2016 was a great year, but man, 2017 is looking like it may be even better. If brands continue to build upon the momentum that they have been carrying through 2016, then performance footwear will be at an all-time high (for what little time I’ve been around compared to my colleagues — and no, they’re not old).
I was watching the 2016 best performance picks from Nightwing and Jarron the other day, and Nightwing brought up an interesting point. He stated that he loves Zoom Air because he used to play it in when it was “done correctly” and innovation was at a peak. It’s a nostalgic feeling for him to play in a shoe that features some trampoline-like Zoom Air instead of a dulled out small unit underfoot. I am not old enough to have had the luxury of experiencing quality and innovation at its finest from brands like Nike. However, I am able to experience innovation from brands such as adidas and Under Armour, as well as new companies such as Brandblack. They all choose to compete in performance footwear.
I am in love with how Boost feels when I wear it. Primeknit can’t be any more comfortable than it currently is (I think), but Flyknit is also still one of my favorite materials on a shoe. I’ve finally experienced Zoom Air in a truly unforgettable experience with the Nike KD 9. And yet, in 2016, I’ve worn shoes from brands such as Brandblack, Under Armour, and Anta that all are comparable to the products that adidas and Nike currently have out.
2017 will hopefully be a year that builds upon the success and competition between brands in performance footwear. I enjoy being able to experience innovation and competition between all of the brands. Shoes that I can’t wait to try out in 2017: anything with Boost, new budget models from any brand, the future of Brandblack, and, of course, the upcoming UA Curry 4 (#DubNation).