The Kicks You Wear, Vol. 46 — When doing to wrong thing goes wrong

Be better, Adidas

Good morning, folks! Welcome back to The Kicks You Wear! Thank you for spending a bit of your Friday morning with me. I truly appreciate it and hope you all are in good health and good spirits.

Today’s shoutout goes to big dog Otis and his dance partner for putting a much needed smile on millions of faces this week. You’ve got to watch this. I promise it’ll brighten your day.

With that out the way, let’s dive in.

For shame, Adidas. For shame.

(Photo by Josh Howard on Unsplash)

Right now, we are living in a moment that requires the utmost compassion from each of us individually. It is imperative that we not only have our own best interests in mind, but we must also consider the best interests of our neighbors and their neighbors. As we’ve come to find out, the coronavirus is no joke.

That’s why Twitter tore Adidas a new one when news broke that they’d be keeping their U.S. stores open for business in the midst of a global pandemic.

They e-mailed Reebok and Adidas store employees an official announcement to explain their reasoning, per Yahoo! Finance. What exactly was their reasoning? To keep the money coming in.

“We have to keep the company going and open for business to ensure that we can pay our monthly bills and salaries to everyone…Closing down is easy, staying open in a healthy environment requires courage, persistence and focus. For all coronavirus-related decisions we will—as a general principle—follow local regulations as different regions/countries/markets are impacted at a different level at any point in time,” CEO Kasper Rorsted wrote in an e-mail to employees.

The people let them have it and I was one of them. This was a tone deaf decision made by the Adidas execs and, clearly, they realized that. They rectified the situation 24 hours later by announcing the company was closing its stores through March 29.

But it was too late. The damage was already done and the final decision was clearly a reactive one.

  • This decision would’ve looked awful all on its own. But Nike, just a day before Adidas’ announcement, said it was closing stores through March 27 and would continue to pay employees.

  • Nike is the industry leader. Once they make that move, the precedent is set. Whether they like it or not, everyone else has to follow. Adidas didn’t and they got burned because of it.

It’s understandable for businesses to want to make money. That’s the entire purpose of the operation, after all.

  • Just watch the news. Some of the biggest companies we know are expecting big hits because of coronavirus.

  • Consumer spending is dipping. No one knows how long this will last. Adidas and everyone else is feeling the pressure to keep things going.

Of course you want to keep your stores open. But, at this point, it’s clear you can’t. This is an extraordinary time that calls for extraordinary measures — closing stores to keep employees safe and healthy is one of those measures. It’s Adidas responsibility to know that and do that.

It’d be one thing if this was an essential business for the times we’re living in. You know, like a grocery store or a pharmacy. Something that actually helps people. But nope. Adidas sells shoes, apparel and athletic wear — none of which are truly essential right now. They can close. We’ll be iight.

Let this be a lesson, folks. Everyone likes making money — I promise you. But now is one of those times where we cannot put that next dollar ahead of the next human.

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Coronavirus is hitting resellers, too

It’s pretty quiet for the sneaker industry right now. Everyone is (rightfully) closing their stores and, all of a sudden, where there’s normally a ton of foot traffic and money being tossed around, there is none.

But that hasn’t really impacted the sneaker resale market just yet. At least not totally. People are still buying, selling and trading sneakers as if there was nothing going on in the outside world.

  • Just open StockX or GOAT right now and take a look at the shoes that you were trying to buy last week. That price probably ain’t moved —even while physical locations for a number of secondary marketplaces are shutting down.

It’s still early but the infrastructure is still there, though that may change once mail services like FedEx and UPS start to slow down.

Where we’re seeing a real impact is with independent resellers who go and physically purchase items from brick and mortar locations to put them back on the market. Many of those locations are closed now, which means those resellers are losing out on material. Complex’s Brendan Dunne has more.

Independent resellers have to put in more of this type of outdoors work—standing in line, rushing to pick up unexpected drops—than spots like Stadium Goods, meaning their trade is more threatened by any mandate to stay indoors.

On one hand, this is a pretty small issue in the grand scheme of things when discussing a global pandemic. But on the other, unfortunately, the secondary sneaker market is some folks’ livelihood and you always hate to see that being taken away from someone.

Hopefully, this thing gets figured out soon so I can get back to hating on the resellers.

The more you know about Dunks

Nike’s Dunk has come back strong over the last couple of years and it’s a very exciting time for the silhouette. A lot of new fans of the shoe are popping up.

It reminds me of the point in time when I first fell in love with the model myself. I imagine that, somewhere out there, there’s another young Sykes falling in love with the shoe just like I did.

In the spirit of that, I wanted to share a piece I read earlier this week on Sneaker Freaker about the difference between Nike’s Dunk (the version originally intended for basketball) and Nike’s SB Dunk (the version intended for skating).

Here’s how you can tell the difference:

  • If the tongue and laces on the Dunk are fat, or cushioned as folks like to say, this is an SB Dunk. The Rayguns, for example, are an SB.

  • If the tongue has no pad in it then it’s a standard Dunk. This is more along the lines of the True Colors pack that just dropped last weekend or the Viotech dunks.

  • There is an exception to the fat tongue rule. High top SB Dunks tongues are generally just unpadded mesh like a standard Dunk’s would be.

  • Standard Dunks also have flat laces the opposite of SB’s. However, fat laces go GREAT with standard dunks if you have some extra pairs laying around.

  • There’s also a difference in the sole. If a Dunk has more rings on its outsole, it’s an SB. Less? It’s a standard dunk.

Those are the big differences you can pretty easily spot. There are a few more in the piece that are a bit more intricate you should check out. Plus, there’s a definitive history on why there’s are two versions of the Dunk that is definitely worth your time, so go read it.

Is it 2008 again or…?

Look, man. 2008 was an era. I cannot deny that. Your boy was only 16 years old back then still evolving into my true backpacker form. I was navigating through my teenage angst with a serious case of acne.

I was on that Kanye West colorful polo movement with the popped collar and the baggy bootcut jeans. Definitely thought I was fly, but I also definitively was not.

And that perfectly encapsulates the fashion of that time. It was mostly terrible and I thought it would never come back. Until now, that is.

Folks, I regret to inform you that Bape is trying to send us back to ‘08 with these sneaker heels. You know, like the Jordan joints that we look back on shamefully.

I don’t know a single woman who wanted the Jordan heels that looked like these back in the day. Why on Earth would they bring them back? Who asked for this? Who designed them? Who said yes to that design?

Let me know so I can block y’all. Feel free to block me back, too. I love you, but nah.


Y’ALL KNOW THE VIBRATIONS. I know we been on our work from home steez over the week, but we still getting fresh in the crib because that’s what we do.

I came out here in the EXP X14s. This shoe is soooo underrated, y’all.

My boy Evan came out here in the Air Deebo 1 aka the house shoes from Friday.

The homie Greer popped out on us with the Ivory Snakeskin AF1’s. SO clean.

Speaking of snakeskin AF1’s, the homie Shawn P went CRAZY with these custom joints.

The homie George also pulled out some forces for his last day of school for the foreseeable future. Coronavirus is real, y’all. SMH.

The homie Justin hit us with the Bordeaux Air Max 200’s from the crib. Who knew Bordeaux could look this good?!?

The homie J Braze continued the Air Max Month celebration with these joints.

My guy Sumeet kept the Air Max love going with the Paris edition Air Max 90’s! So clean.

And the homie Khawaja went crazy with these Christmas Day Kobe 8’s. Good Lord.

Then Miri came through with the ACG Terra Zaherras. Fam, I contend I have never seen a bad ACG in my life.

Then the homie Dandin sent us packin’ with the Turtle Doves. Yes, that’s a F L E X. My goodness.

Y’all keep the heat coming, man! Sheeeeeeesh.

That’s a wrap for Friday, folks! Thank you so much for giving me a bit of your time this morning. If you’re not already subscribed and you liked what you read today, sign up here.

We’re on the cusp of 600 subs! Once we get there, I’ll announce the next give away we’re doing. You’re going to love it — I promise.

Talk to you soon! As always, peace and love. Be easy. Be well. Be kind.

Signing off.

Sykes 💯