As we approach the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, brands are getting into the spirit with even more patriotic kicks than what we’re used to seeing in July. As Team USA heads into the games as the favorite to bring home the most medals, let’s hope for a safe Olympics that allows us to sit back and enjoy the thrill of competition. Technology has changed how we consume the Olympics and we don’t all just sit down in primetime to catch tape delays, but that doesn’t mean we still don’t come together and get behind the underdog stories that are sure to pop up as well as the overwhelming favorites to dominate their field like Team USA Basketball. And of course, the myriad of fire kicks that we will see from every nation.
This month’s look at the top kicks will feature several releases that have Olympic connections, including several from adidas and Jordan Brand that we hope to see on the medal stand in a few weeks.
10Air Jordan 7 Tinker Alternate (Olympic)
Release Date: August 6
The Olympic 7 that never was is coming soon and it’s still an interesting case today as to the importance of context. If both this colorway and the shoe that we know as the Air Jordan 7 Olympic proper had dropped at the same time or if MJ had worn both, which one would history favor? Or what if the roles had been reversed and this “Alternate” was the pair that dropped in 1992? This is a pair that will be worth watching if only to see how it performs and whether or not Jordan Brand should have just released the Olympic 7s again. I know I wouldn’t have had a problem with that…
9Air Jordan XXX1 USA
Release Date: August 10
The era of the Air Jordan XXX1 begins with the USA colorway that will be worn by Jimmy Butler and Carmelo Anthony in Rio. With reaction varying widely for the XXX1, the reception at retail will really tell the story of the shoe and whether or not the direction that Jordan Brand is taking by “rebooting” the franchise is a worthwhile risk.
8Nike Hyperdunk 2016 Flyknit Oreo
Release Date: August 4
While team USA will be wearing the red, white and blue iteration of the Flyknit Hyperdunks during the Olympics, I hope no one will care about these despite getting the Oreo nickname. People will no doubt be discouraged by the $200 price point and the Flyknit collars, but I don’t know if I can personally wait for these to drop in price (that’s a lie, I can wait) and release in a low-cut version (no guarantees of that, is there?).
7Nike Air Foamposite Pro Hyper Cobalt
Release Date: August 26
Did you miss out on the Olympic Foams last month and you need your fix? The latest Foamposite Pro has a very old school feel to it with a Hyper Cobalt colorway that will surely bring back memories of Penny Hardaway during his Orlando Magic days. Of course, Penny wore the original Foamposite One (which is slated to get a 2017 retro release), but don’t tell that to anyone when you head our wearing these and your Magic throwback with the pinstripes.
6Air Jordan 5 Gold Medal
Release Date: August 20
When Jimmy Butler wore these at the Nike x Jordan Air Hangar last weekend, I wanted to deadpan ask him if his connect was real good. Jokes aside, this will be one of the biggest releases of the months as people are starting to get ready to head back to school and looking for that pair that will make a splash on their first day back.
5adidas Ultra Boost Bronze Medal
Release Date: August 17
The only thing “wrong” with these is that the heel isn’t gold. More on that later…
4Nike Kyrie 2 Parade
Release Date: August 6
With Kyrie doing his thing down in Rio for the Olympics, you can be forgiven if you’ve already forgotten the colorway he wore during the Cleveland Cavaliers championship parade. And with a sea of Olympic-themed kicks – including Kyrie’s own Kyrie 2 USA – hitting shelves, there’s a chance you might be able to pick these up with little hassle. I sure hope I don’t have problems copping…
3Air Jordan 11 Low Metallic Gold (Closing Ceremony)
Release Date: August 27
It’s not quite Ray Allen’s Air Jordan 11 Ring Night player exclusives, but I doubt anyone will care because after 21 years we’re finally getting a gold overlay on an Air Jordan 11. Well, some people might complain it’s not the OG cut, but I’m not one of those people. Besides, this doesn’t preclude Nike from making one down the road, right?
2Nike Air Trainer SC High Atlanta ’96 Olympics
Release Date: August 5
While the rest of the world will be watching Rio during the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony on Friday, the sneaker world will be keeping an eye on this limited release (1,996 pairs made because get it?) that pays homage to the Atlanta Olympics, the last time the games were held in US soil. The details on the shoe – from the reflective upper to the Peach on the tongue and confetti on the translucent outsole – shows a lot of thought went into this production and we know more than a few ATL residents that are pumped that Nike went the extra mile for them.
1adidas Ultra Boost Gold Medal
Release Date: August 17
Black, white and gold. It’s like adidas knows me and what I love. I think the phrase “one to rock, ten to stock” applies to this release.