Shop Talks: Mid-year Round up 2023
The Story staff often have debates in the office about varying topics, from sneakers, music, fashion, style and even food.
There are a lot of strong opinions thrown about from day to day and we’d like to share them with you in a new series of blogs: Shop Talks
What is your favourite sneaker release of 2023?
Air Jordan 4 retro SB Pine Green
“I just think it’s the perfect combination of colours, the little hints of cream, grey and green accents blend together so well. The red air unit was a surprising plus for me as well” - Cam
“This release actually surprised me so much. I didn’t think it would be this great. When Chris first got it and we saw it in hand, I was like damn this is actually pretty sick.
The soft heel tab on the back is really a game-changer for some people as well.
A comfortable, good-looking Air Jordan 4 with premium materials, all-round winner.”
Air Jordan 1 Low OG Year of the Rabbit
“I personally think its easy sneaker of the year so far, not much else to it really”
Air Jordan 3 Retro White Cement Reimagined
“I’m really digging the whole ‘reimagined’ vibes from Nike currently, the ‘Lost n Founds’ were great as well but I just think Jordan 3s are super underrated. I got a personal pair as well and I think the colourway is even better in person. A spin on one of the greatest colourways of all time and they did it absolutely right in my opinion.
Also white cement over black cement any day of the week.
Jordan 1 Retro Low OG SP Travis Scott Olive
“In a really disappointing year for sneakers in general, I kinda just don’t like anything else, to be honest with you.”
Favourite Cultural moment of the year so far?
Air and Spiderman movie releases
“I think Air was possibly one of the best movies I’ve seen for a while personally.
I really hope Matt Damon or Viola Davis are nominated for some awards, their performances were really good. I grew up on sneakers and the Jordan 1 silhouette so it was amazing to see the story behind the rag-tag team at Nike who made Jordan Brand the household name it is today.”
“The rollout of Across the Spider-verse for me. In terms of the movie, I really enjoyed it. I am a huge Spiderman fan myself so I was looking forward to this release for quite some time. Of course the Jordan 1 High as well, that released with the movie, I personally love the shoe and the story behind it, the Metro Boomin’ album was insane too, that man just does not miss. All in all, I think the whole movie and rollout, was just filled with cultural importance.”
What is your most listened-to song so far in 2023?
“I actually just checked my Apple Music and its ‘No Pole’ by Don Toliver. I actually was really disappointed by the album as a whole but yeah, definitely had this one on repeat. Special mention for Lucki’s album that just dropped, ‘Bby Pluto’ is my second most played and it only released last week wow.”
“Dave and Central Cee have me hooked on Sprinter I won’t lie.
A guy from Bloem listening to UK rap who would have thought?”
“Who told you by J hus featuring Drake is my most played song, but my most played album is that new Gunna Wunna baby.”
“Can’t say the name of the song, but it’s of course on Gunna’s album.
QP…. QP SKIII!”
What is your favourite item in the store currently?
Air Jordan 3 Retro A Ma Maniére
“Sneaker of the year for 2021, it’s just too clean. The quality as well man, next level.”
Air Jordan 4 x Off-White Sail
“This shoe is one of my biggest grails alongside the OG Fragment Jordan 1 High, not the Travis ones though… ew.”
Represent ‘Storms In Heaven’
“It’s actually not a sneaker, imma pick the ‘Storms in Heaven’ jackets from Represent. The bomber jacket or the denim jacket, either one is so fire.”
Nike Air Tech Challenge II Hot Lava
Nike SB Dunk Low Concepts Orange Lobster (Special Box)
“Not really something I would wear on feet, but from a collector’s point of view its a must-have. The story of concepts as well, how they made this collaboration so insanely hyped. It’s a must-have for the culture.”
Most disappointing sneaker release of 2023?
Tiffany Air Force 1
“It’s a black pair of Air Forces with a turquoise Swoosh, I am sorry it’s tacky. This is on the same level as Supreme Forces for me… cringe”
“The FnF pair is so much better, it should have been the actual release”
“Arguably one of the most hyped shoes of the year and also the most underwhelming. The retail price was proper ridiculous as well”
Jordan 4 Retro Thunder
“Unlike the other guys, I actually like all-black shoes. I really liked the pictures online of this sneaker and wanted a pair for myself. I wish the materials were better and the white Jumpman logo at the back really ruins it for me upon seeing it in person.”
Jordan 1 High Zoom Air CMFT 2 Teyana Taylor ‘A Rose From Harlem’
“I was prepared to pay any resell price on StockX for these before release. I was super disappointed. I think Nike put all the budget into the broach on the laces”
How would you rate the first half of 2023 overall in terms of sneaker culture?
“I’d say that sneaker culture as a whole has been confusing and in a weird space. I’m hoping that this is just a transitional phase because damn, it’s been dry”
“I think the industry and society as a whole is becoming desensitised towards a lot of things. Some of the releases from this year would have been massive if they were released say 2 years ago. Style is changing and social media is having more and more of an influence on streetwear and fashion while items are becoming underappreciated and undervalued because they don’t fit the status quo. It is definitely a transitional year but I have a feeling we will look back at 2023 as a decent year for sneakers.”
“I’m sort of on the fence with this one, it feels really dead but I do think sneaker culture is becoming more mainstream, sneakers are becoming more accessible at retail and in my opinion, that is a good thing. On the contrary, we are now seeing, brands pumping out units of the same silhouettes with little to no creativity. I think its ruining the speciality factor of sneaker culture and its niche”
“I don’t think it’s been a good half. The exciting releases that were leaked last year are all now being pushed back and it feels like there are many fillers dropping to keep us busy”
“The amount of hot shoes that have dropped this year has significantly dipped compared to previous years for example 2018. I think it’s also exciting as we are transitioning into the next wave of big names in my opinion. J Balvin, Bad Bunny, Salehe Bembury, Action Bronson, just to name a few”