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Welcome to SNX DLX, your weekly roundup of the best sneakers to hit the internet, and where to cop them. We’re loving the roundup this week. 2022 has definitely over delivered on notable sneaker drops, but as great as the sneaker drops have been this year they’ve all been a bit samey. I love amazing Air Jordan and Dunk drops as much as the next sneakerhead, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’m kind of bored of seeing the same shoes in constant rotation in new colors.
This week is a remedy to that trend.
This week, Union LA is giving us two new colors of the Nike Cortez, an underappreciated but still classic silhouette, while Supreme supplies us with four new colorways of the Nike Shox Ride 2, as well as a refresh of the classic black and white Reebok Answer IV for the b-ball heads. New Nike Shox and Answer IVs, are we in the year 2000? Kiss dad shoes goodbye, we’re entering a whole new era.
Let’s dive into this week’s best sneaker drops.
Union LA x Nike Cortez Sesame/Off Noir
It’s been a minute since we’ve seen a Nike Cortez worth copping. It’s not that I don’t like the silhouette, it’s the opposite, it was actually my first Nike! The Cortez is so classic that all you need is a white leather pair with red or blue accents and you’re set. And that’s a colorway that Nike always has in stock, like a white and black AF-1. But anytime Los Angeles streetwear label and retailer Union links up with the Swoosh, we pay attention.
Union’s take on the Cortez does not disappoint, even as it rejects the classic colorways. Dropping in an earthy and warm Sesame colorway, which features a pink clay swoosh and a patterned upper over a cratered midsole, and a moodier Off Noir take, with Neptune Green accents and white speckles over the cratered midsole, the Union Cortez features a leather upper with canvas and suede overlays and dual branding.
It might be a departure from the classic look of the Cortez, but it highlights the design in a unique way that still feels like a tribute to what is arguably the sneaker most emblematic of LA.
The Union Nike Cortez is out now for a retail price of $150. Pick it up at Union or aftermarket sites like Flight Club.
adidas Adilette 22 Slide Desert Sand/Magic Lime
It’s sandal season which is why the brands are going HAM on slides and Croc collaborations, this week we have the controversial Adilette 22, aka the shoe Ye raged about a few weeks back posting to his Instagram, “These shoes represent the disrespect that people in power have to the talent… This shoe is a fake Yeezy made by Adidas themselves.” To which…we have to agree.
The Adilette 22 is very much Yeezy Supply inspired, that’s undeniable, just look at the way it looks vaguely like geography (A lot of Yeezys look like rock formations) and uses earthy muted color tones. Even its whole design concept “What would slides look like in space?” smacks of Yeezy Supplies’ whole futuristic vibe, I’m just a little puzzled about why Ye is surprised and mad about it.
Imitation is the highest form of flattery, Adidas took inspiration from what already existed and turned it into something new, which is what the Yeezy 700 did with ’90s dad shoe silhouettes. Hell, all of hip-hop changed multiple times following the beat of Kanye’s MPC 2000XL during his earliest run of records, we’re still living in a world forged by 808s and heartbreak! Kanye should know this well.
The Adilette 22 will never be the Yeezy Slide, but, it’s still a pretty interesting slide, controversy aside and it’s selling out fast.
The Adidas Adilette 22 Slide in Desert Sand and Magic Lime are out now for a retail price of $55. Pick up a pair at the adidas website.
Supreme Nike Shox Ride 2
My editor hates Nike Shox, so let me just apologize to him for forcing him to have to endure not one, not two, not three, but four consecutive pictures of Supreme branded Nike Shox. These sneakers are all the proof you need that trends and tastes are entirely cyclical, nothing is new, only recycled and recontextualized.
When Nike Shox first dropped in the year 2000 it looked like the future of footwear. Like wearing them would make you run faster, and jump higher. People did a lot of stupid shit in the era of Y2K and they were justifiably made fun of it by a younger generation of Millenials who flipped all of that on its head and embraced classic silhouettes and dad shoes, only to now look completely out of touch for not embracing the return of this retro futurist silhouette.
Nike Shox never would’ve gotten a Supreme collaboration in 2000, but in 2022 what did you expect? Another Supreme AF-1? This sneaker features a mesh and leather upper with a DURAPLUSH tongue and a molded logo in four colorways.
The Supreme Nike Shox Ride 2 is out now for a retail price of $188. Pick up a pair via the Supreme webstore.
Air Force 1 Mid x Off-White Black/White
Nike has steadily been rolling out Air Force 1 Mids so it’s no surprise to see the silhouette again this week, what is surprising — and a bit bittersweet — is seeing a new Virgil Abloh-designed pair. The Off-White Air Force 1 features a mid-top design with a lightweight and airy mesh upper with an all-over wood pattern graphic and a second set of Flywire laces.
The Off-White AF-1 Mid drops in a black and white colorway, both with contrasting spiked outsoles that give the sneaker a sort of post-apocalyptic vibe. Virgil was really reaching for the future with this one.
The Air Force 1 Mid x Off-White Black/White is out now for a retail price of $185. Pick up a pair via the Nike SNKRS store or your favorite aftermarket site.
Nike Air Jordan VI White and University Red
Last week we published a timeline of the best Air Jordan VIs and now here comes Nike a week later with a new AJ-VI in White and University Red, aka the ‘Red Oreo’ colorway. In truth, this isn’t exactly a new colorway so we can’t blame Nike for it not being on our list, the real reason is… in the wider pantheon of Jordan VI colorways, I think this one is just okay.
Amongst the sneakers dropping this week this is a must-cop, but when you start putting it alongside your AJ VI UNC, or a Carmine, or an Infrared 23, this just looks tame in comparison. And with its white and red colorway and speckled midsole, it looks like it’s trying too hard to recall the AJ III. Anyway, there is still a lot to love here, look at that all-white leather upper, the embroidered branding, and that beautiful icy outsole!
The Nike Air Jordan VI White and University Red is set to drop on June 25th for a retail price of $200. Pick up a pair via the Nike SNKRS app or aftermarket sites like GOAT and Flight Club.
Sneaker Freaker x Atmos x Asics Gel Lyte III Alley Cats
Australia’s Sneaker Freaker has linked up with Japanese streetwear brand Atmos and Asics for a new spin on the Gel Lyte III that is inspired by the stray cats that call the alleys ways of Melbourne and Tokyo home. The sneaker features a gray faux fur upper with purple paneling and phosphorescent accents om the stripes and laces that are meant to mimic the glowing eyes of cats.
The Sneaker Freaker x Atmos x Asics Gel Lyne III Alley Cats is set to drop on June 24th at the Atmos webstore for a retail price of $138.56. The sneaker will see a wider global release on July 4th.