While her husband, President Barack Obama, was meeting with President-Elect Donald Trump yesterday, Michelle Obama was busy trying to lift up the nation’s spirits with help from the Cleveland Cavaliers. They are the latest to do the internet-famous #mannequinchallenge at the White House. And yes, it’s fantastic:
It’s hard to separate the world of basketball from the world of sneakers. Jaw-dropping pro basketball legends aside, the needs of the sport haven’t just influenced the tech with your favorite shoes, its swagger and attitude has undoubtedly affected the aesthetics of sneakers—both on- and especially off-court. While certain players have been able to singlehandedly inspire series after series of sneakers, certain models have become more renown after being adopted by legions of stylish men and women on the streets of the nearest major city. From simple canvas uppers, to modern-day Zoom Air units, sneakerheads owe a lot to the game of roundball. With some help from our partner Finish Line, we’ve handpicked the best court-inspired kicks that deserve a spot on your shoe rack’s starting five. Consider this a primer featuring some of the best bball shoes—even if the closest you get to shooting hoops is when you pick up a video game controller.
Nike Air Force 1
Whether you call them ‘Uptowns’, ‘Forces,’ or just ‘AF-1s,’ when it comes to basketball sneakers crossing into streetwear, there’s nothing quite like the Nike’s Air Force 1. At the time of its release in 1982, the Air Force 1 was a vessel for Nike’s burgeoning Air technology. It holds the honor of being the first basketball shoe to boast an Air sole. Since then, it’s been coopted by nearly every segment of pop culture—from rappers in the 2000s (shout out to St. Louis), to fashion fans in search of a simplified-yet-structured sneaker. While the shoe has been a canvas for hundreds of artists and designers over the decades, its most iconic form is easily its starkest; practically every single item in your wardrobe is complimented by a pair of white-on-white Air Force 1s.
Converse Chuck Taylor Hi-Top
While this easily slides into the footwear pantheon as one of the most well-known shoes of all time, there can be little doubt that today’s basketball sneakers are built upon this Converse’s pared-down, timeless structure. Effectively canvas stitched on top of a rubber sole, what once was an early 20th century athletic shoe has become a pop icon in its own right, taking the bold “All-Star” leather patch (a feature added by Charles Taylor himself) and establishing it on everything from school hallways to sold-out rock arenas. While the amount of colors, patterns, and special editions for this shoe are dizzying to say the least, there’s nothing wrong with letting the simple nature of the shoe speak for itself—in classic white or black, you have nothing to distract from the Chuck Taylor’s signature touches. Staying in fashion year, after year is no easy feat. But to hold a spot in the American wardrobe for nearly 100 years—that’s saying something.
Jordan Dub Zero
If there’s one thing the Dub Zero epitomizes, it’s basketball history. A combination of the Jordan 4, 6, 11, 12, 13, 15, and 20, this Jordan—like any good wardrobe—knows how to build off of style history to create something altogether modern and new. Whether you’re attracted to the Dub Zero for its Jordan 12 inspired “Two Three” stitching on the tongue, or like to keep people guessing when they see the Jordan 6 heel “spoiler” as you walk by, the Dub Zero has the best bits of some of Jordan’s most memorable models. As one of the model’s unique features, the laser etching on the upper helps the Dub Zero stand apart from its predecessors. This shoe may have originally dropped in honor of the 20th anniversary of the Jordan brand, but this Dub Zero colorway adds on another decade of tradition; this iteration pays tribute to 30 years of Jordan Brand with an exclusive insole. No matter how you slice it, this Dub Zero confirms a simple truth: when it comes to timelessly fashionable kicks, Jordan is the GOAT.
adidas Pro Model
Inheriting much of the design from the preceding Superstar models, the adidas Pro Model truly was a “pro model” during much of the 1970s, seeing time on the court courtesy of several notable basketball stars. As the Superstar crossed over from sport to lifestyle in the 1980s, so too did the Pro Model, earning high marks as a street style staple more than something you’d carry onto the court. Today, the retro shelltoe and leather construction are more classical “tennis-shoe-style” touches that accent everything from joggers to cuffed black jeans. Like many of adidas’ throwback styles, the slimmed silhouette makes this an easy selection, regardless if the situation’s dress code is formal or something simple. Besides, with chilly fall winds finally hitting the streets, you can’t go wrong with a high top that’s been historically designed around the rigors of the hardcourt.
Originally dropped in 1991, the FX-100 was one of the first high tops from the Italian brand. While Fila was a well-established entity within the world of tennis, its basketball operation ramped up heavily within the 90’s, featuring a small roster of pro all-stars to reintroduce the brand into the sport. Thanks to those players, Fila had a small resurgence in the final decade of the 20th century, with 90’s style in full effect on the FX-100. From the chunky contrast sole, to the high topped velcro belt, this shoe is definitely for those who are willing to posterize anyone foolish enough to challenge your fashion sense. But while this may be a style standout, rest assured that—with its simple, swooping side panel stripes, and white leather base—it’s still flexible enough to fly with the stacked jeans or sweats that you’re reaching for day-in and day-out.
Under Armour Curry 3
There’s no denying that Stephen Curry has dramatically shifted the conversation when it comes to the modern-day iteration of basketball. But while Curry is dazzling crowds with his miraculous shooting skills, he’s teamed with Under Armour to shift the paradigm on sneaker culture—helping to propel Under Armour into the style stratosphere when it comes to creating basketball sneakers that perform as good as they look. With colors ranging from team-inspired “blue-and-gold” to a more contemporary Aluminum gray, the latest iteration in Under Armour’s Curry series is as much a style-focused step forward as it is on-court equipment. But while you’ll probably be more interested in the aesthetics than the performance aspects, the two aren’t mutually exclusive. Taped seams running from the shoe collar to the toebox streamline the shoe, and the breathable Threadborne S® delivers a contemporary textured upper design that’ll be breaking necks on the sidewalk when you’re not breaking ankles on the court.
Reebok Omni Lite Retro
One of basketball’s most iconic technologies, Reebok’s Pump was one of the brand’s most striking details, assisted by Dee Brown’s legendary dunk contest performance in 1991. Building off over 25 years of legacy, the Omni Lite Retro takes cues from the Reebok archive while keeping the present in mind. The brand’s proprietary Hexalite cushioning isn’t just found in the midsole of the sneaker, it’s directly called out via stitching on the heel panel. Sitting alongside the Pump unit on the tongue, the two techs are a reminder of Reebok’s basketball dominance. But this sneaker isn’t trapped in days gone by—its sleek black upper and matching tonal pump unit keep this shoe contemporary without being too distracting to whatever you might wear with it. The Omni Lite Retro is undoubtedly an homage, but just because it takes cues from a true throwback, doesn’t mean that it’s not ready for some play in your wardrobe in 2016.
LeBron Zoom Witness
Watching LeBron is a chance to witness greatness on the court. Lacing up his sneakers—well, that’s a slice of greatness you can wear for yourself. While the mid top silhouette is a callout to classic throwback basketball style, the proprietary Breathe Tech construction keeps the fit light, airy, and contemporary. With the Phylon and Zoom Air sole helping to create an overall streamlined feel and appearance, the shoe is finished off by the foam wing encircling the heel section of the sneaker. While the Zoom Witness as certainly a modern-day marvel, the select Nike technology and the overall simplified appearance makes it a strong contender—no matter what you’re lacing your LeBrons up with.
adidas Crazy 8
While we may associate Kobe Bryant with Nike nowadays, it wasn’t always the case. Once dubbed the “KB8” this truly insane adidas model is a once-on-court item that’s made just as big a splash off the court as well. Its thick design turns what would be any retro basketball shoe into something truly insane. Your friends may be stocked up with the latest J’s, but rest assured that there’s little chance that they’ll have anything that looks quite like the Crazy 8. But the shoe’s next level nature isn’t just skin deep; the Crazy 8 has the tech substance to make this a must-add to your shoe rack. A combination of mesh and leather will secure a solid feel, and this throwback shoe even has some supports that you’d find in adidas’ cutting Ultra Boost (shout out to the brand’s Torsion System). Retro style, present-day features—you’d be “crazy” not to snag a pair of these kicks for yourself.
The 31st chapter of the Jordan series is the greatest indicator of both where the brand has started—and where it’s going today. From the very first Jordan model, the shoe was banned based on its aesthetics, something that’s helped establish it as one of the most well-known sneakers (and sneaker brands) of all time. With the “bred” (black and red, for you up-and-coming sneakerheads) Jordan XXXI, the label turns back to honor its days on the league’s blacklist, while turning one of Jordan Brand’s most integral colorways into a modern marvel. While the traditional Nike Swoosh is subtly added to the side of the shoe’s Flyweave upper, the Jumpman logo stands proudly on the heel quarter of the XXXI. With a leather heel panel, and modern Flywire lacing on the front, this shoe is as much of a sidewalk statement as it is a performance shoe. Sure, black and white go with just about everything in any wardrobe. But black and red? That’s the colorway of champions—Chicago or not.
È ufficiale: Donald Trump è il nuovo presidente degli Stati Uniti, e se durante i mesi di campagna elettorale i social network si sono scatenati con meme e parodie, quello che è stato prodotto dalla rete nelle ultime ore non regge il confronto.
Partiamo subito dall’account Twitter della serie Black Mirror che, pochi istanti dopo l’annuncio, trolla tutti ricordando che non si tratta dell’ennesima trovata di marketing:
This isn’t an episode. This isn’t marketing. This is reality.
— Black Mirror (@blackmirror) 9 novembre 2016
Qualcuno ha immaginato subito l’imminente ingresso alla Casa Bianca:
#ThatMomentWhen Donald Trump walks into the White House.
Poussés dans nos retranchements par le culte de la performance sexuelle, nous en venons souvent à user de curieux stratagèmes mentaux pour ne pas envoyer la purée trop vite. Lesquels ? Abdel, 27 ans, raconte: “Je suis fan de foot, du PSG en particulier. Depuis dix ans, les résultats du club étaient vraiment mauvais, alors je me forçais à penser à ça quand j’étais trop excité. Dans le sport, il n’y a vraiment rien de sexuel, alors ça marchait pas mal. Mais attention, c’est vicieux. Parce que quand c’était vraiment la crise au club, la gamberge pouvait prendre le dessus et carrément me faire débander. A contrario, cette saison, avec l’arrivée des Qataris et de leur argent, la situation du club devient excitante, et y penser pourrait au contraire me faire jouir plus vite.”
Marco, 31 ans, avoue aller plus loin dans le sordide: “Avant, je pensais au quotidien, à la routine, à des factures que j’avais oublié de payer. Mais avec l’âge, ma situation financière – et sentimentale – s’est améliorée, alors ça ne marche plus trop. Raison pour laquelle j’ai franchi le cap, je l’avoue. Je pense à ma mère. Pas à ma mère dans une situation spéciale, juste à ma mère. C’est assez tordu, mais ça marche super bien.” Jean, 23 ans, est plus adepte d’un travail sur soi: “Quand tu niques, c’est dans la tête. Éjaculation précoce, impuissance, tout ça, c’est mental. Alors il faut faire le vide. Souffler, respirer, se calmer. Ne penser à rien. Un peu comme quand tu essaies de t’endormir. Oublier ta partenaire, la situation, t’oublier toi-même. Pas longtemps, une vingtaine de secondes. Et quand tu maîtrises ça, tu peux limer pendant des heures.”
Et si finalement, c’était Benjamin, gros baiseur de 40 ans, qui avait tout compris ? “J’ai arrêté avec ces conneries. C’est de l’aliénation, c’est gâcher le plaisir que de vouloir en maîtriser le timing. Pour ma part, je ne me retiens jamais, même si ça ne fait que quinze secondes que je taffe. Je m’en fous, je me laisse aller, je termine. Après je fume une clope, je me remets, et j’y retourne. Je crois que les filles préfèrent qu’on leur fasse l’amour plusieurs fois d’affilée avec intensité plutôt qu’une seule fois, tout flippé d’être pris pour un mauvais coup.” Allez, bonne chance !
But we kept going, thinking these were the dying moans of the dragon known as the patriarchy being stabbed again and again in the stomach. We believed that on November 9, they’d be licking their wounds while we celebrated. It is painful on a cellular level knowing those men got what they wanted, just as it’s painful to know you are hated for daring to ask for what is yours. It’s painful to know that white women, so unable to see the unity of female identity, so unable to look past their violent privilege, and so inoculated with hate for themselves, showed up to the polls for him, too. My voice was literally lost when I woke up, squeaky and raw, and I ached in the places that make me a woman, the places where I’ve been grabbed so carelessly, the places we are struggling to call our own.
It’s a privilege to be heartbroken by the system for the first time at age 30. So many people — those in the prison system, those with undocumented American relatives, those who are trans, who are queer, who are people of color, who are Muslim, who are trying to prosecute their abusers — have felt the crushing failure of the system over and over again. This is just another dark week. This isn’t surreal like a death or a bad diagnosis. This is their life.
“Don’t agonize, organize.” —Florynce Kennedy
Millennials overwhelmingly voted against Trump. Our generation says no, as do first-time voters, to what this man and his presidency represent. We reject, wholesale, his brand — any brand — of hatred and bigotry. We are the generation with the strongest and most vast understanding of identity politics yet. We recognize intersections and contradictions and want to make room for them in people and in government. Our hearts are open, but our resolve is strong. We want to create a different kind of America than has ever existed. America will not be great until it fulfills its promise of liberty and justice for all.
“You’ve got to rattle your cage door. You’ve got to let them know that you’re in there, and that you want out. Make noise. Cause trouble. You may not win right away, but you’ll sure have a lot more fun.” —Florynce Kennedy
Wednesday was a day of mourning. Thursday, too. Hell, I’m giving us till Sunday. But then we fight. Now, more than ever, our power is in numbers and in our refusal to accept the idea that our leaders intrinsically know what’s best for us, better than the people we meet every day. In the last few days I have watched a little girl cry, wondering if her mother would be deported. I have listened to a black man ask how to explain this to his sons. “You tell them, over and over again, not to be a bully or a bigot, to respect women, to be kind, that’s how you get ahead. And now a bully is the president. How do you explain that?” I see two teenage girls, one Latina, one white, in belly shirts holding hands as they pretend to go the wrong way on an escalator. They’re laughing and smiling and I wonder if they know that together they’re a tiny revolution.
“I am deliberate and afraid of nothing.” —Audre Lorde
In this new reality, we have all been radicalized. It’s no longer a word for those living on the fringes. It’s a word for everyone who walks in pain with the results of this election, who feels their identity being crushed under the weight of the half of the country who voted for a man who denounces and denies the basic rights of women, the queer community, immigrants, Muslims, people of color and the differently abled. We’ve been radicalized and therefore we’ve been deputized to do our parts. What that means will become clearer over the coming months, and we will all have to use the tools we have to speak for ourselves, but moreover speak for the voiceless, the people who can’t demand change for fear of very real and violent losses. Those who are gagged by the system Donald Trump proposes.
“Dignity does not come from avenging insults, especially from violence that can never be justified. It comes from taking responsibility and advancing our common humanity.” —Hillary Rodham Clinton
Jaden Smith is no stranger to skateboarding—he’s a SoCal native, after all. Occasionally taking to empty Calabasas mall parking lots to flex his skills, he’s like any American teenager trying their hand at ollies and kick-flips—even if he’s being trailed by prying paparazzi. So it was hardly a surprise to see The Get Down star kicking and pushing his way through Japan’s Narita airport terminal today, but what was novel was his mode of transportation: The freewheeling teen was actually scooting aboard his module suitcase. Breaking out a scooter suitcase—luggage that unfolds into a connected scooter—the Louis Vuitton campaign star joyfully breezed past the throngs of awaiting fans that were hoping to grab a glimpse of him and his father, Suicide Squad’s Will Smith.
An airport style game changer, to be sure, the efficient contraption perfectly complemented his mall rat look of a vintage Harley-Davidson tee, oversize sweats, and a baseball hat cocked to the side. Always ahead of the style curve, so to speak (remember that caped Batman suit he wore to Kim and Kanye’s wedding . . . and then to his own prom?), Smith’s three-wheeler felt like another example of his need for speed—his new Tesla being another. Certainly no comparison to the supercharged sports car, his trolley still puts a cool (and faster) spin on getting to the gate on time.
Jaden and Willow Smith on how they define creativity at Met Gala 2016:
Let’s just get this out of the way: We have already reached peak LaCroix. The cultishly adored sparkling water brand, whose cans look like they were designed by the same genius who created the turquoise-and-purple wax paper cups that were an integral part of any ’90s childhood (you know the ones), is everywhere lately. Its presence has saturated the internet, with articles extolling its virtues, ranking its flavors, debating its value, and explaining what it is and how to pronounce it. (It’s pronounced “la croy,” but I’m going to keep saying “la kwah,” because it’s more fun and pretentious, two of my most defining qualities.) There are even tribute videos to LaCroix featuring an excellent brow game, as seen below.
Beyond the internet, LaCroix has also invaded our physical space, aka the real world. An enormous wall of stacked LaCroix cartons at a new Whole Foods in Williamsburg has now become the most Instagram-friendly spot in Brooklyn, New York. On a personal note, my refrigerator currently contains three cartons of Pamplemousse and not much else, and that’s just fine because at least I’ve got the necessities covered. Whether or not you know how to pronounce it (or even how to spell it; it’s just one word with weird capitalization), it’s hard to deny that LaCroix is everywhere, and the best thing for you to do is just relent and accept your new sparkling water overlord.
What’s that, you’re saying? You’ve already bought into the cult of LaCroix? You’re super-familiar with all 20 of its flavors? Even LaCola? Well, good for you. You’re probably already tired of all the bullshit rankings of LaCroix, the ones which always either place Coconut way too low or way too high, because what good is a ranking without a little controversy thrown in, and nothing is more controversial than Coconut, which is basically the cilantro of LaCroix. So let’s forget the whole damned ranking system and focus on what’s really important: Determining your personality based on which is your favorite flavor of LaCroix. Basically, tell me what type of LaCroix you drink, and I’ll tell you who you are.
I’m not going to say my methods are science-based (because they’re not), but I will say that I would recommend that people use their favorite flavors much as they would horoscopes, as bias-based means to determine who they are and who they want to be. Drink up!
Pamplemousse: If you’re drinking Pamplemousse, you’re also pronouncing it “la kwah” instead of “la croy.” Beyond that, you like the finer things in life, because, objectively, Pamplemousse is the best flavor. It tickles your tongue with a faint musky sweetness, a trace bitterness preventing it from ever being boring. It tastes not just of citrus, but of sex. And you like that, don’t you?
Coconut: Some people hate Coconut, thinking it tastes like sunscreen. This is untrue. It only smells like sunscreen. The people who love Coconut really, really love it, though. These people also like long hazy days lying on the beach, cute dogs, getting massages, sweets in general, and, basically, all good things. People who like Coconut are also really into shoes for some reason, and that reason is that they’re aesthetes without being snobs.
Tangerine: Your dad’s cool girlfriend likes Pamplemousse, but you’re hardcore Tangerine because you’re younger and cooler than she is. You also pay really close attention to when the newest shipment drops at Supreme. You know someday you’ll probably switch to Pamplemousse, or even Coconut, but not yet, not now. Now is for Tangerine.
Orange: If you like Orange best, that’s cool, because that means you have good taste since it’s delicious. But, let’s face it: Orange is also a little basic, and so are you. But not, like, regular basic. You’re a little aggro-basic. Like, you drink Orange defensively almost and say things like, “Yeah, I like Orange. I don’t fuck with that Cúrate.” Okay, we get it. You’re a man of the people. Whatever. Moving on.
Lime: You have a really hard time deciding where to meet friends after work and, therefore, always let them choose the bar or restaurant. You never take too long to decide what you’re going to wear in the morning because you have six of everything in your closet. If you didn’t drink LaCroix and just drank soda, you’d go for Sprite. Your favorite fruit is, paradoxically, an orange. Your favorite TV show is Friends. You have never been on Reddit.
Apricot: You pronounce it “la croy.” You also pronounce it “ape-ricot.” You startle easily and often feel like the roof of your mouth is itchy. You’re lots of fun at parties. You like black licorice. Your favorite show right now is Stranger Things. You don’t eat meat.
Pure: You believe in ghosts.
LaCola: You put lots of ice in everything because something about watered-down flavor really suits you. You like chewing on the unpopped kernels at the bottom of a bag of popcorn. You’re kind of a monster, but that’s okay, monsters are fun too.
Everything in the Cúrate line: You will never apologize for who you are and what you drink and how many times a day you post on Instagram. You dance like nobody’s watching. You have a real love-hate relationship with Gwyneth Paltrow, as in you were one of the first subscribers to Goop and own her first two cookbooks but just can’t bring yourself to follow her on Insta, even if you do regularly check her feed. You doubt but are curious about the efficacy of bee sting-therapy. You’re planning your next trip to Costa Rica this coming winter.
Mango: You think you like bold flavors, but what you really like is bold colors. You carry hot sauce in your bag, but you use it very conservatively. You’ve naturally found your match in mango, which is more about the absence of flavor and a big bold burst of color.
Passionfruit: You’re into feet.
Berry: You eat a lot of yogurt. You’ve always been curious as to whether or not your cat sees you for who you really are.
Peach-Pear: Your favorite candy growing up was Runts, and you got them from quarter machines at the local bowling alley. They were stale and tasted terrible, but still, you loved them. You have the taste buds of a child. Frankly, we are surprised you’re not drinking Mountain Dew.