Every year we wake up the Friday after Thanksgiving and are treated to security camera footage filmed earlier that morning of a crazed mob at a Walmart somewhere that is trampling people in search of “door buster” deals on a TV or some other consumer electronic gizmo. And every year, we sit on our collective high horse and look down at the heathens who would risk life and limb to save $20. But the truth of the matter is that the mentality that grips the average American consumer on Black Friday is the same one that holds sway over sneakerheads every Saturday of the year. It’s the same level of fiend-dom, no matter how much we—and yes I am including myself here—try to justify it by saying that “sneakers are art” or “I’ll make my money back when I resell them.”
The sneaker companies know it, too. That’s why they line up a selection of hot releases to drop on Black Friday too. They don’t even have to put the stuff on sale and people will still push their grandmother out of the way to cop. This year is no different. Everyone from Nike to Jordan to a guy named Kanye West tries to drop hypeworthy sneakers on Black Friday. We found the ones that are actually worth rousing yourself from a turkey coma to pick up.
1. REEBOK KAMIKAZE II OG
In his prime, there was not a better in-game dunker than Shawn Kemp. The Seattle Supersonics legend posterized many a hapless defender while wearing his signature Kamikaze sneaker, which originally came out in 1996. The high top has a sleek black and white colorway with hints of green that is a nod to the Sonics colors. The shoe looks just as cool today as it did when the Reign Man was wearing them.
2. BAIT x BRUCE LEE x ONITSUKA TIGER COLORADO
Anyone who is a fan of Bruce Lee (seriously, how can you not be?) will remember the yellow and black jumpsuit that he wore in Game Of Death, which was later co-opted by Uma Thurman in Kill Bill: Volume 1. To celebrate what would be Lee’s 75th birthday, West coast boutique BAIT created this Onitsuka Tiger Colorado 85. In addition to the yellow and black colorway, the sneaker features Lee’s kickman logo on the heel and tongue and his signature on the lace tips.
3. ADIDAS x PUSHA T EQT RUNNING GUIDANCE ‘93
Though he may not get as much acclaim as frequent collaborator Kanye West, Pusha T is one of the most highly-respected rappers in hip-hop and was recently named president of Yeezy’s G.O.O.D. Music label. King Push also knows a thing or two about sneaker design. This “Black Market” EQT Running Guidance '93 is a follow-up to the white version of the sneaker he put out last year. The new iteration features a fishscale pattern around the heel, premium leather, and a reflective material on the Adidas’ three stripes.
4. AIR JORDAN 8 RETRO AQUA
Michael Jordan debuted this sneaker at the 1993 All-Star Game and kept some version of the Air Jordan 8 on his feet all the way through the NBA Finals when he dispatched his frenemy Charles Barkley and the Phoenix Suns. The popular “Aqua” colorway is being re-released on Black Friday and its purple and teal accents are the perfect complement to MJ’s new role as owner of the Charlotte Hornets.
5. RONNIE FIEG x NEW BALANCE 998
Price unavailable, kithnyc.com
Ronnie Fieg of Kith has made a name for himself by releasing unique collaborations with unexpected brands on unexpected silhouettes. The results have an understated elegance that is tough to beat. This New Balance 998 is no exception. Nicknamed “City Never Sleeps” the sneakers transition from blue to navy to black as you move from the toe to the heel. The color pattern is reminiscent of the way the sky changes as you go from day into night.
6. NIKE LEBRON 13
On Black Friday, Nike is releasing an “Opening Night” pack for its signature basketball stars, allowing John Q. Public to buy the same sneakers that the players wore to start the season. LeBron James tipped off 2015-16 in a version of the LeBron 13 that pays tribute to the Cavaliers’ official team color, wine. In addition to a wine-colored Swoosh and midsole, cork is incorporated onto the tongue and heel and the pull tab has a waxy finish.
7. SOME KIND OF KANYE WEST SNEAKER???
No information available
Rumors circulated that Adidas will drop some kind of Kanye West sneaker on Black Friday, perhaps a black colorway of the high top Yeezy Boost 750. Then Rumors circulated that Adidas is postponing the Kanye release so as not to take away attention from the Pusha T collaboration mentioned above. Still, it can’t hurt to monitor Adidas’s social media channels in the days and hours leading up to Black Friday.