In November, the great guys at Finish Line asked me to put together a list of my favorite releases during the 2013 calendar year. I didn’t have too much time to compile my list, but I was able to submit a (hopefully) respectable representation of the year in kicks… at least to my taste buds. A few of you on social media had asked to see my complete listing. Historically, I am a Nike guy, however this year I began to open my eyes to other brands and appreciate their silhouettes and colorways. Yes, my list is pretty much Nike-centric, yet had I kept record throughout the year, I’m certain that wouldn’t have been the case. In addition, I kept a keen eye on some of the great collaborations throughout the year that boutiques and designers were able offer us. I’m missing a lot by my own admission, but I hope you enjoy. I’ll offer 10 at a time, culminating with my absolute Best of 2013, again, in my eyes.
Shoe: Nike SB Zoom Stefan Janoski
Colorway: Digi Floral
Release Date: May 2013
Narrative: The standard silhouette of the Janoski takes a page out of the generic “boat shoe”. A silhouette which will look great with denim and khaki no matter what the colorway. Throwing a “floral” pattern on almost any shoe is a gamble. The digi floral on this shoe simply works as if to say, “Of course there’s a floral colorway.” and it will still look great with denim or khakis.
Shoe: Nike Air Foamposite
Release Date: March 2013
Narrative: I am not a fan of the Foamposite. I’ve never been a fan. I am a fan of white colorways though. The only thing which would have made this colorway better would have been if it was more of a “matte white”. Clean lines, clean look.
Shoe: Lunarglide+ 5
Release Date: June 2013
Narrative: Lunarlon midsole. Flywire. And (the first of a bunch of shoes using) Engineered Mesh. Great technologies packed in to one with a relatively nice looking heel counter as well. The Lunarglide+ 5 makes this list not due to any specific colorway, yet as a complete package of technology, form and function.
Shoe: Air Jordan IV “Toro Bravo”
Colorway: Fire Red
Release Date: June 2013
Narrative: As I stated before that I’ve never been a fan of the Foamposite, however this is just the opposite. The Air Jordan IV is my absolute favorite shoe of all time. Although I have my own opinions on “lifestyle” colorways for performance footwear, the Toro Bravo balances that line. Great color blocking. Great silhouette. Great execution. Flashy with not too much flash.
Shoe: Nike Kobe VIII “ASG Area 72”
Release Date: February 2013
Narrative: As the Lunarglide+ 5 made this list based exclusively on the silhouette and technologies it offered, the Kobe VIII “Area 72” makes this list strictly based on the colorway. The look of flowing lava paired with the subtle teal combines for a great look.
Shoe: Nike Air Tech Challenge II
Colorway: Wimbledon/US Open
Release Date: Summer 2013
Narrative: In 2013, one of Nike’s premiere endorsers made his way back to Beaverton and the Swoosh started to take full advantage of that. They started off with two incredible colorways released in conjunction with Tennis’ two Summer majors. One steeped in tradition and with strict uniformity rules, the other, more of a rock and roll atmosphere encouraging it’s participants to let their hair down, total NYC. Each shoe perfectly representative of the tournament.
Shoe: Air Jordan III
Colorway: Fire Red
Release Date: August 2013
Narrative: Some may ask, “How is this shoe not ranked higher? It’s a III right?” Well, right, but I’m not sure it would have made my list at all if it wouldn’t have been for the fact that MJ was wearing this shoe when he pulled off one of my all time favorite dunks of his… when he rolled over Kelly Tripucka and the Charlotte Hornets. Still gives me goosebumps…
Shoe: KD VI
Release Date: September 2013
Narrative: I’m coming around on the silhouette of the KD VI with virtually almost every wild ass colorway. As I said before, I’m not big on lifestyle colorways on performance shoes. When it comes to performance basketball, I prefer a white or black base accented with a team color. The KD is changing that. And this Bamboo colorway blew me away from when I first saw it upon the KD VI release. Great colors and arrangement.
Shoe: Nike Air Max I FB Woven
Colorway: White Gold
Release Date: October 2013
Narrative: I’ve often said that the perfect silhouette is the Air Max I… or the Air Force 1… or the, well, you get the picture. In my opinion a gum outsole does a lot for a shoe. In fact, it can make some shoes better. The gold on the all white upper isn’t gaudy, it isn’t tacky, it’s exactly what this shoe needed and it perfectly complements the materials used.
Shoe: Nike Air Force 1
Colorway: Arctic Green
Release Date: July 2013
Narrative: The Air Force 1 lends itself to virtually an infinite amount of outstanding colorways and this is one of those. The Arctic Green would only work with suede and again, the gum sole does it. Now, let’s release the Salmon colorway… please?
Words by Todd Krevanchi (@krvanch)