Tag: "trainers"

Vans | Rowley SPV skate shoe

Vans Rowley SPV - Geoff Rowley skate shoe

“It has no fucking gimmicks. It’s the lightest, lowest, grippiest shoe you could possibly make. That’s basically it really.”

I could just leave this review at Geoff Rowley’s quote above and be done with it, as what he’s saying is pretty much the truth. However, considering my homeboy Charlie at Vans was kind enough to send me a pair, that’s a bit lazy… and, to be honest, these are definitely worth a bit of investigation. This isn’t your basic plimsoll.

The SPV (Super Pro Vulc) is pretty much everything I thought it wouldn’t be. Firstly, it’s really comfortable for such a lightweight shoe: I’ve had issues with such thin shoes being flimsy and non-supportive, but the SPV has a really firm heel back. The uppers seem like they could take a pounding, as the one-piece suede front section has no real joins or seams to fall apart at all.

Vans Rowley SPV - Geoff Rowley skate shoe

The sole is, as you’d expect, flexible and allows a lot of feel for the board. Whether your feet can take the abuse of throwing yourself down sets of stairs in these like Mr. Rowley is another thing altogether, but for flip tricks and tight control, these are going to be perfect. There appears to be a high-abrasion section right where you need it and the nice waxed laces are able to take a lot more abuse than standard laces for sure.

Vans Rowley SPV - Geoff Rowley skate shoe

Vans are really good at breaking down a skate shoe into the most basic components and then ensuring that what’s left is up to the job. And the Rowley SPV is the perfect testament to this.

R.I.P. Jim Van Doren.

Vans Rowley SPV - Geoff Rowley skate shoe

ASICS x Hanon Gel Lyte lll ‘Wildcats’

ASICS x Hanon Gel Lyte lll Wildcats

It feels like ASICS spent a long time as observers when the collaborative craze kicked off. The PROPER crew did an incredible job on their 2007 GT-II shoe – definitely one of the best running shoe co-labs to come out – but since then the spotlight has remained on the Gel Lyte III. A lightweight runner that initially confused non-athletes by having an unusual split tongue, it wasn’t until Patta and Ronnie Fieg began playing with the multitude of panels that the masses began to take notice. And take notice they did. Look back at any of the recent ASICS releases and you’ll see roadblocks, crashed servers and campouts were the order of the day.

ASICS x Hanon Gel Lyte lll Wildcats

For Scotland’s Hanon Shop, up in the glorious city of Aberdeen, things got switched up a little more than usual for their latest ASICS collaboration. Instead of simply colouring-in existing panels, there’s a reworking of fabrics and construction that makes the Wildcats totally unique. I first saw preview images of these back in the summer and made a mental note to keep an eye out for them. Sitting in front of the computer, refreshing relentlessly isn’t an easy task when you’re stuck at work, but if one shoe this year was going to be worth the effort, then this was probably it.

ASICS x Hanon Gel Lyte lll Wildcats

The name Wildcats is a nod to Hanon’s local running club of the same name and the mustard and burgundy fits perfectly with the ‘Keeps On Burning’ Hanon branding. As a sidenote, this toasty colourway works wonders as the temperature drops here in the UK. There’s also a little something in these that reminds me of my Raleigh Burner BMX bike – count that as another plus point.

ASICS x Hanon Gel Lyte lll Wildcats

ASICS x Hanon Gel Lyte lll Wildcats

Dropping the usual toebox and upgrading it for a punched suede adds a little extra protection against the elements and upgrades things to a deluxe level. 3M stripes, dual branding on the tongue and the collar lining are all contributing elements that make this perhaps the best ASICS co-lab we’ve seen to date. And, reading the frantic tweets and forum posts since they dropped at Hanon on the 28th October, it seems that there are lots of people out there who’d agree.

Big thanks to Ed at Hanon for the hook-up.

ASICS x Hanon Gel Lyte lll Wildcats

Nike Sportswear | Nike Lunar Macleay+

Nike Lunar Macleay

The Nike Lunar Macleay mid-top, which aside from the Lunarlon sole unit looks like it could have fallen from the ACG catalogues a decade ago, has quite rightly racked up more than a few words online. Everyone loves it. And when you see it for yourself, you’ll understand why.

I’ve been a fan of the ACG range for a long time. Back when my friends and I had transcended the whole Chipie jeans and Chevignon sweatshirts period, we moved from Air Flights and Travel Fox to more rugged footwear. Nike unleashed one of my favourite models of all-time around this point (the underrated Son of Lava Dome) and I became a fan of the often quirkily-named footwear that came with hiking trails, mountains and woodlands in mind. The Lunar Macleay, named after a walking trail in Portland, is right up there with the very best of the range, perhaps sitting alongside another old favourite of mine, the Air Approach 150 from 1996.

Nike Lunar Macleay

Using the Lunar Elite last, the first thing I really noticed when wearing these out and about was just how light and comfortable the sole unit it. Going into a diatribe about various cushioning systems is all very easy when you’re presented with strange and experimental technologies, but the Lunar sole is without a doubt one of the most comfortable I’ve ever worn. Almost makes me wish I hadn’t slept on the Lunar Elites (which use the exact same last) from a few months back.

Nike Lunar Macleay

There have been a few colourways of this model in the shops so far: the ink and taupe models here were accompanied with a bright cactus version and a stealthy black version around the same time, but it looks like there are other colourways to come.

Nike Lunar Macleay

The ink version has a leather upper, with some embossed molded panels along the sides, whilst the faded taupe edition has a completely different and slightly ore lightweight synthetic upper. Other differences are the Swoosh on the side (embroidered on the leathers, plastic on the taupes) and the use of 3M on the lighter pair is reappropriated in stitching on the darker ones. D-ring lacing systems and proper hiking laces round things off on the outside, whilst the comfortable lining and pull-on tongue continues the style and comfort inside. For those of you more in-tune with your fitness levels, these will work with the Nike+ system as well.

Nike Lunar Macleay

Just when I thought I’d got enough pairs of shoes this month, Nike go and do it again. Watch for the other colourways in your local Tier Zero spots, although it seems that some colourways haven’t yet covered a global radius. More please!

Thank you to Phoebe Lovatt for the generous hook-up on these.