases which did drop via SNKRS , the Platinum pair has sold the most , with prices averaging $260. The OG Red-Swooshed pair has sold in fewer numbers, but has commanded a price Premium of about $40-60 more than the Platinum colorway.
When all was said and done, did Air Max Day 2017 give Nike another instant classic to add to its catalog?
Time will tell, but it is already clear that Nike plans to push the silhouette pretty vigorously throughout the Spring and Summer.
Tisci ’97 Mid
It is quite doubtful that the AM 97 as a Mid will catch on and become a thing. This latest Riccaro Tisci shoe naturally sold out at retail, but has since seen slow going, price-capped at just $300 (MSRP $200), in relatively low volume. Is it possible that, sans subsequent releases of this exact silo again, buyers will forget about the shoe altogether?
AM 1 Flyknit Ultra
This shoe is the very definition of MIA .
An aside: Intrigue
For many buyers who’d failed to cop any of the four Air Max 1 classics, March probably seemed like a month of frustration, a Nike-sponsored torture-fest of hyper-limited heat that was so tantalizing, so ultimately unreachable. For many folks, there lingered the nagging question of “why, Nike; why have you done this to us? Why have these Grails been impossible to grab for so many?”
The answer to the above may have been sitting in front of one’s face from the middle of the month through to Air Max Day.
Let me explain.
Air Max 1 Flyknit ID
In a post dated the same Day as the Atmos drop, news broke via the blogosphere (in this case, Sole Collector) that Safari & Cheetah Print Options were available on Nike ID. In theory, this was perhaps a consolation prize of sorts for those who’d whiffed on the heat.
The catch with the Safari/Cheetah ID package, was, of course, that unlike the retros, the ID version was a Flyknit shoe, and the colorway options for the upper was limited to just black and white. It also cost $200.
Technically, the price was too much money for that. How many buyers would be eager to pay more for a decidedly inferior pair of Air Maxes when doing so was likely an expression of FOMO and nothing more?
Not many, but as I’d suggested in an earlier post, if one took the lesser-of-two-evils view of things, then, in actuality, the ID option offered one a chance to get an Atmos-like shoe for half its resale price. How many buyers would buy that as a good enough reason to explore their inner designer, and, in the process, perhaps become a regular ID shopper? How many would consider a buy if they thought the option was a limited time offer, like the HTM Kobe 10 Elites were?
Just as the amount of time it takes for the All- Star Chameleon 6’s to finally sell out (the shoe is on sale as of this writing), the above will take time to find out.
The main point is that, in my opinion, the Air Max Retro rollout was carrot-and-stick marketing tactics by the Swoosh, who used the hype from the mostly unattainable quartet of AM 1s to lure buyers into a similar alternative, even if said alternative had be created from scratch.
On March 20th, prospective buyers were informed of another ID option for the upcoming Vapormax, still one week away.
The option was billed as a combination of the past, present, and future of Air, giving ‘designers’ custom choices which reference popular, easily recognized features of past releases (like the Volt midsole of the….) .
An added twist was that the Vape Max ID would be a one-and-done, Air Max Day exclusive. Nike was giving buyers just one day to decide – quickly – what to do. Was that sort of now-or-never pressure a good marketing move?
In my opinion, no.
To some extent, the OG lure/ID push marketing shenanigans were understandable, but to add a sort of gun-to-the-head pressure was just cynical and unnecessary. After all, who says the Vapormax is going to catch-on, and become a lasting ‘thing’ for a market with a large portion of buyers mired in the chase for retro product?
Anyway, three days after the Vapormax id announcement came yet another, this one touting additoinal color/materials choices for that old standby, the AM 1 essential.
To me, this third Nike ID push was easily the best one for buyers seeking a viable stand-in for any of the OGs, or just interested in creating some other iconic colorway.
As the Sneaker News blog post suggested, designers could ,more or less, create somewhat passable ‘struggle’ versions of the Sport Red and Royal colorways via the ID program, if they were so inclined.
It was, however, the availability of suede, leather and mesh for materials, plus as many as sixteen colors to choose from for all twelve elements of the shoe, that invited prospective deisgners to truly explore the ‘create your own heat’ concept. Add to that the normal $130 retail price of a creation , and the third Air Max Day ID program was by far the most effective effort at expanding the concept’s reach.
Will it work, or will buyers wait for a restock of missed-out-on pairs?
Air Max LD Zero
Not every shoe that dropped for AM day was an instant winner. Want proof? Have a look at the Air Max LD Zero, all sizes ready for purchase here.
Adidas’ own release lineup for 25th was always going to be overshadowed by Air Max hoopla, but the three Stripes still had some heat for buyers.
The 93/17 Support Boost in White-based Turbo Red – the logical follow up colorway behind the Black that dropped two months ago – was the headline adidas shoe, despite the brand having two NMD collabs on tap for the weekend. Folks have truly taken to this style.
As such, resale support for the second colorway has seen pairs go for about $260, with a handful creeping up to $280-$300.
Typical of a Three Stripes collaborative of any sort, these uber-limited babies have jumped out the gate at prices ranging from $350 to $400.
Apart from the Red/ White/Navy Colorway of the White Mountaineering NMD Trail, the knobby-soled silo is one adidas buyers are having a hard time falling in love with.
As such, despite its customary sell- through, the Titolo (told you about the moderate ‘Brand Prestige’ of that boutique) Celestial NMD Trail’s performance in the aftermarket has been underwhelming price-wise, and scant volume-wise.
This restock (if it happened) knocked the price for this UB Colorway to retail and below – hey!
EQT Support ’93
“No boost, no dice” continues to be the stance of Adidas buyers, allowing very nice classics like the above to sit on shelves, even at a quite reasonable, $100 price point.
Find this EQT right here.
C’est la vie…..
This shoe is all but gone at retail, but, in a rarity for adidas, seem to have been an eBay backdoor general release, with many pro sellers there moving pairs of the shoes for prices very close to its $140 box price. For the sales completed at a premium, the cap was still about $40 over box.
This very fresh pair appears to not have dropped.
Retro 6 GS
This GS exclusive shoe in a Pantone-esque Colorway sold out, and has resold in Low volume, and a split market (true GS (7 smaller), and extended (8-9.5 – men’s ).
A good number of sizes of this premium classic runner are still available via J Crew.
Full Size Run right here.