four times a year: The drop of the new Nike SB catalog, showing us what to
expect for a specific season. Weâ€™ve already showed you most of the catalog but
in this post we take some time to give our thoughts and analysis about the Fall
2011 products. In this article weâ€™ll only talk about the SB branded items, the
P-Rod collection will get itâ€™s own post later this week.
start we take our time to say goodbye to a model thatâ€™s no longer in the SB line-up:
Omar Salazarâ€™s shoe is missing from the catalog. We like the shoe and expressed
our disappointment about this to Omar via Twitter. He replied withÂ â€œme too:/â€. It seems like he isnâ€™t too happy about the decision either. Rumor
is that there is a vulc version in the works but it seems that this fall Omar
will no longer be a Nike signature athlete. We like to take the time to urge
you to go down to your local shop and pick up a pair of Salazars while you
letâ€™s talk about the stuff that actually is coming out next Fall.
Most of our
visitors are all about the Dunks so letâ€™s kick off with Nike SBâ€™s oldest model
thatâ€™s still in the running. The â€˜Kostonâ€™ tech will debut next year in the Dunk
line, which means thereâ€™s a difference in construction, sole and padding.Â Plus thereâ€™s the official comeback of the fat
tongue on lows. All these features are present on the Fall Dunks. Another Dunk
comeback is the strap on mids. The image of the strapped Griptape Dunks used in
the catalog has the same angle as the image of that same shoe in older catalogs
so they pretty much copy-pasted it in there. We do think itâ€™s a wise decision,
now skaters have the choice for a â€˜regularâ€™ or â€˜strappedâ€™ Mid. This, like the
fat tongue comeback, shows that Nike does listen to opinions on changes that
are voiced by skaters, customers in stores and on the internet. The griptape
Mids arenâ€™t the only â€˜All Day/Every Dayâ€™ Dunk making a comeback, the
black/white Highs (which some of you insist on calling â€˜Venomsâ€™) and the
original blackpack Dunks (all suede, all black with a gumsole) are back on the
the Dunk colorways thereâ€™s a nice balance between simple, quiet colors and more
loud ones.Â The True Red Dunk Highs (that
are actually Sport Red, but thatâ€™s just a detail) and Gold Dust Dunk will
appeal to a more colorful crowd while those who like classic, simple colorways
can enjoy both Mids and the all suede Grey/University Blues. The latter have a
big opportunity to become a future classic, we advise you not to sleep.Â Weâ€™re not sure what to make of the
Antharcite/Golden Stream Highs yet, weâ€™ll have to wait for sample pics.
we notice is that there is no low carry-over Janoski this season, but to make
up for that the Janoski low is the only SB model that has a new colorway coming
out every month. The Mids have one carry-over and two new colorways. Nike has
been treating the Janoski as it should. Every colorway is very basic and that
is one of the reasons the Janoskiâ€™s appeal to such a wide variety of
people.Â The only â€˜experimentalâ€™ Janoski
this season is the Blue Dusk/Dark Obsidian one since itâ€™s the only that does
not have the full upper in a single colorway. No surprises in the materials
either, of the six shoes three are suede; two are canvas and one mixes those
materials. Itâ€™s great to see that after a few seasons of Janoskiâ€™s Nike has not
tried to change the face of the shoe with crazy colors, materials or gimmicks.,
making it the most consistent shoe in the SB line-up.
Fans of the cut Blazer will have to start stocking up or invest in tape
and boxcutters because theyâ€™re all gone. A thing we are stoked about is that
probably the most classic and maybe even iconic SB shoe of all time: The
Black/White Blazer, (also available in a lowtop) is still part of the line-up.
Both Blazers have one new colorway each coming out this fall, both made out of
suede uppers and a leather Swoosh. The low mixes Black and Blue (Recall) but we
really like the very stylish Classic Charcoal/Halo Blazer, a colorway that will
most likely speak to a lot of different customers. Â The gum-like color on the front â€˜bumperâ€™
reminds us of the Beautiful Loser Blazers that dropped back in 05.
Fall 2011 will be the second season for Eric Kostonâ€™s pro model and the
line-up is very strong. The Black/Dark Grey colorway will return as a
carry-over, accompanied by another classic skateshoe colorway: Black/Gum. But
the colorway that might win a new crowd for the Kostonâ€™s is the Paradise
Aqua/Slate Blue. Many have already dubbed it â€˜Tiffanyâ€™ and the success of the
Mint Janoskiâ€™s has shown that the love for anything slightly related to the
Diamond Dunk is still strong. Fans of the colorway can expect more releases in
the future. We wouldâ€™ve expected them to drop a bit earlier because itâ€™s a
great summer shoe but the September date makes it perfect for breaking a few
necks when heading back to school.Â By
picking colorways like this we believe Nike also tries to gain interest for
this shoe from non-skaters. With the $90 pricetag itâ€™s the third most expensive
shoe in the catalog (behind the $93 Dunk High and the $104 Zoom FP)which means
that itâ€™s quite an investment for younger skaters. Trying to attract Dunk
wearers with bright colorways will help moving product,
The Bruin will not be getting a lot of screentime in 2011. Just like the
Spring and Summer seasons this Fall will bring us just one Bruin colorway. Is
seems that the comebacks of the Blazer Low and Harbor have put the Bruin back.
Thereâ€™s nothing wrong with the Khaki colorway (suede upper, canvas, Swoosh)
thatâ€™s dropping this Fall but it is a bit more expensive than itâ€™s direct
competitors within the SB range. Honestly, we fear for the future of the Bruin.
The Harbor comeback is another sign that Nike listens to their
audience.Â The ones that are releasing
this Fall season are all canvas, just like the Summer colorways. The difference
is a Suede Swoosh on the Fall ones but we are curious about the decision to
stick with canvas. Our theory is that itâ€™s a price decision. The Harbor will
only cost $60, moving it into Half Cab/Chukka Low territory and bridging the
gap between Nike and Vans. To many Nike still has an â€˜expensiveâ€™ image, the
Harbor, with its basic colors and low pricetag, will appeal to the skater on a
budget and might change this perception.
We can only applaud Nikeâ€™s dedication to technical footwear. Theyâ€™ve
been working on it from the start and even though the shoes never top sellers
they stuck with it. Downside to the fans is the pricetag (R&D ainâ€™t cheap!)
and the limited availability. Itâ€™s hard to move a $104 shoe so to give the
shops some breathing space thereâ€™s only one colorway releasing this season. And
if youâ€™re a fan of the FP but donâ€™t like this Boca-esque colorway youâ€™re pretty
Compared to most other shoe brands Nike has a large clothing collection.
The thing that weâ€™re really into is the collection DRI-FIT items. DRI-FIT
transports the sweat from the inside of the garment to the outside where it can
evaporate. Perfect for sweaty skate sessions. An added bonus is that the fit of
the DRI-FIT items is great and thereâ€™s no shrinking or discoloring when you
wash them, unlike cotton. Most of the t-shirts this season are DRI-FIT
(including a reversible tee and a baseball tee).
The technology has been used
on many items but the SB department has found a new one: Denim. Yeah thatâ€™s
right, a 12.25oz stretch blue rinsed denim, available up to size 40.Â It looks pretty clean (no Swooshes on the
back pockets or stuff like that) and we wonder how well the DRI-FIT works on a
pair of jeans. Besides the jeans thereâ€™s a 5 pocket pant in khaki and black.
Graphic wise itâ€™s all very clean and basic with a Chanel influenced tee and
some work wear inspired stuff.
thereâ€™s the basic logo stuff, button-ups (including a reversible one), a few
different hats and a hooded coaches jacket. And weâ€™re huge fans of that
Koston/BA photo tee. Itâ€™s a strong line-up of easy to wear items that fit in
(but donâ€™t really stand out) with the other brands you find in the average
skateshop. The bag sections features the basic $50 Daypack, the $90 Backpack II
and the Shuttle bag, which is perfect for the travelling skater. The all black
colorway is solid while the Paradise Aqua/Slate Blue edition will match nicely
with the Kostons and will appeal to a younger, more colorful crowd.
Looking at the catalog we can conclude that Nike stays on the path
theyâ€™ve been following for a while now. Theyâ€™re a skate brand first. Crazy
colors, collaborations and special backstories are saved for Quickstrikes. The
Cory Kennedy Janoski, backed with Theotisâ€™ January Dunk and Koston and BAâ€™s
Icon shoes last summer, tells us that thereâ€™s a very small chance weâ€™ll see
another Custom Series. It seems like Nike is just about the shoes and less
about the story. Thereâ€™s a wide selection in models, although itâ€™s plain to see
what models are the best sellers.
In the end thereâ€™s something in there for
every skater and non-skater. Looking at the collection almost all the colorways
are pretty solid. A few Dunks and a Koston seem to be aimed at a larger crowd
but to be honest, the simple colorways have found a large audience outside of
skateboarding as well. We can conclude that this is once again a solid line-up.
Those who are expecting crazy things from the catalogs are looking in the wrong
place. The days of the pink box era with crazy collaboâ€™s and inspirations have
passed and expecting that Nike stays there is plain foolish. Be glad that the
QS program is still there and pays attention to collectors and so-called
sneakerheads. Itâ€™s Nikeâ€™s way of saying â€˜thank youâ€™ because they really do not
need these releases. Gone are the lines, the kids who start ringing a month in
advance to see if a certain shoe has dropped yet. Shoes stay on the shelf
longer. P-Rod is slowly turning into Jordan, with his own sub-brand. SB is
available at more spots. Itâ€™s a whole different ballgame and Nike has managed
to make a transition from a â€˜sneaker brandâ€™ to a proper skate brand that still
likes to do something fun, different and special every now and then. And thatâ€™s
the way we like it.