Replacement Killers

If so much shit is played, whut isn’t? Consider this the corollary to the played-out kicks lists, as I now list suggestions/alternatives to the tried-and-true. These kicks are similar to their more popular brethren, only without the mass appeal.

Like AF1s? How about… Air Force IIs, Air Force IIIs, or Blazers?

So you’re into the casual ol’ skool look. That don’t mean you have to cop those white-on-whites. Air Force IIs and IIIs are, admittedly, more complicated than an Air Force 1. But they are its direct descendants, with slightly more color and a rugged-ass look (AFIIIs). If simple is whut you like, how about the Nike Blazer? This is actually a predecessor to the AF1, with an even-simpler design. Don’t get yer panties in a twist, though – special editions abound, whether it’s Harris tweed or a limited “Beautiful Losers” model. Just don’t ball in ‘em.

Like Jordans? How about… Air Pippens, Penny’s, or Lebron’s?

Js are Js – simply the finest. But when everybody and they toddler is rocking Jumpman merch, perhaps a different approach is warranted. Why not li’l brother? After all, Pippen dunked on Ewing almost as many times as Mike. Penny got dubbed the Next Mike, and his kicks were almost there, too. Penny 1s and 4s abound right now, and let’s not forget that the Foamposite 1 was also his. And speaking of Next Mikes, Lebron certainly ain’t disappointed with his signature line. From where I’m at, LBJs haven’t really impacted the streets like Mike yet, though. A shame, since the IIs, IIIs and IVs are pretty much bulletproof. Amazing that such a high-profile dude’s kicks are relatively DL.

Like Dunks? How about…Terminators?

Honestly, I’m amazing Term’s never blew up. They’ve got the two-tone Dunkesque appeal, plus that big-ass “NIKE” on the back of the shoe. In terms of withstanding battle damage, Terminators are just as rugged as Dunks. A couple years back, Duke, G’town, Syracuse and ‘Zona were blessed with signature low-top Term’s, with exceptionally comfortable Zoom-air cushioning. Instead of “NIKE”, the back read “DUKE”, “HOYA”, “CUSE” and “ZONA”, respectively, as well as on the tongue-label. But these were criminally slept-on, for whatever reason.

Like Chuck Taylor’s? How about… Jack Purcell’s?

Even classic-classic’s deserve a break now and then. And style-wise, Jack Purcell’s are very similar to Chuck’s. They are both manufactured by Converse, and Purcell’s also have a canvas body and a rubber toe-cap. But Purcell’s are slightly more minimal than Chuck’s (you’re asking, how is that possible?), and the toe-cap’s piping is a more subtle navy, as opposed to the bright-red piping of Chuck’s. Jack Purcell’s are low-top only, however. But if you’re looking for a slight variation on a classic that’s still official, Jack Purcell’s are a good look. And they’re far less common than their cousin Chuck.

Any other remedies for the well-worn? Likely candidates include air max ‘95s and ‘97s, but y’all tell me…

Rick Kang

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  1. Thas wassup Rick, glad you did this one – cuz you can’t hate on the classics !! Anyways, I gotta agree with you about the Blazers and the Terminators they are kinda slept on but I bet those will be the next moves in customization as you see is now happening with the Court Forces..I think that’ll be a good look especially since Dunks and 1’s are so heavily focused on, for Nike that is..We shall see…

  2. Is it me or have sneakerheads or sneaker aficionados/connoisseurs/enthusiasts (you get the drift) morphed into “nikeheads”. There’s so many dope designs or releases that get slept on b/c they aren’t nike (good news and an ample supply for the heads who notice). Nike obviously has the sneaker game in a headlock right now but it hasn’t always been like that…and a time will come when things will change once again.

    Personally, I see myself slowly jumping of the bandwagon…I will still cop a Nike or two, but its time to diversify…I’m about my Clyde’s right now…and them Y3’s for that grown man vibe.

  3. Kudos to those in the game celebrating non-Swooshies….

    I would say that sneakerheads haven’t morphed into Nikeheads — that’s who they have always been.

    HOWEVER, Nike’s dominance in the game is making it difficult for nubies coming up to form any opinion related to non-Nikes, mainly cuz the other players aren’t even in the game!

    My major complaint regarding Nike’s domination is this:
    Other companies aren’t coming with that creative shit (this is obviously my opinion, as the above dude’s Y3-luv shows).

    Without product, you CANNOT get luv.

    But who knows — maybe Nike will get played out due to sheer omnipotence, and other brands will become the hipster-flava (but don’t hold yer breath)….

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