Yeezy Economics

August 14, 2017

When it comes to generating hype, adidas is ahead of the curb with Yeezy Boosts. Since the original dropped in 2015, there hasn't been any indication that this line will go away. But with that, there have been hints that the seminal sneaker is becoming more and more accessible. For a sneakerhead, the chance to buy a pair is great—but does an overabundance take away from the hype?

The original 350 model released in four color ways, and the hype behind them was very real. With the 350 V2, adidas already dropped far more than that with numerous motifs like "Red Night," "Blue Tint," and "Semi Frozen Yellow" coming down the pipeline.

With a slew of recently leaked product shots, the Boost 350 V2 doesn't seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. In theory, more color ways coming leaves a very real possibility of an oversaturated market.

It's not entirely likely if this is going to happen in the immediate future, but it does indicate that the sneaker isn't going anywhere any time soon. In terms of classic supply-and-demand, having greater access or more options to buy could impact the overall demand.

The resell price, for instance, has gone down on the Yeezy Boost 350 V2 Zebras with recent restocks. Beyond this, adidas VP Jon Wexler recently spoke on restocks in a round table with StockX TV, both as a concept and as a actuality for past releases. With restocks, more customers can buy Yeezys, but he did admit that it's a loaded word. Ultimately, restocks and multiple color ways means the Yeezy Boosts will still be a widely purchased sneaker.

Ultra Boosts 4.0

July 21, 2017

For all the Ultra Boost heads out there, some cool news came from the Twitter-verse earlier this week concerning the beloved woven sneaker — a close up shot of the Ultra Boost 4.0 and a possible release date.

(Source: @YeezyMafia)

The elusive sneaker collective aptly Yeezy Mafia first dropped the preview of the 4.0 in May, showcasing a variety of new color ways (there are 20 of them). Now they came out with a closer picture of the Primeknit and Boost soles. For those with a keen eye, the subtle change to the knitted pattern changes up the toe box significantly. With this picture, they're predicting the newest member of the Boost family will get a December release date. 

(Source: YeezyMafia)

As far as release dates go, that much is tricky because the Yeezy Mafia isn't associated with adidas. While the exact members of the Yeezy Mafia still maintain anonymity, which is something of a miracle in the digital age, they have established themselves as something of a valuable resource on sneaker drops in the past. Having accurately predicted the release dates of the Yeezy “Light Brown” 750s and “Beluga” V2s, it became clear that the shadowy group does have some legit insider knowledge on the subject. This means there prediction has more than a 50/50 chance of being right. 

(Source: @YeezyMafia)

So, come holiday season, we'll see if the 4.0's drop as predicted. Historically, dropping any new version of a hyped product around the holiday season usually works out well for the manufacturer and this is typically true in the sneaker world. Until then, we'll keep dreaming of the 4.0 and all the ways we can swap out those laces. Our new Charcoal Grey Rope Laces would definitely look clean on the Oreo color way.

You'd be hard pressed to meet someone who's never heard of LaVar Ball in 2017. While Ball isn't a basketball player himself, his name is attached, oddly enough, to NBA quite a bit these days. This could be because Ball's son Lonzo is the LA Lakers' newest player after securing a number two draft pick in this year's draft.

 

But being a basketball isn't newsworthy; this guy is though. Part of Ball's media appeal is that he handles managing his son's prospects and image in the same vein a wrestling manager in the WWE might. In other words, he's ridiculous and the media loves it. This is only part of the equation. Another, perhaps even more comical aspect of Ball's place in pop culture is his Big Baller Brand, that he seemingly promotes through his son's success. It's a smart move.

(Source: NiceKicks)

Now starting a small business is no feat, so one can applaud his efforts to create and mass market this entity. This is true when you might consider the fact that BBB created its own sneaker and is essentially going it alone in a world of multi-million dollar shoe contracts. For players of Lonzo's caliber, a sneaker deal can't be far behind, so attempting to disrupt the massive draft-to-shoe deal cycle is no doubt commendable.

(Source: Hypebeast)

Here's the interesting thing about the BBB flagship ZO2 sneakers, they're super expensive. By dropping a $495 sneaker, Ball secured something of an organic marketing strategy for his company and his son's image. People may or may not buy them, but a lot of people are talking about them. The irony of the situation is that the price tag, while high, isn't an anomaly when you look at the history of signature basketball sneakers. To put it in perspective, Jordan's first signature sneaker cost $180 in 1985; when you adjust for inflation, that's about $415 in today's market. So while the ZO2 are still more expensive, what's an $80 difference (or $33 in 1985 terms)?

(Source: SI)

Many detractors have called the sneakers a litany of interesting names or suggested they're not too easy on the eyes. Regardless of how sneakerheads and basketball enthusiasts feel about these sneakers, they're definitely going to be in the mix for a while. Who knows, maybe they just need a fresh pair of rope laces? We could help out there.

To survive the heat of summer, you have to have the 'fit to match—that usually means lighter clothes, breathable fabric, and the right footwear. Generally speaking, white sneakers are a classic summer-time staple.

Even the most technical sneakers look effortless in a white colorway. This can be triple white, mostly white with some color accent, or even off-white. Either way, if you don't have a pair of white sneakers in your rotation, you should grab a pair.

Per the usual, adidas stays ahead of the curb season after season. Keeping summer sensibility in mind, adidas dropped some NMD fire this month. One stand out has been the adidas NMD Japan Pack, which offers two tonal takes on the classic NMD R1 Primeknit. The triple white motif is accent by Japanese characters on the EVA inserts. For the keen eye, there's more lettering on the pull tab as well.

(Source: adidas)

When it comes to NMD laces, it doesn't hurt to keep another pair on stock. NMD Rope laces need to be a certain length, which what Lace Lab specializes in. You could pick up another pair of White Rope Laces or mix these up with a pair of our White 3M Inverse Rope Laces.

If you're not looking for a triple white, adidas also dropped a White/Black NMD R2. They're almost all-white, with some splashes of black on heel tab and outsole to keep things interesting.

(Source: adidas)

These would look good with our White 3M Reflective Rope Laces, with enough off-set coloration to compliment the sneakers.

Whichever NMD's you're rocking, pick up a fresh pair of NMD Rope Laces from Lace Lab.

Walking On Air

May 23, 2017

For as often as Nike relies on retro releases of their iconic models and reinterpretation of classic standbys, they are constantly pushing the envelope with their sneaker design. Pushing the envelope isn’t specific to aesthetic either, the footwear manufacturer has is constantly rethinking how technological advances can make a better sneaker. One of the most recent examples of Nike’s genre bending is their Nike Vapormax Flyknit, a truly innovative new direction in sneaker design.

 

On first look, the Vapormax is clearly the offspring of the Nike Air Max line. Like its predecessors, the Vapormax does not have the AIR technology inside the sole, a staple to the iconic line. The design is quite the opposite actually, and this is where Nike veers into new territories: the Vapormax sits on Air Max cushioning alone; the AIR bags themselves are the sole.

(Source: SneakerNews

Recently, Nike opened the doors to its Beaverton, OR AIR Manufacturing Innovation facility where these AIR bags are manufactured, inflated, and tested. With the Vapormax, Nike is using its proprietary technology and sizable war chest to take aim at adidas’ ever-popular Boost technology.

 

(Source: Highsnobiety)

Essentially, between the AIR bags and Flyknit upper, Nike created the closest thing to running on air possible. With the initial phase in this model off to a successful start, it’s clear that Nike will continue pushing the limits. In the long run, consumers of the sneaker head and runner variety are the benefactors. Did you score a pair of Vapormax’s? If so, we want to see them; tag us at #lacelab.

(Source: KicksOnFire)

Picture this scenario: you’re trying to cop the latest Supreme x Nike drop. You clicked fast enough to make it through the hordes, so you were able to buy before they sell out. In the age of bots, this is no easy feat. Being one out of the thousands of rabid buyers who was actually able to purchase, you’re counting down the days until your order arrives. Now, imagine that when the pair does arrive, there is something wrong with them. That would be frustrating right? Recently, this is exactly what some buyers experienced when they received their order. While quality control errors are rare for storied brands like Nike, a loyal fanbase will definitely notice when it happens.

(Source: SoleCollector)

When Supreme focused its latest collaboration with Nike on the Air More Uptempo, the sneaker head community was justifiably excited. The 1996 classic first came to the public eye as part of Scottie Pippen’s Olympic ensemble, and has since been closely associated with his star-power. For a relatively simple model, there’s nothing subtle about it—who would miss the giant AIR stitched across the upper? Essentially, it’s an iconic non-Jordan sneaker from the era that defined the pro-model basketball shoe, and Supreme remixed it with their own name in lieu of the AIR.

So when a few unlucky buyers unboxed to find a shoe lacking the reflective 3M border around the lettering, they took to the Internet. While not the biggest issue, the lack of 3M is enough of a problem if it’s a variant of the standard bearer. Who would want their sneakers to look like knock-offs when they're not?

(Source: @marvelous.soles)

Things somehow got worse with the More Uptempo release. Within days of the 3M an even more glaring quality control error popped up: another customer received a moldy pair. It's not entirely clear how a moldy pair would pass inspection, but nevertheless, one unlucky fan received them.  

(Source: @remzashoedle)

Hot off of that streak of missteps was another supposed error for the Supreme x COMME des GARÇONS Air Force 1’s. A customer claimed that the shoe was missing part of the ‘eye’ print specific to the capsule collection. There’s been no word on whether or not the companies took action, but it does call into question brand accountability and production standards.

(Source: @

supreme_leaks_news)

Manufacturing sneakers takes a lot of work, which is why quality control exists. Every sneaker company follows a different set of standards for their quality control, but the end product is perfect. If anything, the errors in this recent batch of releases will probably make Nike and Supreme re-strategize their QC.

If you follow the sneaker world, you’ve probably caught wind of the hotly-debated Yeezy samples that pop up every few months. Recently, a Pink Chukka-style Yeezy Boost model that is being called the 650 Boost V.1 turned up. As we previously mentioned, the notoriously shady resale market for sample sneakers is booming due to social media. While the validity of these samples is its own point of discussion, they still fuel the hype cycle between authorized, official releases. Sample sneakers might exist in development limbo for years before a release date. And often, like this 650, they might never get a release date.

(Source: @s.sam.group)

While many samples never make it out of development, every sneaker sold in retail exists as a sample at some point. There is a slight difference in samples during the various development stages. In the earliest stages, you get what’s called the Look See models. As the name implies, these are made so the design team, and potential retailers, can hold, feel, and touch the model. Typically, the Look See sample is used for promotional purposes, but that doesn't guarantee that it will make it to full scale production. The differences between the Look See and the retail model might range from colorway to material to redesigns. Regardless, Look See samples are considered to be the rarest of the rare, like these Black Nike Air Yeezy 1's.

(Source: KicksOnFire)

The other version of sample is called the Wear Test. As you can guess, this sample is made to test the shoe's performance and on-foot mechanics. During the Wear Test phase, potential problems with the sneaker’s design are identified for further tweaks. Like the Look See, the Wear Test will probably look different than the final product if it does indeed make it to full scale production.

(Source: @baltsneakershow)

In the digital age, samples are no longer the rarity they once were. To clarify, your chances of buying a sample is still extremely low, but you can definitely see them thanks to a number of dedicated Instagram accounts. Additionally, these footwear grails provide a roadmap for future sneaker designs. Maybe the company itself will readdress the sneaker years later, sometimes up to 20 years after the initial sample as Nike has done a few times in the past. Or, the sample could act as a template for a custom sneaker.

 

(Source: Kicks-Box)

So maybe the Yeezy 650 Boost will never make it to production, but don’t let that stop you from making your own customs inspired by them. Start with a pair of Lace Lab Rope Laces, and let you creativity do the rest.

Oreo Colors x Lace Lab

April 10, 2017

When it comes to sneakers, the Oreo color way is a classic. For the uninitiated, the Oreo color way, much like the cookie it’s named after is, is basically just a mix of black and white in some way, shape, or form. But as history has shown, when it comes to color schemes, sometimes simplicity like mixing two contrasting colors, is key to a lasting look.

Going back into sneaker history to 1999, an Air Jordan model seems to be one of the first sneakers to have the name Oreo attached to it. The Black/Black/Cool Grey Air Jordan IV were quickly nicknamed the ‘Oreo’ due to the color ways’ actual resemblance to the cookie with the black upper and sole with a splatter print mid. While most sneakers with the Oreo color way don’t look as much like the cookie as these IV’s did, the general idea came from this.

 

So not necessarily new in the grand scheme of sneaker colorways, the Oreo has taken flight in the post-Flyknit era of sneaker construction. With the one piece knit on the Flyknit upper, the intermixed black and white pattern fit perfectly with the overall construction of the shoe. While Nike made strides with this colorway, adidas was never far behind with their own version.

(Source: @__kendric__)

One the most recent use of the Oreo color way was on the Ultra Boost. As expected the Oreo color way brings a new life to the already clean aesthetic of the Ultra Boost. They seem to be a slightly more accessible answer to the Yeezy V2 Zebra that dropped late last month.

(Source: @bayudewanggap)

This begs the question though, does Nike have a lock on the Oreo color way? We’ll have to see how adidas uses it in the next coming months. Regardless of which company you’re gravitating towards when you need your Oreo fix, Lace Lab has premium sneaker laces to go with it. Our Black/White Rope Laces are a perfect match for the contrast you get with a pair of Oreo sneakers. Why not pick up a pair and tag us at #lacelab?

 

 

Adidas always seems to push the boundaries with its Boost Technology. With previous releases, the Boost line has seen some of the most technical and aesthetically forward sneakers, like the NMD and Ultra Boost models. With the newest addition to the line-up, they continue to push the boundaries, but in a slightly different direction.


The Iniki Runner is one of the coolest sneakers out right now for a few reasons. First, and perhaps most obvious, any runners with the adidas’ patented Boost sole are going to be super comfortable. And second, unlike previous models, the Iniki Runner has an old school runner feel that’s reminiscent of something a long-distance runner would wear during a marathon in the 1970s and 80s.


Looking back into the archives, the 1970 ‘Country’ model seems to be the distance relative to the Iniki Runner. In the 1970s, running was the sport, so the race to make the most aesthetically pleasing and technologically proficient sneaker was on every footwear company’s mind. At the time of its release this cross-country sneaker boasted the tagline “Run Longer. Run Faster. Run Smarter.” And this model was designed to take the wearer the distance with long lasting comfort; if only they knew how far sneaker technology would go.

(Source: SneakerLab)

Another hot take on the Iniki could link back to the 1982 ‘Oregon,’ a runner with a name that seems like a not so subtle jab at Nike. It’s no secret that the two footwear giants have been jockeying for that number one global position for many years now. Nike, Inc. is arguably the state of Oregon’s greatest export, and the entire business was based around a running shoe and running culture. With a name like ‘Oregon,’ it was pretty clear that adidas was letting Nike know that even their home state wasn’t safe from the German company’s grasp.

If you pick up a pair and find yourself running at night, add some more of that vintage flavor with a pair of Reflective Flat Laces from Lace Lab.  And even for all the non-runners out there, the Iniki Runner x Lace Lab Reflective Laces are a good look.

(Source: @b_ro21)

Five Years of Flyknit

March 02, 2017

Sneaker trends come and go, and in a five year span, thousands of models flood the market. To withstand five years, with online hype pulling consumers in so many different directions, you have to create a particularly special product. For the designers at Nike, creating a lasting shoe is part of the business with some models ranging back 30 and 40 years. The Flyknit Racer, one of the sportswear giant's recently releases, has survived the hype cycle to take it's place with the greats.

(Source: SneakerBarDetroit)

Technology has been the driving force The initial buzz behind the Flyknit Race was driven by an inventive new technology and crisp design. The silhouette  In February 2012, Nike released what was groundbreaking sneaker technology at the time—the Flyknit. When the Flyknit was first released, the idea was to redefine how materials are sourced and utilized in performance footwear.

(Source: @trotttheworld)

Essentially, the Flyknit was made to cut down on the materials used by creating a singular one piece upper. The mesh upper is engineered to a precise measurement, specific for a snug "second skin" fit ideal for runners. 

(Source: YouTube)

While the Flyknit Racer has been a mainstay for runners, both of the casual and marathon variety, the design element has since made these a great model for sneaker heads. And of course we have laces for the sartorially inclined. Lace Lab's 45inch rope laces are the perfect size for Flyknit Racers. We've seen our 3M Rope Laces on Flyknits and they look clean, so if you swap them out, tag us at#lacelab.

(Source: @craftyy89)

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