Merry Kicksmas: A note from Adrian and Jimmy


AC: Well Jimmy, I guess you’ve already heard the bad news. Some shady Christmas-hater has gone and ruined all of our hard work from this week. Just look! Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 of our holiday sneaker rankings have been stolen!

JD: I’m going to be really honest with you, Adrian: I’ve never seen anything like this happen before, especially around the holidays. It’s a surprise and a shock, for sure. Who this mystery perpetrator is anyone’s guess… but he really is a heel.

AC: I mean you gotta be pretty miserable to want to delete some very harmless, fun-loving blog posts about colorful Christmas kicks. As you say, there’s simply no precedent! 

JD: But you know, I sure have had a lot of fun with you this week, bud.

AC: Me too, man! I feel very fortunate that we’ve been able to collaborate on such a fun project, and “talking about shoes” is one of my favorite things, so even if we were mysteriously derailed right before the finish line (no pun intended), I’m grateful for the opportunity to share some sneaker opinions with you.

JD: And that’s really what the holidays are all about, right? Quibbling over some lost blogs seems silly. I know a lot of people are struggling right now, and many won’t get to be with friends and loved ones this year. Getting the chance to chat with you, share some laughs where we could, and celebrating the true reason for the season – connecting with those you care about – even virtually, was worth it in the end.

AC: Agreed 100 percent. It’s been a difficult 12 months for many reasons and while this holiday season won’t look like we’d all prefer it did, it’s still important that we remember that taking care of ourselves and each other is especially important right now.

JD: …but we do still have one shoe left to reveal.

AC: We do indeed. Would you do the honors?

1. Reebok Instapump Fury ‘Grinch’

JD: Behold! We started this journey with one ‘Grinch,’ and now we’re ending it with another. But the similarities end with the name. This is just one guy’s opinion, but really owning the gimmick is what makes a holiday shoe a shoe for the holidays and not just a shoe that matches your outfit. I don’t know about you, Adrian, but I don’t have many furry green t-shirts in my dresser.

Halloween is just about the only other time during the year that regular folks can get away with cosplay this dedicated to the bit. Christmas decorations are bright, tacky, and shameless – why shouldn’t the shoes be exactly the same? Like Bruce Banner busting through the stitches of his casual loafers, the pure camp of these Instapumps is a reminder that sometimes you can leave the hype for the beasts and have fun on your feet.

AC: One of the first lessons they taught me journalism school was that the best way to end a feature was to bring it back around full circle, and whether intentional or not it certainly appears that we’ve made that happen here!

The Reebok Instapump Fury is an undeniable classic, but it’s undeniably divisive. It’s a silhouette like no other sneaker has really ever replicated, and that was the point. The man behind the Reebok Pump design, Paul Litchfield, told Sneaker Freaker magazine more than a decade ago that that was the entire point.

“You put the Pump Fury on the shelf, particularly at the time, and fifty people would look at it and go ‘That’s the coolest thing ever!’ Fifty people would look at it and go ‘That is the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen!’ but 100 people would notice it, and that’s important.”

No laces. No arch. No precedent. No competition in these rankings! Jimmy, everything you pointed out above is spot on. You can have a theme, like the Kobe 6 ‘Grinch’ does, but if you don’t lean into it all the way, you’re just as likely to miss as you are to hit. Reebok went all-out with these, and sure — you’re only wearing these to the office Christmas party because how else are you going to explain them? 

But therein lies the beauty. The Reebok Instapump Fury ‘Grinch’ goes all the way and totally commits to the theme. You don’t see such unabashed celebration like this on sneakers very often anymore. That’s why they’re number one here.

AC: Well Jimmy, thanks again man. This was a lot of fun and I’m glad we could put it together. We may never know the motives behind whoever hacked our other three posts, but at the very least we got to celebrate the best Christmas sneaker of all.

JD: Adrian, it has been an absolute pleasure. Happy holidays to you and to everyone reading. And a Happy New Year!