I don't think so.
Undeniably, the white with gum sole Air Force 1 is one of the greatest sneakers ever created. EVER. Gum soles on forces are like fine lox on a bagel. Like getting out of work early on a Friday. Like meeting your boy at the game who has an extra front row ticket. It takes something that's great, and makes it even greater.
This past Saturday, March 14th, Alife Rivington Club in the LES released these to what I believe was lukewarm reception. Dubbed "Crispy as Fuck", the $225 price tag definitely wasn't "crispy." Shit was soggy. In a healthy economy that amount is sort of OD, so you can imagine the response in this shit. I'm sure the quality is next level with the insideout leather midsole and the quality leather uppers, but it's a throwaway. Alife has designed some crazy shit in the past and this is too easy. We expect a little better. Come to think of it, most of their recent designs have been pretty mundane. The New Balance were eh and the Sauconys were a follow-up to what they did last summer. I wouldn't be surprised if there are still pairs available. Years ago, an Alife-Air Force collabo would have sold out in hours.
The sneakers were supposed to have lacelocks on each shoe reading "CRISPY" on one foot and "ASFUCK" on the other. (The above photos have them because they were samples or renderings) But that wouldn't have been a good look for the family friendly corporation known as Nike, so Alife had to remove them from the sneakers. I love curses as much as the next man but sneakers should remain chaste. Inappropriate. On a side note, if anybody knows the synonym for lacelocks- sounds French- starts with a D or B, please let me know.
The embossed stars on the leather look terrible. Reminds me of Bapes. If I never saw a pair of Bapes for the rest of my life I wouldn't be upset. The sneaker looks too puffy. Too diddy. Too take that, take that. Just not a good look.
These are a pair of white and gum soles from early 2003. They cost $75 and they are perfect. Too perfect to wear in fact. I had a pair that I killed and am scared to wear these. They just look so nice in the box, crispy you could say. Point is, these are perfect as they are. No need to do anything to them. No need to gussy them up. Come up with some different shit, some new shit. Step your game up. The market isn't the same as it was last year and years prior to that. It's almost as if the zenith was reached and now a slow and steady decline is upon us. You can't get away with bullshit anymore.
Just because we're on the topic of gum soles, one of the flyest pairs out there. These are a 1 of 1 for Bobbito and they're so clean. Crimson on white with gum. The gum sole is never used on whites with a colored swoosh, but just imagine the possibilities. You can ID a pair, but $250 is pretty steep. Disregard the "coming soon" tag because they're never going to be released.
Photos courtesy of Ebay and various sneaker sites.