We Are Testers – Brand Loyalty! WHY?!?!

Nike. Under Armour. adidas. Jordan. Reebok. Puma. Peak. And1. Li-Ning. Brandblack. 361°. Q4 Sports. Asics. New Balance. Topo. Brooks. Shaq. Pro Wings. Did I miss any?

Off the top, these are the shoe brands in my closet (yes, I have Shaqs in my closet). I may have missed a couple, but notice anything about that list? That’s right: it’s an actual list, made up of more than one brand. You know why? I like to try new technologies — cushioning, materials, fit, traction, brands — I love all of it. Honestly, how can you call yourself a “sneakerhead” if you don’t?!

Confession: once upon a time I was a die-hard Reebok wearer. Now, most of you know my approximate age, so it will come as no shock when I say that in the early ‘90s I had Shaqs, Reign Mans, Blasts, Blacktops — if I was balling it was in Reebok. And not just the shoes — socks, shorts, shirts.

Then 1996 happened and the Jordan XI changed everything. My Vectors went Jumpman.

Now, when I see a guy on the court wearing all Jordan gear I immediately assume he is sad, pitiful, and has no game — he is posing for the name. However, in 1996 only the best wore Jordan because you didn’t want to embarrass Mike like that.

I seriously went full on Nike/Jordan almost overnight. I can even remember someone asking me how many Jordans I had (the answer was four at the time — collecting in my area was not something we did) and in the most ridiculous, nose-in-the-air Bougie way I told said person, “I don’t wear it if doesn’t have a Jumpman”. What a d!$&.

This is Tyga, not me. Photo courtesy of KicksDeals.

As I got older, I branched out to other brands — adidas, Under Armour, and back to Reebok, along with running brands like Saucony and Asics. I realized one very important thing: I gave tons of money to brands, showed loyalty down to my socks, and repped the logos hard — and they had no idea. There was no Instagram, no Twitter, just NikePark and basketball courts. Do you know how much I got paid to wear those logos I lived for? Do you know? Do you know? Do you know?

           . That blank space represents my total earned. I told everyone how great these brands were, wore those gaudy God-awful ‘90s clothes (that I miss today), and walked like a brand champ — or chump — all because of the logo.

Bonus points if you know who this is. Image courtesy of 2dopeboyz.com.

What changed? I decided to be M-E.

Getting older had something to do with it; my eyes opened and I realized my real importance to the brands: my dollar. I began understanding value, and where my hard-earned money needed to be spent. I was buying products that didn’t perform as well as those from other brands simply because of the name and logo, the advertisements and commercials (remember those?).

I began to find the cushioning that worked best, the traction that lasted on courts, the uppers that wouldn’t come un-stitched under the slightest stress. I realized which companies were only after loyalty, regardless of product. I got woke to the game.

Here comes old-school rant guy. This article has been brewing for some time — ever since a certain company sold a brick with a logo on it for $30, and it sold out. It sold out quickly. Yeah, an effing brick. And that’s not all — arguments flare over Boost versus Zoom, Yeezy over Jumpman, and people throw expensive kicks in mud or paint to show disdain for that brand. What do these people prove? That they have too much money, or no concept of money at all?

Either way, it’s a sad thing to think about. Hundreds of thousands of kids are spending their clueless parents’ money on things that mean nothing to anyone, not even themselves, to the point that they will destroy said product just for likes on social media.

To be fair, when I was a kid, I destroyed, mangled, and shredded many pairs of Jordans, Barkleys, Reeboks, and Airwalks (I was a sponsored skateboarder). How did I destroy said pairs? I wore them. For basketball, skating, baseball, sandlot football — whatever we were playing that day. Who was I impressing? The playground kids. Not because of my kick game or the fact I spent $300-$600 on Js, but because I had ability and drive while wearing those shoes.

People really bought this??? Image courtesy of Supreme.

Seven years ago, I began writing reviews for a website called Counterkicks. To date, and I am not bragging here, I have received over 650 pairs of shoes for free from all the brands. That doesn’t count apparel and products like headphones, gym bags, nutrition, and specialty equipment. I have gotten limited retros, new releases, state of the art technologies, and shoes that flat out sucked.

I kept not one of those shoes on ice. I rocked every single pair, regardless of brand or price. Why? For one, I had to review most of them. Second, they were new, and new shoes are always special.

Here is another secret: I have only kept about 70 pairs of those 650+. The rest were given away to family, friends, needy kids, guys at my gym, and a couple were sold at a serious discount. Some of those recipients got to try a brand they might not otherwise even consider like Peak, Under Armour, 361°, Anta, Li Ning, and others, and hopefully, those same people passed on the good word about said brand when at other gyms. Maybe, just maybe, the performance of brands other than the most known became, well, known.

It’s easy to write this and talk about how I am not “brand loyal” because I am often not buying the shoes sent for review. If I had to buy all the shoes I review then I might only spend my money on what I know works, but that’s the point: if you never try anything but the tried and true, you never find something else that might work better.

I’m not telling you to throw out all of your favorite brand’s products — just don’t be scared to look at something besides the opening display at Foot Locker or Finish Line. Look at the back wall, the one that has one section but 12 different brands.

Be different, truly different, and take a chance. Diversity is key in everything. Expand your horizons. Free your mind. Nothing in this world was accomplished simply by following the leader. You may not find anything that interests you, but keep looking. If diamonds were out in the open, available without looking, we would all be rich. Dig deep, weartesters.

45 Comments

  1. This was such a great, well-written article. Thanks for continuing to speak truth. It’s not falling on deaf ears over here. Hopefully, others are reading these articles and taking nuggets from them too.

  2. First of all, great article Bryan. And thank you for introducing the concept of “brand loyalty” to me. From the perspective of a European guy who lives in a relatively small country, this whole thing is not familiar to me at all. Where I come from, you just try to get the most bang for your buck. Don’t get me wrong, of course this doesn’t make anyone a hero. It’s just, this whole thing is strange and hard to grasp to me.

    1. I live in the largest European Union country, at least when it comes to population size. And I also find it hard to understand “brand loyalty”. I find it hard to comprehend why anybody would have such a thing as a favorite brand unless that person gets paid by the brand. In such a case I could understand the loyalty. But why would I be loyal to a company that I paid good money to in order to use their gear? Is it to justify my purchase? “Oh look at me, I paid 200€ for sneakers, they’re great (because otherwise I would have to accept that I wasted a lot of money on mediocore product)”.

      By the way, one basketball brand that has not been mentioned here is K1X.
      -pac

  3. Great article, I believe I am around the same age as Nightwing, and I can say I was the same way as you Bryan and have seen a lot of that happen. When the Answer’s came out, I had to have the shoes in all 3 colors, the low and high socks, the shirt, and the shorts. Same thing when the Pippen’s came out. I started to branch out around college with Adidas, And 1, Reebok, Nike, and even went with some old LJ Converse. Now being older and not really caring what other people say or think, and the help of everyone at Weartesters, I am even more open to different brands like Under Armour and Anta (still have yet to try Peak and Li-Ning…but someday). Don’t even get me started on the brick and other items of similar (non) value… Also if you’re ever in the ATX (I think your in H-Town) and ballin’ I’d love to join in. Keep doing what you’re doing…great job.

    1. I’m actually in fort worth, so any time you are up here, let me know. We get games 3-4 times a week. I was supposed to be at KICK ROLL working with George but had a slight detour through Cabo.

      1. Sounds good. If I’m in the area I’ll let you know. I have yet to go to a Kick & Roll but I really want to at least volunteer one year. One of my supervisors is actually really good friends with him and keeps telling me George is always hating on his shoe game (because he has none) so George gives him some of his pairs.

  4. lol, This is funny. I am possibly older than everyone here, and can speak of when this whole sneaker thing got started. I have associations with both peers Bobbito and Clark Kent, *name drop*, and have played against many currently retired top tier College and NBA players, while even training a few of them during the off season. *humble brag* lol When we were coming up, CONVERSE was the brand, and rightfully so. At $11.88, you had access to them, and you broke them in by wearing them, all the damned time. You had to have pro skills in order to wear Adidas on court, and that was because they were the most expensive brand, an actual leather shoe, which was 44 US dollars. You didn’t walk on court in those unless you had game, or perhaps the rep of a game, or maybe were a coach who had game at one time. Puma was considered a bad joke, because while Clyde and Bobby Jones wore them, we knew that the ones they actual wore, were not the ones being sold in stores. You wore those to look cool in, much like Clyde. At 32 bucks, they were expensive enough,and suede sexy, to rock with your sharkskin pants and nik nik shirts, early b boy styling. I hated Kangol’s. Then here comes Nike. In business, they played dirty. Before MJ, Nike began in hoops as per the story by Sonny Vaccaro. I was a kid in BK at the time, and I saw it. We went to hoops camps, and those sponsored by Nike were giving out shoes with your name on them, nicknames, or the name of the schools that had the exclusives. I had a pair of low top Blazers emblazoned with TCU, Texas Christian University on the back ,with a purple swoosh. They were given to me during a recruiting visit. When I came home from the visit, I had them on and yeah, I was getting jocked because of my kicks. Nobody in Brooklyn had them at that time, not unless you were being recruited by TCU. I knew right then that Nike was on to something. We had the Gauchos, Riverside Church, Brooklyn USA, Elmcore in Queens, and Nike began to infiltrate every single club team from the midget division, to the unlimited divisions which featured Pro’s. Up in Harlem we saw Doc doing work at the Rucker in Con’s, so they still had the stamp of approval, but much like modern hip hop and auto tune, we saw the future, no matter how fake the brand actually was. But Nike catered toward the ego.

    The internet created the sneaker community. I stumbled upon Nike Talk while surfing porn. Actually, it was because I stumbled upon Professor K and Kicksology AFTER surfing porn, to which I discovered NikeTalk. I was confused while sitting at work in my office. “WTF is this?!”, is what I thought. One of my buds at the office actually played with the Bulls, knew MJ, so I called him over to what I was looking at. It rekindled my interest in footwear, as we played every night after work. Wall Street, yeah, that was my money gig, housed many former professional athletes, and we all balled on the regular together. I asked if they knew about this, and they laughed. That is because many of us knew that shoes didn’t matter in regard to your game. So we’d read these “reviews”, and being the Wall Street guy’s that we were, we realized real quick that Nike was behind all of this shit.
    I hated Nike for this, then got to work.
    “Fuck Nike.”
    “They are lying.”
    “You clowns work for Nike.”
    I knew that Kobe was a practicing asshole, so when he signed with Nike during the rape charge, “fuck Kobe”.
    I was banned from Niketalk, happily. I got to the “salesmen” over there.
    I went back, on purpose. It was fun to do. I was at work during down time, making money, playing ball.
    “You reviewed these shoes, you are lying.”
    “You are downing ‘brand name here’, yet I just watched so and so ball in the ones you recommended, and they fell apart!”
    Got banned from Sole Collector too! That site which was run by that the head sycophant of the swoosh Nick Desucka, who didn’t want people telling the truth about Nike over there, because that messed with his connect!

    Then here comes Nightwing and his Jordan XI review, of which he ripped them apart for their horrible quality.

    I saw the tide turning, and greatly appreciated what he said.

    I am proud to say that I am happy to see the decline of Nike, or at least a small slip in their popularity.

    I am no sneaker head, I just dig sneakers. It is a great time to appreciate sneakers, especially if you actually use them for what they were intended, or even if you do not! But diversity is quite cool, testing different flavors at your own whim.

    Celebrate diversity. Fuck the loyalists who wish to stifle the full exploration of the spectrum, because of their loyalty to some bullshit. Fuck’em up by wearing a Nike shirt, Adidas shorts, and Big Baller brand shoes….ya’ heard?! lololololol

  5. Nice Article Duke!

    Growing up, shoe brand is not really a concern, my grandparents gave me and my brothers Shoes as a gift, thank you Lolo and Lola,

    Wore anything just to play Basketball, because it’s just so Fun to play especially with my Brothers,

    Got to play in Hyperdunks, I guess that was around College, then bought my very own shoe with my own Money, bought a T-Mac 5,

    Fast forward to the future…..Weartesters introduced me to different brands and their Reviews save me tons of money, best purchase for me based on their reviews was my D. Rose 6, BOOST IS LIFE, and that shoe is my go to shoe when I play or Practice,

    Overall Weartesters is the BEST site if your looking for reviews and their Honesty and Dedication in what they do is the BEST!!!!!

    Thanks Guys!

  6. “This article has been brewing for some time — ever since a certain company sold a brick with a logo on it for $30, and it sold out”

    If you don’t mind sharing, what shoe was it?

    ps 30 or 300?

  7. I love this site. I love the utility that it provides. This site has saved me money by giving me the proper information that I need to not waste my money on some Kobe’s that have a fake zoom unit in them. I appreciate the work that goes into the reviews here, seriously. With that being said I want to say one thing, and I don’t want Goldwitz to take this the wrong way and not allow this comment to be seen, because this is constructive criticism from a daily reader of this website.

    SOMETIMES, the word choice, tone, delivery etc. of a handful of reviews written here about a certain brand in comparison to another specific brand can be taken to be read as bias.

    Let me be clear— this is not an accusation at all! All I am saying is that I read some of the sentences written here and sometimes I’m just like “in the name of objectivity, why did they have to word their analysis like this?” The optics are bad sometimes.

    Generally the response to a comment like this has been anger, from one individual in particular, and I get that. But what I’m saying is consider your tone, maybe double back and read your own words, and you’ll see how some of the things said here about one brand in comparison to a certain other could be perceived as such.

    That is my only criticism of this site in response to this post. Hopefully it is taken as merely an observation and not as an attack on anyone’s character, because that is not my intention.

    1. There isn’t any tone with text, unfortunately, which is where the problem may lie lol. The reader adds the tone to the text they read. Whether than tone is accurate or not is something else entirely.

      When we compare one brand to the next its only due to numerous people requesting that type of info. It’s like comparing apples to oranges most times. Comparing Boost to Zoom rather than Boost to Bounce. Unfortunately, the majority aren’t comparing Boost to Bounce unless the shoes they’ve narrowed down for themselves are between adidas models. What we get instead is someone narrowing their choices down to a few different shoes which all have different tech. All that tech also feels and plays differently. Which isn’t really biased, its just facts. Someone comparing the Hyperdunk to the Crazy Explosive… you’re getting something drastically different from one shoe to the next, but why is that considered a bad thing? Its really about understanding what each product brings to the table and what you need from that product. We just do our best to describe that to you.

      If it’s read as being biased then that’s truly unfortunate, but not something we can control.

      We do what we do and we’re proud of what we do. However, we understand that we won’t please everyone and there are those that will see us as just being biased. It’s okay. We’ve come to accept that.

      Appreciate the support!

      1. “The definition of ‘tone’ is the way the author expresses his attitude through his writing. The tone can change very quickly, or may remain the same throughout the story. Tone is expressed by your use of syntax, your point of view, your diction, and the level of formality in your writing.”

        There is certainly tone in text. Come on man! Thats absurd to say that there isn’t!

        Again, it’s HOW you say it, and this is definitely something that can be considered.

        1. I guess it just sounds like you don’t like how some of us write I suppose. We’re not scholars. We play basketball and talk about sneakers. When Bryan writes he tells a story thus evoking tone within his write up. That’s not something I usually do when I write. Maybe you or someone else doesn’t like that? I’m not sure. I just know I don’t go around criticizing people and saying someone’s opinion is absurd. I try my best to keep it positive and if it turns negative it’s usually only about a shoe. Something that isn’t a living a breathing thing.

          Anyway, my opinion still stands. The way I read your reply could go one of two ways. I could force a positive tone and think what you said was cool or I could force a nagative tone onto it and take it as you yelling or something. It’s all up to the reader. Not everyone processes the written language the same way. ??‍♂️

          1. Like I previously mentioned, I consider this site a great resource. Excellent work is done here. Period. Nobody is yelling, I’m heaping praise on the work done here while also pointing out something that I noticed.

            I wasn’t saying your opinion was absurd. I was saying the fact that you said there is “no tone in text” is absurd, because it’s factually untrue. It’s a fact that can’t be debated on any platform. Ideas written and spoken contain tone, intentional or not. They teach that on the first day of 9th grade English. To refute that is absurd.

            I didn’t say that I don’t like anything, all I’m saying is that sometimes things said here take the tone throws objectivity into question. Nobody is perfect, I don’t expect scholarly writing when I read basketball shoe reviews here and I don’t suspect that anything shady or malicious is occurring here. I’m questioning some patterns in tone.

            As readers, supporters etc… we’re allowed to do that. In fact, we’re asked to give feedback by you guys, the Weartesters. This is the feedback, let’s not misconstrue it as hatred, please.

            Continue doing great work, keep tone in mind to make sure you’re projecting what you intend to!

    2. Not to keep this rolling, but was there a point in this article that seemed bias or slamming one brand? Because I wasn’t slamming any brands, just the people who are loyal to absolute fault about supporting them. Thanks, though, because I honestly appreciate ANY feedback, just to start discussions.

      1. No. Not at all. This article just got me thinking about some things I had observed over the last year and a half on here. Keep up the good work!

  8. Damn! That was a great article there! I guess I’m around your and Nightwing’s age, by the end of the month I’ll turn 37 and all the “golden era” of basketball shoes came to me while being a freshman in HS down here in Mexico. Back in the days I wasn’t able to get the best sneaker or some of the team shoes because my family didn’t have enough money. My first pair of basketball kicks that my dad bought to me was a pair of midtop Ewings, heavier like hell but I was so happy. Two years later came one pair of Reebok Swingmans that I beat the hell out of them and after that I finally got the money to buy my first bball Nikes, a pair of Air Gauchos, the cheapest takedown of the Air Zoom Flight Five. Since then I had many sneakers from the brands that are easy to find here, Reebok, Adidas, Nike, Fila, and recently tried UA with the Curry 2.5 and the 3. Unfortunately you can’t find Anta, Li Ning and Peak here, but today I’m a big fan of Adidas’ Bounce and Boost shoes, those are big part of my rotation along with a couple of Nike/JB shoes. I’m not loyal to any brand, I’m loyal to what my feet and my body feel better in terms of performance.

  9. I LOOOOVE this. I’ve always considered myself a sneaker nerd. I’m sure you can relate to a more exponential level, because not only have you heard about the tech, you often got to try it during it’s intro phase. I too, do not own any pairs that have not been worn and as a former skateboarder myself… Bryan you are officially who I wanted to be growing up haha. Reading your articles on NT, counterkicks, and now weartesters there’s a way you write up articles that stylistically no one has. For those who actually have been reading reviews for the longest time I really enjoy your references and metaphors and honestly when you started doing videos it wasn’t the same experience (no offense) so I am glad you’re back to print because it’s what I grew up reading and it is uniquely the best way you review. Keep up the shredding of those shoes man and keep us on our toes reading your articles. I’m truly grateful you get to shine on at the next level.

    1. Did Chris pay you to say that? Kidding, I knew I wasn’t very good in front of a camera – all my references sound corny – so written it is. Besides, I have a face for print.

    1. Played in the 830 my 7th grade year and a pair in aau my junior year. Loved Avia and the cantilever.

  10. Half of my impression to this article is “people still don’t get it?” when it comes the accusations regarding the objectivity of this site, other half is that it’s a great read that gave insight to Brian’s background.

    The subject of generational differences and how kids today approach shoes (as well as all material items) is sort of technology’s force of nature. I remember my parents, uncles and aunts always grumbling “we never had that as kids”. You look at the crazy shoe collections and electronics kids have today “we never had those”, but we can’t stop the fact such things have become more accessible. The internet has done wonders for shopping, for worse…yet better as well.

    WT in general has been a reliable resource for decision making and sometimes deal shopping. I run a lot off of NW’s sizing since I’m a 9/8.5 myself, and I pretty much never bought the wrong size of any shoe he’s reviewed. With money, I’ve been buying more pairs lately out of nostalgia. If I’m doubling up, it’d be because I legitimately plan to beat the crap out of a pair like tires. If I’m shelving, it’s because I just like that pair too much and have no plans selling it (especially if I put it on in the house from time to time). I could only hoard so many shoes. It seems a lot of the WT staff and commenters share the same sentiment, and that’s the cool part. Figures, a fair share of us seem to be 90’s kids.

    On a side note: where are those Airwalk skateboarding mixtapes?

    1. Sorry – Just saw that read I was sponsored by airwalk. I was actually sponsored by G&S and Gullwing, and Jeff Philips skatepark (RIP the park and the man).

      1. Nah I’m not cool enough to join a bunch of old dudes who get worked up over something a trivial as what shoes and clothes kids buy and give a sermon about value and what to think.

        1. Then I guess you can go watch hypebeast videos from other sneaker “personalities”, then hit yourself over the head with your Supreme brick.

          1. Yea you think you have it figured out, I don’t own any supreme gear, hell I don’t even own any Jordan products. If you care to know I’m wearing adidas shoes, nike shorts and a north face t shirt currently – so I’m as brand neutral as it gets. However, I don’t think I’m better than someone simply because they do or don’t wear a specific brand.

            I get you are into shoes and stuff, but it’s so trivial that it’s absurd you would get upset over what anyone else wears and think you are better because you like to try out multiple brands. Or when you go to shop, you don’t look for what looks cool or is hyped because you sir go for value and by god that makes you so great, here is your cookie.

            If people wanna buy something because it’s hyped or loyalty to a brand, than so be it. But to judge someone based on the clothes and shoes they buy, makes you an ignorant dumbass.

          2. I don’t have anything about this “game” figured out – that’s why I wrote this. And as far as “ignorant dumbass”, the whole first half was an indictment of myself, no one else. I’m sorry you couldn’t realize that, as ALL of the other commenters on this story did. Remember, you came in here talking “circle jerk”, trying to be funny.

  11. As a parent in my early 40’s from a (growing) third world country, a basketball freak and sneaker USER (not collector), I could really appreciate articles such as this. I read this article and subsequent comments thrice and I couldn’t have agreed with this article more. 100 [email protected]*m PERCENT! This might be the first article that I have read that said/wrote all I have felt for more than 20 years since I started buying my own shoes.

    My friends and family could attest that I have had come across a thousand pairs of training, running and especially basketball shoes. As you age, you come to a realization that you buy only what :
    1.) you could afford;
    2.) you feel comfortable wearing and playing in;
    3.) you perform great in while playing in;
    4.) looks good on you or looks good for you. (ie. color combi., style, brand)

    For the past decade or so, Nike/JB has been reaping the benefit of MJ’s godly stature and the performance of their shoes from 1996 to 2003 without truly providing their “LOYAL” consumers shoes that are worth the $$$ that they have spent, except may be for a shoe or two a year and that includes all other shoes from different disciplines and not just basketball.

    This translated to the skyrocketing of the retail prices of shoes, not just from their brand. I am glad these days that lesser known brands like Anta, Peak and Brandblack have been producing sneaks that are beastly performers while not mortgaging your children’s future just to have them. I continue to hope and pray that the prices of basketball shoes remain at the $100 to $120 range just for it to be affordable for everyone and not just for those who have no regard for the value of money. To put things in perspective, a HD 2017 is someone else’s paycheck for a whole month or half a month before taxes here. That is the reason why, nowadays, in 2 months time here, new releases go on sale for 20 to 30% less. Whereas, a decade ago, it takes a full season run, before it goes on sale.

    This so-called “sneaker culture” has taken a turn for the worse. 25 years ago, it used to be play in whatever shoe as long as your feet doesn’t hurt afterwards. Now it is all about style and cost when we all know that these don’t factor in to how you play. Say what you want about cushion technology and materials, they sure do have some effect on how you play, but it still is about fit, support and traction. Like for example this new cushion “React”, it ain’t new. It just feels like Nike Air without the air. Why don’t Nike just keep it simple and let zoom air be the zoom air that we have loved. Why don’t UA keep it simple and let Micro G be not Charge. Which I hope Adidas not make the same mistake with Boost and Bounce.

    Nightwing and the rest of the Weartesters people, I would like to commend you for this ridiculously great site you have. After 3 years since I discovered you, you have never ceased to be the voice of us, the “silent majority”. Since my first visit to this site of yours, you allowed me to purchase 2 or 3 pairs instead of 1, 4 or 5 pairs instead of 2. How you say? I bought pairs based on your reviews, which “loyal sneakerheads” disregard, at the lowest possible price. I wait for them to go on sale instead of buying them upon release. Case in point, I bought a KD 9 at 70% less, a Peak TP9 2 at 50% less and an Anta KT Light at 30% less for my budget of a Retro J. Because of you, I have been milking Nike/JB instead of them milking me and my family. For that, I offer you my UTMOST GRATITUDE. I know other patrons of your site have the same sentiments. I would gladly like to thank you, Nightwing, personally and I just missed you by a couple days when you were here in the Philippines as I am from the province and not Manila. Hopefully the next time you visit my country, we could hook up.

    Peace from Philippines while wearing Adidas Drose 7 @ 50% off.

  12. Anta.. can’t forget Anta with the Klay Thompson line. As well as the KG and Rondo. All good looking shoes I may add but I would have to gamble on the sizing via overseas. Plus I can’t wait to see what they going to put out for Zach Lavine. He’s obviously getting a signature which is going to be rare, maybe a first, for a team (Chicago Bulls) to have their 2 top players with a signature from a Chinese brand.

  13. I had them Nick Van Exel Reebok Blasts back in the day, and I twisted my ankle on those things more than any other shoe. The sole was narrow as hell. Cool looking, though.

    Great article. I don’t get brand loyalty either; is Jordan a lord in Westeros who your ancestors pledged loyalty to for a thousand years? No? Then who cares, wear what you want.

  14. It’s insane how close minded shoes are in high school basketball today. If your not in Nike, Adidas, Jordan or more recently UA, your gonna get shit talked everyday about your kicks. Everyone was up my ass about my JC2’s until they took off their outlet model Nikes and actually tried them on to see what nice quality felt like

  15. Duke makes me want to “dust off my pen” and start writing again. Maybe I’ll write my first article for WT soon…

    Great stuff as always, Duke.

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