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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Unboxing Nike’s ‘The Ten’ Collection by Virgil Abloh

Sole Collector's latest unboxing takes a closer look at four of the five pairs that initially released from Nike's “The Ten” Collection by Virgil Abloh.

The “Revealing” Air Max 90, Blazer, Air Presto, and Air Jordan 1 are all featured in the in-depth Unboxing, where we examine the materials used on each pair, as well as details like Abloh's signature red zip ties, quotation branding, and inside out boxes. 

If you missed out on the highly limited release in New York City, they will be receiving a worldwide release this November alongside the remaining five pairs from the collection. Also make sure to subscribe to the Sole Collector YouTube channel today to stay up to date with all of our latest videos.

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Release Date Roundup: The Sneakers You Need to Check Out This Weekend

Adidas is dropping 10 plus NMDs this week, Jordan is dropping a super limited Air Jordan 9 Pack, Multicolor Primeknit returns to the Ultra Boost, and more. Check out the video above and the list below for this week's most important sneaker releases.


  • Adidas NMD_CS2 Pack
    Adidas NMD CS2
    Image via Adidas
    Adidas NMD CS2
    Image via Adidas

    Release Date: Thursday, July 13, 2017 
    Price: $180 
    Available at: adidas.com and select adidas retailers


  • Adidas NMD_R2 Pack
    Adidas NMD R2
    Image via Adidas
    Adidas NMD R2
    Image via Adidas
    Adidas NMD R2
    Image via Adidas
    Adidas NMD R2
    Image via Adidas
    Adidas NMD R2
    Image via Adidas
    Adidas NMD R2
    Image via Adidas
    Adidas NMD R2
    Image via Adidas
    Adidas NMD R2
    Image via Adidas
    Adidas NMD R2
    Image via Adidas

    Release Date: Thursday, July 13, 2017 
    Price: $170 
    Available at: adidas.com and select adidas retailers


  • Nike Air Max 1 Jewel Premium Pack
    Nike Air Max 1 Jewel
    Image via Nike

    Release Date: Thursday, July 13, 2017 
    Price: $140 
    Available at: Nike SNKRS and select Nike retailers


  • Nike Air VaporMax ‘Deep Red’

    Release Date: Thursday, July 13, 2017 
    Price: $190
    Available at: Nike SNKRS and select Nike retailers


  • Puma Fenty Fur Slide Pack
    Puma Fenty Fur Slide
    Image via Puma
    Puma Fenty Fur Slide
    Image via Puma

    Release Date: Thursday, July 13, 2017 
    Price: $80
    Available at: Puma.com and select Puma retailers


  • Mr. Cartoon x Nike Cortez Pack
    Mr. Cartoon x Nike Cortez
    Image via Nike
    Mr. Cartoon x Nike Cortez
    Image via Nike

    Release Date: Friday, July 14, 2017 
    Price: $110
    Available at: Nike SNKRS and select Nike retailers


  • White Mountaineering x Adidas Pack
    White Mountaineering x Adidas Pack
    Image via Adidas
    White Mountaineering x Adidas Pack
    Image via Adidas
    White Mountaineering x Adidas Pack
    Image via Adidas
    White Mountaineering x Adidas Pack
    Image via Adidas
    White Mountaineering x Adidas Pack
    Image via Adidas
    White Mountaineering x Adidas Pack
    Image via Adidas

    Release Date: Saturday, July 15, 2017 
    Price: $ 170-$220
    Available at: adidas.com and select adidas retailers


  • Adidas Ultra Boost “Multi-Color”

    Release Date: Saturday, July 15, 2017 
    Price: $200
    Available at: adidas.com and select adidas retailers


  • Air Jordan 2 Decon Pack
    Air Jordan 2 Decon
    Image via Nike
    Air Jordan 2 Decon
    Image via Nike

    Release Date: Saturday, July 5, 2017 
    Price: $160 
    Available at: Nike SNKRS and select Jordan retailers


  • Air Jordan 9 ‘Baseball Glove’ Pack
    Air Jordan 9 'Baseball Glove' Pack
    Image via Nike

    Release Date: Saturday, July 15, 2017 
    Price: $250 
    Available at: Select Jordan retailers


  • Nike Air More Uptempo ‘Bone’

    Release Date: Saturday, July 15, 2017 
    Price: $160
    Available at:

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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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Football Superstar Jerome Boateng Reveals the Benefits of Being a Nike Athlete

There's little that Bayern Munich and German National Team star defender Jerome Boateng hasn't accomplished in his career. He's won the Champions League, World Cup, and five Bundesliga titles in a row. He's also a huge Nike athlete and sneakerhead, and he's reaped all the benefits of being hooked up by the Swoosh to feed his footwear addiction.

He recently stopped by the Complex office to talk to Sole Collector producer Rich “Maze” Lopez over a game of foosball to talk about beating Brazil 7-1 in the 2014 World Cup, his footballing career, and how he's able to get so many hyped sneakers. To find out what he had to say, watch the video above.

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Complex Doesn’t Work Without Women

The world would come to a standstill without women—and so would Complex. Today, on International Women's Day, thousands of women and their allies across the globe will go on strike to raise awareness about the fight against bigotry and inequality. Joining them will be many of Complex's own employees and readers. In support of them, today, Complex and its associated sites Pigeons and Planes, First We Feast and Sole Collector will only be posting content that focuses on the strike, women's issues and the amazing women that make the world work. 
 
One particularly pressing issue the strike is highlighting is the wage gap. According to a 2016 report from the Joint Economic Committee, the typical woman still earns less than $4 for every $5 earned by the typical man. The numbers are even worse for women of color. To call attention to this injustice, many women at Complex, as well as their male supporters, will be leaving the office at noon to participate in marches and service projects benefiting women-focused charities and causes, including the New York City-based homeless shelter Women in Need
 
When millions stood together in January at the historic Women's March, we clearly saw the strength in solidarity. Let's raise our voices together again to make it clear: Women’s rights are human rights. See you in the streets. 
 
To find out more about the Women's Strike, visit www.womenstrike.org.
 
 

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