Tag: air huarache

These Kicks Are Made for Walkin’

You may not easily realize this but you may have used and abused a specific item that you possess.  I know, I know what you guys and gals are thinking… obvious answers would be your cell phone, ipod, ipad, wallet, credit / debit cards, and keys.  Well aside from those things, you may have a favorite pair of flip-flops, sandals, vans, chucks or even a pair of boots that you’ll put on to kick around the house, grocery shopping, walks on the beach or just simply hanging out with friends. Keeping our feet comfy, unrestricted, relaxed and away from blisters is like a habit that is often overlooked.  For me, I would be kickin it with my Nike Free Runs.

Originally released in 2005, Nike released the very comfy and lightweight Free’s targeting runners, track and marathon athletes, and your casual young and old joggers.  Similar to 1970’s legendary University of Oregon track coach Bill Bowerman; pouring rubber into his wife’s waffle iron to create a new running shoe sole,   Nike pushed its engineers to revolutionize a shoe that will cushion, support and protect one’s feet but still felt and simulated running barefoot.

While looking for answers interviewing coaches and athletes, Nike engineers and designers came across Vin Lananna, who was the track coach of Stanford University.  During the discussions, V. Lananna shared an unusual routine that’s part of his athletes training – He had them run barefoot on grass.  The coach mentioned that this routine kept his athletes stronger and less prone to injuries.  As Nike engineers and designers were so intrigued with this statement, they assembled 10 men and 10 women to run without shoes on grass.  Equipped with high speed cameras and paper-thin pressure sensors to measure joint angles and foot impact, the engineers and designers had a comprehensive understanding of the biomechanics running barefoot.

Like most kicks out in the market, shoe design always aims to protect, stabilize and cushion the foot.  All these factors put together, most of the time a lot of motion are restricted and confined hence the challenge of emulating a barefoot walking or running experience. Nike answered these challenges by designing the Free project with superb flexibility, deep-grooved and channeled sole.  This design gave one’s foot more movement, the toes flex and grip as well as using underutilized foot muscles normally overlooked by traditional footwear.

Nike envisioned designating each Free version with a number – “1” aimed for runners who needed with less support and “12” was designed like a traditional running shoe.  As the numbering system was lost in translation, the Nike Free was re-launched with a mid-performance 7 ounce model, dubbed as the Nike Free Run+.

Judging from the reviews and statements that I’ve read and heard, the Nike Free Run+ was a huge success.  Not only did it achieve athletes’ quest for a barefoot style footwear but maintained cushion and foot protection.  These kicks seemed to be popular not just to athletes but young and old as well as medical and healthcare representatives due to its featherweight and comfort properties.

Due to the success of the Nike Free Run+ release, it encouraged Nike to put a new flavor and bring back the successful Air Huarache line by putting this in fusion with the innovative sole of the Free Run+ – I must say that this is another recipe for success and I will for sure put them to test as I got my pairs ready for action – 2012 Quick Strike (QS) Air Huarache Free pack.

So if you catch me sporting my Free Runs – “Avert your eyes, because it’s been known to hypnotize…” …just means I’m kickin it “Happy Feet Style.”  =P

Until the next one… Peace!  – jp

My Sneakers…

Every time I wear a new pair of sneakers, I get the expressions… “Wow, new shoes…”, or  “New kiiicks…”,  or “Damn! that’s bright”, or “How do you keep your kicks clean man?” or something that I’ll get from Mom and Dad, “New shoes again??? You’re like Imelda Marcos – with too many Rubbershoes (that’s sneakers in Filipino).”  Well, with the feedback that I’ve received from family and friends, I came to realize that I may have a little more than some people would typically have.

Every sneaker geek will have a story to share that triggered his / her passion or love for sneaks.   To kick off my first write up with DaYUUM, I get the chance to share what launched me to the world of “Kicksology.”

Born and raised in the Philippines, I grew up considering basketball as the only sport that I played somewhat decent.  Some of you may not know, but basketball is the most popular sport in the Philippines even if Filipinos aren’t considered amongst the tallest peeps.  And having an uncle that managed and coached in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) – “the NBA of Filipinos”, during the mid 1980’s to early 90’s lured me to the sport even more.   My uncle would take my cousins and I to practices, exhibition games and actual games sitting behind the players’ bench.   By this time, I came to idolize up and coming players that played for my uncle – How they wear their jersey, mimic their signature bball moves, haircut, copying their gear and of course what sneaks they wear.  I knew little about the NBA… but I knew Magic’s insane passes, the Great shooter -Larry Bird, Kareem’s skyhook, Worthy, AC Green, Dominique, and of course the great Airness, Michael Jordan.   But ask me about the PBA, heck yeah!!!  I knew each and every player and team – sched, stats and the kicks the players wear.

I remember when I first asked my Mom and Dad to buy me my first pair of basketball sneakers.   White with red and blue trims, Nike was not popular to me at that time but Converse – yes, Converse CONS ERX 300 was what I got.  My CONS ERX 300 hi tops with a big tongue that printed CONS upfront was what made me feel like a superstar when playing with buddies and friends.   We called them “CONS”.  I liked the pair so much that I would rock them every game and every game it would get scuffed but after play – I would take off the laces and brush them up.   I would soak the laces under soap and water.  The next morning, I’d squeezed the soap and water out of the laces and put them back on making sure there were no twisters.  This way, my CONS look fresh every time I wear them.  I remember putting some big fat laces on them too just to change up the look.   I’m sure you sneaker geeks could somewhat relate… =)

My uncle’s team was sponsored by Adidas, so aside from my CONS, I would get brand spanking new kicks from him and what are they… white, low cut Superstars with 3 blue stripes and the hi top version of the Superstar, the Promodel with 3 black stripes.   I bet this was the peak of the Run DMC and Adidas collab; would I recognize DMC back then? – Nope.  I learned about these kicks from Bball players.  The Superstars were just a hot item but keeping them clean was a pain.  My friends would even envy how I would get kicks for free.   They knew that these pairs were what bballers rocked.   Rock them with fat, skinny, colored laces – tied, untied laces, no laces – These just looked good with everything.    Then one summer,  my aunt from the U.S. visited us and in one of the “balik-bayan” or storage boxes (for the peeps that don’t know what these big boxes are that Filipinos bring when travelling- you’ll see them a lot at International Airports… hehe) she gave me my first pair of Nike.  It was a love and hate for some- all navy blue Nike Air Force mids.  Talk about grabbing people’s attention this pair did when I wore them.  Playing ball you’ll see these kids with the regular white boring hi-tops or low cut kicks and here I am playing with some colored, mid cut kicks.  These pair felt a lot more lighter that the CONS and more comfy than the Superstars specially when playing on rock solid concrete floored courts.  The air sole seemed to make a difference.  This was for sure before the Fab Five showed up with the all so famous black socks and mid Nike Air Force Max – This just started the wave of Nike kicks in my life and for exclusivity purposes, my cousin and aunt in the U. S. would buy me Air Flights, Air Flight Huaraches, Air max etc.

So some would ask… did I jump higher with my cool kicks? Heck noh?!?  Did I play like Sir Charles rockin my sneaks?  Don’t think so?!?   Did I have a pair of sneaks that no one had seen at the Bball courts?  Helllsss Yeah!!!  All they could say was, “DaYUUM!!! Where did you get that?” so what was I thinking “Haha, Game Ova!!!  That’s for you fools to find out…” ;P  I am sure you sneaker heads  will always have a story to share too.  Do you remember your first pair of sneaks?  Until the next one…  Peace!  -JP.

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