Comfy and stylish, slip-on or laced-up; how do you want your sneakers?
(Guest publication by Cephas Omaku)
First off, let’s agree you’d ditched those heavy, out of shape, full-on athletic shoes with a wavy sole that creaks when you walk (that’s not so 2019).
If it’s made in the ’90s with a design not so overboard, sleek and futuristic, they belong on the top shelf.
You sure wish you never had to worry about buying fakes. If we have our ways, we would have ‘legit’ made in Nigeria Aba sneakers instead of horrifying prototypes. Imagine a sneakerhead rule this country, I will order two pairs of (different colour) Nike Air Max 1 and never have to face excessive heavy duty charges. If wishes were horses, beggars would ride. Who says beggars can’t be choosers? Just don’t be blind enough not to check out those sneakers before you go for one.
But, this is Nigeria! Slay mama would slay; government sanctions remain (God forbid those tax tariff stopping the average Nike store from importing the good stuff). It’s about good, good stuff this year. Elegant kicks every ‘slay mama’ should go for – ‘jakpa!’ If you can’t afford some not-so-generic brands.
#1 The Adidas Deerupt Runner Parley
Glam up your thick, fit, curvy body with this Adidas Deerupt and Parley collaboration kick. Adidas and Parley shoes are made from recycled plastic from ocean debris. Just like the name, Deerupt, disrupt your Instagram feed with cool fit pic inspired by the shoe’s bold visual identity and – I bet you – your followers will erupt. That’s realistic logic.
Beware of Replicas: Its unique selling points are an ultra-lightweight knit-webbed upper material, EVA (boost technology for responsive cushioning) midsole, an OrthoLite insole (footbed), rubber outer sole and NFC chip in the heel.
Spot the fakes: Remove the insoles and wear the shoe. It immediately gets uncomfortable. If you have an NFC phone, tap it just by the heel of the shoe for detailed product information and to see reviews.
#2 Vans Old-Skool for casual dressers
Casual outfit queens love everyday wear sneakers like their bag varieties. These cuties are yet to understand how Vans material makeover continues to match their love for varieties with infinite colour variations of the beloved Old Skool.
Old-Skool Vans flavours like the Primary Checked Old Skool, Old Skool Lite, Pop Camo, Skulls and the Checkerboard Old Skool Platform
The looks are a work in progress. They keep adding plenty of interesting new patchworks on a rolling basis. The low tops can be rocked with any outfit that comes to your imagination. (just get more pairs at a fair price).
Beware of Replicas: They come in low tops (no high ankle support). They retain the classic silhouette design. Comfy enough for different activities, like going to class in the evening and clubbing right after. They retain the ‘side stripe’ of the iconic shoemaker.
Spot the fakes: Old Skool has a vulcanised rubber outsole with waffle pattern tread (for a perfect grip).
#3 Nike Arrowz for her
These are easy to maintain. You can even throw it in the washing machine (so long they ain’t suede). Put em in a pillowcase, take out the insole & laces and thank me later
Connecting retro and contemporary sneaks. They’re very light and available in toned colourways. Arrowz comes with laces to give you that feel of the old and perforated strap-like pieces, a cue from the sporty vibe of the Sock Dart. The laces-and-strap blend brings the golden era of the Presto (early 21st century) to mind. Its subtle shades will blend easily with your outfit of choice.
Beware of replicas: Arrowz combines both laces and a midfoot strap. The upper looks like a knitted material, so it’s well aerated. Flex grooves on the outsole allow for natural flexibility.
Spot the fakes: Remember, Nike doesn’t use replacement boxes unless the retailer damaged the box and switched it to their own. Check to see if its lining is made of textile.
#4 Adidas ZX Flux ‘Xeno’
Cop this kick if you’re a bigfoot looking to fit perfectly into some stylish Adidas. The ZX Flux Xenos has a lot of room in its toe box. One of the ‘futuristic’ designs out on the market today, it’s renowned for its strobe light effect (it illuminates once hit with light). Get ready for umpteen compliment. You would rock this pair with any of your outfits.
Illuminate your path with some strobe light FX. Xeno one cool sneakers your girlfriend should go for
Beware of Replicas: They exhibit a shimmering snakeskin pattern all over (from the upper to the snake eye design on the outsole, and some on the underside of the tongue).
Spot the fakes: Spot the 3M reflective material on the tongue and along the heel (it wears a lot of colours than you can count, the moment it goes under a bright light). The ZX Flux model is known to have torsion technology (strong arch support with flexibility on the forefoot and heel.
#5 Nike Tanjun sneaks for girlfriend
The Tanjun has a suede eyelet, while the Roshe One (from the Roshe line of merchandise) has metal eyelets plus more holes on the tongue.
The Nike Tanjun is apparently inspired by the Roshe Line (after all, it’s its the sequel). The midsole is basically like the latter but with wave hits at the mid-section for better aesthetics.
It’s incredibly lightweight, flexible and well ventilated. It has a padded collar and tongue, which makes it comfy.
Beware of replicas: Simplicity (that’s ‘tanjun’ in Japanese) is the keyword here. The plush feel of the interior comes from the soft fabric with which they’re made. They feel quite comfortable without socks and comes with a tailor-made no-sew upper (designed with diamond grid mesh).
Spot the fake: Check for huge Nike logo either side of the shoe.
#6 Vans SK8-Hi Models
Just call them the fashionista’s edition. A high top version of the Old Skool which retains the same excellent support and comfy structure. They are trendy, beautiful, and cute. TheVans SK8-Hi shoes have received several deconstructions of its exciting silhouette since it’s initial release some 40 years ago: changes to the makeup of its upper material and an introduction of different colourways (ladies go for the pinks, reds, purples, and yellows).
Regardless of your fashion taste, you’d sure find an SK8-Hi sneaker ready to blend in with your skinny jeans, skirts, and shorts
Beware of replicas: The shoe has an upper part that’s made of suede and canvas materials. Other prominent features are the waffle rubber outsole and the trademark side stripes.
Spot the fakes: Check the barcode and labels for country of production and shoe size. The price should start at $60 (about NGN 21, 500) per pair – special editions, limited versions, collaborations and premium could sell higher.
#7 Supra casuals
They take your kick game ‘above’ the ordinary. Need a replacement for your Air Jordans? Your casual day function gets a new lease of life with its easy-styled and laid back design. Friends, who have recommended them, like that they come in a number of colourways (remember what they say about the spice of life?).
Beware of replicas: Chill, there are no significant others. The upper design is made up of two different materials (leather and suede). It comes with extra-soft breathable inside lining with lots of padding around the ankle. A midsole dual layer gives it a trendy look.
Spot the fakes: Check for perforated details on the midfoot panel and tongue (they are there so you don’t sweat your steps out). The sole is really flexible with thread patterns.
#8 Reebok Classic Leather love
This breakthrough beauty continues to be cherished (thanks to different iterations) 36 years since its release. The female-friendly kick was initially designed for running but has since shifted focus from performance to lifestyle.
The Reebok Classic Freestyle ‘Crocodile12’: Other notable variations include Classic Leather Gum, UE, 2.0, Camp EBK, Altered, Pastels, Urban Descent, Low BP and many more
Beware of replicas: It was the first running kick ever to get a leather upper – many of its wearers have testified to its comfy and supportive features.
Spot the fakes: Read reviews and ask questions. Check what material its upper is made of – should be leather or soft suede (as in the case of the Clean Exotics).
#9 New Balance Classics fits
They’ve been mostly underrated, yet, the fittest pair of running/workout shoes you would be pleased to buy. Do you lean towards the Adidas Ultra Boost but can’t seem to cough out NGN 90,000 for some sneakers? Cop this athletic, chic pairs.
Beware of replicas: The upper is often made of a combination of materials (like suede and mesh, and sometimes EVA). They are extremely lightweight.
Spot the fakes: New balance logo could be found on the footbed and heel of the outsole (check that the circled registered trademark ‘R’ imprint isn’t missing.
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