KICKS 19 is On Sale Now!

Today’s sneaker game moves absurdly fast. Every day images of new kicks leak online, events are held to celebrate new drops, shoes are released to retail—so many sneakers, so much content.

The volume can get a little exhausting. If sneaker writers worked until they were out of material to cover, there’d be corpses in front of laptops in the basements of parents’ houses all over the world. (KIDDING. Love you all.)

This, I’d say, is a good thing. I know I enjoy it. More sneakers? More options? Hell yeah. Who TF would want fewer kicks to choose from?

But if you’re someone who wants to keep up with all of this—someone who wants to know exactly what’s on shelves, what’s hot, what flopped, who’s gaining steam and who’s losing traction—it’s damn near a full-time job to stay informed. Which is fine for those of us whose full-time job it actually is. But pretty tough for, ya know, everyone else.

All of which is why I’m happy as hell that KICKS Magazine exists today.

None of this is an excuse for SLAM to move slower than anybody else—and we don’t. (Not that long ago we absolutely did, but a sincere RIP to those days.) Pics of upcoming drops are on our site seconds after they fall from the sky. We’re at every launch Snapchatting our faces off (username: slammagazine), flooding our Instagram (@SLAMonline), Twitter (@SLAMonline) and Facebook (SLAM Magazine) feeds with photos, shooting videos and writing about it all on this site every single day.

It’s kinda nice to take a minute to step back and evaluate the scene every once in a while, though. That’s what KICKS is for. It’s where we realize that despite the fact that everybody is trying to achieve the same goal—create, market and ultimately sell dope sneakers—everybody’s attempting to do so a little differently.

Adidas, with its official NBA licensing deal expiring next summer, is doubling down on some exciting talent, and they’ve got the most influential musical artist of our time (don’t @ me) in the mix and set to dive way deeper into the fray. Jordan Brand continues to push forward while making sure no one forgets its rich, unparalleled history. Under Armour, now officially a relevant on-court presence, is leveraging that position and the MVP who helped them earn that status to compete off the hardwood with a hoops-inspired luxury line. And Nike…I mean, you see the magazine cover below, yes? With a fun group of guys about to ball out in front of the entire world and the best player in the game locked up forever, the Swoosh still has the sauce, my pals.

We’ve got plenty of other brands and individuals covered in this year’s KICKS, too. Hope it brings some sneaker-industry perspective, and even if not, hope you enjoy looking at beautiful photos of sneakers. We certainly do.