John Gotty is a veteran in the sneaker game, collecting through multiple decades and a go-to authority on the golden days of kicks. His knowledge of the history as well as being impervious to the hype makes him one of the most respected people in the industry. Make sure to check out his site The Smoking Section as well as his personal IG to keep up.
10. Anything adidas Boost
John says: “More specifically, any of the running models. Most comfortable new technology out. I have several pair and refuse to single out one above the others. They all deserve equal amounts of love. If you haven’t worn a pair, do your feet a favor and correct that pronto.
9. Nike Trainer Max ’91 “Philadelphia Eagles”
John says: “It’s that Trainer thing kicking in plus the fact that these got pulled quick, supposedly over the use of the Eagles logo. That doesn’t make much sense since they came out with the rest of the Swoosh’s NFL mockups but I’m no legal aide. All I know is they’re extremely rich in color and a well done green shoe doesn’t happen too often.”
8. Shoe Gallery x New Balance 580 “Le Tour de Miami”
John says: “My love for blues strikes again and the two involved parties did right with these. From a style perspective, the 580’s are the dopest NB model and the Crayola-bright blue used here has a glow to it.”
7. Ronnie Fieg x Asics GT-II “Brazil KFE”
John says: “I’m obviously a big fan of blues. Show me a bad blue shoe and I’m all in. Sometimes, Ronnie Fieg’s kicks can get buried under the hype and salesmanship but these were definitely well executed. Everything from the materials and color scheme used to the packaging was top notch.”
6. Nike Air Flight ’89 “White/Royal Blue”
John says: “After Kanye was photographed wearing these a few years back, the prices on them skyrocketed so what went from “I’ll wait on them to go on sale” turned into them disappearing from stores shelves and landing on eBay at inflated prices. After an off-and-on wait-and-watch for a pair at a price I liked, I pulled the trigger and now have the style mate to the varsity red pair. Now, I’m looking to double up.”
5. Nike CJ81 Trainer Max “Fright Night”
John says: “Megatron’s second sig didn’t move me as much as the first so I went back and grabbed the ‘Fright Night’ colorway once I was able to locate my size. I don’t do all-red shoes like that but the aggressive look on these plus the overall comfort of the model make them a winner. Part of the visual appeal can be found in the Kool-Aid red Air units because it stands out strongly. Migos’ “Fight Night” always plays in my head when I go to pull these out of the box to wear.”
4. Nike Air Huarache Light “Ultramarine”
John says: “Almost the same reasoning as the original Huarache. I’ve been waiting on a chance to grab a pair of these for maybe 20 years I suppose. My girl’s cousin had them in high school and I secretly envied her for them because they were so damn cold. Hate no more.”
3. Nike Air Tech Challenge II “Wimbledon”
John says: “I missed the first Wimbledon (but who didn’t?) and was determined not to have that happen again with these. They were definitely one of my top purchases for the year based off the model and the materials.”
2. Nike Air Mission “Oregon Ducks”
John says: “I like it when Nike does Oregon stuff and I love Trainers. Mostly black, good Ducks detailing and glowing green sole make these a tough pair of shoes.”
1. Nike Air Huarache “Scream Green”
John says: “I had these in 10th grade when these originally released and have waited forever for a proper retro for them. So glad it finally happened. Oddly enough, my daughter, a junior in high school and definitely not into kicks like that, saw them in the store and wanted a pair, too. As a dad and kicks fiend, it melted my heart. However, we mutually agreed to never wear them on the same day. That’s just corny.”
Stay tuned tomorrow as we will feature another Top 10 List.