The Kicks You Wear, Vol. 25 — The Drake situation

The OVO Superstar has a new Jordan on the way

Goooood morning, family! Happy Monday! Welcome back to The Kicks You Wear. Thank you so much for giving me a bit of your time to start this week.

Today’s shoutout goes to us! Like I said on Friday, we’ve finally hit 400 subs. We’re just a hop, skip and a jump away from 500 after only a few short months of this being a thing. I love y’all for that and I appreciate it. So much so that I’m going to buy a lucky subscriber some shoes. More details at the bottom of this thing.

With all that out of the way, let’s dig in.


Mans might finally have a good year with Nike

(Photo by Chris Liverani on Unsplash)

I’ve been wondering what Drake was doing with Nike for a while. Things have been pretty quiet on that front for the last two years.

  • The pop star left the brand in 2018 for Adidas before returning after Pusha T verbally assaulted him and exposed his deal to the public . Safe to say that killed Drake’s relationship with Adidas.

Since returning to Nike things have been pretty quiet on the Drake front. He’s been seen in exclusive kicks and unreleased OVO Jordans, but there hasn’t been a ton released to the public.

  • Nike gave him a custom Air Max Plus shoe that he went on tour with, which was cool. But that shoe was specifically designed for him to wear on his Scorpion tour and not for public consumption.

  • They also finally released the Toronto Raptors Jordan 4 colorway with Drake’s signature on during last year’s NBA Finals, but that shoe already dropped in 2018 without his signature because he left Nike.

Nike allowing Drake to leave in 2018 struck me as odd because it was clear that they saw how powerful entertainers could be in sneakers. They tapped into Virgil Abloh before he left and Travis Scott after. They didn’t seem worried about keeping Drake.

There’s not a bigger influencer in the music world than Drake. He’s the Stephen Curry of music — shoutout to the homie Tom Ziller. His impact is unmatched and his reach is everywhere. Whatever he touches is a hit.

On the other hand, from a fashion standpoint, his Nike’s just haven’t hit as hard as his music has so far.

  • The OVO 8’s, 10’s and 12’s do alright on StockX, but only the 12’s are the only Drake Jordan’s with a lowest ask on StockX that at least triples their retail value right now. The 8’s, 10’s and 4’s aren’t moving like that.

  • Drake has never really been known as the stylish superstar that someone like Kanye West or Travis Scott is. Even someone like Tyler, the Creator. His popularity is very much centered in music.

2020 might be an opportunity to build his cache up. Travis is firmly established in sneakers now after his 2019 run. Nike should shift its focus a bit. Drake does have a new OVO sneaker coming outit’s the “Splatter” Jordan 4. It looks pretty good.

This shoe is the first time in a long time that Nike will be able to focus on rolling out a Drake sneaker without worrying about anything extra.

  • His early run was centered in a time where rappers weren’t a big deal to Nike. His return came at a time where Travis Scott was their primary focus in entertainment. The time in between that was spent flirting with Adidas.

  • They also actually know what they’re doing now. They know how to leverage entertainers just as well as they do athletes now. That hasn’t always been the case, as we know.

We’ll see how this thing works. Being a sneaker star might not be in the cards for Drizzy. That’s just fine — it’s not for everyone.

If it doesn’t work, though, y’all gotta kill the Jay-Z comparisons. Hov changed Reebok’s life. I’m only half kidding.


The ins and outs of Nike’s new international shipping policy

(Photo by Jordan Sanchez on Unsplash)

Nike’s new policy is reportedly stopping its retail partners from shipping their goods “outside their trade territory,” High Snobiety’s Fabian Gorsler reports.

  • It leaked a few months back that Nike was planning on making a move like this as part of their Direct-to-Consumer initiative.

  • Here’s how it works: Let’s say you’re a retailer that has an independent shop in Europe somewhere. You wouldn’t be able to ship outside of the European Union because of Nike’s policy.

  • To be clear, they’d still be able to ship things country to country in the EU, but they wouldn’t be able to ship to the U.S. or China or wherever else the EU doesn’t have a stake.

Primarily, this is just another way to create hype for a product.

  • Locking a shoe geographically limits its exposure at retail, which bumps up its popularity in the secondary market.

  • It’s also these companies making sure they expand their own pipeline while making sure they get their hands on consumer data and information that was generally reserved for smaller retailers.

It’s not just Nike that is working like this. Yeezy and Adidas have done the same thing before with geographically locked products and regional drops. It also isn’t the first time Nike has done this — they just finally developed a policy for it. It’s surprising it took this long for it to happen.

It’s hard to say how much this actually matters. Does this impact independent retailers and who they can sell to? Most definitely. They lose out on a potentially global consumer base and might have to expand to other countries to sell to certain folks.

On the other hand how many truly independent retailers are really worried about selling outside of their country — let alone their trade union? They’re mostly smaller operations that have a limited consumer base anyway. We’re not talking big, global franchises like Foot Locker or something.

There are also instances where specific shoes are only dropped in certain shops. For example, Nike SB consistently drops skate shop exclusive Dunks. They could have a Euro-only release, which means folks in the U.S. could be shit out of luck. That sucks.

We haven’t exactly crossed that line yet, though. Only time will tell how this works out. It doesn’t feel like the biggest deal in the world right now, but we’ll see how that changes once a big drop is effected


D’Angelo Russell showed off his Way of Wade joints

If you came to me in 2012 and told me that Li-Ning would have some of the best basketball shoes on the market in eight years, I probably would’ve said “who?”

Li-Ning wasn’t as big a name as it is now and they had just signed Dwyane Wade. It was hardly thought of as a potential competitor to the bigger brands in the NBA. Fast forward eight years later and Way of Wade is Li-Ning’s Jordan Brand.

And, if we can be honest for a second, they have one of the best looking basketball shoes out right now. D’Angelo Russell showed off his Way of Wade signature shoe and it looks great.

As Russell keeps saying, the details on this are pretty dope. His “Loading” signature on the tongue is a nice touch. The silhouette flows extremely well and the color blocking is so on point. The Way of Wade logo is always sick. This is just, genuinely, a good shoe.

It isn’t going to make waves — it’s still Anta and people who watch the NBA aren’t as in tune with it as they are with Nike or Adidas or even New Balance. But this is one of the best basketball shoes we’ve seen this year. Hopefully, the competition steps up a bit.


Jonah Hill is apparently a fashion icon

And he’s getting his own Adidas sneaker because of it. He’s reportedly collabing with the Three Stripes to bring us his version of the Samba and the Superstar.

No, I’m not mad at all about this. This is something that I think is totally fine and not misplaced. Jonah Hill should definitely be working on the same shoe that Beyonce is working on.

Hill has definitely, somehow, become a character in the fashion world through normcore style. Gotta respect it.

I’m interested in seeing what he comes up with through Adidas. It isn’t the first time he’s been tapped by them — they had him unveil an updated version of the Lxcon and it turned out to be a pretty good shoe.

I’m going to stop hating on this now because I’ll probably end up liking the shoe he drops.


What’s droppin’, bruh

OUR FIRST RELEASE CALENDAR OF 2020! REJOICE!


Bonus: A little love from your boy ❤️❤️❤️

I told y’all I was buying you some shoes and I am. Here’s how we’re going to do it.

Once I hit 500 subscribers, I’ll enter every subscription I have into a random drawing and pick a winner. I’ll buy the subscriber a pair of shoes up to $120 — their choice! You can also write a quick guest blurb introducing yourself to the rest of the squad. Tell us about yourself!

Thanks so much for continuing to support me on this journey, y’all. Every subscription means a lot. It’s proof to me that I did the right thing by launching this and that I should keep going. Y’all push me. This is my chance to show you some appreciation for giving The Kicks You Wear an opportunity.

Best of luck!


That’s it for Monday, y’all! Thanks so much for rocking with your boy. I’ll holla at you on Friday.

Remember, subscribe so you can get those kicks! And don’t forget to put in your submissions for #TheKicksWeWear.

Love y’all. As always, peace and love. Be easy. Be kind.

Signing off.

Sykes 💯