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Courtside Kicks

Courtside Kicks

A Lookback At Some Of The Game’s Prolific Forerunners

Thanks to ESPN’s ‘The Last Dance’ – a docuseries that depicts the mesmerizing star power of five-time MVP Michael Jordan and his team the Chicago Bulls in their ‘90s heyday – basketball’s bygone era has never felt more relevant. With that in mind and given the UK’s new-found affinity for the NBA, we’re digging through our portfolio to shine light on the shoes that first made their debut on the court, comprising the notorious Nike Blazer and adidas Superstar.

Courtside Kicks – History of the Nike Blazer:

In 1973 sportswear newbie Nike was a mere nine years of age when it launched the new kid on basketball’s block, the Nike Blazer. Dubbed the ‘Nike Blazer’ in tribute to local team the ‘Portland Trail Blazers’, the sneaker was specifically tailored to bolster game play, possesing supple leather in its upper, nylon and breathable mesh in the tongue and a robust vulcanised rubber sole underfoot. It’s construction, which employed the vulcanisation process and done so to superlative standards, was deemed hugely popular with players of the era, leading San Antonio Spurs shooting guard George Gervin to link up with the Swoosh and subsequently become the first player to front the Nike Blazer courtside.

Cool by name and by nature, George ‘The Iceman’ Gervin possessed the kind of star power that could transcend a silhouette from the hardwood and into favour with global popular culture. In fact, it’s thought that Nike and George Gervin’s partnership initiated the logistics of ‘player exclusive’ deals back then which of course are so ubiquitous these days.

Nike Blazer San Antonio Spurs NBA

Former San Antonio Spurs shooting guard George Gervin sporting the Nike Blazer during a game.

Nike Blazer Mid Vintage 77 Sketch

Nike Blazer Mid Vintage ’77 in White/Red and White/Black colourways, available now at Aphrodite.

 

Nike’s quick off the march approach to identifying players and utilising their likeness in such a way would become the cornerstone of the brand’s global operations. Just 12 years after the Nike Blazer debuted, a new courtside crep was preparing to take the NBA by storm; named the ‘Air Jordan’ after gravity-defying Bulls shooting guard Michael Jordan. This immensely lucrative and longstanding partnership is responsible for MJ’s title as the richest athlete on the globe and although the Nike Blazer’s basketball invasion was short-lived, it did lay down the foundations for future successors such as Mike’s Air Jordan.

Having paved the way for player endorsements and Swoosh-bearing status on the court, the Nike Blazer gave up shooting hoops and skated into fresh tenure. Turns out, the design’s tremendous traction came in super handy for skaters, and so the Nike Blazer was reincarnated. These days though, the sneaker doesn’t require a specific purpose to make it a modern necessity – it’s now welcomed worldwide thanks to its unwavering throwback feel and logo-laden look.

Courtside Kicks – History of the adidas Superstar:

German heavyweight adidas had already built a great rapport with NBA greats way before rival Nike and its famous Blazer hit the scene. In 1969 the adidas Superstar launched as the first low-profile basketball sneaker to feature an all-leather upper and a rubber shelltoe, this making way for the shoe’s myriad nicknames since, including the ‘shelltoe’, ‘shell tops’ and ‘shell shoes’.

Given that sneaker innovation in the ‘60s was still very much at the inception stage, the shoe’s rubber shell toe and non-marking outsole were in every way unprecedented. The striking nature of the design quickly began to garner attention from some of the game’s most accomplished players, one being Kareem Abdul Jabbar of the Los Angeles Lakers, whom some claim is the greatest player in NBA history. But these 3-Stripes sneakers weren’t solely reserved for the unstoppable feet of Kareem Abdul Jabbar, as by its third year of production the adidas Superstar was donned by over 75% of all NBA players. Pretty impressive.

adidas Superstar NBA History

NBA players of the past repping the adidas Superstar, including former New York Knicks power forward and Chicago Bulls Head Coach Phil Jackson.

adidas Superstar Sneakers

adidas Originals Superstar Trainers in Black/White and adidas Superstar WS2 Trainers in White/Black, available now at Aphrodite.

 

Just like the Nike blazer, the stellar adidas Superstar eventually, and gracefully, made its way off the court and into the city streets, picking up recognition from Hip Hop’s elite rap group Run-D.M.C. – with the trio paying tribute to the design in a song titled ‘My Adidas’ which aimed to redefine b-boy culture. Later down the line the 3-Stripes label struck up an advertising deal with Run-D.M.C., in turn, marking the first major sports company / hip-hop partnership of its kind. In the decades since this fundamental link up, adidas has frequently employed celebrity industry crossovers as a formula to its success, notably with this very Superstar style and rapper Pharrell Williams, not to mention Kanye West’s dollar seizing Yeezy line.

So there you have it, two of the globe’s most crowd-pleasing footwear styles unearthed from their basketball origins. Shop the featured colourways by checking out our Nike and adidas departments now.

Nike Air Max 98 Trainers

Nike Air Max 98 : Classic Meets Modern

NT Nike Air Max 98 : An Icon Reinvented

As a longstanding member of the Air Max family, the iconic 98′ silhouette is reinvented to produce a contemporary adaption of the classic trainer. After being unearthed from the archives in recent years, the Nike Air MAx 98 shoe is onto its’ next chapter of not only providing comfort but style alike, appealing to a whole new generation of Air Max enthusiasts. Boasting over 20 years of innovative technology, this once runners’ shoes has become a symbol of menswear fashion, storming into mainstream trends. Fusing the old-school quality that charmed us all upon its’ original release with modern comfort innovation, the result is an adaptive and durable product, one that will be with you for years to come.

Nike Air Maxc 98 Trainers Aphrodite

Absorbing each and every stride, the fully visible air system not only contributes the statement ‘bubble’ aesthetic but gives you the responsive plush cushioning needed to keep you up and ready to take on every day. The Nike Air Max 98 has been crafted from leather and mesh, the upper forms together into a sock-like fit , offering breathable durability, with a reflective trim detailing for that extra ‘sports luxe’ touch. Nike does not fail with intricate design details, providing subtle hints of aesthetically pleasing features that provide technology merged with style. A signature waffle tread contributes abrasion-resistant grip to every step whilst piping details all round introduce layers and textures to a classic shape.

Nike Air Max 98 Sneakers

The perfect way to add some tactility to your outfit, the 98’s have become a staple piece to every males’ wardrobe, becoming an iconic shoe to finish off any outfit. Evolving from their original means, they are no longer seen on the feet of runners but now on the everyday man on the street. Team them up with cuffed joggers and a subtle crew neck jumper with hardware accents for a casual daytime look.

Shop the Nike Air Max 98 Trainers Online At Aphrodite.

Nike Air Max 98 Trainers

 

 

Nike Air Max 270 React ENG

Nike Air Max 270 React ENG: Vibrant Vistas

Eye watering hues, forward-thinking technology and an impressively long name, this new take on one of Nike’s already culturally prolific Air Max silhouettes certainly does have it all. Officially dubbed the Nike Air Max 270 React ENG, the sneaker has been causing a stir in the footwear focused landscape for several months now, periodically dipping it’s vibrantly techni-coloured design into the limelight and teasing its much-anticipated release with a debut collaboration backed by non-other than Travis Scott himself.

Nike Air Max 270 React ENG

No-doubt to the raucous applause of swoosh fanatics worldwide, the Nike Air Max React 270 ENG takes a more utility driven approach akin to that of similar 270 variations such as the Bowfin. Boasting a full-length Nike React foam midsole that cushions the foot, versatile lace toggles for an adjustable fit and structurally supportive welded TPU overlays, the sneakers come finished with practical pull tabs to the heel and tongue, a padded foam collar for comfort and a rubber outsole ideal for a vast array of urban pursuits.

Nike Air Max 270 React ENG

If a cherry picked smattering of some of the most iconic features from both the Air Max 270 and React wasn’t enough to entice even the most monochromatic of dressers to take a peak, the trainers also throw in a deal-sweetening dose of subtle alterations to set themselves apart from previous iterations. Deploying engineered mesh to the uppers for improved breathability on-foot, a rippled design can be seen to each side, echoing Air Max Plus and TN levels of aesthetic dominance.

Nike Air Max 270 React ENG

To wrap things up we think it would be an injustice if we didn’t spare some words on the vivid vistas laid out, literally in this case, at our feet. Utilising a selection of vibrant yellow, primary blue and soft red the air infused sports shoes pack a serious hit of visual weight. Grounded by a contrasting black and neutral white, this less than conspicuous pair are destined for sun-cracked pavements this summer.

The Nike Air Max 270 React ENG launches online and in store at Aphrodite 16/01/20.

Nike Air Max 270 React ENG

Nike Latest Arrivals

Swoosh Saturation: New Nike Arrivals

With new footwear beginning to turn up thick and fast we thought we would take the opportunity to highlight some particularly nice Nike silhouettes that have found their way nicely into our possession. Encompassing everything from the technicolour React Sertu to the more left field Signal D/MS/X we are sure there is loads for swoosh lovers to get involved with. Take a look below or shop all our latest Nike arrivals here.

 

New Nike Arrivals

Nike React Sertu

 

Nike React Sertu (AT5301 004)

Part of Nike’s the 10th series, a collection which experiments with how workwear can be combined with innovative tech, the React Sertu are certainly a silhouette to behold. Seamlessly blending handcrafted detailing with a plethora of modern elements they take design ques from traditional moccasins, utilising a rich selection of fabric, leather and synthetic materials to achieve both unique looks and enhanced practicality. Featuring a translucent webbed tongue, multi-coloured patchwork uppers and a coated heel webbing, the trainers sit atop Nike’s now revered React cushioning which not only ensures maximum support but makes use of raised rubber inserts for exceptional grip. Complete with hits of tasteful branding throughout if you are looking for some futuristic footwear with plenty of past-time relevance, you’ve found it.

 

 

Nike Signal D/MS/X (AT5303 005)

Taking influence from the chopping and rebuilding of custom motor vehicles, the Nike Signal D/MS/X is another of Nike’s science-fiction bordering silhouettes to hit the streets in recent years. Equipped with a uniquely arched design thanks to the moulded TPU shank, the sneakers boast multi-layered uppers that make use of nexkin to not only support the midfoot, but further enhance the sure-to-steal-some-looks aesthetic. Making reference to the brand’s past with subtle DimSix branding to the heel pull tab, the trainers are finished with dual-density foam below for an extremely pleasant ride.

 

Nike Trainers

Nike Shox TL

 

Nike Shox TL (AV3595 100)

Unapologetically stand out, the Nike Shox TL build upon the momentum created with the release of the 2003 original more than 16 years ago. Casting a divisive and instantly recongnisable shadow, the Shox take a more mechanical approach to Nike’s usual pressurised air sole unit, featuring a revolutionary column system that compresses with each step, returning energy to the wearer and absorbing the impact of daily life. Reinforced with moulded overlays, a full TPU cage and lightweight foam inserts, the trainers capture a freeze-frame of innovative Nike history remastered for present day.

Shop all Nike new arrivals here.

Nike Air Ghost Racer

Nike Air Ghost Racer – A Contrasting Continuation

First released in 1998, the Nike Air Ghost Racer was originally created to offer up comfort and stability to all those brave enough to take on anything more than a brisk walk. Named after US long-distance runner Mark Nenow, who acquired the nickname, ‘Ghost Racer’ due to his preference to run at night, the trainers quickly became the shoe of choice thanks to not only their emphasis on performance and accessible price point but their unique design and hauntingly impressive underfoot technology.

Nike Air Ghost Racer

Having enjoyed a return to relevancy earlier in the year with a re-release of their debut neon colourway, the retro sneakers, like many of Nike’s historical heavyweights, have bid adieu to their functional-focused roots and instead opted for a more lifestyle orientated existence.

Nike Air Ghost Racer

 

Returning in two new colourways, an equally as eye-watering, ‘Orange Peel / Aphid Green’ and more paired back, ‘Cool Grey / Wolf Grey’, the Ghost Racer keeps its original formula largely unchanged. With uppers primarily made from a lightweight, breathable mesh, the trainers boast synthetic leather overlays for added durability and come equipped with a true-to-the-original, supportive midfoot wrap. Below the trainers benefit from Nike’s now revered zoom air technology ensuring plenty of energy-return cushioning with every step and making them perfect for perusing around all your favourite local haunts.

Nike Air Ghost Racer

In the looks department the now 20-year-old Nike Air Ghost Racer finds itself slotting seamlessly into today’s trends thanks to its undeniable, ’dad shoe’ charm. Through a mixture of panelling, cut out sections and textural variations the sneakers conjure a complex array of visual depth, whilst an off-kilter swoosh logo adds a subtle variation to Nike’s usual signature sign off.

You can find both the Nike Air Ghost Racer in both, ‘Orange Peel / Aphid Green’ and, ‘Cool Grey / Wolf Grey’ online and in store now.

Nike Air Ghost Racer

Nike Hoodie Sherpa Fleece

Swoosh Street Style: Nike Hooded Fleece

Fusing The Great Outdoors With Urban Spirit

Suddenly realised its nearing the end of 2019 and you’re yet to tick off one of your New Years resolutions? Perhaps one of them was to encourage yourself to step out of your comfort zone? If that’s indeed the case, then lucky you because we’ve just found ourselves in possession of the perfect piece to see you into daring territory. Unapologetically bold, this Nike Hooded Fleece arrives brimming with explosive hues and ‘70s design cues.

Exactly what you need to enliven an autumnal rotation that’s seemingly become mundane, this new-season Swoosh style comes bundled in neon pigments of orange, peach, coral and purple which are then executed with cosy Sherpa fleece and nylon overlays.

Though immensely soft and comforting to the outer, this Nike Hooded Fleece strikes the perfect temperature balance internally thanks to its breathable mesh body. This type of stark fabric contrast on each side is intentional and ensures the design can cultivate the ideal warm-to-cool ratio amidst the unpredictable British weather, which let’s face it, we all love to hate.

Nike Sherpa Fleece

Nike Hoodie Sherpa Fleece

Nike Hoodie

Elsewhere, the silhouette’s high-octane aesthetic is bolstered by distinctive Nike branding at the chest and royal-blue trims at its pocket and cuffs. Additional details include a contemporary ½ zip closure and capacious hood with Sherpa fleece lining.

In what appears as a true ‘streetwear meets the great outdoors’ kinda set up, this Nike Hooded Fleece sends a bold, winterized message to the standard feel of ‘70s climbing gear. And though it’s certainly not reserved for the faint-hearted, we encourage you to take a leap of faith with this one, you won’t regret it.

Nike Air Max Tailwind VI AQ2567-005

Nike Air Max Tailwind IV: The ’90s Favourite Returns

The ‘90s called, they want their shoes back.

Brimming with nostalgia, the Nike Air Max Tailwind IV continues to reap the rewards of its resurgence this season as the Swoosh debuts yet another new colourway to the sneaker circuit’s prying eyes.

Fresh on the heels of its 20th anniversary, this ‘99 remake is harnessing all the attention it can get after slipping off the radar back in the early noughties. But it seems a few years off the grid has done the design some good. Like any other industry, the footwear realm is subject to change; trend’s come and go, fashion’s fade, but with the current state of the sneaker zeitgeist, Nike’s Air Max Tailwind IV couldn’t feel more relevant.

Finding no problem with carving its place in the millennial air of today, the trainer effortlessly addresses the tastemakers of 2019 with its fierce triple-black colourway. Furthermore, the Swoosh silhouette is anything but refined – it’s shaped with a bulbous anatomy, which not only makes it a certain contender of the Air Max dynasty, but also a compatible extension to the industry’s bigger picture. For a few years now, the scene has been dominated by chunky footwear formulas, making this design a welcomed addition to the current status quo.

Nike Air Max Tailwind Triple Black Air Max Tailwind IV Triple Black

Build wise, it goes without saying that the trainer is a force to be reckoned with. Backed by the science of the Swoosh, the Air Max Tailwind IV rides upon Max Air technology for the smoothest step into the city, teamed alongside flex grooves in its outsole which move and bend meticulously with your foot, while bolstering traction on the ground. The injection of BRS 1000 Carbon Rubber promises protection in even the most vulnerable areas, shielding the shoe from abrasion and other fatal damage that may potentially occur.

Above ship, the upper is articulated with ripple-like accents across its side panels, coupled with tonal materials that subtly pinpoint places of focus – such as the shoe’s toe and heel. Other details includes stealthy Swoosh branding and a full Air Max lacing system.

Give your rotation a touch of throwback style when the Nike Air Max Tailwind IV (AQ2567-005launches in-store and online at Aphrodite on Thursday, October 10th at 8am. Don’t miss out!

Launch Details
Style code –
AQ2567-005
Launch Date – Thursday 10th October 2019
Price – TBC

Nike Air Max 200

Nike Air Max 200 Gets A Fresh Lick Of Paint

The Nike Air Max 200 just got a swanky new update check it out below…

Nike Air Max 200

Being creatures of habit and all that, it’s fair to say that change can be a bit scary. Like when the bus takes a slight unexpected diversion, you order something more adventurous from your favourite takeaway or perhaps, on a more related note, when one of your favourite Beaverton based sportswear brands decides to release and brand-new silhouette.

Nike Air Max 200 Trainers

Despite the first two no doubt inspiring feelings of sheer panic and guilt-ladened remorse, the third should do quite the opposite, especially when you take into account Nike’s proven track record of pumping out some of the finest progressive sneakers we have had the fortune of lacing to our feet.

Nike Air Max 200 Sneakers

Continuing the trend, the recently introduced Nike Air Max 200 stretches out a hand to even the most set in their ways sneakerhead, offering up enough innovation to satisfy that forward-thinking itch, whilst simultaneously keeping the brand’s core fundamentals close to hand.

Nike Air Max 200 Team Gold / University Red

Delivered in a fresh, “Team Gold / University Red” colourway and set atop a newly introduced air unit, the Air Max 200 utilises mesh which contours to the foot alongside a lightweight plastic frame to its uppers, keeping the sneakers lightweight, breathable and sleek. Elsewhere cushlon foam can be found to the midsole for improved comfort whilst a pull tab rounds out the athletically-driven design alongside a tastefully branded tongue and side swoosh application.

Get your hands on the Nike Air Max 200, “Team Gold / University Red” both online and in store at Aphrodite on 29/08/19.

Nike Air Max 200 New Release

Nike Air VaporMax DM/S/X: Old Name, New Technology

More goodness from the swoosh masterminds in the form of the Nike Air VaporMax DM/S/X, check it out below…

Nike VaporMax DM/S/X AT8179-300

Unapologetically fusing together some of Nike’s most forward-thinking technology into a robust and character rich profile, the Nike VaporMax DM/S/X not only demands attention, but makes a powerful statement to all those who would dare challenge the Goddess of victory for the top spot on the innovation podium.

Nike Dimension Six Vapor Max Trainers

Taking an experimental design direction to it’s very limits, the trainers find their name rooted deep in the sportswear company’s rich history, cramming a plethora of technical detailing into their multi-faceted frames and making reference to when the Beaverton based brand almost found itself named Dimension Six. Delivering impressive levels of both urban appeal and practical cushioning the sneakers come dressed to the nines with street-ready add-ons making use of a number of classic materials for a result that feels both unique but unequivocally familiar.

Nike VaporMax DM/S/X Trainers New Release

Strapping in both Vapor Max technology and a rubber pad grip below for enviable levels of support and traction, the trainers construct their uppers from a varied list of fan favourite materials. With mesh found across the toe box for improved breathability and a plush leather tongue the DM/S/X rounds out its over-layered look with soft suede accents and both a toe and heel TPU clip for a futuristic finish. Dressed primarily in grounded coatings of black / white both sneakers utilise bright hits of colouring to contrast their subdued base, bringing attention to a selection of modest swoosh monikers and a number of notable points of interest. Kicking things up a notch when it comes to sporty techwear appeal, the trainers find themselves in the possession of several practical pull tabs with Velcro secured ankle straps on hand for a closer fit.

Nike New Releases

The Nike VaporMax DM/S/X “Midnight Turn/White-Mineral Teal” is available both online and in store now with the white variation launching 15/08/19.

Nike VaporMax DM/S/X Sneakers