I STILL THINK ABOUT THE ADIDAS F50 AND I MISS IT

The F50. Born in 2004 and paved the way for a huge amount of success for adidas, and the players wearing the silo. A boot which has seen different generations come through until it was ditched in 2015 (alongside the Predator, 2015 wasn’t a nice year for me).

adidas launched several generations of the Tunit F50, which was the first generation of speed boots from the Three Stripes. This was a major change in adidas’ boot range and it was made to compete with Nike’s Mercurial range. A boot that had revolutionary technology on it, alongside interchangeable studs which major competitors had not utilized before. This boot was a major play for adidas.

You see the laceless boots being released all the time from major companies now but many aren’t a fan. Something that was very special about the F50 was it had laces, yes, but had a feature where the laces were completely hidden providing a larger striking surface and enhancing control. This was a major trend of the time.

But it wasn’t until the F50 Adizero that I fell in love with the silo. The main reason was, that as a young kid/teenager I adored Lionel Messi (and still do) and the little Argentine wore F50s. I bought into the marketing process behind the F50 and fell for it. I was hooked on the Adizero and hooked on Lionel Messi. From then on, I only wore F50s. The lightest boot on the market, hence the name. The things Messi did in these boots, whether it be the Chameleon colorway, the solar red/yellow colorway or his first signature red/white boots, I loved it and wanted to be like him. And the closest I could get was the boots.

Each season I got a new pair, ready for a fresh start from the last campaign, and it was the F50 Adizero, and more specifically the Adizero MiCoach, that I wanted. Spending all my (or my parent’s) money on the freshest boots on the market was my favorite thing to do. Then, I would pull them on and channel my inner-Messi – albeit it didn’t really improve my talent.

The aesthetic of the boot was beautiful. A delightful design with the SPEEDFRAME, the web design across the upper and the three stripes down the side. Not only this but the colorways adidas released over the course of the Adizero life just increased the amount of love in my heart for the boot.

Following the success of the first generation of MiCoach F50s, the second design came out. And this design was also superb. The web-like design on the upper had gone and it was a one colored upper rather than having two. The stripes had been moved closer to the toes and the heel counter featured a cool sash design. The SPEEDFRAME was still intact. The first colorway was the excellent yellow colorway, debuted by Messi. And from this release, more and more excellent releases followed. There was purple, all black, pink/blue and more.

This was when Messi got a signature boot with the red/white design. An all-time favorite boot release of mine. A wonderful split design, with one half featuring red and the other white. One I adored from first sight.

There is still a chance to cling on to the greatness of these boots. If you’re like me and desperately want a return, adidas have teased us with a Chameleon GLITCH colorway, just like the classic F50s.

There was something about these boots that I loved. The design was incredible. They were revolutionary in terms of tech and weight. They had the greatest player on the planet driving them. What more could you want? Keep your Mercurials. Keep your Preds. Keep your Copa Mundials. I’m taking a pair of these all day, every day. I miss you, old friend. Maybe we will see each other again sometime.

KIM JONES/VIRGIL ABLOH: EXPRESSIONS OF SOCCER

In Desmond Morris’ introspective book The Soccer Tribe, famed-Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho states, “Those who only know football know nothing about football. Those who only see twenty-two men chasing after a ball fail to understand its geometry, its ballet, its psychological depth, its true nature. It is the most faithful representation of human nature and its many faces. It is a tribe where the rationale of tactics, emotion, and the fun of the game all prevail.”

Like the United gaffer, we believe the beautiful game is as much about cultural identity as it is about kicking the ball with your mates. This sense of identity can be seen everywhere, from the pubs and neighborhoods we call home, the clubs we cheer and agonize over, the boots you wear on the pitch to the music, clothing, and kits you don off it. Unlike any other sport, soccer has seamlessly integrated into every facet of culture to the point where it has engendered its very own pocket in the world of fashion.

Enter Kim Jones and Virgil Abloh, two lads who know a thing or two about fashion. Jones, the newly appointed Creative Director of Dior Homme, and Abloh, the man who has just replaced him as such at Louis Vuitton, are back again to stamp their mark at the helms of culture with their latest World Cup campaigns for Nike.

“FOOTBALL REIMAGINED,” as Jones has called it, is his way of reworking the perception of the football pastiche from the confines of the pitch to influences that extend as far as the avant-garde tailoring of London’s Kings Road, coupled with the latest technologies seen across our favorite sportswear garments.

When speaking on the former, Jones states “That whole punk era was all about proportions that gave power to the wearer. I was inspired by the idea of DIY of the time–cutting up and putting things back together–to create something new.” This inspiration has also led to an equally eye-catching sneaker which pays its respects to the iconic mercurial, along with three of Jones’ favorite Nike silhouettes: The Footscape, the Vandal and the Air Max 97.

Abloh, a man who has ascended the fashion ranks like a rocket, views soccer as a portal to his youth, where he remembers listening to hip-hop classics on his way to play high school soccer matches. Dubbed “Football, Mon Amour,” the collection features the Off-White boss’ many soccer memories–from the patterns and numbers he wore to the dots on the juggling lion crest, which Abloh explains is essentially the most optimal points in striking the ball.

When explaining the capsule’s Flyknit Zoom Fly, Abloh says “I wanted to communicate where a player strikes the ball. So, I put dots on the boot; if you’re going to strike the ball, your foot/eye coordination is basically the only variance of chance. That’s what the collection started with, these running shoes that mimic the same as your actual boot on the pitch so that you started subconsciously training all the time. Then I just applied that aesthetic from the bottom up.”

Already reeling off a series of massive campaigns (how about those Super Eagles), Nike is set to release another two smackers with FOOTBALL REIMAGINED, set to release on nike.com and select retailers on June 7, and the Nike x Off-White “Football, Mon Amour” capsule, set to launch on June 14. Have a look at the two collection’s official photo editorials respectively below.

IS THIS NIKE’S BEST CAMPAIGN FOR WORLD CUP 2018?

We’re talking about Nike’s efforts for the full Nigeria National Team’s 2018 World Cup collection – of course. While the sportswear giant has come out with a solid roster of releases for all its sponsored teams for the upcoming global soccer event, it’s safe to say that the buzz surrounding the Super Eagles’ collection is by far Nike’s greatest – the fact that there were three million pre-sale orders for the home kit alone pretty much affirms that. But why is it so great? It’s all about the concept, or rather the ethos behind the campaign. And there’s one word to sum it all up: Naija.

“Naija” is a new term that both Nike and Nigeria’s youth are pushing that represents the spirit of contemporary Nigeria. While the West African country has had its fair share of the negative stigma, it’s often easy to forget the greatness, creativity, passion, and love that comes from its people. Naija is meant to help people see all of that and then some. Spearheaded by the Super Eagle’s young-aged team (the majority of the players are under 25), Naija – or at times referred to as “For Naija” – embodies not only the Nigerian youth’s spirit but also the identities and characters present in the youth-filled team.

This ethos is also pretty evident in the actual design itself, an energy-infused imprint courtesy of Nike Football Design Director Dan Farron and team. “We built this kit and collection based on the players’ full identities. We started to see trends in attitude and energy connecting the athletes to music, fashion and more. They are part of a resoundingly cool culture,” Farron states. But while it’s obvious that Nigerians today understand the new cultural pulse within their country, the same can be felt on a global stand-point, thanks to the diaspora Nigerian communities found the world over. “Naija fashion radiates, and its food is celebrated from Brooklyn, New York, to Peckham, London. In the United States and England, along with other locales with large Nigerian populations, the exuberance of Naija culture is resounding — spurred by family, friends, and football,” Nike explains about the collection.

It’s even felt here in Los Angeles within the Kicks to the Pitch office we call home, where Nike was gracious enough to send us the kits along with the collection’s Superfly and Vapor cleats that continues both the design and Naija concept. From that, we’ve put together an exclusive closer look at the offerings. The collection as a whole actually offers more than that, and actually more than your typical Nike World Cup release. It consists of a home kit, an away version, pre-match and training apparel, jackets and the aforementioned Superfly and Vapor soccer boots, which officially drops today – the only sad thing about the boots is that they won’t be worn be worn by the Super Eagles during the World Cup, but they can be worn by you with them in spirit! Check out our photo shoot throughout, then head over to Nike.com to grab yourself what we consider as Nike’s best campaign for World Cup 2018.

#TBT: A LOOK BACK AT OUR FAVORITE ADIDAS SAMBAS

The adidas Samba is without a doubt a classic imprint within the world of soccer, or in this case, “football,” seeing as it’s a silhouette that resonates the world over. Many argue – with good reason – that it’s the best indoor soccer shoe around, while others have adopted the model for a look outside of the beautiful game, like skateboarding or worn as a lifestyle sneaker. The silhouette itself was first introduced back in 1950 and has since become one of adidas’ most synonymous shoes, falling just second in line for being the highest selling design after the Stan Smith.

Selling status isn’t everything though, we’re more about a good story or learning about cultural relevancy in a product, and the samba has just that. Not only was the silhouette introduced to help players train on hard ground, therefore becoming the choice trainer for futsol, the Samba also played a significant part in the UK’s football culture during the early ’80s, when the subculture known as “the Casual” was in its prime. While associated with hooliganism, there was also a heavy fashion element to scene, where a casual would be decked out in expensive sportswear designer clothing – referred to as “clobber” gear – in a bid to divert unwanted attention from the police. The outfits, however, were also typically matched with, you guessed it: the adidas Samba.

While the history of the Samba is of course much more detailed, we already know that it’s a design that transcends time, hence it being well worthy of being highlighted with a look back at some of our favorite drops ever, leading up to the release of the adidas Originals’ Samba in June 1, which sees a meticulous one-for-one reproduction of the original design. Check out our list of favorite Samba releases below, then look out for the true throwback to release globally come June 1.


ADIDAS OG SAMBA LUZHNIKI


ADIDAS SAMBA W “WHITE ICE”


ADIDAS CONSORTIUM ‘DEEP HUE’ SAMBA PACK FOR WOMEN


ADIDAS SKATEBOARDING SAMBA ADV


ADIDAS X THE SHOE SURGEON SAMBA DAME


ADIDAS SAMBA PRIMEKNIT


ADIDAS SAMBA X BARNEYS NEW YORK


ADIDAS SAMBA B75806

SCOUTING REPORT: THE STORY OF ADIDAS: OG SAMBA LUZHNIKI

Pusha T’s latest diss track aimed at Drake, “The Story of Adidon,” seems to be the only talk in social media right now, and I’m loving everything about it. But how are we not also talking as much as we should about the newly released adidas OG Samba Luzhniki Stadium edition? When these were first released to the public last week, the hype was definitely there, but not as much as it should’ve. Well, I wanted to go back to this release and shed more of the spotlight that it deserves. So without further ado, I present to you “The Story of Adidas” featuring the OG Samba Luzhniki.

Overall Design: Instant classic. I love a lot of things about this release. It immediately gives you that nostalgic old classic adidas vibe, of course with its design of the 3-stripes, but also with its colorway of an ivory white and scarlet red. The colorway is certainly inspired by the Luzhniki stadium, the main football arena from Moscow for the World Cup. The exact same colors used in this piece are used for the seats in the stadium. I am also a fan of the stitched-on typeface saying “Luzhniki” on the side of the shoe on one side, and the other side in Cyrillic letters to stamp this as a special edition release for this year’s World Cup.

Score: 4/5

Functionality: If you didn’t wear Sambas to play indoor soccer when you were growing up, did you even really play? I used to wear them for everything – not just soccer. I was probably the only kid in the gym to always wear them to play basketball even. Can you wear these Sambas to play soccer, however? Of course you can, but would you really want to? Compared to what’s out on the market nowadays, personally, I wouldn’t pick these Sambas with the expectation that they would be the best in performance. They’re probably not the most comfortable shoes out there, but it’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make to stunt a bit.

Score: 4/5

Uniqueness: Understanding the love the Russian people have for adidas gear is important to appreciate this special release. The adidas tracksuits were popularized during the 1980 summer Olympics held in Moscow during the Soviet Union times. Back in 1980 adidas sponsored the Soviet Union team as their official team apparel sponsors even though the trademark adidas 3-stripes were not shown due to political reasons. In a nutshell, once the Olympics were over, many athletes failed to find real jobs and ended up doing different types of “jobs” on the streets. The classic adidas tracksuit was then often associated with troubled youth, or even those that are high above in the underground ladder. The head-to-toe adidas look was so popular with that crowd that there were several black markets dealing the apparel, as well a separate term for groups like the hooligans that are often seen wearing the tracksuits called the “Gopniks.” With the popularity of adidas in Russia and the connection of the World Cup also being held in Russia, everything about this release comes together naturally.

Score: 4/5

Details: adidas could have simply left this piece to ride the classic Samba look and change a bit of the colors here and there and call it a special release. But they’ve also captured many small details all around the shoe that makes this a one-of-a-kind in the Samba family. First, the aforementioned typeface of Luzhniki (and in Cyrillic) on each side of the shoe is a good touch. The red stars, often associated in flags, emblems, and the history of Russia/USSR, are also placed on the back heels. The inside of the shoe also has a red star with word markings of “3-stripes” and several different Cyrillic fonts making this overall release an instant classic and undeniably a special edition.

Score: 4/5

You can now purchase the adidas Samba Luzhniki from adidas.

Photo credits: asphaltgold

“MUJERES” BY ARTIST RICARDO ANDRÉS VERDESOTO RUGEL

Over the weekend in Jackson Heights, Queens, local artist Ricardo Andres Verdesoto Rugel collaborated with Queenscapes, a community-based organization responsible for creating photography programs within the city for a two day pop up. On display was Rugel’s exhibit entitled “Mujeres,” a series of photographs that looks to showcase women wearing soccer kits as a means to dispel the notion that soccer is strictly a sport for men.

“Fútbol is known worldwide to be predominantly considered a “man’s sport,” but in my eyes, there hasn’t been enough attention brought to the women who are fans of the game – especially underrepresented minority women. Mujeres emphasizes on showcasing soccer jerseys as day-to-day lifestyle essentials, from the die-hard fans to the casual fans to wear. I want to influence change and rewrite the way we think about who the fans of the game are. It has become a movement, embracing female empowerment in diversity.” – Andres Ricardo Verdestoo Rugel

The photos from the exhibit were displayed at the Arepa Lady restaurant in Jackson Heights, Queens, where 50% of all photo proceeds were donated to Voces Latinos, a locally based non-profit organization that provides preventative and intervention services for everything from domestic violence to HIV/Aids. For more on the “Mujeres” photo series, make sure to check out ravr.nyc

THIS WEEKS INSTAGRAM BEST 11

We keep it moving with with another deep trek into the ever blossoming footy IG world. With the Champions League back in action, there was much to be inspired by i.e.: 8 bit football’s cheeky number with Chellini and Buffon which mimics an emotional moment during their tie with Spurs. Nike kept us intrigued with a new all-encompassing Mercurial followed by a meet up between Odell Beckham Jr and Cristiano Ronaldo, while Puma flexed a vibrant new Puma One colorway. Here, is this week’s Instagram best 11.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buffon & Chiellini 🇮🇹⚫️⚪️

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