What to look forward to for 2017? Well, for starters, innovation. We’ve seen Primeknit, Flyknit, Performance Woven, Anafoam, Jacquard, etc., come into play, but how can it be improved and where else is there to go? Where is there room to improve? What’s the next big thing or better material to use? Or in the end…is it all just a gimmick?
adidas – #BoostisLife. Now how can Boost be more improved and better utilized?
Nike – Zoom Air….Max Air, articulated Zoom, dual-density foam, Lunarlon…we are all knocking on the door of the innovation trying to figure out what’s cooking, or who torched the kitchen (unless it’s going through a remodel). We need something better and more forgiving, and something impactful, not just on the hardwood, the grass, or the blacktop, but something for the masses. For instance, the Kobe AD — use that as the “never make this mistake again” example.
Brandblack – How can you improve the already comfy JetEVA/Jetlon because definition of “no break in time” actually exists in a shoe and Brandblack has it down to a science.
adidas – Can we ever get a sizing right? Use the adidas Crazy Explosive Primeknit as your core example…there, done.
Nike – Well, you once said we are all athletes, however, most of the sig models are directly molded for that signature athlete, rather than all of us.
Also, all brands need to make 1/2 sizes past 12 (12.5, 13.5, etc.) more available, and/or wide sizes available (and will this will probably ever be done…profit margins).
PEAK / ANTA / Li-Ning – See above (adidas). Get sizing right.
There’s got to be something more than wearing modified plastics on-foot. Not saying it doesn’t work, but we miss the usage of raw materials or even better usage of well-executed woven materials to work properly in performance shoes. Where do you go from here? And regardless of whether you slap a “Retro” or “Remastered” tag on an item, if it doesn’t utilize it’s original material, you shouldn’t be charging $190-200+ — because we’ve figured out know what JB uses and doesn’t use, and what it skimps on. Oh, and the kicker: change prices back it their original prices from when the shoe first came out.
When you have a team of designers, let them design. It seems like when it comes down to design, material usage, etc., it doesn’t take much in cost to create a shoe. And yet, the retail prices are at times insurmountable. I understand there has to be a price gap, but there also has to be a point where it was about the design, it was about the passion, it was about the inspiration. By allowing what I call “The Suits” of a company to make these sweeping decisions based solely on dollars, it crushes the creativity of the designers and their ability to want to make and do better. Why cage them when you can let them loose and run wild with their imaginations. I’m sure The Suits were young once and told “no” plenty of times, and I’m sure they didn’t like it, so why do it to the rest of the team that’s supposed to help make the company better?
Yes, there needs to be common ground, but design lately, particularly from the big companies, has really fallen off. Signature shoes are looking too much alike. Just because you slap an athlete’s logo on a shoe and call it by its designated name doesn’t mean it doesn’t look like another athlete’s signature shoes, and then these shoes command top dollar! What’s worse is when the shoes don’t perform, but that’s another topic of discussion in the long run. Just let the designers design.
There needs to be better and more competitive pricing. You can’t just go around and bully the competition by charging $165-$250, whether it be a nostalgic model or a supposed performance model. I think a $150 is a perfect max breaking point for almost all brands to set around their performance and signature athlete models at. It doesn’t help that the economy is forever growing, however, most of our paychecks aren’t increasing as quickly.
What are Under Armour, Brandblack, Anta, PEAK, Li-Ning, and others up to to wow us? What’re the next stories? Who’s the next athlete being painted on the wall? How do you stand out from the giants of the realm?
Will Steph Curry’s 3.5/4 be another Internet laughing stock or will his line rise again, along with his performance? Will Brandblack step out from the shadows and show people, and core athletes, that its shoes are immediately battle ready, anytime, any place? Will Anta, Li-Ning, and PEAK be able to break into the American market and giving us more choices rather than just their signature athlete models?
Will these so-called limited release(s) from brands become more available?
Will companies be able to battle the “bots” that mass attack/bypass website criteria to purchase to the so-called reseller(s)?
The better question is how will all these companies be able to play ball with each other, and not let us, the consumer suffer? We expect more, we expect better, we expect innovation.
There is blame to be shared: some might go the the designer, and some might go to The Suits in charge. And a lot goes to the people who product test the shoes; we value some of the feedback you all give to the companies who really want the shoe to work. But the other half should stop product testing altogether — because you all give companies a bad name by submitting biased synopses. You should be ashamed to see a poorly performing shoe release that you tested and gave the OK.
When WearTesters.com publishes reviews, they are unbiased. If we do get seeded some pairs, that’s great, but that doesn’t mean we won’t give our insight on what works and what doesn’t. When we give criticism, it isn’t just useless bashing, but rather us encouraging brands to do better (save for, perhaps, the Kobe A.D. bashing).
We hope brands put their egos aside and listen to the ones who give their honest insight and opinions. We spend a lot of our own money to purchase these shoes, and when it does perform, we are forever grateful and give it high scores and positive feedback. However, when one fails, it’s money out of our pockets. It’s our loss as much as yours. Remove the egos, and just listen. For those that can take the criticism, use it to your advantage — it’ll only help in the long run because we, the WearTesters, are also consumers and simply want the best performing products.