Sneakers
From the ground up

Competition fever may be coming to a close in the near future, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t continue to strive for excellence on and off the field. Thanks to Finish Line, there’s plenty of fire footwear you can cop right this minute that’s bound to help you earn your spot on the style podium—and you don’t even need a sponsorship deal.

From adidas to Nike and everything in between, this summer is honestly the best time to encounter some quality tech, while finding plenty of kicks that perform just as good as they’ll look in your wardrobe. Fortunately for all of us, plenty of those great shoes are sitting on store shelves right this minute.

Sure, you might not have made the cut for the international squad this summer, but hey… at least you can clean up like them. Read on for the sneakers that are sure to help you score medals, especially if your event is *just* “best dressed.”

Nike Free RN Flyknit

The fact you’ll spot this shoe on the podium IRL is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to its pedigree. Nike’s trademark Flyknit and Flywire technologies make sure this sneaker is breathable as it is stable. With an emphasis on keeping things simple, this pared-down model won’t just keep you light on your feet, it won’t become an overwrought distraction — whether you’re matching it with gym shorts or your favorite pair of black jeans. Now all you have to do is decide which (or how many) colorways you want.

adidas AlphaBounce

There’s a good chance that you’re already acclimated with adidas’ revolutionary Boost technology, but don’t let that prevent you from sampling the brand’s equally impressive Bounce midsole. Firmer than Boost, you’ll likely feel a stiffer step and more springback as you move, meaning that that spring in your step isn’t just the rush of endorphins you’ll receive when someone compliments you on how cool your sneakers look. Noting its sleek neoprene upper, it’s highly likely you’ll be wearing this shoe both in and outside of the gym.

Nike Air Huarache

The Huarache made a splash in the running world over two decades ago and received blessings from world-class American athletes, but its radical design has made it a contemporary classic that was well ahead of its time. The neoprene sockliner means your foot feels secure, but the futuristic silhouette on this retro sneaker means it looks solid too: whether you’re cuffing a classic pair of jeans or rocking a pair of joggers.

Air Jordan 7 “Olympic”

It’s hard to overlook one of the most iconic basketball sneakers of all time — especially when it comes down to this colorway for the Jordan 7. Based on sneakers worn during international competition back in the day, it’s easy to feel like you’re part of the the greatest basketball team ever assembled when you’re lacing these up — even if you’re nowhere near the court. We could regale you with the virtues of the Air-Sole unit, or the leather and Durabuck upper in the eternally cool red-white-and-blue colorway, but who are we kidding? If it’s good enough for the G.O.A.T., it’s good enough for us.

Reebok FuryLite

While the InstaPump Fury helped put Reebok on the map with its radical ’90s design, the FuryLite provides a taste of history while simultaneously pulling the aesthetic into the 21st century. A mesh panel on the upper won’t leave your feet feeling like dead-weights, while open-cut side panels allow the streets to see what you’re packing underneath your sneaks. Whether you’re flexing your muscles or flexing your outfit, these Reeboks have got you covered.

adidas Crazy 8

The multicolored rings along the outside of this shoe pay homage to the international event, but it’s the… well, crazy silhouette that makes this retro shoe a must-have. Originally a signature shoe model, the kick has morphed into a cult style icon all on its own, building on the EVA midsole and patented Torison system to move it from the hardwood to the sidewalk. While this shoe is bound to make a statement, the 90s aesthetic is kept in check through its white base color – just make sure to let your sneakers do the talking for the rest of your ‘fit. Sure, you might not be dunking on the opposition, but you’re definitely going to be crushing your style rivals with this updated classic.

Nike LunarEpic Low Flyknit

When it comes to extolling the virtues of Flyknit, it’s hard to pick a place to start. Addressing what makes the LunarEpic so… epic is an even more gargantuan task. Building upon years of proprietary Nike tech research and development, this model fuses the airy feel of Flyknit with a cushioned Lunarlon sole. Don’t let the shoe’s athletic pedigree fool you though, with pops of pink and volt green running through the upper, it’s a surefire way to draw attention to your fashion sensibilities in the boldest possible way.

adidas Ultra Boost

What else can be said about adidas’ game changing Boost footwear? Aside from the fact that it’s been cosigned by nearly everyone — Highsnobiety included — the Ultra Boost is just a solid, responsive running shoe: plain and simple. While many sneakers struggle to balance style with performance, the Ultra Boost’s easy design makes building an entire week’s wardrobe around it an absolute breeze. Calm, controlled, and most of all cool, don’t be surprised if this becomes the only shoe you wear the moment you take it out of the box.

Nike KD 9

It’s no secret that basketball shoes are just as relevant on the sidewalk as they are on the hardwood. But when it comes to the KD 9, you’ll be feeling well equipped, whether you’re pulling up from 40, or just spitting game. Featherlight Flyknit construction keeps your foot stabilized, while still allowing it to change direction on a dime. While many basketball shoes place priority on athletic tech, this KD bridges the gap between high-top on-court performance and a streamlined casual profile. Trust us, this shoe is just begging to be paired with stacked slim denim.  Oh, and with a contemporary white upper with red and blue accents, you can feel good about putting on for your home team too.

adidas Crazylight Boost 2016

Sure, the Crazylight series has seen on-court support from some of adidas’ biggest sponsored stars, but it’s far more than just a shoe with some pro endorsement. Starting from the bottom, a Boost sole is finished in Continental rubber for unparalleled grip. While honoring its basketball origins, it’s profile is very similar to a runner, meaning you can pair it easily with cuffed trousers and joggers. While the USA-themed colorway will never go out of style, we can’t help but love this triple white version as well.

  • Source: Finish Line
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