Meet the Designer of the Air Monarch, Nike’s Biggest Dad Shoe

The dad shoe trend is here in full force, whether you like it or not. When it comes to these chunky, mall-walking sneakers, there's one shoe that reigns supreme: The Nike Air Monarch. It's Nike's best-selling sneaker and has become an ironic favorite of sneakerheads in the past few years. In recent times, Russell Westbrook has been seen wearing the sneaker courtside, Eric Koston has skated in them, and Concepts has even teased a supposed collaboration on the shoe. It's safe to say, for the time being, that the Monarch is here to stay with the cool kids. On the most recent episode of Sole Collector's Full Size Run, co-hosts Rich “MaZe” Lopez, Brendan Dunne, and yours truly got a chance to speak to Jason Mayden, former Nike and Jordan Brand designer who worked on the Nike Air Monarch II.

In the episode, Mayden breaks down his inspiration behind the shoe, which included thinking of dads hanging out in a wood-paneled room, watching football, and drinking Budweiser — after mowing the lawn.

He also talks about what it was like to design sneakers for Michael Jordan and how the Jordan Fusions came about.

Watch the episode above.

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Is This the Rarest Air Jordan In Existence?

It's impossible to single out one pair of Air Jordans as the rarest in the world. There's several one-offs, as well as a few mysterious samples that can't or haven't been explained. However, Kris Arnold can make the claim that he at least owns one of the rarest Air Jordans, and he stopped by Sole Collector's Full Size Run last week to share the story of how he obtained this likely unicorn.

During the early 90s, Arnold worked as an account executive at ProServ, a sports management firm that included Michael Jordan as one of its clients. Among the many projects ProServ worked on for Jordan was helping put together his Nike deal. Jordan had parted ways with the company a year early, prompting an office cleanout of gear that had been stored and displayed. When Arnold saw two Air Jordan sneakers on the verge of being tossed out, he asked if he could take them instead. The shoes were early production samples of the original “Chicago” and “Black Toe” Air Jordan 1s.

“I happened to be there in my office while it was happening and I said, 'No, I’ll take those.’” Arnold told us in a 2015 interview. “They were going to just throw them in the trash. That’s what they would’ve done hands down.”

Air Jordan 1 Black Toe 1985 Prototype

At first glance, one may not notice the differences between Arnold's shoes and the pairs that actually released, but there are distinguishing features. For example, the overall shape of the samples is a bit more sleek, the cut is lower, the Swooshes are larger, the toebox cut is minimal and there's subtle differences on the outsole.

To date, Arnold has received big money offers for his Jordans, but not one that has seriously made him consider selling. With that said, he hasn't completely ruled out parting with the shoes.

See Arnold discuss his rare samples in the video above, which also includes segments on the new Spike Lee x Air Jordan 1, DJ Khaled x Air Jordan 3, Lonzo Ball x Foot Locker and more. Subscribe to Full Size Size Run on YouTube and iTunes for future episodes

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Meet the 13-Year Old Selling Sneakers to Your Favorite Celebrities

He's just 13 years old, but Mitchell Sozio is already the plug for some of the biggest names in sports and entertainment.

We were first introduced to “Littysneaks” last month, when he was the subject of a profile by the Daily Front Row. Among the many interesting tidbits about this young entrepreneur is the fact that his nanny plays a role in shipping sneakers to customers. To get a first-hand account of Littysneaks experience, Rich “Maze” Lopez and Brendan Dunne invited the New York-based teen to be a guest on Full Size Run.

Detailing his path to becoming a renowned reseller, Littysneaks cites Kanye West as a personal influence when he was in the sixth grade. He started off just buying pairs for his personal collection before realizing there was money to be made by picking up extras.'

“I realized that I had all of these connections,” explained Sozio. “And I was like 'I can make all this money and instead getting one pair, I can just get eight pairs and flip it.”

While he won't reveal the names, Sozio says he has a clientele of A-list celebrities with social media followings in the multi-millions. He's made as much as $3,000 selling a single pair of sneakers.

Watch the full interview with Littysneaks above. If you'd like to listen on the go, check out the audio version below and subscribe to Full Size Run on iTunes.

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Is Kendall Jenner a Bigger Signing for Adidas Than Kanye West?

This past week, Adidas made another power move by adding model and reality television star Kendall Jenner to the Originals family. Like it or not, the Kardashian/Jenner family is an extremely influential group whose co-signs have generated major dollars for a wide variety of brands and products for more than a decade. Jenner, who has more than 100 million combined followers on social media, was named Readers' Choice Model of the Year for 2016. She's also pitched for brand's like Estee Lauder, Calvin Klein, Marc Jacobs and recently starred in a controversial Pepsi ad.

Just how much of an impact can Kendall make with Adidas? Our own Rich “Maze” Lopez and Brendan Dunne discussed the topic on the latest episode of Full Size Run. And while it may be blasphemy to some, the thought of Kendall potentially being a bigger signing for the brand than Kanye West was brought up.

Kanye West and Kendall Jenner
Image via Kevin Winter for Getty Images

“It honestly might be. Not from a product standpoint—that remains to be seen,” said Lopez. “But from a sheer reach and influence standpoint, Kendall Jenner reaches hundreds of millions of people on her Instagram and on Twitter and on her shows. Her influence is undeniable. She has a huge following. To me, this is a massive and huge get for Adidas.”

Dunne is a little more reluctant to make the comparison, holding out for a little more information on what we can expect from the new partnership.

I want to know where they're going to take this. I'm assuming that there's not going to be a lot of product tied to her,” said Dunne. “I do wish Adidas would have come through by now with a little bit more context around what they're planning to do, but I think they can get quite a lot of money's worth by just having her throw a photo of herself in Stan Smiths on her Instagram and things like that.”

View the full episode, including discussions on Art Basel's Adidas lawsuit, Pride Month sneakers, the new Air Jordan Defining Moments Pack and much more above. Be sure to subscribe to Sole Collector on Youtube for future episodes and you can now listen to the show on the go by subscribing to Full Size Run on iTunes.

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