GARY WARNETT CONTINUED...
The SFB (Special Forces Boot) is a monster, probably more palatable in that Uniform Experiment mid-cut, and while it most certainly isn’t to all tastes, it looks tough, implements one of my favourite sole units and is a performance piece, albeit one made for use a long, long way from track and field. I’ve had plenty of heated conversations about these. I like the tactical boot look. It’s supple and lightweight but still feels appropriately rugged, and under denim, they look great. Probably not one to be wearing with shorts however.
Nike’s Ashiko is probably my number one pick if I was forced to choose the winner at gunpoint. It feels exactly where Nike should be now. I know Kish agrees with me when it comes to Ashiko fandom. The Flywire doesn’t feel like a gratuitous addition to the upper and there’s plenty of old ACG design cues for those who’ve obsessed over the sub-brand over the last two decades. The attention to detail is phenomenal. The forefoot contrast stitch and back of the tongue attest to that, and while they’re incredibly comfortable, they’re a challenging wear too. It allows for some tremendous use of colour, despite the minimal paneling. Who wants to play it safe every day? That’s the downfall of any semblance of innovation.
The whole ObyO Kazuki collection was something different altogether, and a bold move from adidas. The earliest stuff was killer, but the 7-Hole Boot is a very matter-of-fact design that just hits all its objectives. It looks like a Metro Attitude meets a workboot. If Mary Poppins was Space Jam this is what Dick Van Dyke’s chimney sweep would ball in. The boot leather feels invincible and the contrast between that more deconstructed collar and the sturdy lower areas, plus a crepe-style take on the ‘80s adidas court outsole gives it a certain longevity. I don’t need an excuse to wear Forums or that other good stuff, but these, dare I say it, feel a little more ‘grown up’ despite the techy fussiness that starts around the fourth eyelet. They’re easily the most immediate out of this trio in my eyes.
For the forseeable future, I’ll be championing as many antidotes to the plague of slimline silhouette takedowns.
Check out our next feature: THE HISTORY OF VANS