by Chris O’Leary / @olearychris
Whenever I return from an extended blogging absence, I want to make an exclamation-point type of greeting upon my return. I guess what I’m really looking for in doing this is a warm reaction from you guys, like if I were a recurring character on an ’80s sitcom who’s well liked and just walked into my first scene of the episode.
I was thinking of a Dr. Nick Riviera, “Hi, every-body!” To which Dr. Nick’s loyal patients in his waiting room respond without fail, “Hi, Dr. Nick!”
But all that any of that does is establish that I watched too much TV when I was a kid. The blogosphere is a much different, much more realistic place than the feel-good-at-the-end-of-the-day world of ’80s television.
Anyway, we’re back and talking again and that’s what’s really important here. You may have noticed that I’ve gone from the every day sneaker pimp around here to being conspicuously absent at crunch time. As I lace my LeBrons up, I’ll explain why. After a few years of freelancing for a local paper, I’ve landed a gig as the full-time beat writer for the Edmonton Eskimos, in the Canadian Football League. We’re into Week 12 now and as each week has passed I’ve found out just how all-consuming (while really, really cool) the job can be. The timing for the job couldn’t have been any better. As we march toward what I’m convinced will be a season-long lockout in the NBA, I can obsess over the CFL without feeling like I’m cheating on the basketball. I’ll watch college ball this winter probably more than I have in the last 15 years and I’m definitely looking forward to that. I’m still getting my sneaker fix too. As I’ve known for a number of years, a ton of these football guys are massive sneakerheads and I get to talk sneaks with at least one of them on a daily basis. That’s probably all you want to know about my day-to-day life. So let me drop this uber-personal bombshell on you guys and we’ll get into the meat of this thing here:
I’m in love.
Yep, no fooling. Love, in its purest form. And it’s with the Nike Zoom Rookie LWP.
Pics of the shoe have been bouncing around on CounterKicks forever now, but every time I see the shoe, I fall a little deeper. I’ve always been a sucker for the shoes that passed me by when I was in high school and this one blends a few of them. There’s the LWP silhouette, that much is obvious. The shoe also blends the Nike Air Flight 1, a shoe that I salivated over when I watched Anfernee Hardaway wear them in his pre-Air Penny days. The Foamposite shell on the shoe isn’t relevant to the LWP or the Air Flight 1, but man, what a gorgeous add-on. Of course, it ties into Penny’s sneaker legacy, which is something else I’m in full support of shouting out whenever possible.
Some of you might be reading this and disagreeing with every word I’ve said about the shoe. You hate hybrid sneaks, you say, and this thing is just a cash grab that butchers three shoes simultaneously.
In this instance, my sneaker-loving friend, I think you’re wrong but I’ll give you this: most of the time with these shoes, you’re in the right.
The best of both worlds concept of fusion/hybrid shoes (much like hip-hop collaborations of the same name and/or principles) very often is only good in theory. It’s rare for a hybrid sneaker to bring that intended goodness to fruition.
Think about the Air Jordan/Air Force 1 line. The idea has potential and the first sneak that came out in the series, the AJF12, was a decent start. Then you look at the AJF8, or the AJF10 and you see where the same idea can veer off in a bad direction.
Like its predecessor, the Air Penny 1/2 Cent, the Zoom Rookie LWP hits on every point. It goes with one silhouette and incorporates great elements from the two other sneaks without clashing with one another. The fusion sneak is usually a cringe inducer, but shoes like the Zoom Rookie LWP almost make the failures seem like a necessary evil on the path to something great.
When the shoe eventually drops, I don’t know how many of you will be lining up to get it. Maybe I’ll fly solo on that mission and if that’s the case, I’ll be OK with it. True love demands actions that are unconditional and a devotion that’s undying. And the less size 11s lining up at my sneaker spot on the release day, the better. More for me. Love can be a little bit about greed, too.