The Nike Basketball Christmas Pack 2010-2015. An Overview.

What?! They have Christmas sneakers now? Yep. Kids these days. Seems like they could use some holiday opinion-ing.

Nike’s basketball branch has been releasing a “Christmas Pack” every year since 2010. Each of their “signature” athletes gets a Christmas colorway. From 2010, that’s been Kevin Durant, LeBron James, and Kobe Bryant. Though he had a “Christmas” colorway last year (actually more of a “PE,” or “player edition,” which saw formal release later in the year), Kyrie Irving wasn’t part of the 2014 marketing blitz. This year, he is.

Onto the reviews:

2010

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KD 3, Kobe 6, LeBron 8V2

Not much Christmas-y about the bright yellow (and now dated-looking) KD 3s, but the Kobe 6s are considered classics, and have been nicknamed the Kobe 6 “Grinchmas.” Red and white clearly get the point across on the LeBrons which really kicked off the mid-[sneaker]-career golden age for Lebron James (8 V2, 9, 10, 11), though the black mid-sole looks out of place and not very festive. Evaluating on just on a hit-or-miss ratio,  a weaker than it sounds: 2 out of 3.

Overall: ***

2011

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KD 4, LeBron 9, Kobe “System Supreme” 7

I’m never digging a strap on sneakers, but the usually under-used copper color on the KD 4 looks quite warm and, thus, Christmas-y. I wouldn’t say that copper is the warmest metal (hello, that’s nickel… duh). Again, LeBron James isn’t messing around: lots of red and green on the 9s, with a “frosty” (read: transparent blue-ish rubber) sole. Kobe Bryant is doing… that over there from that weird time period when Nike was using very thin flywire in the paneling itself instead of on or around the paneling (the LeBron 8 V2 is the same way. Look at the LeBron 11, below, for comparison). A stronger 2 out of 3 than 2010.

Overall: ***½

2012

LeBron 10, Kobe 8, KD 5
LeBron 10, Kobe 8, KD 5.

Look, the Kobes and KDs just… are. They’re neat, but not festive. BUT, those LeBron 10s with the metallic red with green laces and transparent green rubber; the full length max zoom air; the backwards swoosh (back when that was actually notable); the ruby-colored plastic support above the speckled mid-sole… Christmas! Let’s take a closer look:

nike-lebron-x-10-christmas-2012-541100-600-02

A REMARKABLY strong 1 out of 3.

Overall: **** on the strength of the LeBron 10 alone.

2013

Clockwise from left: KD 6, LeBron 11, Kobe 8
Clockwise from left: KD 6, LeBron 11, Kobe 8

The best of Nike’s Christmas packs so far; Kobe’s doing whatever he’s doing over there, so let’s ignore him while we focus on the others. Each deserves a deeper dive.

KD 6 – metallic red and mint green with gold accents. That’s “Christmas” with a capital “let’s all gather by the fire and sing Christmas carols.” Some finer points: the “KD” badge in the heel decorated with Christmas lights (!), the “snow” flecks on the green mid-sole, and the flannel pattern on the heel. Oh, wait, they also included an “ugly sweater” pattern in retroreflective (“3M”) ink on the medial side, so it only shows up if the light is just right.  Perfect. (though maybe so Christmas-y it may look out of place on December 27)

kd6-2 KD6-1

LeBron 11 – lots of green and snowy scenes to be found.

lb11-1

Overall: ****½ Kobe’s too good to be celebrating Christmas, I guess.

2014

2014
KD 7, Kobe 9 Elite, LeBron 12

Whoa! Three Christmas-themed sneakers in the “Christmas Pack” for once. Kevin Durant went with an “eggnog” theme with his. The strap is unfortunate, but it’s neat execution if you like your sneakers to be two-tone. The white of the front is actually an off-white, eggnog color. Kobe Bryant has a quite festive Christmas stocking theme that is executed nearly ideally (the black carbon fiber sticks out visually, but Nike wants the carbon fiber to look like carbon fiber). Finally LeBron James has a white birch tree printed pattern (think of birch bark). The ad copy is a bit… convenient “white birch like he saw when he was a kid in Akron!” or something like that, but it works. A big 3 for 3.

KD 7 detail:

kd7

Kobe 9 Elite detail:

K9

LeBron 12 detail:

LB2014

Overall: ****½ None are as nice as the Christmas-themed options in the 2013 pack, so a tie is in order.

2015

LeBron 13, Kyrie 2, KD 8, Kobe 10 Elite
LeBron 13, Kyrie 2, KD 8, Kobe 10 Elite

Nike’s theme this year is “Fire and Ice.” Notice two white and blue colorways (ICE!!!) and two black and red colorways (FIRE!!!). Of note is that the medial sides of the KDs and Kobes don’t match the lateral sides:

KD (this is the same pair of sneakers!). The medial is completely different. The speckled pattern on the mid-sole is supposed to be hot coals… hmm. Close enough.

KD8-1

Kobe: red on the medial side, black on the lateral side. Funky.

Kobe-2015

Somehow, white and blue are 2015’s “Christmas Colors.”

Some details of the LeBron 13 — brr! But some neat snow and ice details in the fabric:

lbj2015-2 lbj2015-1

And to give him some attention, here’s a close-up of the Kyrie 2 — eh, a lot of textures going on there. Good execution on both the “cold” and “snow monster with a taste for mammal blood” themes [check out that strap]:

kyrie

kyrie3

Despite the KD 8 and Kobe 10 being very cool (pun!) models, these colorways are not Christmas. I don’t love the whole blue and white thing, but it’s growing on me. A very weak 2 out of 4 hit to miss ratio.

Overall: **½ This isn’t a good year for the Christmas Pack. Sorry, Nike.

$1.1 Billion Gets You… Brand Synergy! (and Pretty Cool Eagles Sneakers)

Eagles

Eagles Air Max 95 (No-Sew) – NFL Draft Pack – picture via counterkicks

For those wondering what Nike would do with the NFL license after the disappointingly and expectly overhyped unveiling ceremony, they finally showed some of the benefits of their freshly enacted apparel deal with their 2012 “NFL Draft Pack” of sneakers. Gimmicky, but I like it.

You say you love the Eagles but your team-related footwear options are limited? Boom– NFL Draft Pack. Simply, Nike chose eight signature sneakers, either classics from the past or noteworthy current shoes, assigning one to each division, then laying out a custom colorway for each team within each division. Luckily, Nike chose one of their all-time best designs, the Air Max 95, for the NFC East.

Two notes: (1) nitpickers will notice these are actually the Air Max 95 No-Sews which, well, don’t have the color panels sewn together as on the original design from 1995, (2) The Air Max 95 is my favorite sneaker of all time—yes, people have such things—so I’m not the fairest judge. Heck, I wear Air Max 95s on an almost a daily basis (thank you job with minimal dress code). But come on, with both Midnight Green and Kelly Green present and prominent, what isn’t to like? (well, the list price is $150, so that’s something to not like…)

Here are the rest of the NFC East Air Max 95s (No-Sews). The Redskins version is fantastic. I’m not sure I’d be able to pull off actually wearing them, but it just proves how well their color palette comes together. The Cowboys and Giants aren’t quite as interesting, but I can’t really find fault with either of them, with the Giants, well, “Big Blue” approach working quite well, though I wouldn’t have minded some silver on the Cowboys [editor’s note: I see purple?].

Nfc east
Counterkicks has close-ups of each team’s sneaker. Some notables: the AFC West in the Nike Air Trainer SC (you may know them as “Bo Jacksons”) and the NFC North in the Air Max 90 (also known as the original Air Max). Also, the Buccaneers’ Free Trainer 5.0 and the deceptively complex Free Haven 3.0 looks good in any color (even neon green) are new designs which are only enhanced by this NFL tie-in program.

Here are all of them for the entire league. I’m giving this whole pursuit a big thumbs-up. Which ones do you like?

All

via Nicekicks and Counterkicks, two great sites for sneaker news.

*****

Empty Bookshelf’s First 100 Reviews


Oh, those kids. Always at it. You guys really shouldn’t’ve.

So here we are at the first of what may be a few reviews of our first milestone, 100 reviews. Not only is this the first review of this milestone, but of what could be very many milestones. We here at the Bookshelf like the word “milestone“, and don’t believe in Thesauruses. So here we go, our first hundred in a nutshell.

The first actual review happened way back in October of 2005… remember that time before the Steelers won the superbowl, before “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” movie, before Dick Cheny accidentally shot his friend while hunting, and before Bristol, United Kingdom celebrated the 200th birthday of Isambard Kingdom Brunel (actually April 9) by relighting the Clifton Suspension Bridge?

Dan’s first review was aimed at complaining about post-game hype surrounding an extremely long baseball game. Of course our readers probably care about boring Astros-Braves baseball games as much as they seemed to care about my terrible review of the dictionary. Even though that picture was good, it was nowhere near the five star quality of this image. I too tried my hand at reviewing food, but it was an utter failure. On the plus side, my review of the letter to the editor is one of my favorites, and my first review actually got eight comments, including this link. The few following that grilled chese review focused mostly on music, my opinion of “Good Night, and Good Luck”, a particular episode of Trading Spouses, and Dan’s opinion of My opinion of “Good Night, and Good Luck”. Dan also said that the Colbert report wouldn’t last, which seems to have been proven false.

October seemed to be us finding our footing.
***

November saw Dan’s Cleveland Trifecta, a diatribe against horses, a road that he liked, an episode of “Coach“, and his complaints about how much he aches, now that he’s an old man. I started the month strong with the Beth review, but struggled through the rest of it, with lame reviews like Thursday, a type of tooth”paste” that doesn’t work for me, and an insightful, yet completely unnecessary complaint about my nosebleeds. My FAO Schwarz review kinda made up for them, but the highlight of the month involved Dan and I sparring about how Christmas is coming earlier every year, and something about me being a time-traveling sheep.

November didn’t see much improvement over October, but the Christmas stuff was entertaining.
***½

December got a bit better, even with a few less reviews. I busted out the old NES games, for a few reviews that I swear are not trying to copy off of XE, another personal favorite, Christmas Cards, Adam’s first review, Dan throwing the hate down on Pitchfork media, and a suprising amount of people commenting on Roger Ebert’s take on video games. The biggest advance in December was the pop-ins, that added added some clarity to our parentheses-obsessed-writing.

December was a highly engaging and entertaining month, even with only nine reviews.
****½

2006 rolled around, and January saw Dan get political, review half of a book, not like warm winters a lot. I only contributed three of ten reviews that month, but all three of them were relatively alright, mostly because “Where In Time is Carmen Sandiego“, and “The Simpsons” after season 9 is so easy to complain about.

January’s topics fell off a little.
***½

February, while being the shortest month, was also a monster for us, as far as number goes. A whopping twenty-one reviews. To be fair, 17 of them came in our envelope-pushing live superbowl reviews, the biggest stunt pulled in the history of reviewing anything and everything on a five star scale. The only other reviews of any substance were my Gauntlet Review of the Beatles albums, and Dan’s digging up of our one-issue underground high-school newspaper.

Despite the big stunt, and two good reviews, February was kinda lacking.
**½

March just plain sucked. Four reviews total. One by me. Three megareviews by Dan.

½

April was slightly better, with another of my top five of my reviews, Legacy of the Wizard. The other four I would give an average of 3 stars to, but since there were only four during the month, that’s going to cancel out the Legacy of the Wizard bonus and take it down a half star.

**½

For my money, May was our best month yet. Dan’s contribution was the lengthy three-part TV landscape review. I threw out quality stuff with my Songs for Silverman, and Degree Navigator reviews. The shorter American Dreamz and Davinci Code video game reviews were serviceable, but my immense LOST season 2 review tops everything.

*****

June fell off a bit. Four reviews total. Split two and two. Mine were based on a ridiculous news story, and anger at other people for coincidentally coming up with the same ideas as me. Dan tried to put everything into perspective by seeing how well the entire history of human ingenuity and artistry stacked up in the interstellar community, and complained a little about how the national geography of roadways isn’t designed to suit his needs.

**

July was filled with the (I gotta admit my ignorance as to the relevance of this phrase… and wikipedia does nothing to help) Navel Gazing set. I was had for a few minutes by a Jimmy Kimmel hoax, and I thought the critics were a little too harsh on Shayamalan. Despite the mediocre numbers for the month, I’d give it a 3.5

***½

This gives us a per-month average of 3 stars, which isn’t too shabby.

In my first ever review, I reviewed the concept of this website. I claimed that we wouldn’t be able to keep it fresh, that we’d run out of ideas, and that we wouldn’t be able to stay somewhat funny at least. I believe my exact quote was “It has the potential to provide hours of entertainment for readers, and shape their lives for years to come. However, the downside is that it could get old real soon, and provide us with nothing but an excuse not to get real jobs.”

Well, I think we’ve significantly proven wrong every single point that I just brought up. We have 29 categories, 19 subcategories, and even two sub-sub categories. We’re still writing about reasonably different things, and while we may have slacked on the funny in recent months, we still bring the ‘A’ game on occasion. As far as my quote goes, I’d be willing to bet that we’ve provided maybe a few hours of entertainment for a handful of people, which probably did nothing to shape their lives for even the near fututre. On the upside, it hasn’t gotten old, and we have gotten real-ish jobs.

For all of these reasons, I’m willing to up our star rating by half a star, over the average rating of 3. I’ve also realized that my method of calculating the rating might not be the best, so I’m gonna throw in another half star for a final rating of 4 stars out of five.

****

And for those of you playing along at home, yes, this technically is the 100th review and so therefore should be included. This review receives 3 stars for not having much to offer in the way of witty musings, and for having a faulty overall rating method, but for packing so many subjects and links into one review.

***

Navel Gazing Part 2: Sneakers as Temporal Landmarks

Now that is a triple-word-score $5 title!(all ridiculousness aside, stick with me, I’ll explain what I mean by that later. I really couldn’t think of a more condensed name for the concept.)

Those that know me and read the website (I’d wager the two are almost mutually exclusive — except for the ragtag bunch of misfits that Nate drags in) know that my Youth was marked by complete, abnormal interest in a variety of subjects. I’m not sure of the exact order, but it went something like this: dinosaurs, space, birds, Star Wars, airliners, fighter jets, and what I’ve sort of landed on now, computers and cars. That’s all well and good as it could be, and until very recently (yesterday, to be exact), I thought these phases were the be all and end all of “where I was” at a particular time, the landmarks (or buoys) on to which everything in my past had been tied. As in, when I’d page through my old, binding-suffering-because-of-overuse copy of Audubon’s Field Guide to North American Birds (1994 edition, of course), I’d remember X, Y, Z that happened around that time. Same thing when looking through my old space books, the binders I put together about airplanes, my dinosaur toys, etc, etc. I had thought that those were it for “way back when.” I think the reason for thinking in these terms is that each stage stands alone as a very discrete point in time. I can’t put my finger on exactly when I was interested in airplanes, but it was after such-and-such and before other such-and-such. Obviously, this isn’t how life goes, it’s rare for there to be a finite and complete “end” to something. Sure, I still remember bits and pieces from each “stage,” but I’m not usually adding more to whatever it is that I know and remember about each. I hadn’t put much thought to it, but these academic pursuits really only have memories about the particular subject associated with them: sitting in the cold, convincing myself that I was always just one more roll of film away from taking a picture good enough for Birder’s World with my crappy camera, and on and on. That’s the sort of thing I remember when I look through my old bird books. That’s all well and good, but as I’m looking at it now, I must not have been a very interesting kid, only remembering things related to these rather niche interests. So that leads us into yesterday.

aj12
Oh, the memories. Sort of.

I have a bit of a soft spot for sneakers; my Oakley Twitch review might’ve shown that, but being that I limit my purchases to the shoe in question, it’s quite under control. Recently, the Nike Free 5.0‘s have intrigued me. I have one pair of what I’ll call not-sitting-around sneakers, so I definitely don’t need these new sneakers, but I think they look nifty, and having tried them on, they’re very comfortable in their own, unique way (just like Nike would have you believe). So, this sneaker-centric internet browsing led to a corner of the internet I knew existed but didn’t realize quite how serious they were. The sneakerheads/shoeheads. All things considered, that’s fine. There’s no better place than the internet to complain about how “Nike’s reissue strategy really screws over the collectors because they claim a colorway will be limited, then change the packaging and sell it to everyone.” God bless the internet. Anyway. All this led me to this exact page, a history of all the Air Jordans. At first, there’s little significance there, I’ve never owned a pair of Air Jordans, they were way out of what my mom decided my sneaker price range was and by the time I was buying sneakers myself, they were still way too expensive, and more importantly, I wasn’t really into basketball sneakers anymore. But where this comes together is how big a deal sneakers were for elementary and middle school boys (that’s not a universal thing, but consider it a blanket statement). Looking through the list of Air Jordan’s, the first ones I remember as being “the new ones” were the Air Jordan 5’s, released in 1990. I was 8, but I can remember who the first person I knew that had them and how much I wanted them. I remember seeing the kids wear them for intramural basketball games at the East Side Youth Center, and on and on. And these aren’t people or things I’ve even thought of since then, way back in 1990. Oddly enough, going through the rest of the Air Jordan’s up until 1996’s Air Jordan 12. I had no intention of purchasing a pair then or now, but I remember talking about the new colors that would come out every month or so with my more athletic-minded friends at the time, many people I hadn’t thought about since then (until randomly looking at pictures of sneakers online), and oddly enough, the first time I really thought about the interior details of my middle school, something I thought I had forgotten since the day of my 8th grade “graduation.”

It goes on and on, looking at any of the high profile sneakers from 1990-1997, lots of stuff I didn’t realize I remembered. But it ends there in 1996/1997. Sneakers after that don’t elicit anything. I thought about it for a while, and I realized why. That’s when simple things like sneakers were phased out by a more serious interest in music. Like anyone “young,” I had always enjoyed TV, movies, and Top 40 radio, but around 1996/1997 (14 or so years old) most everyone has had a couple serious years acquiring his or her own personal taste in music. Before that point, oddly enough, sneakers provide those “temporal landmarks,” but after that time, it’s really music that reminds me in that same way. Of course it’s not just music, there are all sorts of “touch points for memories:” textures, smells/scents, pretty much anything, even the way a Chevrolet Lumina’s steering wheel feels. But none of this is news to anyone, we’re all simply interested in different things at different times in our lives. I had sneakers, but I’m sure other guys (and girls) have video game “sponsored” memories (I have some of those, mainly from being at friends’ houses, what with my mom associating video games with some sort of figurative devil) or memories when you find a Goosebumps book in the basement of your house.

***½

Navel Gazing Part 2: Sneakers as Temporal Landmarks receives three-and-a-half stars due to its main point’s obviousness as the review went on. The hyper-ambitious title perhaps hinted at possibilities left unanswered and avenues unexplored. Also, I’m a firm believer in sneakers being the ultimate artifact of contemporary design for point in time (heck, look at that Air Jordan overview, and see how the shoes from the early 90’s, with their neon colors, which were the new hotness™ way back when — my goal for the too many pairs of Oakley shoes I have is that they’ll be a bit more long-lasting in terms of style), and I’ve not touched on that concept one bit above.

Oakley Twitch

Plenty of pictures here

Here’s a bit of a different topic for review: sneakers. I’m not sure if it’s a bit of a vain topic (what are we going to review next, Seersucker Suits?!), but I’m pretty enthusiastic about this particular pair of footal (it’s a word as far as I’m concerned) accessories. I’m sure most everyone else doesn’t care about it, so stop reading here if you want.

If somehow you’ve ended up on this page after searching for something as inconsequential as this sneaker, please use the comments to correct any of the color, material, etc., etc. information contained in the review. For example, I’m not sure if “Brown” and “Dark Brown” are two different colorways or not.The colorways are officially “Dark Brown” and “Brown/Tan.”

twitch
I feel liked a kid in a…shoe store.

History for history’s sake: Oakley’s best known for their aggressively styled sunglasses and “extreme sports” gear. There’s something to be said about designing a functional, fashionable product that still stands today as functional and, even more mind-bogglingly, fashionable today, and their M-frame sunglass product has been around since at least 1993 is testament to their industrial designers’ and product engineers’ abilities. I had known for a long while that Oakley made sneakers though they were always a niche product: few people wore/owned them, but they were (and are) one of the few brands which makes entirely black and entirely white sneakers. That doesn’t sound very significant, but think of how many all-black sneakers you’ve seen. Sure, there are plenty of all-black shoes, but not athletic sneakers. I’ve seen cooks, chefs, and that guy who thinks there just might be a pickup basketball game after church and he’d better have appropriate footwear (the all-black Oakley sneakers), if only because they’re the only game in town for that tiny niche of needing to look appropriate in church and on a basketball court.

Jump forward some number of years later, and as I was doing research for a project for a friction class in college in early 2004, I came across a picture and review of the Oakley Twitch. Unfortunately, the website, kicksology.net, was “retired,” the article no longer available, even to the WaybackMachine and Google’s cache. Finding no other review (or even much discussion) online, I guess that makes me the official messenger, as the sneaker as been discontinued, so even Oakley’s website doesn’t mention it. The image of the shoe so impressed me that I decided I was going to buy a pair ASAP (there are few products (or “anythings” really) of any sort that move me in a such a way. Knowing that Oakley shoes were hard to come by, I vaguely remembered that Amateur Athlete (in the Westgate Mall in Bethlehem, PA — tagline: “Westgate Mall, The Mall Time Forgot!”) carried the Oakley brand and hoped they stocked the particular sneaker. My second day home for spring break, I visited the store to find that not only did they have the model, they had it in my, not rare, but infrequent size, 13. I’ll go into colors and details later, but they had the “Storm” colorway with the awkward but endearing rubber Lip feature (or it a Nose). Truth be told, I was hoping they’d have the same sneaker from the kicksology review, the Brown-Tan colorway with Lip/Nose, but it was close enough.

The sneaker: at risk of being labelled “superficial,” I’ll address the comfort, etc. issues first. From 7th grade (1996ish) until I bought my first pair of Twitch sneakers (spring 2004), I wore “skater” shoes. In simplest terms, I never skateboarded (or “shredded”, “grinded”, or “thrashed”), but I liked how that “genre” of sneaker looked. I was reasonably active, but not particularly athletic, though I purchased sneakers specifically for tennis and church-league basketball because skateboarding shoes, while comfortable, have incredibly flat soles, thick tongues to pad your foot during “sick” tricks, and literally weigh about a ton (each). As detailed above, my first experience with the Twitch was at Amateur Athlete in the Westgate Mall, and my first impression was that my various sneakers from the past 6+ years were heavy. It wasn’t like wearing nothing, but it was quite the improvement. The soles were just as flat as the skateboarding shoes, but that didn’t stop me from losing plenty of intramural football and softball games with them. The not-excessively-padded tongue made the sneakers feel a bit more “connected” to my feet, as with the padded tongue, it felt as if my feet sort of “floated” in the sneaker. Generally and specifically, very, very comfortable, but it’s rare that someone would buy shoes if they were not comfortable (note: women are excluded from that generalization). *Note: the sockliner (insole(?)) varies per pair. One had little arch support while another pair was more accomodating.*

Simply, these are pretty much the coolest looking shoes ever. Oakley made them in a wide variety of colorways, and even had two varieties of the shoe going at once. Twitch sneakers are generally either designated as either normal (no special label, just “Twitch”) or “Noseless” (also called “Twitch NL”) which refers to the bumper on the, well, nose (actually called “toebox”) of the sneaker, which, to 2006 Dan, had very little functional purpose, but, to 2011 Dan, has shown to be invaluable for avoiding scuffing at this very sensitive area on the versions with smooth leather or suede instead of rough suede. with little functional purpose (other than to avoid some scuffing) . But function or not, it does add a curious aesthetic detail that brings the visual area of the rubber into the leather body of the shoe. This visual melding of two different functional aspects of the shoe (body and outsole) is rare in non-specialized sports shoes/sneakers. [2011 note: I sounded awfully confident in this absolutely made-up “fact”] “NL” versions of the sneaker look a bit more “serious” as there is nothing eye-catching about the toe-box when it’s plain leather. Also, if I consider my online pursuit of the sneakers to be formal research, the “Nosed”/Normal varieties are decidedly rarer than the NL variants. I’m not sure why it’s “Lip” and “Noseless” instead of “Nose” and “Noseless,” but being that the internet is my primary source for this, there’s plenty of room for it to be all wrong. I’m basing this on searching for the shoes from 2004-2007 on the secondary market, as production stopped in 2003 (I think), then even liquidators’ supplies dried up by 2007 or so. The last pair I bought was a second instance of the Storm Normal/Nose version [which, coincidentally, I’m wearing as we speak.]

A tour of the shoe: the outsole has an aggressive pattern than looks as if it were constructed by taking numerous pieces of rubber, and arranging them on the sole. What makes the outsole different is that it, like the “lip,” extends onto the instep and outstep of the sneaker, again visually mixing different functional parts of the sneaker. It looks aggressive without the “my sneaker can beat-up your sneaker” look of some sports sneakers. As the previous pictures have shown, the body of the shoe isn’t over-the-top, but it’s still eye-catching.

Onto the colorways:
First and foremost, I’ll say that I prefer the Normal/”Nose” variety, but being that those are as tough to even find pictures of online, I won’t make a distinction. I’ll start with the three pairs that I own (most of these pictures were found online, not taken by me. You’ll definitely be able to tell which ones are of shoes I own/have worn.).

  • Storm (Blue, Light Blue, Blue is rough suede, light blue is smooth suede) — first pair purchased. This colorway lends itself a “sporty” but not particularly “athletic” look. Light-colored rubber with white mid-sole.
  • Tan/Honey (both leather) — Second pair purchased (as of today [2006], haven’t yet made the yearly sneaker rotation). More “serious” looking. Black rubber with black mid-sole (exclusive to this colorway). Frequently found at Overstock.com. I don’t think this colorway is available with the nose/lip. These shoes got beat-up especially quickly because of the tenderness of the leather and lack of the rubber nose.
  • Dark Brown (Brown/Light Brown*leather/suede) — Third pair purchased; at least one year away from becoming rotated in. “serious” looking. Almost “dressy.” Brown rubber with brown mid-sole. I do not believe this colorway exists in a nose/lip variety. 2011 comment: I wear these very rarely because the leather is so sensitive to scratches.
  • Oatmeal (Black and Off-white) — Sort of silly looking. Relatively common on ebay [in 2006]. Black rubber with white mid-sole. With the nose they look a bit less silly; I found a pair with the nose on eBay for the right price.
  • Ocean (Navy Blue/Light Blue) — Good mix of colors. Sometimes found in random sizes through Froogle.com [2011: remember Froogle?!]. Black rubber with gray mid-sole. I do not believe this colorway can be had with the nose.
  • Cement/Navy (White/Navy) — Most “athletic” looking of all colorways. Almost looks like a cross-trainer type sneaker. Only able to find one picture in the billions of pages Google indexes. Some have shown up on eBay and I’ve found more pictures. Dark blue rubber with gray mid-sole (blue rubber exclusive to this colorway). Here’s one without the nose.
  • Red/Tan — bright “casual” look. Frequently on eBay (but never in the right size. Brown rubber with tan mid-sole. I’ve never seen this colorway with the nose.

Well, I think that might be the most thorough discussion of that topic since the design of the shoe within Oakley.
*****

The Oakley Twitch receives 5 big stars for being impossibly cool-looking and all sorts of comfortable as well. Sure, some of the colorways aren’t that appealing (I’m looking at you, “Oatmeal”), but the successful varieties create a sneaker that doesn’t look out of place at events where sneakers aren’t normally allowed. The fact that Oakley discontinued the sneaker doesn’t help or harm its rating; I’m sure that if the designer were to have things his or her way, it’d still be widely available. Really, if you come across a pair of size 13US Oakley Twitch sneakers, buy them, no matter what color they are. I’ll pay you back. (Um, if anyone actually takes me up on this offer, let’s set a limit of $50 for the sneakers.) The Coil Over, Flinch, and Coil are similar in design to the Twitch, and being that the Coil Over is my current sneaker (its year is up in April), I can assure you that it’s not the same.