With the advent of new technologies for sneakers such as Vac Tech, Hyperfuse and Flyknit, the mid 90s and early 2000s methods of production and designing are becoming obsolete in this sneaker world. Nike Running is the future for Nike, generating billions of dollars per year, and we see Nike also not afraid to experiment with technology such as Free and Lunar, creating different purpose shoes for different athletes.
Today over at 23Penny, we get a chance to sit down and chat with a long time running fanatic, Andrew (@Solidgator), who has been running in Nikes since the beginning of time, and we are eager to hear some of his thoughts on the past, present and future of Nike Running.
23Penny: Tell us a little about yourself, how old are you, how long have you been running, how did you really get into sneakers?
Andrew: I’m 32. I have been running regularly for about 13 years now. I got into sneakers the same way most of us did, with Jordan’s. From there it spread into other Nike basketball shoes like Penny’s and Uptempos and eventually into running and cross-training shoes. I had lots of OG’s back in the day, but got away from buying sneakers in the mid ‘90’s. Then when the concord XI’s got retroed the first time, it got my attention and eventually led me to start wanting all the shoes I had as a kid or had always wanted. Had a pretty massive collection by ‘2006, but decided to sell most of my collection. (Still regret that decision). In 2010, I slowly got back into it. Trying to be more selective these days, but it’s really hard now that they are retro-ing everything LOL. For me, collecting shoes has that magical blend of comfort, style, and nostalgia that really is like an addiction.
23Penny: Before we get into talking about running, what are your top 5 sneakers of all times?
Andrew: It’s really hard to narrow it down to just five, but in no particular order:
- Air Jordan VI black/infrared (my first pair of Jordans, his first championship).
- Air Max 90 infrared (love the colorway/colorblocking, probably my favorite shoe ever).
- Air Jordan XIII Flints (favorite Jordan style wise).
- Air Max 180 white/ultramarine.
- Air Tech Challenge 2 white/black/hot lava
23Penny: I gotta get this one out of the way, too, haha. What’s your take on the Roshe Runs and is it worth all the praise?
Andrew: Yeah, the Roshes are a great casual shoe. They don’t have the durability or support to be an actual running shoe. But the simple design and comfort is outstanding and at their affordable price point, it’s hard to find fault with them. Lots of good colorways, too. If anybody has a 10 or 9.5 in the Mangos, let me know.
23Penny: Out of all the running shoes you have worn to run, what would you say are some of your favorites? Why?
- Original Air Kukini: at the time, they just fit me perfect, had the right amount of cushioning, and looked awesome.
- Several models of Pegasus and Structure Triax: These were my go to shoes for several years. Great everyday training shoes that are simple and comfortable.
- Saucony Kinvara: Perfect blend of cushioning, flexibility, and low to the ground feel that I like.
23Penny: What are you running in right now?
Andrew: Nike Free 4.0 v3 (currently testing for Nike) and the Saucony Kinvara 3.
23Penny: What do you look for mainly in a running shoe: Stability, traction, lightness, durability?
Andrew: I like a lightweight shoe that’s flexible and breathable. I prefer a neutral shoe that isn’t overly cushioned, but still has a little bounce.
23Penny: Any current running models that you would recommend beginner runners to try out?
Andrew: Air Pegasus has always been a great neutral shoe. It’s got a good amount of cushion, classic style, and doesn’t have all of the extra tech that most people don’t need. The volt colorway this year is awesome too and the price is relatively affordable. If you live near a locally owned running specialty store, go there and try on several shoes and make sure you get one that fits you. They will usually let you run on the treadmill or around the block in the shoes to see how they feel when you’re actually running. Lots of shoes feel good for just walking around in, but that doesn’t mean that they’ll work for you when you’re actually running.
23Penny: Any advice in general for novice runners out there?
Andrew: Start slowly with short strides and find your natural rhythm. Try not to land hard on your heels; it’s bad for your knees. It’s better to land more in the middle to the ball of your foot. The best motivation to get started and then keep running is to enter local races. They’re a lot of fun and usually benefit a good cause.
23Penny: What’s the WORST pair of Nikes you have ever run in before?
Andrew: Air maxes in general just don’t work for me. Also, one time, I’d tried running in the Equalon 4, which is a motion control shoe. It was way more support than I needed and it kind of messed up my knees for a while.
23Penny: Any non-Nike shoes that you love to run in?
Andrew: The Saucony Kinvara has been my main shoe for the last 2 years. I used to be strictly loyal to Nike, but the bright orange Kinvara got my attention and it had good reviews so I tried it. I’m now running in the Kinvara 3. It’s a great lightweight shoe with plenty of cushion. They also come in several cool colorways that should appeal to sneakerheads.
23Penny: We know that Nike is known for bringing shoes back from its long-listed catalogue, what shoes would you like to see being brought back to life?
Andrew: There are a lot, haha. For running shoes, I would definitely like to see the Air Max 96, the Air Max 2 light, the Air Max Burst, Air Icarus, and the original version of the Air Kukini in the water blue colorway. I’d also love to see more Agassi’s in their original colorways, the Air Unlimited, and Air Force 180 with the pump in the OG colorways.
23Penny: Besides Nike Running, what are some of your other favorites by Nike?
Andrew: Love the Air Trainer 1, several Huaraches, Air Uptempo (really miss my OG Bulls colorway pair), all the Penny’s, and lots of Free runs. The list could go on forever LOL.
(You can follow Andrew on Twitter: (@solidgator) and on Instagram: (@solidgator).