It’s all Nike Air Max everything right now. To tell you the truth, we’re not huge fans of Engineered Mesh versions of our favourite shoes and when they’re in the original colours, it draws unfavourable comparisons and reminds us that hardbody footwear of that calibre isn’t dropping like it used to do. We felt the same with most of the Hyperfuse remixes too. There’s no way to make an Air Max 95 better (bar making the air unit PSI again), so any tweak, be it mesh or wire or slamming a 360 air unit on them is like painting lightning bolts and panthers on a Stradivarius. It’s kind of unnecessary because perfection was perfected in 1995. But the shoes in this Nike Sportswear city pack are kind of slamming. Yep, there’s another city pack coming (the Hometurfs which will be in the CT store later in the month), but these shoes deserve their due too, plus they single out some less obvious (but still culturally relevant) locales. We’ve looked at the Rio Air Max 97 and Tokyo Air Max 90 EM here before, but as a whole, this set goes in.
Rio gets the aforementioned 1997 shape in a nice shade of navy, Tokyo gets the fluoro accents, London gets an Air Max 87 because we’re excellent and deserve more Air Max models with the name of our city on (we get Red Mahogany, because we’re a Red Mahogany kind of city. It also reminds us of Ron Burgundy – why hasn’t there been a burgundy-coloured San Diego shoe yet?), but this set shows love to Tianjin in that quest to win the hearts and minds of China’s ever-increasing band of shoe disciples with expandable scrilla as well as Honolulu. The Tianjin Air Max 90 EM reminds us of the Staple Design Navigation Air Max 90 from a long, long time ago, but it’s the Hawaiian capital that wins here.
The Honolulu Air Max 95 EM is one of the few redesigned versions of that shoe to win us over. That zonal breathability that clones the original paneling by tightening and loosening where it matters is one thing, but the speckles, that black upper and that orange pop in the air sole? Pow. If you’re going to mess with shoes, mess with them like this. Oh, and if anybody from Nike is reading, please, please put out some 96s and 98s too — preferably without engineering works or fancy fusion technologies. The Nike Sportswear EM city releases are available in the Crooked Tongues store right now