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Fly Fishing On The Bay: Part #1

Date: July 09 2013

By: DotDev Support

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Is it just us or has everyone totally given up on eBay to buy and sell shoes? Way too many fake Nikes, skyrocketing listing fees, unfair Paypal reversals, dodgy Guangzhou drop-shippers and deadbeat bidders are all standard gripes. As a result, consignment stores like Flight Club have flourished and dozens of fee-free Facebook trading groups have sprung up with lively banter aplenty.

With hours to kill in an airport lounge recently, we were sniffing around the Bay when a pristine pair of Nike Chapukas with a lowball BUY-IT-NOW appeared on screen. Bam, we pulled the trigger! Delving deeper and emboldened by some of the off-beat gems on offer, an idea for a magazine feature suddenly came to life. Given a semi-decent budget of $150 per shoe by the Freaker finance department, we were told to go forth and accumulate. Our mission? To not only snap necks, but totally make people bug out. Did we accomplish our assignment? We’ll let you decide… just don’t tell anyone!


Nike Air Choad : 1996
Young fans of Nike SB will choke on their Cocoa Pops when they check this Swooshless duo, but back in 1996, this is what Nike thought the future of skateboarding looked like. To be fair, bland, lumpy suede shoes is what everybody was wearing at the time, but if you ever wondered why Nike’s first foray into skate failed, look no further than these two.

The Choad may have been given a charisma bypass, but it was perfectly in tune with the era’s obsession with anonymity. And like Burt Reynolds’ face, time has not been kind to the Air Snak, although in dark pine, it’s the pick of this dour pair. Its cross trainer steez, accentuated with outriggers and experimental rubber strips unfortunately gave this kickflipper a look that said Skechers more than skaters. There’s zero chance of a retro on these but they’re a nice pick-up for the Sneaker Freaker archive though.


Nike Air Snak : 1996
Young fans of Nike SB will choke on their Cocoa Pops when they check this Swooshless duo, but back in 1996, this is what Nike thought the future of skateboarding looked like. To be fair, bland, lumpy suede shoes is what everybody was wearing at the time, but if you ever wondered why Nike’s first foray into skate failed, look no further than these two.

The Choad may have been given a charisma bypass, but it was perfectly in tune with the era’s obsession with anonymity. And like Burt Reynolds’ face, time has not been kind to the Air Snak, although in dark pine, it’s the pick of this dour pair. Its cross trainer steez, accentuated with outriggers and experimental rubber strips unfortunately gave this kickflipper a look that said Skechers more than skaters. There’s zero chance of a retro on these but they’re a nice pick-up for the Sneaker Freaker archive though.


Nike Baby Huaraches : Early 90s
OG purists take heed. Don’t spit the dummy and flame-grill the imitation rubber strap. So what if it has a fake neoprene sock! Dissing the poor 1:1 reproduction won’t win you any brownie points and I do not want to hear about the lack of Air in the soles. These Baby Huaraches are the coolest thing we’ve ever seen on two tiny legs.


Stussy x Nike Huarache Light : 2003
Here’s another blast from the past, this time with a pretty serious pedigree. We shouldn’t really admit this, but we snaffled two pairs – one for a complete song and another after we got into a three-beer inspired bidding war. Even then we picked up both pairs for less than $250!

We have barely taken them off since and the weirdo looks they generate are merely the icing on this orange-frosted cupcake. Smoother and softer than Nicole Kidman’s forehead (and more emotionally expressive), the stunning grey leather used on the middle panel of these Huarache Lights is an absolute marvel. This is one of those shoes that you either get or you don’t. In our case we did. Twice. According to Stussy, several friends-and-family pairs with the Stussy logo embroidered on the side were also made. Double nuts if you track down one of them.


Nike Chupuka : 2001
Now we’ve really arrived in Crazy Town! A dash of Presto in the toe, an Huarache-Light-esque midsole, a Kukini-style cage (on roids) and a ‘cutaway’ upper all add up to the Chapuka being admitted to the Nike Mental Ward of Lunatic Design. These are totally deadstock and are still 100% wearable and that’s exactly what we intend to do. Chiropractors will be doing a good trade next time we bust these Chapukas out.


Nike Chupuka : 2001
Now we’ve really arrived in Crazy Town! A dash of Presto in the toe, an Huarache-Light-esque midsole, a Kukini-style cage (on roids) and a ‘cutaway’ upper all add up to the Chapuka being admitted to the Nike Mental Ward of Lunatic Design. These are totally deadstock and are still 100% wearable and that’s exactly what we intend to do. Chiropractors will be doing a good trade next time we bust these Chapukas out.


ASICS DS1 Trainer : Mid 90s
A prominent triangular logo (when was the last time you saw one on a shoe?) and oodles of ghilly lacing loops have ‘90s-tech’ written all over this unconventional runner. 100% never worn, they still look ready for battle, though we do have a sneaking suspicion the front half of the sole unit would give way under duress. 
All the same, this is a sweet example of a shoe that we’d love to propose for retro reactivation, even though it’d probably struggle to find an audience sophisticated enough to appreciate its kooky stance. DS doesn’t stand for ‘dead stock’ BTW, it actually refers to DuoSole. We dig it.


Sports Illustrated Shoephone : 80s
Fans of Agent 86 in Get Smart will definitely get a kick out of this telephonic pick-up. Convinced we had located a rare vintage relic, we made a rookie eBay error, hitting the B-I-N button before we had a good snoop around. Hmmmnh, these things are prolific – we could have saved $20! The reason there’s so many is that they were a promo item for Sports Illustrated magazine some years back. As seen here in white, there’s also a navy blue suede model with caller-Id and built-in memory for storing numbers. As our seller noted ‘I am sure this collectable piece will bring fun to people of all ages.’ We couldn’t agree more.

Our sneaker phone does work and yes, we do have it plugged in at the Sneaker Freaker office. It makes for a pretty good gag when it rings.


Dracula : 1897
So far, so good. We’ve unearthed a few gems, but now it’s time for a detour into the Twilight Zone as we uncover the most horrific, the most ancient and bloodthirstiest sneakers known to mankind. Ladies and gentlemen of the afterlife, meet Count Dracula’s very own eponymous line of vampire kicks!

Curious about their Transylvanian provenance, we asked our Power Seller for more information. According to Vlad (the impaler) Nanca, they were originally purchased from a Romanian shopping centre called Magazinul Universal Bucur-Obor many full moons ago, and were apparently made by the company Pioneurul, which roughly translates as ‘the pioneer’. After some research, Vlad came to the conclusion that ‘Pionierul is just a pseudonym of adidas. The shoes were made following an agreement for a 21 year collaboration between the two brands which produced over five million pairs of shoes. Although they had this agreement, adidas didn’t permit the three stripe shoes to be sold on the Romanian market.’

So there you go. Collaboration, player edition or signature model, these vintage Draculas certainly have a compelling sense of literary history. Why anyone thought they’d be a monster hit with the kiddies will remain a mystery, but if a personality-driven brand worked for Patrick Ewing, anything is indeed possible.

Regardless, the gigantic pair of bat flaps on the heel pre-date Jeremy Scott, so I guess you could say they were ahead of their time by several centuries. Like many sneakers from this era, they’re heavier than Heavy D, as flexible as Biggie and feel more like concrete boots than sporty accessories. In fact, it’s fair to say… these Dracula sneakers suck big time!


adidas EQT Tennis : 1993
Our sneakerhead friends in Germany are mad or the old adidas EQT series of runners. Pfffft we say, it’s easy being one of the cool crew, anyone can make the EQT Cushion look good. What would really snap their Bavarian necks is rocking up to the Oktoberfest to pound Pilsners in these EQT Tennis Boots. The ubiquitous white/teal/black colourway is a lock, but we have also seen this model in a mustard colour that is surprisingly spicy. Big and bulky by today’s standards, they do have the advantage of an adidas Infinity 3000 sole and Dynaprene sock for stone cold comfort. Once again these 
are pristine, but oxygen exposure has meant the black squiggly panels on the side have already started to decay. Shame.


Nike Air Alarm : 1995
First off, we are well aware the $150 budget was blown to the scheissehausen on these mysterious Air Alarms, but frankly, the lure of the BUY-IT-NOW meant we just had to pull the trigger. Given these came out in 1995, they are suitably heavy on the black/white combo, but with coral pink (aka ‘true red’ according to the box), it had us thinking of famous peroxided mullets. When we flipped this badboy over, what did we find but Andre Agassi’s flaming balls logo staring at us from the midsole!

As the auction says ‘Wear them however you want and let people know how fresh you can get down.’ Couldn’t have put it any better. A little yellow glue here and there but other than that, these are good to go.


Nike Presto Roam : Mid 2000s
The Presto launched back in 2000 and though they’ve been retro’ed many a time, the cavalcade of Presto spin-offs that Nike subsequently released never quite matched the allure of the original. Speaking of which, here’s a butch Hummer for your feet known as the Presto Roam. It’s rough, tough and like Chuck Norris’ toilet paper, takes shit from no asshole. Made from waterproof ballistic nylon, it’s the cammo combo that really launches the Roam into combat mode for the great outdoors.

In case you’re wondering, they put the ‘laughter’ in manslaughter, that’s how tough they are.


Nike Air Stasis : 1996
With its kinky off-centre lacing system, the Air Stasis is easily identified as a step-sister of the better-known Nike Footscape. The curvaceous midsole and ‘bent banana’ shaped sole are other trademarks of this fruity franchise. Resplendent here in a period-correct ‘malachite’ colorway, it might be 15 years since it debuted, but the Stasis still retains its shock-and-awe impact that screams aficionado from 500 yards away. This pair have never set foot on terra firma and remain in pristine condition. Like Gary Coleman, they’re a little stiff, but we’re prepared to take a punt and put them to work. Rock ‘em the right way and these will snap necks all day long. Mission accomplished!

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