UNDEFEATED in footwear

The trainer world is always ripe with opportunity to collaborate, whether that be athletes, musicians, or fashion designers, the big footwear brands have always been astute at securing the very best to help elevate the silhouettes in their catalogue. The list of successful collaborations is genuinely too many to count, but usually, when we talk about partnerships we talk about Adidas, or we talk about Nike, seldom do we find a brand that crosses over, and has production credits on both sides of the border. Kanye West began with Nike in the early days and notably crossed over to Adidas, but to go back and forth between the two seems to be something incredibly rare indeed, but there is a brand that continues to transcend the two, a collaborative neutral, unconcerned by allegiances, but instead only concerned with the quality of its product. The LA boutique UNDEFEATED is literally hitting home runs batting for both teams, and no ones mad about it.

UNDEFEATED is, in my opinion, one of the best streetwear brands around, and their product portfolio is something incredible to behold. When they’re not skipping through the trainer world holding hands with both Nike and Adidas, they are never far from some quite monumental fashion projects, notably and consistently contributing to partnerships with Japanese fashion tycoon BAPE and a long list of similarly well-respected clothing brands globally. UNDEFEATED’s influence in the fashion world is unquestionably top tier, and the ongoing collaborations with both Nike and Adidas is a clear indicator of just how well established and well regarded they are. Sometimes it seems, neither the Swoosh nor the Three Stripes want to give up a good thing and make no mistake about it, UNDEFEATED is a really good thing.

UNDEFEATED x Adidas Military

If we were to put UNDEFEATED’s work with both Nike and Adidas on a double-pan balance, the Three Stripes would definitely weigh more, and it is with Adidas we find the most recent of footwear offerings to brace the scene. Images of not one, but two separate UNDEFEATED x Adidas capsules have been circulating for a spring/summer 2019 release including as many as 4 new shoes. The first of which, a military-inspired collection which boasts footwear, apparel and accessories, is ideal “for the city dweller who casts off the shackles of conventional city life wherever and whenever possible,” Adidas said in a statement. The line pairs the “high-performance functionality” from the Three Stripes and the “gritty intensity of Undefeated’s signature under-the-radar, militaristic stylings.” The three running shoe capsule consists of a mid-cut take on the GSG9, a techy Climacool model and an Adizero. Just like the apparel collection the shoes are executed in a variety of black, orange and army green hues.

UNDEFEATED x Adidas Ultra Boost

Along with this military collection the web has also filled up with images of a rumoured Independence Day collaboration between Adidas & UNDEFEATED which is reportedly set for release on July 4th. This homage to the American Independence Day is painted across the classic Adidas Ultra Boost with a heavily featured white Primeknit upper overlaid with white heel counter and a semi-translucent plastic caging. The star of the show, however, comes from the UNDEFEATED’s logo in red on the right foot and blue on the left, as well as laces featuring a repeated star print – with the left set of laces coming in red, while the right come in blue to match the colours of the American flag. Although the release information for this project hasn’t been confirmed, we are in no doubt that this product is going to cause a splash. You wouldn’t be surprised to hear this isn’t all UNDEFEATED has been doing with the Ultra Boost, as they have also released images of a ‘triple black’ variation of the Ultra Boost 1.0 adorned with signature UNDEFEATED branding across the shoe’s upper and a similarly formed white pair to match.

UNDEFEATED x Adidas Ultra Boost Independence Day
UNDEFEATED x Adidas Ultra Boost 1.0 White

Aside from UNDEFEATED’s fine work with Adidas, both in a footwear and apparel context, the brand has also simultaneously been working with the Three Stripes biggest rival in Nike, and in a few instances Nike’s subsidiary Air Jordan. The Gucci-inspired UNDEFEATED x Air Max 97 to this day stands as one of the hottest shoes of 2017, and that really is only the top of the iceberg. Of late, if you want to see what the partnership between UNDEFEATED & Nike has in store, you would be best advised to look to the court. It seems the new silhouette of choice for the pair is the Nike Kobe Protro – a favourite of NBA players like Demar DeRozan – Kobe Bryant’s signature court shoe has been launched in collaboration with UNDEFEATED in a range of exclusive camo colourways, ranging from yellow and red to green and orange variations. Followers within a two-mile radius of UNDEFEATED flagships in L.A. and Phoenix were allowed to unlock the eye-catching iterations via SNKRS Pass depending on the store’s location. Going live precisely at 8:24 PST, the selection immediately sold out.

UNDEFEATED x Nike Air Max 97
UNDEFEATED x Nike Kobe Protro

That’s not all UNDEFEATED has been in the headlines for with Nike of course, an apparel collection labelled “The Fives” has been cancelled by Nike as a result of the backlash surrounding the proposed logo which bore striking similarities to the U.S. Naval Academy’s crest design. As a result, the USNA announced that it was sending a cease and desist to Nike and UNDEFEATED for trademark infringement. “The similarities of the Nike/UNDEFEATED logo released this week, and the USNA Crest is undeniable, and we believe their logo is clearly an infringement under trademark law.” This naturally has put a considerable spanner in the works in regards to pairs planned collaboration but make no mistake about it, there is always more on the horizon.

UNDEFEATED x Nike “The Fives” Collection

For every single UNDEFEATED footwear drop, a vast array of other industry news, and the opportunity to buy and sell trainers today make sure you keep it Laced.