This year has been dominated by new Adidas releases; last year also was to a certain extent.
With YEEZY, NMD, Ultra Boost and a whole host of other silhouettes hitting the shelves, the Nike reaction seems limited. Although it could be argued that many of these are just amalgamations of old sneakers, such as the EQT Support 93/16 being an amalgamation of the EQT Support 93 and Ultra Boost.
Apart from some retro releases like the Air Jordan 4 “White Cement” and the Zoom Spridon, Nike has not done much which has caught mainstream attention. Sure, they have released the Lunar Epic Flyknit and Footscape Magista amongst others, but these are not turning heads.
I took to the forum of Crepe City Sneakers, the UK’s original sneaker event, to find out why some people thought Nike were sitting idle while Adidas brought us new colourways of booming sneakers every weekend. There were some interesting responses indeed. A very logical explanation was that Nike realise that sneaker culture is just bubble after bubble; and that the next one could very well belong to Nike. Another view coincided with this; five years ago Nike were amazing everyone with Flyknit and Lunar technology, now Adidas are doing the same thing with their version. Unsurprisingly, Adidas are prolonging the amazement with this technology just like Nike has done.
So are we about to see Nike unveil an amazing technology that will have us all yearning for more Nike releases? I am not so sure. Right now, people are appreciating what Nike are doing; which is re-releasing a large volume of popular sneakers along with re-working many popular silhouettes. Just recently we have received the Jordan 1 Low “No Swoosh”, Air More Uptempo, Air Presto Flyknit Ultra and Mayfly Woven. Sure, these might be playing off very old designs, but they are designs that we love. Also, Nike are fully aware that we crave their old designs and silhouettes.
Why else would they base their whole Air Max Day campaign around re-releasing a community chosen sneaker?
It is the perfect selling tactic when thought about thoroughly; get the community to choose their favourite sneaker and then let them buy in it a years time.
Sneaker trends certainly come and go; right now everyone is loving Adidas’ Primeknit and Boost, but Nike will come and steal the limelight once again. After all, Nike is considerably larger than Adidas. To put it in perspective, Nike’s market capitalisation was $86.2bn in November 2015, compared to Adidas with $17.1bn.
Nike are not going to be worrying about Adidas having some limelight, especially when they can easily outsell Adidas and not have to break a sweat by putting out exciting new releases.
As much as people seem to think the ball is in Nike’s court, Adidas still have a lot to do.