December 2013 Sneaker Roundup

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December had more to it than Drake’s new Nikes and special Christmas-day sneaks that dropped over the holidays. Here are the other welcome presents sneakerheads got last month, plus a few we wish came with a gift receipt.

The Best
 
 

Nike LunarTerra Arktos SP White
An exercise in minimalism despite its gutsy silhouette, this sneak was quietly released through the Dover Street Market NY late last month (one of the few venues you can grab a pair this side of the pond). Sporting an all-white style, it lets its variable-textured panels—which include shadowed diamonds and other faceted geometric shapes—do the talking, continuing the Arktos tradition of single-colour designs.

 
 

Adidas Originals Hardcourt Hi Big Brooklyn Nets Logo

This is heavy branding done right, aided by the Brooklyn Nets’ easy-on-the-eyes, classic black and white colour scheme and stylish font reading the borough’s name across the back. Adidas dishes out retro styling to give it a timeless appeal that you can sport until the Nets grab themselves a championship ring—that is, a very long time.
 
 

Jordan Super.Fly 2 Slate/Atomic Orange
These simple high-tops offer an alternative to the silvery Christmas colourway the Super.Fly 2’s dropped in last month. The simple textured shade of navy gives it a bit more definition than some of the style’s earlier iterations, and is sure to please fans back in New York.

The Worst

 
 

Supra Falcon Purple Velvet
Looks like velvet—long a holiday staple—made a comeback this year. Not a great idea. This iteration of the Supra Falcons is completely purple with exception to a white sockliner, straying from the eye-candy it was presumably designed to be, and into territory decidedly a bit more Prince. It has more in common with a velvet pillow than a proper basketball sneaker.

 
 

Nike Air Max 1 Hologram/Sting-Ray/Mesh
Presumably, this sneaker’s designer couldn’t make up his mind and decided to incorporate far too many flourishes. Two panels of black and white war over a cut-off, holographic Nike swoosh, catching the orange outsole and pale blue accents off guard and ill-advised. You’d have to ship from the UK for these, but on the plus side, the texture mimics a sting-ray’s, so it has that going for it.

 
 

NIKEiD Kobe 8 “Shedding Skin”
While it’s technically a customization option, this new shiver-worthy style ranks highly on the list of “names that make us very uncomfortable.” Nike now gives iD shoppers the option to add a clear, scale-textured upper onto the Black Mamba’s newest kicks, creating the 3D effect of a molting reptile. It’s available for the Pit Viper, Chroma and Blue Coral Snake options.

 
 

Honourable mention
Last month proved that metallics were still in style, with the RBK T-Raww Brass dropping and immediately turning heads. While we’re not entirely sold on the all-brass styling, its simple silhouette and hidden outsole branding tone down what would otherwise be a sneaker built just for flash-factor.

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