Why, back in my day, we actually had some decent camo-print sneakers. So, you may have heard about the recent relaunches and reworking of Atmos’ famed duck camo sneakers, including one of this week’s hottest drops, the Orange Duck Camo variant.
Of course, the more educated sneakerhead in the audience will no doubt have heard of Japanese sneaker boutique Atmos’ longstanding obsession with making kicks with some sort of camo print on them, with the original duck camo precursor to this week’s release coming in 2013.
And boy, was that a doozy. The black snake print Swoosh provided a subtle counterpoint to the bold hits of Infrared and duck camo. In other words, a masterclass in colourblocking.
In addition to that, around the same time Atmos also released another Air Max 90 in black-and-white tiger camo, and though decent, it pales in my opinion to the best ever camo sneaker Atmos has made.
Also released in 2013, the Air Max 1 in green tiger camo stands head and shoulders above anything else Atmos has released in recent years (my thoughts on that are best left for another time). The safety orange accents on the tongue and heel counter is again conclusive proof that if Atmos put their minds to it, they’re one of the best in the business.
The Sail-coloured midsole is a bit of a miss in my opinion, but hey there you go, nothing’s perfect. That being said, a black midsole wouldn’t work as well, and neither would any other colour I can think of. But such is life, and part of the vagaries of working with the AM1 silhouette, which has a comparatively tall midsole.
Anyway, moving on to the next and my personal favourite the Adidas Consortium (remember when that was hype?) ZX5000 triple collab between Adidas, Bape and Undefeated.
Broadly speaking, I’m a bit leery of triple collabs, because too many cooks spoil the soup. Because there’s so many egos that need to be stroked, the end product either comes out looking like a jumbled mess, or the tried-and-true cop out of simply slapping three different logos on a product and calling it a day.
But this, oh this. Aside from some gold Bape and Undefeated logos on the heel counter, that almost blend in with the camo covering the shoe. The red, white and blue Trefoil is also another great touch, lifting what would otherwise be a fairly muted sneaker. And the gum soles too, man, do I have a weakness for gum soles.
If I’m being completely honest, I’m not entirely sure which bits of this ZX5000 are Bape and which are Undefeated, which I think is amazing and speaks to how coherent it is. I mean, obviously the camo is a Bape staple, but then again, that also rings true for Undefeated.
And the best part is, aside from the punters who know what this is, it’s been almost completely forgotten about since its launch in 2013. According to StockX, just 17 pairs have changed hands in the past year, with an average price of USD334, or a modest 66 percent over retail.
And now we’re moving onto something you most probably have never heard of or seen. This is the Asics Gel Lyte III, one of the most underrated (and comfy) sneaker silhouettes ever made in conjunction with Bait.
As with all the other sneakers featured here this week, it was released in 2013, which is probably the golden era for the GL3, a sneaker that has in recent years completely fallen off the radar.
You probably also don’t know about the insanity surrounding the GL3 in the early 2010s, with such all-time greats as Kith’s Ronnie Fieg releasing the Salmon Toe and SlamJam’s 5th Dimension.
While this Bait collab may not have ever had the same amount of fuss surrounding it as the aforementioned Kith and SlamJam joints, it still deserves a place in my top three favourite camo sneakers.
The two red eyelets, red soles, gold Gel Lyte III branding on the heel and gold-speckled block on the midsole is just timeless. Oh, and the camo’s pretty sick too.
Sicker still is how you’ll be able to pick one up for very close to retail.
Remember kids, just because they’re bricks doesn’t mean they’re wack.