Nike SB Superhero Pack: An Exercise in Simplicity
This month, Nike SB is releasing a "Superhero Pack" as part of their Fall 2008 release. If you aren’t this huge sneaker dork like me then, you may not know that Nike SB is the division of Nike dealing with skate shoes. So far, two styles have hit the internet: a black and white high top Dunk (“Batman”), and a red and black mid-height Dunk with strap, (“Spiderman”). Despite the sweatshoppin’, I’m a big fan of Nike and sneakers probably make up a large portion of my credit card debt. Even so, I could never really get into skate shoes though, I think Nike SB’s do it with class. They keep with the traditional form of skate shoes wider, more padding but SB’s are premium, limited release and have become somewhat of a sneakerhead favorite. I further attribute their strong sneakerhead following to subtle, creative schemes.
You might be looking for a Batman symbol or a Spiderman face and not finding them in the picture. This is because they are related only to the heros in color scheme. When you get approximately knee-deep in sneaker culture, you learn what a "colorway" is and it totally changes the way you think about sneakers. Colorway is the word used by sneaker nerds to generalize the overall color theme of a basic shoe style, like the Dunk. Below are some colorways of the Lebron IV's for reference.
Even if you aren’t conscious of it, color plays such a huge part in the overall style of a shoe and probably, the reason why you are purchasing one pair of shoes over another. Many other things play into sneaker aesthetics, namely, the structure of the style, fabrics used, sole, and various other details that may or may not be included. The Superhero Pack, so far, has shown really good use of color to present the Superhero theme on basic sneaker style, the Nike Dunk.
On first view, the two Superhero styles seem underwhelming. But when you consider the price range ($50-150, new), you also have to consider wear-ability (even though some sneaker collectors don’t even wear their shoes, which is lame). A simple, limited release pair of “Batman” black and white dunk hi SB’s would go with everything and still have you looking fresh with your sneaker buddies. (Did I mention that post-release, there is a huge e-bay market for sneakers?) Look closer at the choice of materials and placement. Both shoe designs use suede accents, which I like because I’m one of the rare sneaker fans to appreciate the decomposition of sneakers and suede is really easily affected. Secondly, the Batman Dunk uses only narrow areas for white, like the sole (although, I am jealous of the grey sole on the Spidermanz!) and the lace rather than the base (tongue down to tip inside), swoosh or secondary area (area around the swoosh and top of the back of the sneaker).
My favorite details of leaked sneaks in this pack thus far, is the difference in shoe height. Batman was awarded the Dunk hi’s over Spiderman! This choice is in perfect harmony with my brain map because Batman actually wears boots and Spiderman wears some weird spiderweb onesie. I like the distinction for subjective reasons because I like Batman much more than Spiderman but also, for aesthetic reasons. To me, high-tops are the paramount of fresh in sneakers, the real O.G. sneaks, and low-tops are well, they are for those lacking risks in their life. Luckily, although still shorter than hi’s, the Spiderman shoe was awarded the mid height Dunk with a strap to match, keeping the pack risky. Additionally, it will be a lot easier to wear a black and white high-top than a comic book red and blue high-top. The mid-height adds a trendy, young flair to the Spiderman shoe that I correlate with the childishness of Spiderman himself while the Batman shoe, in relation, is classic, in both color and hi-style which is in tune with the shy awesomeness of Batman himself!
A huge thanks and shout out to G-Roc at TheShoeGame.com for being my number one sneaker update source!
EDIT: G-Roc's correction. This is ACTUALLY the Batman release...mid-height. Sad story. Kind of disrupts my favorite aspect of the pack.