Our Most Extreme Sneaker Backflips Ever!

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There’s no shame in completely changing your mind about a sneaker. In fact, here at Sneaker Freaker HQ, we regularly confess our sins. Has your Air Max obsession finally deflated? Did you surreptitiously join the re-Croc-aissance during lockdown? Does the adidas Crazy 1 seem strangely sane? Go on, tell us your sordid little sneaker secrets. Shoes were built to perform backflips.

BEAMS x Crocs

Lucas Blackman: Crocs

I’m as guilty as the millions of others who seemed to have unclogged their Crocs aversion during the pandemic. Crocs have long been considered the epitome of embarrassing footwear, right down there with Skechers, but all the collaborations they started to put out really shook my boat. I knew I was slipping when the Diplo x Crocs with trippy mushroom Jibbitz caught not only my eye but my girlfriend’s eye as well – a strong voice of reason when it comes to most of my footwear options. I was swaying, and I knew it. Following some internal pep talks about keeping my mind open, never saying never, and the quick convenience they’d offer, I decided to step over to the dark side. I acquired the BEAMS x Crocs All-Terrain Clogs in ‘Army Green’ complete with various pockets and ridiculous tiny backpacks. They’re so stealthy that most people don’t even realise they’re Crocs, and the best part is, I don’t regret a thing.

Nike Air Max BW

Minh Vuong: Nike Air Max

My sneaker change of heart hasn’t happened to just one particular sneaker but an entire category. Back in the 2000s, I was an avid Nike Air Max collector and wearer; the Air 180 and Air Classic BW were my absolute favourites. However, after years of battered feet and increasingly shoddier reissues from the Swoosh, my adoration for Air Max eventually deflated – much like the soles of my vintage pairs. These days, I don’t own a single pair of Air, and that’s not set to change any time soon.

Air Jordan 15

Sebastian Bugeja-Drinkell: Jordan Brand

My biggest sneaker change of mind wasn’t on a singular silhouette but on Jordan Brand as a whole. Growing up, I never identified with Michael Jordan’s signature line, and I wasn’t even alive when he played for the Chicago Bulls! I’ve never been big into basketball either, except for my brief stint playing for the Park Orchards Steelers as a youth. When I accepted the role at Sneaker Freaker, all that changed, and writing gems like this and this has shifted my perception of Jordan Brand. Now, knowing the history, I’m a big fan of some of the wild early-2000s models like the Air Jordan 15, Air Jordan 16 and Air Jordan 18.

Nike Air Huarache

Will MacFarlane: Nike Air Huarache

I’m usually a never say never sort of person, so I kind of struggled to name a silhouette I’ve backflipped on entirely. Still, looking back eight or so years, I had a flash-in-the-pan affair with the ol’ Huarache – a shoe I wouldn’t touch these days. Maybe it’s the ‘futuristic’ midsole and heel cage that bug me now, but it certainly doesn’t help that the colourways rarely push anything even remotely interesting. (I’ll give a little shout-out to this one, but the ACG tones go way harder on the Mowabb and the Mada.)

adidas Crazy 1

Gabe Filippa: adidas Crazy 1 (formerly ‘THE KOBE’)

I once believed the adidas Crazy 1 lived at the apex of poor sneaker design. Inspired by the Audi TT sportscar, the Crazy 1 was clunky, chunky and stuffy – the pure antithesis of an ultra-fast, modern silhouette. In 2022, I feel much the same: the Crazy 1 is pure, unadulterated insanity. But now, I’m totally here for it. Pre-empting the manic sneaker designs of the 21st century, I’m of the mindset that the more experimental, the better. Hell, kill the grinch and stick his fur on a Dunk. Have your pet pigeon take a dump in the NFT world. 3D print an Audi TT and give me the keys – let’s remove the rearview mirror and put the pedal to the metal!

Vans Authentic

Amber De Luca-Tao: Vans Authentic

For a few years in high school, my absolute go-to sneaker beater was a red pair of Vans Authentics. Whether I was heading to Chadstone Shopping Centre for a day of shopping and the movies or hanging outdoors – few pairs of shoes could rival them. Then as I got a little older, naturally, I began wearing other silhouettes and brands. And for many years, the model was nothing more to me than one of my old high school sneaker loves. That was all until Sandy Liang dropped an epic Vans collaboration this year, releasing a gingham-printed floral pair cuter than anything I could have imagined. It’s safe to say that I am once again in love with the Vans Authentic, all thanks to Sandy Liang.

Of course, not the most extreme sneaker backflip, but it still means a lot to me.

For more confessions, check out our feature on love at first sight!

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