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Nike VERSUS adidas – Who are the Colab Kings of 2019?

Date: July 05 2019

By: Sneaker Freaker

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There’s been no shortage of explosive collaborations this year. From the electric Cactus Plant Flea Market VaporMax to the lethal Overkill ZX 10.000C, 2019 has brought the kind of heat that usually comes with extreme weather warnings.

But is it Nike or adidas that have really turned the dial?

Join us for another edition of VERSUS – as always, make your vote count below!

Cactus Plant Flea Market Vapormax Right

Cactus Plant Flea Market x Air VaporMax | Nike

Adidas Consortium Overkill Zx 10000

Overkill ZX 10.000C | adidas

Nike Air Fear Of God 1 Sole

Air Fear of God 1 | Nike

Adidas Childish Gambino Close

Donald Glover Continental 80 | adidas

Versus Gabe

Nike are stomping adidas on colabs this year, we both know it. Do you really want me to reel off names?


Cesca Name

It'd be a good place to start.

Versus Gabe

Cactus Plant Flea Market, sacai LDWaffle, Travis Scott Air Jordan 1 ... 

Cesca Name

Just listing colabs doesn't mean they're innovative ... you might need to go and spend some time with your old friends the Merriam brothers. La Flame's flipped Swoosh? Those appeared suspiciously after the airwaves were flooded with news of a factory-flawed AJ1 commanding six figures on the resell market - where's the innovation there?

Versus Gabe

Don’t pour water on my boy Cactus Jack. Honestly, adidas are just shook they can’t land anyone. Remember adidon? They’ve had an identity crisis ever since linking up with Kanye West for the 350 – he casts a shadow over everything they do. Is this as good as it gets? Kylie Jenner in Falcons??


Cesca Name

Honestly, the Swoosh can keep Drake. Have you seen the OVO Jordans? SNOOZE. And a celebrity campaign does not a collaboration make. Let me put it in Nike-based terms for you: Kylie Jenner is to the Falcon what Playboi Carti was to that one TN colourway. She has about as much input in its design as I do.

Versus Gabe


Cesca Name

Want real innovation? Check out Overkill’s 10.000C. THREE SHOES IN THE BOX?! ARE YOU KIDDING ME? It brings the fun back to a sneaker community that takes itself WAY too seriously. Wear one of each, keep one on display, or hunt out the Cinderella matching shoe. As Brad Goodman would say: Do What You Feel.

Versus Gabe

Honestly, I’ll give you the Overkill 10.000C, the sneaker is the best thing adi’s done all year. But it’s also the ONLY thing adi have done this year.

Cesca Name

The only thing? What about the multi-dimensional release of Donald Glover's Three Stripes link-up?

Versus Gabe

By multi-dimensional do you mean 30–second animation?


Cesca Name

I was thinking more the five short films with Mo’Nique and the surprise Coachella Airdrop release? Or did you miss all that?

Versus Gabe

Dropping sneakers from The Cloud doesn't make them drip. Have you actually seen them?

Cesca Name

Gambino's rollout innovated regardless of what the shoe looks like. FACT.

Versus Gabe

Even if you take points for innovative rollouts, you've got nothing on the Cactus Plant Flea Market. The Friends and Family edition plugged into the goddamn wall! 

Cesca Name

CPFM were dope, I'll give you that. But shoes were plugging in back in '86 - you can thank the Big Cat for that. If all it takes to impress you is shoes that light up, I can give you my niece's Skechers Twinkle Toes.

Versus Gabe

Name any adi release and it’s still a drop in Nike’s ocean of collaborative releases this year. Speaking of oceans, what the hell washed up at for adidas at London Fashion Week? Craig Green x Kamanda? Where did he find these? 


Cesca Name

Is it a little too different for you? A little... dare I say it, innovative? You know what they say, change is always met by resistance. I can't help but think that behind all your grandiose language and tenuous comparisons, you're skirting around the issue at hand?

Versus Gabe

Innovation? Need I mention Jerry Lorenzo? The Air Fear of God 1 was one of the most idiosyncratic sneakers to hit the hardwood in years. Remember when PJ Tucker debuted the FOG back in Brooklyn? This ain’t a simple sole swap by Craig Green.

Cesca Name

Remind me what Lorenzo has done since? Added some forefoot straps and neon colours? What else you got? And spare me your nauseating sacai deification...

Versus Gabe

Undercover Daybreak?

Cesca Name

Undercover following up the React 87 with the Daybreak was the biggest disappointment since season 2 of True Detective.

Versus Gabe


Cesca Name

Versus Gabe

Jun Takahashi = real innovator. They’re not relying on corny 90s nostalgia to sell sneakers over there in Beaverton. Pokemon and DBZ? Give me a break.

Cesca Name

You're relying on 80s nostalgia though, no? Stranger Things colab? Talk about disappointment... the whole collection looks like it's been taken straight from the shelves of Nike's lowest tier outlets.

Versus Gabe

We gunna keep it Upside Down like La Flame over at the Swoosh. We'll leave you to Pharrell's endless NMDs and dial-it-in DBZs.

Cesca Name

Yeah, keep venerating those zip-ties for the next three years...



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