Ghostface Killah- Apollo Kids
I guess we have a new series. And in order to progress it, I need to cop more Air Maxes- oh well. We dooos what we dooos. This might infringe on my Air Force pick-ups, or better yet my Wildwood acquisitions. Or as of late, my Asics jumpoffs. I need to diversify the portfolio so this might be a worthy venture.
A couple of weeks ago word began leaking about the retro of the Air Max 1 OG red and grey colorway along with the royal blue pair. I got a bit excited and was a bit surprised. These dropped as part of the History of Air pack in 2005. But you know how Nike does, if it sells, drop it, and drop it again. I didn't cop then because I had acquired a pair around '01- plus I didn't like the materials and construction of the new pairs- and the red wasn't as rich. Fast forward to 2009 and while I still have issues with the details and don't love the mesh material on the toebox, my pair has yellowed over the years and the left foot toebox is fucked up so a new pair was close to necessary.
So I'm at 21 Mercer and they just got them in- not even on shelves yet- so a size 12 was definitely available. You know that early feeling, like you're fucking with an exclu-si-vo, even if it's for 5 minutes- haha check me out family- I got that new shit that you ain't even up on. Pre-internet that might have been the case, but not today. 92 beans just made it easier. If they were $110 and up I still would have left with them but there would have been a little self-hate. Absolutely no self-hate here. In fact, I was pretty excited. These are just a dope summer shoe- and that bright white toe box is super crispy. Only problem is once that line of dirt appears you might as well hang these up. I'm looking for a cleaner or method that can clean the mesh- or maybe a shoe repair guy with some skills. For some reason whenever I treat the stain I make it worse.
Here is the pair from early 1999. Even though the sole has yellowed and the left toe box is kind of fucked up, they are still oh so fresh. How they were acquired makes them that much better. Back when I used to hit Fordham on a fairly regular basis, I'd always do the same route- hit the Fordham Ave. spots- Dr. Jay's, Freddy's, VIM's, an Indian spot or 2 and then hit the Concourse and hit all the spots down to Young Star by 188th St. Mimi's was the spot closest to Young Star- unfortunately they have recently shut down. The shelves were always packed with joints but the diesel Spanish dude would always talk your ear off. I need some peace and quiet when absorbing all the product. Anyway, I see these- fresh, crisp, and clean. I ask for a size 12, turns out the only pair they had was a 12.
I was shocked they had them since no other spot had them. That's when dude said they had just found them in the stockroom earlier that day. The label had fallen off the box and they had been sitting there for a minute, a long minute. At least a year plus. I'm sure they would have sold that day, I lucked out. They cost no more than $70 and I was out the door.
A quick comparison between the two. The '99 pair is a better representation of the '87 original. That said, even if I criticize the new pairs, I'm hyped to have them and have rocked them almost everyday since the purchase. To see an original pair- 1988 really, click HERE.
Air Max 1 Red- 1999 vs. 2009
1- The mesh on the '99 pair is similar if not the same as the original. A thicker, tougher, more matte finish, like real mesh. Not as shiny and smooth. 2- The older pairs fit much more snug. The heel is narrower and envelopes the ankle much better- shit feels locked in. The shoe itself is narrower, or at least feels that way. Sole to sole there is no difference so it must be the use of thicker/better/more materials. Many newer retros are roomier than their predecessors- the product isn't made with the same care. Mind you these were a performance sneaker in '87, the first of it's kind. 3- As mentioned earlier, the red isn't as rich. The red should be a blood red, the '09 and '05 versions are brighter.
4- The mudguard (red material running above the sole around the entire shoe) is thicker on the '99 version, and thinner on the newer version. I always considered this a chunky sneaker and the older versions exuded that with the tighter feel and look. The '99 version seems more compact, though the dimensions of each shoe are very similar. The newer versions are too low to the ground, too sleek. Also the toebox is flatter and bigger on the '09 pairs, almost boxy, while more rounded on the '99 pair. There is at least 1/2 an inch more material wrapping over the toe.
5- The '99 sole is all red, while the '09 pair is white, black and red- here the newer version copies the OG version, the red sole was only for '99. 6- The grey and red materials on the '99 pair and OG pairs were a nubuckish material while the '09 pair is felt, similar to the feel of a pool table.
6- The air bubbles in the '99 version are red while the '09 pairs are white. Not really the plastic air bubble, but the spring type structures in them. The 1987 OG pairs were white.
7- The lining on the tongue is red on the '09 pair and white on the other pair. Neither of the tongues are like the OG which had a stitched lining around the edge.
And last but not least, 8- The new pairs don't come with the Anatomical Arch Supports. I never used these but it was always cool to see them in the box, like the prize in Cracker Jacks.
The Air Max 1 is responsible for my get fresh on my feet steez. It was a dirty pair of Air Max 1s that made me switch things up and ultimately turn my swag on, no soulja boy. My co-worker/friend Kim T. commented on my dirty kicks- the exact pair you see above- and that was it- never again. I was into kicks back then, just not as OCD about maintenance. Nowadays I don't really care as much if a pair gets a little dirt, but absolutely nothing dogged- you never know who's watching.
When the royal blue pairs drop best believe I will tear them shits up. Literally, and literally.