Jake’s Take – #tbt to the Good Ol’ Days of Sneaker Culture

I recently dug through old stuff of mine through a Google search, and found this:

http://solecollector.com/forums/Wildman94-s-Collection-Pt-II-UPDATE-PEARL-FOAMS/75:1:1080849/p1/

Way back in 2010, that was my collection, and those paragraphs of personal anecdotes show how much I was enamored by my sneakers. To me, seeing and finding all sorts of new designs was like exploring a world prior to which I had never visited. And for each new sneaker I got, I had more than a cool article of footwear. I had a new, sometimes fulfilling experience to hold onto for some time. Whether I thought of the people that I waited with for the shoes, what the design stood for, or simply the hunt to find the pair, I felt an attachment that transcended “liking a sneaker.”

The best part about buying sneakers years ago? It was all care-free. I sought after limited models and whatnot, but I did not have to put in any crazy level of effort to get what I wanted. I also did not hesitate to buy something that I liked. In those days, I had a list of sneakers that I wanted to find. None of this is the same now. Thanks to the multifaceted effects of the proliferation of social media and the reseller market driving up participation and prices, I have to go through an arm and a leg’s worth of either stress or money to get any shoe I want. This is one factor that has stopped me from buying more sneakers than I would have years ago, but not the only one. In addition, I have realized through “trial and error” that I get tired of most shoes after some time. Either the experiences I  had or feelings I felt when I first bought the pair don’t ring the same, or I come to the realization that I don’t “need” the shoe, per se. So now, every time I evaluate whether I would want to purchase a pair of shoes or not, I reference all of the times my evaluations “failed” (shoes I eventually sold) and “succeeded” (shoes I still own) in terms of my matured tastes. And that list? If anything, I now just have a small list of sneakers that I would like to sell. Even though I’m at one of my lowest totals since getting into all of this, I somehow feel content with what I have.

I’m not trying to make any wide-ranging statement here, or argue that I can do one thing or another to change my current sneaker buying tendencies. Heck, I may very well be on the right path with what I am doing. This post is simply just a look-back at what things were like in my previous time as a participant in sneaker culture. Happy #tbt everyone.

Jake’s Take – Top Sneakers of 2013

It’s pretty funny that I’m writing up a “Top Sneakers of 2013″ list when I have my selections for the half-year point just a few posts back, but I digress. The second half of 2013 brought the sneaker world a number of releases that rounded out the bountiful first half of the year. It’s a shame I was at school for some of the key second half releases. Perhaps having a chance to see some of them in person and ranking them accordingly would have changed the composition of my ten picks. Enough with the banter though.

10. Air Jordan III Retro ’88

Air Jordan III Retro '88As much as I like the Air Jordan III in it’s original “White Cement” colorway, this release stood above the rest because of the commemorative factor. The Nike Air backtab was cool to see, but I’m not even talking about that. For me, Nike’s precision in dropping the sneaker at the exact time of Jordan’s  free throw line dunk twenty-five years prior made this release an event. And at the end of the day, the colorway is one of the most solid out there.

9. Ronnie Fieg x Asics Gel Lyte III “Knicks”

Ronnie Fieg x Asics Gel Lyte III "Knicks"Ronnie Fieg put in work this year with Asics, and the “Knicks” Gel Lyte III offering from the East Coast Project was my favorite of the bunch. As a proud New Yorker, the blue and orange does for me what no other color combination can do. And if the colors themselves weren’t enough, little details like the color-blocking on the sole and the 3M accents make this running silhouette seem just right in colors normally associated with basketball. There’s not much that I can say against a “Knicks” colorway, especially one with the attention to quality and premium materials that Ronnie brings to each and every footwear collaboration on which he works.

8. Nike Flyknit Racer “Multicolor”

Nike Flyknit Racer "Multicolor"The great: The craziness of the multicolor knit pattern juxtaposes the sleek Racer silhouette to make for one hell of a sight. The not so great: Because every shoe looks different, and I’m more partial to the predominately volt and teal pairs, it’s not a shoe that I would get without doing some crazy scouting. Thankfully, I already have my Volt Flyknit Trainers, so it’s not an issue, but getting the right pair of the Racers would be insane. (Picture via modernART on Sole Collector Forums)

7. Air Jordan V Retro “Grape”

Air Jordan V Retro "Grape"I’ll admit…I went a little too crazy over the “Grape” Vs earlier in the year. Nonetheless, for all of the general release Air Jordan Retros that dropped this year, this one is king. Sure, there are gripes to be had when comparing this one and the ’06 version, but that white leather build with the purple and teal accents…nothing else like it. (Picture via Kicks Deals)

6. Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG “Knicks”

Air Jordan 1 High OG "Knicks"Although the team is currently in a state of shock, the Knicks allowed us New Yorkers to flourish earlier in the year. Plus, the sneaker world rallied around the team with better sneakers than ever. This was my favorite. In the 90s, it would be so paradoxical to love a Knicks-colored Air Jordan, but this iteration stood for Melo, and not Mike, so it got a pass. There have certainly been other sneakers out there with straight-up blue and orange color schemes, but the colors look nothing short of beautiful on the sleek, full-grain leather-comprised Air Jordan 1 silhouette. I said it on Christmas, and I’ll say it again: pretty sure I’ll never wear another pair of sneakers to the Garden now that I have and appreciate the “Knicks” Jordan 1.

5. Ronnie Fieg x New Balance 577 “Americana”

Ronnie Fieg x New Balance 577 "Americana"I don’t think any shoe has made me literally drop my jaw upon seeing it for the first time…that is, until I first laid eyes on this good ol’ New Balance. I have never really been into their inline stuff, but one thing that I have always said about New Balance is that they do wonders with navy and red. That notion had led me on a mission to find the perfect navy New Balance sneaker, and when I saw the “Americana” 577, I knew that I had found it. And seeing how the shoe came out in person, I was nothing short of thrilled. The effect on the pigskin makes it appear as if there are different shades of navy all over the shoe, and the red is bright as can be. Plus, the 3M hits and silver midsole splatter never hurt anyone. Ronnie Fieg had a lot of solid projects this year, but he saved his best for his last sneaker of the year. America’s colors at their finest. (Picture via Kith NYC)

4. Bape x UNDFTD x Adidas ZX5000

Bape x UNDFTD x adidas Originals ZX5000

Applause to Bape for executing a camouflage pattern so well that even someone who hopped on the anti-camo bandwagon could rave for days on their UNDFTD and adidas collaboration. They paired the signature Bape style of the pattern with beige and green suede, patriotically colored stripes, and a gum sole. *Bang*…that’s the sound of your mind being blown. Nowhere near overstated, but not understated either thanks to all of the details around the camouflage. With this premium sneaker in tow, I’m doubting any future prospects of picking up a camouflage sneaker. Nothing can even come close to this gem that the streetwear triumvirate of Bape, UNDFTD, and adidas brought to the world in April.

3. Nike Free Inneva Woven SP “Photo Blue”

Nike Free Inneva Woven SP "Photo Blue"While I’m all for classic silhouettes, there’s definitely something to be said for footwear with more up-to-date technology that both look and feel incredible. That’s the category under which the Free Inneva Woven, especially in that pure White Label colorway, falls. From the time I first slid this stunning blue Inneva on, the shoe was a summer go-to for me. The Inneva still keeps its distinct look with any ensemble, and the comfort is some of Nike’s finest, especially with thin socks (and sockless, for those that go that route). Free 5.0, Dynamic Fit upper, and NSW leather insoles…while this shoe will eventually be surpassed by something in the future (as all tech-based models are), for now, the “Photo Blue” Inneva is one of this year’s best. Just wish I could wear the shoe in the winter too… (Picture via Concepts)

1. TIE: Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG “Royal” & “Bred”

Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG "Royal" & "Bred"It would be blasphemy for me to not put these two on the same level. While one’s 2013 version has been out close to the entire year and the other’s has yet to drop, the pickups for both will be for the same doubling-up purpose. In most cases, this circumstance would drop a sneaker down into the other half of my top shoes, but not with these 1s, as they possess two of, if not my favorite sneaker color schemes out there. It just does not get more versatile, stunning, and classic than smooth black leather with gleaming red or royal blue, especially on the sleek Air Jordan 1 model. If my pairs last long enough, I would, without a doubt, wear both the “Royal” and “Bred” 1s into my old age. I’m looking forward to the day Jordan Brand drops easy-to-find versions of both, but for now, I can definitely live in the moment. Just gotta make sure I have my 1s in tow. (Picture via Trav409 of Sole Collector Forums)

And that sums up my 2013 in sneakers. I may put another post on the blog if I feel like it between now and New Years’ Day, but if I don’t, make sure to keep up with me on my Twitter, Instagram (both @jakepulver), and on Sole Selectah as I enter a new chapter of my sneaker blogging ventures.

An Update – December 23rd, 2013

Man, it’s been a while.

Five months have passed since my last post on jakepulver.com. Not exactly what I imagined when I started the website. At the same time, the reason for my abrupt pause was also pretty unbelievable. In July, I was recruited to write for an actual sneaker blog, which, even with my blogging past, I had never imagined happening. I was set to start writing in September, and in the span from late July to late August, I became a guest writer on the site.

Unfortunately, things did not work out the way that I believed that they were at the website, and I never ended up becoming a hired writer there. At the point at which I realized things were not going to work out, I was already in the thick of college work. With all of the assignments that I had, I just never got to starting the blog up again.

Fast-forward to the end of the semester, and I was contacted by one of the seasoned veterans in sneaker culture, and someone I look up to in all the madness: Jay Corbin. And now, I am happy to announce that starting on the turn of the new year, I will be writing for Sole Selectah, a website in TruStory Media’s network. I would like to extend sincere gratitude to Jay on this one. It’s one thing to just write for a hobby, but to know that someone respects that writing to attempt to push it to a new level is humbling.

I haven’t been too active on the sneakerhead social media scene as of late, but trust me…you’ll see me around a bit more now. Make sure to catch my writing on Sole Selectah in the near future, and stay tuned for one more post here before I start elsewhere.

Ten Things I Like & Don’t Like in Sneaker Culture – July 19, 2013

It’s been a while since I have made one of these posts. And honestly, I think that might just be because there has not been much to be enthusiastic about in the sneaker world over the past few weeks. And then this week shows up, chock full of some really cool things. I even had a hard time narrowing down the good to make room for a blunder in the week. But I did, and now we’re here.

Unusual Release Times for This Weekend’s Releases

Let’s get the minuscule bad out of the way first. I’m all for releases of sneakers previously labeled as “player exclusives” or “unreleased,” but can someone explain to me why Nike is dropping the “Christmas” version of the Air Max Hyperposite (or at least a version very similar) just now, in the middle of blazing hot July? I’m certainly lost. And yes, good move by Nike to re-release the “Doernbecher” Air Jordan III Retro in their campaign to honor the ten-year partnership between themselves and the Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, but why would they release a red-based Jordan Retro the week immediately after the release of the “Toro Bravo” Jordan IV? It just does not make sense to me…

Nike Free Flyknit Unveiling

Nike Free Flyknit

This was a big one for me. I am a huge fan of the two technologies that the Nike Free Flyknit brings together when they are separated. I work out in Free Run+ 3s, and fell in love over the past couple months with the Free Inneva Woven, due in part to its lightweight, natural ride. And when Nike finally released Flyknit sneakers to the public in late July last year, I did not hesitate on the chance to get a pair, getting to Niketown NY close to an hour  before release. Ever since, the Flyknit Trainer+ has become one of my favorite sneakers. Now, you’re telling me I have the chance to get a sneaker with BOTH Free and Flyknit!? Golden opportunity. The wait for the perfect colorway begins… (Picture via Nike Inc.)

Rumor of a “Black Cat” Air Jordan IV Retro Re-Release

To this day, I have never bought an all-black sneaker. I have admired a good few from afar, but whenever it came to actually copping a pair, I was always hesitant. I just could never see myself getting much enjoyment out of something all-black. However, in light of the “Black Cat” Jordan IV re-release rumors, I can say now that I may break my stance on all-black sneakers. The Jordan IV is one of my favorite sneaker silhouettes of all time, and if I were to get any sneaker in an all-black colorway, it might just be the IV. Alas, we will have to wait and see if the rumor is even true.

Air Jordan 1 Tribute Articles

The Air Jordan 1 is another one of my favorite sneakers. As I have said plenty a-time before, the shoe is a mix of simple, sleek, and defiant like no other. That’s why I was glad to see a couple articles this week dedicated to the original Air Jordan model. Make sure to check out both Modern-Notoriety’s feature on the Jordan 1 in the skate world and Adam Zenou of The Crosby Press’s overall praise of the Jordan 1.

First Look at the “Bred” Air Jordan 1 High OG Retro for Holiday 2013

Air Jordan 1 High OG Retro "Bred"

Speaking of Air Jordan 1s, this snapshot also made its way around the web this week thanks to Hiroshi Fujiwara. My, do the “Bred” 1s dropping later this year look great. Everything that I did not like about the “Banned” Air Jordan 1 from 2011 (particularly the incorporation of tumbled leather vs full-grain leather) is fixed on this “OG” drop. Hopefully it won’t be much longer before I can get my hands on a pair to compliment my 2001s. Or maybe two. Or three. Or as many as I can get my hands on.

fragment design x Nike Lunar Force 1

fragment design x Nike Lunar Force 1

This was another gem that the “H” in “HTM” dropped over the week. Last time the Hiroshi-Tinker-Mark triumvirate was associated with an Air Force 1 drop, they delivered with two subdued, but superb-quality Uptowns in brown and black. Over ten years have passed since those two Air Force 1s hit the streets, and now, we may see an updated version in Lunar form. Hiroshi Fujiwara made sure to get the fragment design logo front and center in this preview of the black crocodile and cream-accented Lunar Force 1, alluding to this being a fragment and Nike collaboration. Now, to hope for a release.

Elephant Print Options on NIKEiD

Like many sneakerheads out there, I am a fan of the Air Jordan III’s elephant print that has found its way onto countless designs. And while I may not actually buy anything I make, I am excited to mess around for countless hours on NIKEiD with the tantalyzing elephant print possibilities. I mean, why stop at making carbon copies of “Supreme” Dunk Lows when you can get a bit more creative? We shall see if I can find the design that makes me break out the debit card.

Jeremy Scott x adidas Originals JS License Plate “South Beach”

Jeremy Scott x adidas Originals JS License Plate "South Beach"A couple years back, Jeremy Scott and adidas Originals dropped two colorways of the JS License Plate: a New York and a Beverly Hills, each complete with the license plates on the tongues and the overall color schemes of the respective plates. Those were cool, but I think Jeremy Scott outdid himself with this new “South Beach” rendition. It helps that he had the liberty to pick out what colors to use for a South Beach-inspired makeup, as the mix of pastels and bright colors on this sneakers gives it a vibrant, yet also subdued character. Definitely need to check the latest JS License Plate out in person as soon as I can.

Sneaker-Related Confidence Boosters from Complex

As they tend to do, the crew over at Complex Sneakers dropped some funny articles this week. However, two of them did more for me than just amuse. I actually got a nice confidence boost by looking over Complex’s stuff from this week. For one, unlike some sneakerheads, I’m comfortable with my sense of fashion and don’t see where an article like this helps me out. I certainly do all I can to avoid the cardinal sin of perfectly matching my clothes and sneakers. And furthermore, I also believe that I have my sneaker obsession under control. No long credit card bill of sneaker purchases over here, and I’ve been on the scaling down mission from earlier on in the year, with a lot of progress to show. So Complex, thanks for this, but I think I’m good!

“Summer Tease” Video by Extra Butter

I’m a huge fan and supporter of everything that happens over at 266 Merrick Road in Rockville Centre, otherwise known as Extra Butter. The guys there go out of their way to provide a diverse selection of kicks and apparel in tandem with friendly customer service and the finest nighttime events. Recently, they have been overhauling their website, and today, the guys put up a pretty fun video on the main page, showing off their “Summer Tease” collection. The link I provided above is good, but if you want the full experience the video is meant to give off, just go to Extra Butter’s home page. You will not regret it.

Sneaker Con NYC Summer 2013 Recap

In the past couple years, the “sneaker trade show” has proliferated into a mass experience. First reserved for only the biggest cities, these conventions have made their way to all sorts of destinations, albeit in small dosages. But after all, that is how Sneaker Con, a mainstay on the trade show scene, made its start: a Sunday event in early 2009 at Times Square Arts Center on Eighth Avenue with a decent twenty vendors.
 
Of course, you would never know about Sneaker Con’s humble beginnings by coming to their New York City return this past Saturday.
 
Fast-forward four years, and you have a convention that blows anything Sneaker Con held in their early years out of the water. Sneakerheads of all ages came to the newly renovated Basketball City in exodus-like numbers, eager to storm the 65,000 square feet of hardwood inside. After all, the attendees had over 175 vendors to check out, selling and displaying all sorts of sneakers, streetwear, and other goods. Among the sneaker vendors, once you got through all of the standalone groups, were both web stores (Sneaker.St, WindyCitySole) and physical boutiques (Extra Butter, Rare Pair) showing off their stuff. Supra was in the building for their first Sneaker Con, giving attendees a sneak preview of some future releases. adidas brought out NBA legend Dikembe Mutombo to their booth. The once-signature adidas athlete signed posters and posed for pictures with fans. Even some high-profile attendees within the sneaker community, like Jeff Staple and sneaker customizer Mache, came out for the occasion. And they were right to check Sneaker Con out, especially with all of the rare sneakers lying around the show, from original Air Jordans to exclusive runners and some of the past few years’ most exclusive drops. Both the vendors and attendees brought out rarely seen shoes to the event. 
 
From top to bottom, Sneaker Con NYC was the place to be on Saturday if you had any interest in the culture behind footwear. Whether you are on the hunt to cop your grails, looking to move some of your current stock, or just interested in seeing what sneakers are out there, you missed out if you were not in the building.
 
Special shouts to Sneaker.St, Dallas Penn, Paulie Hussle, Matt Parker of Kith, Oren Altmark, the guys from Extra Butter, Juice of adidas, Kurt Tulud, Dan Solomon, Andrew Poveda, Nick Bullen, Yu-Ming Wu, and Alan Vinogradov. Seeing and catching up with all of you in the building made the whole event even better. My apologies if I forgot anyone.

Sneaker Con NYC Summer 2013

Sneaker Con NYC Summer 2013

 

Ah, the sneaker trade show. Morning lineups are cool places to connect with fellow sneakerheads, but sneaker conventions are the premier events to go to if you want to hang out with other sneaker connoisseurs and make some transactions. Do you have one pair in mind that has been eluding you forever? Look no further than Sneaker Con, one of the biggest trade shows on the scene. First started in New York City in 2009 by brothers Alan and Barris Vinogradov and partner Yu-Ming Wu, the show has since blossomed into a nationwide tour. Tomorrow, Sneaker Con makes its triumphant return to New York at Basketball City for what could be its biggest show yet. Well over 100 vendors, showcases by adidas Originals and Supra, Dikembe Mutombo in attendance…what more could you ask for?

If you plan on attending Sneaker Con tomorrow, make sure to head over to their website to get more information on the event and to buy your advance tickets. I will be in the building looking to sell a few kicks of my own, so make sure to hit me up if you’ll be there. Always good to chop it up in person with people I typically talk to online. Until tomorrow, peace.

Jake’s Take – Top Sneakers of 2013, January–June

It is crazy to think that we’re more than halfway into 2013. Yes, the year has been chock full of exciting material on all fronts, but time just always seems to fly. Now that we are six months into the year, I believe that it is time for that mid-way countdown of favorite sneaker releases. A lot of these picks will not surprise, but there are also a couple that will definitely not be on other lists come the end of the year. And with that said…

10. Nike Dunk Low PRM SP “Viotech”

Nike Dunk Low Premium SP "Viotec"

This was certainly an unexpected drop. I have never been an outright fan of the “Viotech” Dunk, but when the new version was revealed, my soft spot for the shoe revealed itself. Didn’t cop, but I like how Nike complimented the iconic colorway with premium details, particularly the black leather lining.

9. Nike Lunar Flyknit Chukka “Game Royal”

Nike Lunar Flyknit Chukka "Game Royal"

The Flyknit Chukka may have first popped its head out in late 2012 with the HTM releases, but it did not really start making an impact on the sneakerhead community at large until this year. Unfortunately, I have not found one colorway of the sneakers that I am absolutely sold on, but this version is as close as it will get for the foreseeable future. The Game Royal knit material is nuts, and comfort on the Chukka is at an all-time high. (Picture via Saint Alfred)

8. Ronnie Fieg x Asics Gel Lyte III “Knicks”

Ronnie Fieg x Asics Gel Lyte III "Knicks"

This year, more than any of the past few, was great for the classic blue and orange colorway that represents my New York Knicks. This Gel Lyte III designed by Ronnie Fieg gives fans a nice low-top sneaker option to wear in the offseason. The pigskin suede on the shoe, combined with black accents and 3M, may give the sneaker a bit of a costume-like appearance, but hey…would you rather be quiet or be bold? (Picture via Hypebeast)

7. Air Jordan III Retro ’88

Air Jordan III Retro '88

Nothing short of a proper retro release. Dropping the sneaker at the exact time that Jordan dunked from the free throw line in the 1988 Slam Dunk Contest was cool to see. And of course, people will go crazy for the Nike Air backtab. As for me? It’s a nice touch, but it really adds nothing to the aesthetic appeal of this Air Jordan III. And even though I will be one of the first to admit how iconic this III colorway is, I’ve never been as loud of a supporter of the “White Cement” iteration as the others. (Picture via Nike Insider)

6. Air Jordan 1 High Retro “Chicago”

Air Jordan 1 High Retro "Chicago"

It’s been one hell of a long time since this classic has come back in as close-to-original form as the 2013 release. Over the past year or two, the 1 has become my favorite Jordan, and the “Chicago” makeup is among the cream of the crop. The leather tongue on this version still annoys me, but at the end of the day, it is good to see fresh “Chicago” Jordan 1s in their true form (as opposed to the AJKO, Alpha, or any other form). (Picture via Sole Collector)

5. Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG “Knicks”

Air Jordan 1 High OG "Knicks"

In terms of new Jordan Retro colorways, I do not think that I could have asked for much more.  Knicks colors on an OG-styled Jordan 1? Man…I knew I was in love when the “Knicks” 1 first dropped. The simple, sleek silhouette of the Jordan 1 really let Jordan Brand play up the brightness of the blue/orange color combination. And they threw the Melo apple logo on the insole so everyone knows it’s real. Honestly, I could not imagine a better “Knicks”-themed sneaker. (Picture via Hypebeast)

4. Bape x UNDFTD x adidas Originals ZX5000

Bape x UNDFTD x adidas Originals ZX5000

I have not been a fan of rocking anything camouflage too much lately, but this ZX5000 was just undeniable. Out of any camo pattern, the Bape is a classic. Furthermore, the pattern here does not overpower the sneaker, as is the usual case with camouflage sneakers. Combined with the olive and khaki suede, gum sole, gold foil logos, and patriotic stripes, the camo is just another thing going for this beauty of a collaboration. And I haven’t even mentioned the superb quality. Even paying resale felt worth it after trying the shoe on for the first time.

3. Air Jordan V Retro “Grape”

Air Jordan V Retro "Grape"

The “Grape” Jordan V has been one of my favorite pairs of Jordans from the onset of my sneaker obsession. I have always loved the combination of the Grape Ice and New Emerald shades, and the distribution of those colors on the shoe (especially with white as the base) is perfect. I finally picked up a 2006 pair a couple years ago, and although I don’t like the 2013 as much for a couple reasons, I was more than happy to stock up on “Grape” Vs and break out my 2006 pair a bit more than I used to.

2. Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG “Royal”

Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG "Royal"

The “Royal” 1 was also a generally recent pickup for me. I got a pair last year just before the 2013 release was announced. After having the shoe for just under a year, and realizing how much I actually liked the combination of the black and blue colorway and the Air Jordan 1 silhouette, I knew I had to get at least one 2013 pair. This drop is actually truer to original form than the 2001 that I previously had, but I can’t say I like it better. The deeper color on the 2001′s leather is so eye-catching. And we don’t even have to go into depth on quality. Nonetheless, I’m a big fan of the “Royal” Jordan 1, and having the opportunity to get another pair will always be a huge plus in my book. (Picture via Kicks On Fire)

1. Nike Free Inneva Woven “Photo Blue”

Nike Free Inneva Woven "Photo Blue"The Inneva Woven came out in 2012, but I waited to bite until this year. I needed a solid colorway that I know I’d like, and when I saw the “Photo Blue” makeup, I knew that was it. I did not actually get the sneaker until mid-May, when I was able to see it in person and try it on, but once I broke my pair out with dress socks, I knew it was meant to be. Look-wise, the Inneva Woven is so versatile in the stunning blue shade. I have worn them with everything from a chambray blue oxford and khakis to a white tee and black athletic shorts. And the combination of a Dynamic Fit woven upper, Free 5.0 sole, and leather insole gives the Inneva a lightweight, yet über-comfortable feel. There’s not much more that I can ask for in a sneaker.