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PROTO TECH

August 26, 2012

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Internet died to cap off a glumday night, but I won’t be deterred, so I’m working from the iPhone. Autocorrect is going to make this blog entry even more unintelligible than they normally are. Adding to my annoyance, I wanted to blog about Dapper Dan’s appearance on episode 2 of MTV’s ‘House of Style’ in 1989, but technical issues prevented that. And MTV doesn’t seem to have obtained clearance for that clip either. Tragically, we Brits can’t see our very own Sir Paul Smith give Dee Dee Ramone a makeover either, because you have to be Stateside to watch it online. I will pay half-decent money for DVD copies of every season. Jason Dill’s Fucking Awesome Radio on KCHUNG is worth your energy and is one of the few things keeping me sane right now: the Earl Sweatshirt guesting episode is available here to download. Dill has good musical taste and a good voice for radio. All I can do this evening is deliver some recycled nerdery from my Instagram that harks back to the Nike Olympic ‘100 Innovations From the Battle Against Drag’ exhibit that was set up in Beijing for summer 2008. Now everyone’s desperate to pull off a tech shoe and quasi-formality blend (the new US uniform according to We Are The Market), it’s worth looking back at some old experiments in technology that brought us some classics. I’ve been privileged enough to see the Nike archive a couple of times but I can’t say too much about it. It’s a good place to be if you’ve got a shoe problem though. Some of the most interesting designs manifest manifest themselves during the experimental phase and the lightweight mission that Coach Bowerman instigated has led to some one-offs that look good enough for wear. I wish some of the designs would drop as “work in progress” Tier Zero drops in appropriately sketchy packaging. The Tyvek shoe above is known as the FedEx Sample and dates back to 2001. Created as part of the MayFly project’s development prior to that shoe’s 2003 release, it’s made of mailer envelope material, using Dupont’s high density polyethylene fibres. Those perforations seem to have been added because Tyvek doesn’t breathe (it was also used in this Agassi experiment from 1999) and an ultralight ripstop fabric was the more intelligent choice. Below, the unnamed neoprene model from 1984 is something that Bruce Kilgore (head designer on the Air Current and Air Flow) developed, applying wetsuit fabric to a conventional running design. The stubby marker pen swoosh and NIKE on the heel are part of this shoe’s charm, but this helped birth the aforementioned Kilgore cult classics, the Huarache and the Presto. I really, really need to see the Bowerman neoprene prototypes that were created even earlier. Just as the Shox concept had been drifting around since the very early 1980s before it was revived pre-Millenium, don’t assume that the technology you’re losing your mind over hasn’t been in gestation for just as long. On/off topic, people weeping about shoe RRPs should stop letting their Tweets cry and go buy cheaper models and opt for something a little more offbeat. That’s what makes amassing shoes fun, but po-faced people #who #love #to #tag #stuff seem to have forgotten that. Standing with 5 friends and waiting to buy exactly the same thing immediately breaks he cardinal rule that thou shalt not wear the same shoes as the next man. Any measure that slaps you out that mindset can only be a good thing.

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Sent from my iPhone

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. zeus75 permalink
    August 28, 2012 7:50 am

    Always yearned for those Woven Footscape (?) prototypes from a few years back that looked a lot like satsuma bags grafted to a midsole. Shame a Google search doesnt throw up any evidence…

    • gwarizm permalink*
      August 28, 2012 11:00 am

      Would these Rejuven8 prototypes on a Talaria sole be the shoe you’re talking about sir? Love them http://img529.imageshack.us/img529/6584/talaria1nl7.jpg

      • zeus75 permalink
        August 28, 2012 11:07 am

        Knowledge dropped, that’s exactly why you’re that side of the tracks! They’re the ones, got all excited when they appeared on CT, think they lost something in the final Rejuven8 model. Thanks for the image and all your blog goodness.

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