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Nike's Best Sneaker Releases This Autumn/Winter
Keeping up with the frenzy of sneaker drops is no small feat. It’s like a game of whack-a-mole: everyone eagerly waits for the sneaker to come out, only for it to be sold out straight away, and only the quickest people snatch up a pair. That’s the way it goes for the most hyped-up releases anyway, but for sneakerheads, it’s a game worth playing.
Nike stays busy enough to satisfy all our autumn sneaker cravings, from luxury collaborations to skateboard-inspired kicks and nostalgic cartoon-themed releases. To help you navigate through the chaos, here are the top Nike sneakers of the season.
1. The Air Jordan 3 Retro Fear
Re-released on November 25th after eight years, the Air Jordan 3 Retro Fear is part of the original Retro Fear pack alongside the Air Jordan 4 and Air Jordan 5. This release will be a nostalgic throwback for anyone who bought them the first-time round, and now is your chance to swap your dusty ones for a fresh new pair.
The midsole is more intricate than most Air Jordan 3s, with white and paint speckled layers, and a visible air sole unit in the heel. You’ll find a premium mix of materials in these sneakers, from wax suede to nubuck leather. The signature elephant print stands out around the heel and toe, and orange eyelets give a pop of colour. Whilst arguably not the best out of the Air Jordans, the high-quality materials and nostalgia make it a must for loyal Jordan fans.
2. Cactus Jack x Nike Mac Attack
Travis Scott was key in hyping up the return of the Mac Attack, tennis star John McEnroe’s 1984 signature shoe. After teasing us onstage in August with a pair of his own unreleased co-signs, the limited edition is dropping on December 2nd. Oddly enough, Nike are also releasing the Nike Mac Attack OG ‘light smoke grey’ a few days earlier.
The two are almost identical, however, if you’re a fan of the rapper, you’ll want to cop the ones with his signature backwards Swoosh and Cactus Jack emblem. The sneaker is overall a light grey with some black accents, and “NIKE” lettering adds a retro feel to the branding. Considering that Scott’s very own Jumping Jack line is arriving very soon, the Mac Attack isn’t the most exciting of releases. Nonetheless, it’s a solid shoe with a clean design and personal details.
3. Nike x Sacai x Jean Paul Gaultier Vaporwaffle
A sequel to their very successful first collaboration, the trio has teamed up again to create a totally new sneaker. Where the last one was giving chunky, basketball high-tops, now we are presented with a slim, elegant silhouette reminiscent of a running shoe. It looks quite like the 2022 Nike x Sacai Vaporwaffle, but with Jean Paul Gaultier’s artistic touch.
The sneaker is available in a grey/white colourway or a multicoloured (and a bit circus-esque) one. While overall the shoe has a clean, classic look, interesting details give it a deconstructed feel. The Nike swoosh is rearranged and fragmented in the woven, tile-like design and the midsole splits into three layers at the heel, as if the back were slashed open. The least ‘streetwear’ out of the bunch, it’s a uniquely modern shoe.
4. A Ma Maniére x Jordan 5
A Ma Maniére, the luxury French boutique, brought together its expertise in quality with Nike’s iconic Jordan 5 silhouette in this seamless collaboration. Released on November 24th, it offers two colourways, but currently, only the ‘dusk’ variant is available in men’s sizes. The model features a dark suede upper with overlaid panels, showcasing alternating A Ma Maniére and Jumpman logos on the tongue and outsole.
Noteworthy elements include the translucent outsole with herringbone traction, the three choices (white, grey, and cream) of laces that come with the sneakers, and the ‘A’ monogram that fills the netting. You can see the French house’s input in the meticulous attention to detail, making this a standout collaboration.
5. Air Force 1 Mid x Off-White™ ‘Varsity Maize’
Released on November 9th to celebrate 40 years of AF1, this is the latest in a string of Air Force 1 Mid renditions, but it holds its own thanks to the vibrant yellow colour. It’s super eye-catching, if not the most versatile for styling outfits (you can never go wrong with black and yellow). The overlays, strap and even zip tie are covered in the delicious colour, and is it just me, or do the rubber accents on the outsole make the whole shoe look like a gooey piece of cheese?
The neutral white base and Swoosh neaten up the design and an embroidered grim reaper on the heel is a wicked little detail. This drop continues Virgil Abloh’s legacy and pays homage to the history of the iconic streetwear sneakers.
6. Powerpuff Girls x Nike SB Dunk Low
A trio of sneakers is set to drop on December 14th, just in time to add a pair to your Christmas list. The Powerpuff Girls x Nike SB Dunk Low collection will awaken your childhood nostalgia with three colourways inspired by the girls: blue and yellow ‘Bubbles’, green and black ‘Buttercup’, pink and yellow ‘Blossom’.
Each pair has their character’s huge eyes and a little smile embroidered on the spines. Black painted edges around the shoe add to the overall cartoonish look. These Dunks are a playful addition to any fan of the show and would make a great collector’s item.
7. Nike SB Dunk Low x April Skateboards
Lastly, we have the highly anticipated Nike SB Dunk Low x April Skateboards, the first collaboration between Nike and Shane O’Neill’s company. The low silhouette is a skateboarding favourite, and the colour combination of white, metallic silver, and turbo green creates a bright, modern look. Made with soft suede and smooth leather, they switched out the standard all-leather base for an airier white mesh.
You can find April’s signature rose graphic (which is usually on their skateboards) on the underfoot, and apparently there is a special surprise on the in-sole. These all-round attractive sneakers draw you in with their futuristic colour scheme and make you want to start doing kick-flips.
These Nike’s are worth the hype, so grab your favourite before they vanish – it’s a game worth playing.
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