2016 was an amazing year for us here at WearTesters.
Half of our success comes from everyone that reads, watches, shares, and supports what we do. The other half of our success comes from the hours of work each of us put into this. Hours upon hours on-court testing shoes, recording video footage, editing, paying for product to test etc. I’d like everyone, from our supporters to our staff, to know how much I appreciate everything that you all do. Without every component, none of this would be possible.
So what would I like to see in 2017? I’d really just like for performance to become the focus of most of these brands once again. For brands like adidas, Brandblack, Anta, PEAK, and Li-Ning, performance is all they have — and you can see what happens when they go all-in to give consumers the best possible product they can manufacture. However, there are two brands in particular that I’d like to see this from — Nike and Jordan Brand.
I own no stock in either company. I have no vested interest in either of the two succeeding. However, they are the two brands that started everything for me. Nike was the first brand I noticed growing up. Jordan was the first shoe I really wanted, so I worked insanely hard to save up and buy a pair. I cannot even begin to tell you how disappointed I’d have been had I saved up all of my money when I was 13 to buy a pair of Air Jordans only to purchase a shoe made with sub-par materials and offer less than stellar traction on-court.
Performance was always my main interest when it came to footwear, and it still is today. It still intrigues me, it still sparks my curiosity, it still is my passion. It also used to be the reason why Nike and Jordan Brand existed. Since the Retro boom, they’ve figured out that most consumers just want to consume — without rhyme or reason, just consume.
Performance was a dead subject until 2009 — when I bought a pair of the latest Air Jordan’s and decided to give them an actual performance review instead of letting everyone know how they looked with jeans — and it feels like the subject is dead once again. It isn’t dead with us — it’s just dead with them.
Yes, there are a few great new models that release here and there but we’re talking about the leaders of the pack — the supposed “industry leaders” and “innovators.” If you want to grab me by my nostalgic balls like you’re able to when you drop an OG Air Penny Retro or OG Air Jordan Retro then make something so awesome that people have to stop and listen. Nike was nearly there with the KD 9.
All of the brands are really on top of their games right now. I hope everyone is truly aware of that. It might still be “cool” to wear nothing but the Swoosh, but if you’re a performance junkie like me then you’ve already realized that there is better elsewhere.
If Nike and Jordan Brand could “Just Do It” once again then I’d be pretty happy.