What Do We Name our New NIKEiDs?

Nike has taken a wee bit more blog space here than we first imagined but at least we’ve got some self-effacing ideas for a forthcoming post about brand whoredom. We may also have to include some sort of disclaimer with all posts disclosing our label lust at some point if we don’t start mixing things up.

But really, who wants to talk about editorial integrity when we’ve got new cleats in the mail? We’ve discussed neon fatigue here before but since we’re a bunch of DOERS we decided to design our own neon-free shoes on NIKEiD’s website.

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Top l., top r., bottom r. belong to Home & Away’s editor. Bottom r. belongs to one of our contributing reporters.

The final products ended up looking far more luxurious and well-made. As far as playing performance, well the Home & Away strikeforce that’ll be wearing these will debut these on the training ground in two weeks. Watch this space for our review of the Nike Tiempo Legacy ID.

Brooklyn, NY … Soccertown, USA?

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Upper 90’s Brooklyn outpost on Atlantic Avenue

Ask a foreigner about how they view soccer in the U.S. and somewhere in their initial response will lie some reference to the suburbs and moms and minivans driven by suburban moms. Well, Nike had other images in mind. They were thinking concrete, travel by foot, train and bus and downtown Brooklyn.

Last month, Nike released the kits the U.S. team would be wearing at this summer’s World Cup and they chose local outfitter Upper 90’s Brooklyn store as a debut site. Actually, Nike kinda took over in serious style.

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About Those Neons…

Nike must have read our inaugural post and acted quickly last week because look what they just dropped (images via Nike Football on Instagram).

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A limited edition Mercurial colorway to commemorate Cristiano Ronaldo’s Balon d’Or win this year.

 

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A black-out farewell color scheme for the CTR360.

Dearly Departed Neons

“Neo lime”, “solar zest”, “fluro peach” and their day-glo cousins have had their time in the football boot spotlight for a while. It was nearly six years ago when Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner put Dinamo Kiev to the pink sword , scoring a crucial, late goal in a pair of flamingo-hued Nikes.

TGSTEL: "What global economic crisis?"

TGSTEL: “What worldwide economic meltdown?”

You would’ve thought that in the wake of a global financial crisis, restraint would’ve been the order of the day. No. Soccer fandom is aspirational. We wanted to see athletes defy conventionalism and tell the world that even though subprime mortgages and sad labor statistics were breaking our backs, nobody was going to take the delight of seeing an overpriced, underachieving Danish footballer nance about in pink boots away from us.  The unwritten code of conduct previously afforded only top players the freedom to wear lavish cleats. Bendtner, or B52, or TGSTEL (The Greatest Striker That Ever Lived) was and is anything but top despite the winner he scored against Kiev. He gave us gasoline and we set that rulebook ablaze.

Here in Brooklyn, roll out of bed on a Sunday morning, head to any field to watch a pickup game and take a look at the boots on show. You can easily see the trickle-down effect TGSTEL (and the countless overweight Brazilians before him) has had on us (full disclosure: in the past few years, I’ve purchased cleats accented with ‘bright mango’, ‘safari’, et al). It doesn’t matter if you’re watching some former college players at Bushwick Inlet Park or a group of older Bulgarians at Cadman Plaza, it’s Carnaval for the feet. Coincidentally, Adidas has recently released its “Carnaval Pack” ahead of this summer’s World Cup in Brazil.

Some will naturally take longer than the rest to accede, but the color bug will strike down some of your most conservative teammates. The problem now is that when you decide to turn on the Christmas lights, buy your first pair of electric blue kicks and show up to play that first game in them, your typically bland-footed buddy shows up in a “lion dog robot” design.

My advice for this spring is to give the eyes a break, open up your wallet and buy an eggshell white or jet black pair of cleats. You’ll really stand out. Trust me, I just designed and ordered these on NIKEiD:

The author's response to a world of neon.

A response to a world of neon.