Some trainers blaze a trail and burn-out. Some never go away. Take the Chuck Taylor All Star: introduced 100 years ago, in 1917, today Converse still sells around 270,000 pairs every day. So if any sneaker deserves the label of a ‘classic’, it’s those, closely followed by the other 19 named here.
Sure, none of these lists will ever be objectively ‘correct’, but in judging the cream of the crepes – from feats in feet-protective engineering to cultural icons – longevity, mixed with style and practicality are often the common denominators in determining the greatest trainers of all time.
Oh, and a whole lot of white leather…
The first trainer ever designed by Nike and a key part of its early success, the Cortez was the brainchild of Olympic coach and sneaker demi-god Bill Bowerman. Introduced as a running shoe during the 1972 Games in Munich, the all-American colours and revolutionary construction helped the company coast to victory and into Hollywood films, most famously as the pair Tom Hanks laced up in Forrest Gump.
Originally, Nike founder Phil Knight wanted to call the sneakers the Aztec, but rival Adidas (which already made the Azteca Gold spikes) threatened to sue: “Bowerman took off his cap, put it on again, rubbed his face,” wrote Knight in his book Shoe Dog. “‘Who was that guy who kicked the shit out of the Aztecs?’ he asked. ‘Cortez,’ I said. He grunted: ‘Okay. Let’s call it the Cortez.’”
New Balance 998
Introduced in 1983 as the premium edition of the market’s first $100 running shoe, the 998’s streamlined (for New Balance, anyway) shape, luxe materials and split-colour midsole made it an instant icon and brought the brand out of its trainers-for-posh-dads phase.
(Related: Iconic Men’s Trainers Worth Owning)
Common Projects Achilles Low
The new classic, the Common Projects Achilles, was dreamed up on two separate continents at the same time. New York-based art director Prathan Poopat and Italian creative consultant Flavio Girolami fired design ideas back-and-forth across the Atlantic.
Eventually, the pair settled on the zenith of simplicity: a solid white leather, low-top sneaker with a subtle gold serial number on the heel.
(Related: The 6 Best Minimalist Trainer Brands)
Yes, they’ve since been hijacked by shuffling lads with bad haircuts, but the Nike Air Huarache was a bold, futuristic shape upon its release in 1991, and somehow hasn’t aged a minute.
It looks a bit like someone stuck two trainers together, but the shoe’s water skiing-inspired fit (Tinker Hatfield was really into water sports, apparently) means it still looks like little else around.
(Related: Why It’s Time To Embrace ‘Ugly’ Trainers)
Converse Jack Purcell
The most famous badminton shoe in the world, the Jack Purcell – named after the Canadian player who became world badminton champ in 1933 – is now a men’s wardrobe essential.
You don’t need to bother whacking a shuttlecock around to make them work either, as many greats like Messrs Dean and McQueen proved throughout the years. Just team the signature ‘smile’ marking on the toe with a pair of chinos for a look that serves an ace every time.
Forever linked to pioneering rap group Run D.M.C. (and the cool one million dollars they got from Adidas to wear them), the shell-toe and contrast stripes marked out the shoe as an instant hit.
Originally made famous by basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the Superstar became the only trainer to be seen in in the late eighties and early nineties for kids who wanted to spin around on their backs on a busted cardboard box. In 2015 Adidas claimed to be still selling 15 million pairs a year – how’s that for staying power?
Nike Air Force One
Streetball legend and chunky, all-white work of art. We’ll let Nelly’s 2002 ode, ‘Air Force One’, take over here:
“I said give me two pairs, ‘cause I need two pairs. So I can get to stompin’ in my Air Force Ones, big boys stompin’ in my Air Force Ones.”
Introduced in 1975 as the Vans #95, the Era quickly became a go-to shoe for the burgeoning skate community in the brand’s home state of California.
More than four decades on, the kick still offer the same much-needed grip and versatility thanks to its padded collar and signature waffle outsole.
Beloved UK Garage icon and one of the comfiest trainers ever produced, Reebok’s Classic range has kept things simple for more than 30 years.
Intricate panelling, a jagged tread with gum finishing and a padded lining made the Classic a trainer for the gym that you wanted to wear outside, way before the athleisure trend.
The only Adidas shoe to come close to meeting Stan Smith’s ubiquity. The endless colourways and pure wearability of the Gazelle have seen it favoured by everyone from the football casuals of the eighties, to Britpop coke-heads in the nineties, to every cool, gallery-loving Instagrammer since.
Air Jordan I
In 1984, Michael Jordan’s barn-storming final year of college basketball saw him sign a bumper $2.5m (£1.7m) endorsement contract with Nike. Everyone thought the Oregon brand had lost its mind, but the next year he was Michael Jordan, and Nike brought out his own signature shoe.
The Air Jordan I lacked the tech of Tinker Hatfield’s later models but had the instantly recognisable design of an icon ready to spill off the court and onto the street.
Chuck Taylor All Star Hi
Chuck Taylor All Stars are to sneakers what Levi’s is to denim; a bona fide icon that still shifts at a rate of roughly 100 million pairs a year.
While they’re totally out of place on the basketball courts they once dominated, for fans of white T-shirts, blue jeans and classic style, the high-top version will always be a winner.
(Related: 10 Iconic Men’s Shoes Boots)
The first shoe to jump on the aerobics trend in the eighties, the Reebok Workout was the trainer that helped the Bolton-born brand overtake Nike (even if it was just for a little while).
The Classic’s beefier older brother is wider and meaner, leaving dancercise classes well behind, and are now more likely found on the feet of (fairly anti-aerobic) rapper Rick Ross.
The trainer favoured by The Bride in Kill Bill came to the West from Japan thanks to Nike’s Phil Knight, whose business started solely distributing Tiger sneakers to athletes on the West Coast.
The shoe may never have found the ubiquity of Nike’s greatest shoes despite its vast colour selection but, having not changed much since their 1952 introduction, they still feel like a unique piece of throwback style.
Gel cushioning and shock-absorbing insoles helped make the Asics’ Gel-Lyte range an enduring favourite for fans of high performance, functionality, and an endless array of mix-and-match colours and textiles.
Vans Old Skool
The Old Skool debuted in 1977 as the catchy Style #36 and became the first skate shoe to incorporate leather into its design with the now-iconic ‘jazz stripe’, itself starting life as random doodle by founder Paul Van Doren.
It’s rather less throwaway now, having successfully transitioned from skate staple to the off-duty shoe for everyone who’s ever worked in the creative industry.
Designed in 1950 with indoor football in mind, the Samba’s design has barely changed because it hasn’t needed to: leather upper, contrast accents, gum outsole, suede overlays.
Along with the Stan Smith, the Samba is possibly the quintessential distillation of the Adidas design ethos – evoking hardwearing practicality and timeless style.
(Related: This Year’s Biggest Men’s Trainer Trends)
Nike Air Max
When Tinker Hatfield designed the Air Max back in 1987, he was inspired by the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. “It’s almost punk,” Hatfield said of the building in the Netflix docu-series Abstract.
The exposed heel-bubble (the invention of ex-aeronautical engineer M. Frank Rudy) that featured in the Air Max 1’s sole drove people crazy on release – they thought it was going to explode.
It’s funny what a bit of gold-leaf lettering can do for you. Introduced in 1973 for legendary NBA player Walt ‘Clyde’ Frazier, at the time they exemplified Frazier’s colourful style and quickness.
Today the model is relatively low-profile (in both silhouette and attitude) in comparison to what fellow basketball shoes have become. The cursive ‘Clyde’ typography by the final eyelet will always excite fans of the original sports style icon, as will the shoe’s historic ties to the fledgling punk and hip-hop scenes.
(Related: The 15 Best Trainers Of 2016)
Adidas Stan Smith
When it comes to creating sneakers that deliver on mass hype, you can always count on Adidas. Launched in 1963 as a tennis shoe, the Stan Smith was originally branded the ‘Robert Haillet’, after the French tennis player. When Haillet retired, the company replaced him with Smith.
After two years off the shelf, Adidas brought back the all-white kick in 2014 and, in turn, created the ultimate fashion shoe. While you won’t find a single tour player in tennis who wears these now, the Stan Smith has been reinvented without being redesigned. The sign of a true icon.
(Related: The 5 Most Versatile Leather Shoes A Man Can Own)
Hailing from down under, photographer Cameron Mackie is one of the hottest in the game, with his beachy aesthetic, drop-dead gorgeous models, and a knack for capturing some of the most sultry moments possible.
But instead of shooting models indoors in studios, Mackie prefers the sunlit glow of warm, pristine beaches, so every photograph captures the natural and organic beauty of the models.
In the gallery above, check out some of Mackie’s greatest and sultriest work yet, but some are NSFW, so take caution if you’re at work. Regardless, though, feel free to let your jaw drop.
Speaking with Maxim, Mackie explained that his photographs reflect the utopia we all dream of living in: Sunny beaches and stunning women. It’s “some kind of organically faked reality most of us would like to be living — minus the sunburns.”
When it comes to finding inspiration, the best ideas always come to him at “amazing natural locations for sure. I was raised by the beach so for me, the beauty of a natural location simply can’t be beat. The farther away from the city rush, the better.”
And the secret to taking an amazing picture? “Shooting only what inspires YOU and grabs your gaze between all the madness of everyday life.”
Kimi Räikkönen s’est bien amusé ce week-end. Lors de la cérémonie de récompenses de fin de saison de la FIA qui se déroulait ce vendredi 7 décembre à Saint-Pétersbourg, le Finlandais est apparu très enthousiaste. Mis à l’honneur pour sa troisième place au classement des pilotes en 2018, “Ice Man” a fait le show après avoir probablement avalé quelques verres.
Particulièrement agité tout au long de ce gala, Kimi Räikkönen a mis l’ambiance à sa table où se trouvait notamment son coéquipier chez Ferrari l’Allemand Sebastian Vettel et a même à un moment tenté d’attirer les caméras sur lui alors qu’il avait un cigare dans les mains.
Lorsqu’il a fallu monter sur scène pour recevoir son prix, Kimi Räikkönen a enchaîné les accolades plus ou moins maladroitement. “Kimi s’amuse beaucoup ce soir”, a commenté la présentatrice de la cérémonie en rigolant. Et Kimi Räikkönen a bien eu raison de profiter de ce moment car à compter de l’année prochaine, il défendra de nouveau les couleurs de l’écurie sober… enfin Sauber (vous l’avez ?).
“We were actually just texting each other this morning,” Williams said at the time. “We have known each other for a long time, but we are really kind of relying on each other a lot recently.”
Now, Williams has returned the favour. During the launch of her clothing collection, Serena at Art Basel in Miami, the tennis player revealed that she’d given Markle some much-needed advice during her pregnancy as she prepares to welcome her first child.
‘’I’m like, ‘How are you?’ and she’s like, ‘No, how are you?’ and I’m like, ‘You’re so sweet, but I’m really asking – how are YOU?’ said Williams, according to People.
“I’m like, ‘Meghan, stop being so nice…you’re the pregnant one, aren’t you supposed to have hormones, why are you so sweet?’ But that’s always been her,” Williams said of her friend.
For those not already aware, Williams first met Markle at a charity football game in 2014, and the duo have remained in touch ever since.
Facebook ha aggiunto una nuova funzionalità alla sua già ampia gamma. Sarà possibile condividere, con i propri contatti, le raccolte di contenuti salvati sul social network.
La modalità di raccolta dei contenuti salvati è attiva già da un anno oramai. Facebook consente di organizzare i contenuti salvati in raccolte in modo da differenziarne il contenuto.
Ora è possibile condividere queste raccolte in modo che gli amici possano visualizzare i contenuti che hai salvato e aggiungere nuovi post. Per esempio, se si crea una raccolta che funge da wishlist dei regali di Natale, ora è possibile condividerla con un gruppo di membri della famiglia selezionati a mano su Facebook per dare loro idee su quali regali sarebbero graditi sotto l’albero.
Un altro metodo di utilizzo per la condivisione di queste raccolte potrebbe essere legato all’organizzazione di una festa. Nella raccolta saranno racchiuse tutte le ricette salvate nel tempo sul social e ora sono messe a disposizione degli amici per creare al meglio i piatti da servire.
La funzione di condivisione si attiva nel sotto menù “elementi salvati” selezionando la raccolta interessata e, successivamente, indicando i contatti con i quali desiderate condividerla. Con l’aggiornamento di settimana prossima la condivisione delle raccolte dei contenuti salvati sarà disponibile sia sull’app che sul social network via web.
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This opera is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
In 1999, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison suspected that Microsoft was secretly funding the seemingly independent advocacy groups that were loudly defending Microsoft amid a heated antitrust investigation. Seeking proof, Oracle’s law firm hired Terry Lenzner, a private investigator from Washington, DC, who had dug up dirt on Bill Clinton’s female accusers. Lenzner found receipts tying Microsoft to the Independent Institute, including an invoice from the group for a full-page newspaper ad supporting Microsoft’s position. Reporters soon learned that Lenzner got the intel by paying a janitor to rifle through the software company’s trash.
When Ellison was asked about the oppo-research scheme at an unrelated Oracle press conference, the CEO claimed he had just learned about the “unsavory” tactic, but nonetheless defended the mission as a “public service.” He added: “All we did is try to take information that was hidden and bring it to light.”
Oracle’s approach may have been unsavory but it wasn’t unusual. Lenzner already had a Rolodex of clients in Silicon Valley, including Microsoft, whose own CEO had instigated a whisper campaign against a critical reporter a few years earlier. In the end, everyone understood that, if challenged, tech companies would tackle corporate public relations with the zeal of a political campaign—discrediting critics, forging alliances with adversaries, and deflecting scrutiny to competitors.
A couple of decades (and zero federal antitrust charges) later, dominant players have refined their approach. The most recent example: Facebook’s efforts to undermine critics with a PR campaign that simultaneously attacked George Soros using anti-Semitic tropes and complained that attacks on Facebook were themselves anti-Semitic, according to an investigation in The New York Times. The story described how Definers, a Republican opposition-research firm hired by Facebook, used NTK Network, an alleged “fake news shop,” to spread positive stories about Facebook and negative stories about its competitors, even as Facebook vowed to clean up the fake news on its platform.
In the endless pinball game of Facebook scandals, this one kept getting bumped to the top.
Big Oil. Big Tobacco. Big Tech
Facebook’s willingness to play dirty raises broader questions not only about the dark arts tech companies employ, but also this: Why did we expect any different? When their growth or profit is challenged, Facebook and its big brothers borrow tactics from the threatened behemoths in industries like tobacco and oil, deceiving lawmakers, funding their own experts, and working to forestall regulation. Facebook has executed the strategy so successfully that for a time this summer, its market cap was greater than Exxon’s and Altria’s combined.
What was different was the way Big Tech cloaked itself in idealistic rhetoric about freeing information, connecting the world, and spreading democracy, even as in Facebook’s case, it ignored ethnic genocide in Myanmar, flouted fair housing laws, and instructed a WhatsApp founder to mislead antitrust regulators.
Through feel-good moments like the Arab Spring, people believed them. Even now, in the middle of a brutal backlash, the industry benefits from the revisionist narrative that it just started getting its hands dirty. No lawmaker wants to grind America’s best economic hope to a halt.
But the calculation changes if Big Tech is seen as an entrenched interest. Consider the question of whether online political ads should include the same campaign finance disclosures as ads in other media. In April, Facebook and Google agreed to support proposed legislation to require the disclosures. In 2010 and 2011, though, both companies lobbied against requiring the disclosures. (Their pitch: Online ads are too small to let users know who paid for them.)
In fact, if you rewind the tape past the most recent presidential election, Facebook’s political fumblings sound less like a new low for Big Tech and more like a bungled version of Google circa 2011. The search giant’s transformation into a bipartisan Washington operator was inspired by a Federal Trade Commission investigation into Google’s dominance. A few days after then-Chairman Eric Schmidt was grilled on Capitol Hill, Google wooed conservative bloggers at the Heritage Foundation. Over time, this grew into an orchestrated campaign, paying experts to shift criticism away from policies that would hurt Google on issues like antitrust, privacy, and liability for the content on its platform.
In that light, one irony of Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg digging into Soros’ “financial motivation” is that Big Tech already controls public debate—from the recent FTC hearings on monopolistic tech platforms to the focus on government surveillance rather than corporate surveillance. Consider the fate of Open Markets Institute, a loud voice for using antitrust laws to rein in Big Tech, and one of the groups that Definers tried to discredit. Open Markets used to be part of a think tank called New America, where Schmidt is a big donor. For a time, their proximity was seen as an example that tech funding and tech criticism could co-exist. Until, that is, Schmidt got angry in 2017 when Open Markets praised the EU’s €2.5 billion antitrust fine against Google. Soon after, New America and Open Markets parted ways.
Much of the positive PR around Silicon Valley was, admittedly, a gift from contented consumers and myopic tech media. But slipups like Sandberg’s or Schmidt’s show what it takes for the most powerful companies in the world to keep up the good-guy facade.
Peter Thiel as Oracle
In a way, Zuckerberg’s mentor Peter Thiel foretold the free pass Facebook would get along the way.
In February 2009, Facebook was growing at a breakneck pace. The following month, Nielsen would report that Facebook’s popularity had for the first time pushed social networking past email in terms of total time spent. By the end of the year, Facebook would add a million new users per day in 180 countries, thanks to a cost-saving tool that offloaded translation to users, journalist David Kirkpatrick wrote in his book The Facebook Effect.
Amid Facebook’s rapid expansion, Thiel told Kirkpatrick he was confident that the company would avoid government intervention. “Facebook will have the maximum amount of legal and political leeway in a world where it’s seen as friendly and not threatening,” Thiel said. “I see it as a very hopeful sign that the company has made as much progress as it has, and has received as little resistance as it has. We’re at 175 million people [and] no lobbyists in Congress are arguing for Facebook to be shut down.”
The contrarian investor offered up other predictions for Kirkpatrick’s book, hypothesizing that Facebook would become “the purest expression” of “good globalization,” and that the social network’s key value would be adding “more tolerance” to a globalized world.
Nearly a decade later, Facebook’s effect on humanity appears to be careening in a different direction—and Thiel’s views on globalization also have soured since. Still, Thiel’s line about fast-growing companies seeming friendly turned out to be right on the money.
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Timberland has joined forces with sportswear OGs Mitchell Ness on an NBA-themed 6-Inch Boot and apparel collection.
The collaboration draws on vintage sports styles and official NBA team logos, offering three special colorways of the 6-Inch Boot — a white all-over logo print version, a Golden State Warriors wheat nubuck pair, and a Chicago Bulls black nubuck edition. The collection is complete with two satin varsity-style jackets in wheat and red, as well as two graphic tees.
The Mitchell Ness x Timberland collection is available now at Timberland’s web store. The 6-Inch Boots retail for $200 USD and the varsity jackets for $160 USD.
Also make sure to check out the STAMPD x Timberland limited edition Gaiter Boot.
This week, Apple introduced new iPad Pros and a MacBook Air and a Mac Mini. It also, though, quietly enhanced the capabilities of the T2 security chip that lives inside recent Mac computers. And that’s about it as far as the good news goes. Well, OK, Signal got a handy upgrade, too.
Elsewhere, the week was customarily bleak. Fortnite scams are even worse than you thought, spread across thousands of bogus websites and promoted by YouTube videos with a cumulative millions of views. Voting misinformation is already rampant, and we’re still days away from the midterm elections. The Pittsburgh synagogue shooting suspect appeared to have left behind a trail of incendiary posts on Gab, the social media platform preferred by the far right. And China has recruited spies at an alarming rate; we broke down the country’s methodology step by step.
We also talked to over a dozen current and former privacy-focused Google employees—and the company’s critics—to get a better sense of how the company approaches an issue that’s seemingly antithetical to its business goals.
And there’s more! As always, we’ve rounded up all the news we didn’t break or cover in depth this week. Click on the headlines to read the full stories. And stay safe out there.
New Legislation Champions a Radical Future for US Data Privacy
While the European Union now has the GDPR omnibus privacy law protecting consumers, the US has no equivalent, or really anything close—unless you live in California. A new bill from Oregon senator Ron Wyden hopes to change that, though, offering a sweeping vision of what US privacy law could look like. The so-called Consumer Data Protection Act would require large companies to submit annual reports detailing how they protect user data, and suggests jail time and hefty fees for any executives caught lying in them. Consumers would also have more choice in whether and how companies sold their data, and would add nearly 200 staffers to the Federal Trade Commission to police data-related abuses.
The bill seems unlikely to pass, given how aggressively the industry will line up behind it and how low a legislative priority this issue seems to be. (There’s still no real legal oversight even of Facebook ads, which contributed to hostile foreign interference in the democratic process.) But if you’re looking for a blueprint of how much better US privacy and data protections could be—the kind you deserve—Wyden has created one.
A Damning Report on How Iran Compromised the CIA’s Secure Communications
In August, Foreign Policy released a damning report about how a compromised CIA communications system may have led to the deaths of dozens of US spies in China. Now, a new Yahoo News report goes into gripping detail about how that system apparently first fell apart in Iran. The agency reportedly used an internet-based system that was not nearly secure enough to use for covert communications; Iran apparently even used Google to identify the website that the CIA used to route communications through. The entire thing appears to have been a debacle, one that cost both valuable intelligence networks and human lives.
There’s Yet Another Side Channel Attack Against Intel Chips
Move over, Meltdown! Step aside, Spectre! There’s a new Intel-focused side channel attack in town, and this one has a fun name, too: PortSmash. Identified by researchers at Finland’s Tampere University of Technology and the Technical University of Havana in Cuba, the new attack affects processors that use simultaneous multithreading, specifically Intel’s Skylake and Kaby Lake processors. While it works differently from previous high-profile side channel attacks, the end result is the same: hackers getting access to your encrypted data. and it’s not clear if or when a fix could come. “Research on side-channel analysis methods often focuses on manipulating and measuring the characteristics, such as timing, of shared hardware resources,” said Intel in a statement. “Software or software libraries can be protected against such issues by employing side channel safe development practices.”
New Copyright Exemptions Help Security Researchers Not Break the Law
The Library of Congress actually renewed several critical copyright exemptions over a week ago, but Motherboard this week took a closer look at the ways in which some of those have now been expanded. Every little bit helps, given that security researchers rely on these exceptions to poke and prod systems without winding up in jail. It’s still not perfect, but it’s a welcome development for a community that needs as many as it can get.
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