News

Photo of the Week

The days might be getting longer but there are still occasions where there's still product to shoot after the best light of the day has passed. Most of the time when this happens, I'll break out the flash gun and head off to find a suitable location where I can create some bounce but this week I tried something new; using available artificial lighting.

Street lighting is improving as LED bulbs are becoming more prevalent but the majority of Newcastles streets are still being bathed in a warm orange glow, which provides a terrible quality of light for the type of photography we do at Soleheaven. The source of light in this weeks Photo of the Week was found on a footpath on an overpass above the city streets.

It's high output provided enough light to capture the detail of the sneakers well and whilst the fall off is a little steep, I think it creates an image that really puts the product in focus as well as adding a bit of mystery.

Shop the Nike Air Max 90 Premium here

Show us how you've used available artificial light in your photography by tagging it with #teamsoleheaven

- Ant


Bobzilla Feature and Interview.

A man of many talents. From illustration and design to DJing and running educational workshops, 'Bobzilla' has excelled in his work and gained an internationally praised reputation thanks to his driving work ethic and eye-catching, unique power with paint. Having worked in the North East of England for years now, and after catching him browsing our Newcastle store we thought we would sit the man down and chat to him about local life, his career as an artist, his taste in music and of course, sneakers. 

Talk us through what/who inspired you as a young creative? 

Well, when I was young, hip-hop culture was really taking off, you know, B-boy styles, graffiti, cut ’n paste culture and skateboarding, that whole era was inspirational to me. l was inspired by all aspects of underground music culture and it’s surrounding peripheries. 

Where did you find yourself being inspired the most?

Sheffield, definitely, it's where I grew up, the cities creative communities took off really quickly actually. The whole graffiti scene was so prolific, and I've brought that with me through into everything I do. The level of quality of work I was surrounded by was amazing, artists like ASK & Kid Acne in Sheffield and Swifty & Futura 2000 further afield. 

Your talents cover a host of abilities, which types of creative work do you enjoy the most?

I enjoy the challenge of walls and painting murals the most. I love the whole 'here today, gone tomorrow' ideology.  But recently I've been enjoying getting paint onto canvas and sculpture/drawing aimed more towards exhibition. 

What do you enjoy about North East life? 

There is just such a thriving creative community in the North East. I spent about twenty years in a small town myself, so now that I live up here, It opens up even more opportunities to showcase my work and share my ideas. I know it sounds cliche but everyone is so friendly up here, it's much easier to engage with your audience as it’s much bigger and find collaborative opportunities. 

Let's talk sneakers, What brands have you been loyal to over your life? 

I grew up around all the casual crew and their Adidas, you know the types? But I've always been a Nike fan myself. I still love all the old school models. I like models like the Nike Internationalist and love my Mo’ wax Futura Blazers, but for me its the simple stuff as everything ends up covered in paint more often than not. I'm not a big fan over many new, modern silhouettes. 

We also know you're a musical aficionado, what are your go-to genres? 

When I DJ, I would consider myself more of a selector. I jump between genres, I play a lot of Funk, soul, hip hop & reggae. I like to find the middle ground between Nottinghill Carnival and a New York City block party.

Where can people hear you play? 

You can catch me at my residency in Middlesborough at an event called FUNKBOX at Twisted Lip and my do called Braziliant! at Ernest in the Ouseburn of Newcastle. 

What's next for Mr 'Zilla? 

I've got a lot of exciting projects lined up for 2017. I'll be working with collaborative partners in and around Newcastle and since I live in Gateshead now, I'm looking to work a lot more on this untouched side of the river. 

You can catch Bob at an upcoming show at Arch 16 in Gateshead, just over the High-Level Bridge from Newcastle. Keep your eyes peeled to his Facebook page and the Arch 16 page for more information on that. 

Website | http://www.iambobzilla.co.uk

Facebook | Artist Page | http://www.facebook.com/mynameisbobzilla/

Twitter | http://www.twitter.com/iambobzilla

Instagram | http://www.instagram.com/iambobzilla

 


Sneaker Focus: Nike Air Jordan XIII Retro ‘Black Cat’

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Jordan XIII, Nike are releasing the sought after ‘Black Cat’ iteration, usually the Black cat nickname resembles the all black colourway, however, this time it has a much richer meaning for the 13s as they have the style that replicates a panther, the stealthy all black iteration pays homage to the panther’s dark coat fur. With a soft suede covering the toe box as it extends around the mudguard to the heel. The woven mesh panels on the upper contain 3M within and also has reflective accents in the laces which give it that unique contrast.

The Jordan 13 is said to be one of the most comfortable shoes in the Jordan line.  This can possibly be because of its durable Phylon midsole and its heel and forefoot Zoom Air which means every step on the court will be cushioned whilst retaining its responsiveness and impact.

Here at Soleheaven, we appreciate when sneakers have that creative design and story behind them. The sole of the 13s replicates a panther’s paw as you can see by the way each separate pad imitates that of a panther’s. Even the jewelled hologram on the heel and sole represent the eyes of the black cat.

The Panther has special hunting skills. Most like to stalk their prey before attacking. Which is why MJ received this nickname from Tinker Hatfield and other friends as he reads players and strikes before they get the chance.

These are going to be going quickly so make sure you get up early for the chance to cop some heat! There is also a GS version starting in a size 3 running up to a 5.5 so all of you with smaller feet, you get this heat!

Available online at 21/1/17 08:00 am GMT

Click here to purchase


Sneaker Focus: Black & White

For those readers who don't know, our store is based in Newcastle Upon Tyne, a city which has a huge, longstanding relationship with the combination of colours black and white. Almost everyone in the UK will be able to associate black and white with the City of Newcastle thanks to our astounding football following (or soccer to our readers abroad), in which our players have always sported a black and white striped jersey ever since 1894 when the former name of East End FC acquired St James Park and created a kit that was neutral colours in respect for their formal rivals West End who gave them the lease for the stadium showing a mature approach to the football game showing respect to them.

On any given match day or city is flooded with fans wearing the same black and white jersey in support of the home team, and this has been a tradition for generations as families and friends flock to the local stadium week in week out. 

Recently at Soleheaven HQ, we've had our shelves filled with the latest and greatest from Nike's Spring Season releases, and we noticed an influx in monochromatic black and white colourways adorning some of our favourite silhouettes. This lead us to compile this lookbook, containing a hand-picked selection of black and white products, all easy to pair up with almost any outfit, and all using strong blocking and contrast to turn heads without the need for colour. Models include the Huarache Ultra, the Nike Air Max 95, Air Force 1 and more. 

So, why don't you celebrate the city of Newcastle with us and cop something black and white from this lookbook, to make life easier, we've pulled out our highlight products from the collection, which include the Nike Sock Dart, Nike Air Max Zero and Nike Air Max 90 2.0.

Shop the full Black & White Collection here


Sneaker Focus: Nike Zoom Live

New year. New Creps. Taking inspiration from the Nike Hyperlive. Nike has updated this court sneaker for the new year with the introduction of this Nike Zoom Live 2017.

Stocked in two minimal colourways; one with an all black upper and finished with a gum sole with grey hints woven into the toebox and the other in a clean contemporary wolf grey with white accents on the swoosh and integrated within the mesh with a contrasting orange accents on the tongue and swoosh on the outsole, finished off with a bright white midsole that makes the shoes pop on the court. Both colourways feature 3M detailing also on the tongue which adds a really cool headturning touch.

Boasting a sleek aesthetic, with many features that will bring you your A game on the court, thanks to the Zoom Air unit in the sole providing great responsiveness and impact protection with every step, the Kobe inspired lockdown strap, the breathable mesh upper, the ankle support and just in general the comfiness of the shoe, it hugs your foot and keeps it secure when cutting across the court at fast speeds. The Kyrie inspired outsole curves up to allow for those quick changes in movement and provides great traction to prevent slips. The budget-friendly basketball sneaker is defined by a light breathable textile upper and midfoot strap for fast, in-control play, in addition to secure lockdown.

Considering the technology and style these sneakers bring they don't even break the bank, coming in at budget-friendly £85. 

Click here to check out both colourways


Staff Selections: Nike Drop 2 Spring '17 Part 2

Here are the rest of our staff picks from the 2nd Nike drop! Have a look at our product range for yourself, and pick out your favourite pair. And make sure you get them before they're gone.

Callum / Merchandise Director

Nike Air Zoom Spiridon - 905221-001

Priced at £110 - Click Here To Buy

Buy Nike Zoom Spiridon

"Instant 90's vibes from these, they remind me of the OG colourway of the 97's aka the 'Silver Bullets'. So its a very current colourway which has been well executed and is super wearable, plus the Spiridon sole has been slimmed down which adds an even more tapered look."

Simon / Store Manager

Nike Air Max 95 Ultra Essential - 857910-600

Priced at £120 - Click Here To Buy 

 Buy Nike Air Max 95 Ultra Essential

"It's so vibrant and out there, like if you step out on the streets in these you are definitely turning some heads. These are a statement shoe, surprisingly they don't look bulky due to the streamline Hyperfuse & mesh combination."

Harry / Warehouse Manager

Nike Air Max 90 Premium - 700155-002

Priced at £95 - Click Here To Buy

Buy Nike Air Max 90 Premium

"I'm really digging this colourway. The subtle accents of Legion Green are really tasteful, and the crisp white outsole just helps this pair pop, Nike has done a good job with these. If it didn't have the white midsole they wouldn't pop so much but it breaks them up perfectly."

Ollie / Sales Specialist

Nike Air Force 1 UltraForce LTHR - 845052-001

Priced at £80 - Click Here To Buy

Buy Nike Air Force 1 UltraForce LTHR

"I used to wear Air Force 1's when I was younger because I thought it made me look cooler, where now it actually does. I love the modern update they have brought to these, especially with the lightweight sole. They remind me of the Cyber Monday Jordan's, I'm basically a sucker for monochrome."

Josh / Warehouse Assistant 

Nike Air Max 90 Premium - 700155-700

Priced at £120 - Click Here To Buy

Buy Nike Air Max 90 Premium

"The colourway is genuinely unique and amazing and the mix of materials looks effortless, especially with the soft suede panels, I don't like the rough suede so this is a big bonus for me."

Andrew / Photography Intern

Nike Air Force 1 Ultra Flyknit Mid - 817420-003

Priced at £115 - Click Here To Buy

Buy Nike Air Force 1 Flyknit Mid

 "I've a huge fan of most Air Force 1's, they're just such an icon. Now coupled with Flyknit technology, it just makes these unmissable. They're lighter and more comfortable than ever before."


Music For the Sole! 2017 What We're Looking Forward to

New year New music feature! We at Soleheaven are looking to the future for our 2017 music previews. Singles, Mixtapes, E.p.s and Albums we're all expecting, and maybe in some cases hoping, see the light of day in 2017.

Callum Hill - Creative Director - Childish Gambino x Chance The Rapper (Untitled Project)

'Both Gambino and Chance are two of my favourite artists respectively, with both of them pairing up I'm expecting something more experimental than their last two projects, pushing the boundaries of what's previously been expected from them as individuals. Lyrically, I think it'll be a great pairing.'

Simon Blenkinsop - Store Manager -  Bronson Mixtape? (Human Highlight Reel)

'Since the move to 6 Old Eldon there hasn't gone a day where Bronson's voice hasn't been heard in store. It would just be quite nice to see him get back in to the rap game and put out a full length effort. A man can dream!'

Ollie Winn - Sales Specialist - LCD Soundsytem 'Untitled Unannounced Project'

'Last year was a big year for LCD, getting the ball rolling with a Christmas Song in 2015, and then the announcement of a full reformation and world tour to boot in summer 2016, but it was the news of their move from DFA records (Mr LCD Soundsystem James Murphy's own label imprint) to Columbia Records that got the album talk rolling. Considering that every LCD release has been stellar (in my eyes) I expect much of the same with the next LP.'

 Ant Tran - Photographic Content Manager - Kendrick Lamar X J Cole potential release

'This has been on the cards for what feels like years now, but I'm feeling that after two strong releases last year respectively 2017 is the year we finally see a full length from two of the best in the rap game, at their respective peaks. See 2015's Black Friday split release from the two, and Hiiipower on Kendrick's Section 80 for a hype reference'

James Hastie - Content Writer - Loyle Carner 'Yesterday's Gone'

'British Hip-Hop finally has a figure head to challenge the US after all these years. Refreshingly out of touch with the current grime invasion, Loyle has managed to combine a fan base of indie heads and rap fans with his early releases, and I expect him to go from strength to strength with his first full length release.'

Tom Wheldon - Content Writer -  Arcade Fire 'Untitled Album'

'Really looking forward to the follow up to Reflektor. These guys were arguably the biggest band in the world during the release and tour of the last album, and I think they can hit those heights again. Would be interested to see if they push forward with another style/theme for this record, or if they go back to styles seen on 'Suburbs' and 'Neon Bible.'

 

Andrew Moorhead - Photography Intern - Anderson PAAK. 'Untitled Major Label Debut Album'

'Had PAAK. as my one to watch last year with a number of my friends, and this year I expect him to finally release his major label debut on Aftermath ENT. Yet to be disappointed by PAAK.'

Harry Moorhead - Warehouse Manger - Good Music 'Cruel Winter'

'Mercy was the soundtrack of my high school years. If Kanye and Co. come anywhere close to that level of hype off a release, I'll be a happy man. Will be interested to see if CuDi has a song on this compilation, as Creepers was arguably the highlight of Cruel Summer.'


Sneaker Focus: Nike Air Max Thea Flyknit

This one is for the ladies! We at Soleheaven are finally stocking our first pair of Air Max Thea Flyknit. First released in celebration of the Air Max 25th anniversary, inspired by the ’87 silhouette the Thea have a slimmed down profile, providing a much more delicate and sleek look on the foot.

This release features a full premium fly knit upper giving a wonderful slender shape on your foot. The injected phylon midsole provides a soft comfortable stride for all-day usage.  Obviously flexing the iconic visible air unit in the midsole. With a Solarsoft sock liner giving a snug secure fit for the wearer. The rubber waffle outsole provides durable traction meaning they can be worn all day every day and still look fresh. The curved eye-stays allow for flexibility and a more natural fit. No-sew panel on the arch of the shoe creates a secure locked-down fit.

This colourway has a quirky contemporary twist with the minimal black upper and white midsole, but the white detailing on the upper adds some futuristic elements. The white swoosh cleanly displays the Nike branding in a bold manner.

Nike Flyknit technology was inspired by feedback from runners craving a shoe with the snug (and virtually unnoticed) fit of a sock. Nike embarked on a four-year mission with teams of programmers, engineers and designers to create the technology needed to make the knit upper with static properties for structure and durability. Then the precise placement of support, flexibility and breathability—all in one layer—was refined. The result is a featherweight, formfitting and virtually seamless upper. – Nike inc

In my personal opinion if you are wanting a sleek pair of kicks that provide maximum comfort and support on the streets then the Air Max Thea are a great choice to go with.

Releasing 16/1/2017 at 08:00 am GMT

Click here to purchase.


Photograph Of The Week

Looking at the image, can you imagine what the NIKE logo would feel like to touch? 

This week I want to talk about the importance of directional light in sneaker photography. Most of the time I'll seek out soft, diffused lighting that wraps around products, bathing them in a light that banishes harsh shadows. The direction in which that light falls onto the product plays a big part in its appearance.

In the example of the retro-styled Tech Challenge IV above, I wanted to emphasise the embossed NIKE logo punched into the flank of the sneaker. I was able to achieve this by finding a location where the light would fall onto the product from above. The directional light creates highlights and shadows that add depth to the product. 

Purchase the Nike Air Tech Challenge IV here.


Sneaker Focus: Nike Kyrie 3 'Warning'

After months of waiting and much anticipation, Nike is finally dropping the 3rd iteration of the court famous Kyrie, giving Basketball fans a reason to rejoice with 'Team Red' uppers and 'Hot Punch' highlights. 

The mid top fitting sneaker features a uniquely textured synthetic textile upper, using breathable mesh crafted with small 'fleck' details for an eye-catching aesthetic. But the real selling point comes on the sole unit, which uses a combination of Zoom enhancements and traction pods for unrivalled comfort and support in any situation. The soles are also designed using an intricate pattern, allowing for swift, responsive movement without sacrificing any elements of traction and grip on the court. 

Each aspect of this sneaker was designed with performance in mind, but the Kyrie is also famed as a street staple and as a head turning lifestyle alternative. Across the top of the shoe, a strong, stretchy band flexes with your foot for support during quick cuts and sprints. Flywire technology, (ultralight, super strong cables) integrate with the laces, adding, even more, support. This 'Team Red' iteration will go down well with black denim, or shorts in the summer. 

Available from 08:00am (GMT) 14/1/17

Click here to purchase


Staff Selections: Nike Drop 2 Spring '17 Part 1

We told you it's been a big start to the year, with loads of fresh new stock to rock on the streets. We have seen even more Nike stock come through our doors so we decided to choose our favourites from this weeks delivery.

Dale / Managing Director

Nike Air Huarache Run Ultra SE - 875841-100

Priced at £110 - Click here to buy

"These special editions feature a lot of new materialisations and details, the perforated toebox almost looks like it's had a wrap put on it which looks very unique. These sit really nicely on my jeans and the profile these sneaks give finishes off my outfits.

Ant / Photographic Content Manager 

Nike Air Max Zero Essential - 876070-00

Priced at £100 - Click here to buy

"This Monochrome colourway is very striking, the blend of hyperfuse and the woven toebox is great & they can be styled well with virtually any outfit, I am yet to own a pair of Zero's but these are the ones that will change that!"

Tom / Content Writer

Nike Sock Dart 819686-001

Priced at £95 - Click here to buy

"As soon as we got these in-store I instantly purchased them, they are mad comfy on my feet but don't slip about. The triple black colourway is so sleek so it gives a great slim profile which is handy for me as try avoid bulky sneakers" 

James / Content Writer

WMNS Nike Air Max 95 807443-600

Priced at £125 - Click here to buy

"I typically stick to black or greyscale colourways, but when I seen these it swayed me, purely for how unique they look with the stand out colours and premium materials and the fact I have always been an avid fan of the 95's"

Jacob / Sales Assistant

Nike Air Presto Premium WMNS - 878071-100

Priced at £100 - Click here to buy

"This colourway is popping up a lot more recently and I couldn't be happier that they put it on the Presto's. This 'Oatmeal' iteration is very tonal and seasonal, it matches with so many of my outfits and to have this style with Presto comfort.... Instant pickup"

 


Nike Cortez: The Iconic. The Classic. The Staple.

We have over 20 different variations of the iconic Nike Cortez. Here at Soleheaven, we love the history, the heritage, the story, the evolution and the iconic nature of these ground-breaking sneaks. So this is why we chose to make a special blog post covering them.

So, as they are running shoes we will begin from the starting line! The Nike Cortez was running coach and co-founder of Nike Bill Bowerman's first masterpiece, built to be lighter and more durable than any other shoe. In 1972, it put unprecedented cushioning under the fastest feet in the running world and quickly became the most popular training shoe in the country. It was an unmistakable icon. A walking billboard that told your story and declared your affiliation—and came to thrive with fierce style on the streets of Los Angeles. Since then, no shoe has expanded the definition of a running shoe quite like the Nike Cortez.

To this date they are still icons on the street, the legacy carried on by style savvy individuals that understand the minimal aesthetic sneak is not to be undermined. With different versions being introduced over time including the Ultra's the 72's and the many spin-offs they have inspired.

Not only are they appreciated by us streetwear lovers, celebrities and Hollywood alike. "I WAS RUNNING'. Most famously featured in Forrest Gump when he receives a pair of Cortez from Nike which led to the retro colourway of the white upper with the red swoosh and blue hints in the midsole. (Click here to purchase)

If seeing the American legend himself wearing then this next one should impress you, if they are good enough for Jordan Belford aka the Wolf of Wall Street then who are they good enough for, featuring in the amazing Scorcese film and rocked by Leo, most notably for the part where he tries to get into his car whilst under the influence, you can see in the video below Leo rocking the white & black leather Cortez on his feet. (Click here to purchase)

Even stars like Kendrick Lamar & Childish Gambino have been seen rocking these staples on their feet a lot, showing their understanding of how these literally go with so many outfits due to their minimal appearance. In 2013 Kendrick had a verse in Big Sean's track 'Control', saying... “And I ain’t rockin’ no more designer sh**, white T’s and Nike Cortez, this red Corvette’s anonymous…” 

"The Nike Cortez. I don’t know how it is around the world, but in LA I was influenced by the ’80s. My uncles wore Cortez – the type of gangster, OG vibe. They’re the originals, you can’t ever go wrong with them" - Kendrick Lamar

Here you can see Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino donning his rare colourway of the Nike Cortez

You can see the influence they hold, appearing in decades of pop culture and I honestly can't speak highly enough of the Cortez. So the best thing to do is try them on yourself which you can do by clicking this link here.


Diadora 'Bright Camo' Pack

Diadora Bright Camo Pack

This seasonally timed capsule collection from Diadora is 'For an urban warrior ever ready to switch gears'. This release combines camouflaged elements with trusted Diadora models that have roots firmly planted in both the sneaker game and hearts of fans. This release adapts lifestyle and creativity onto the perfect templates, using the perfect hues and tones to create one of the strongest Diadora capsules we have seen in recent years. 

Within the collection comes four Diadora sneaker variations, each utilizing the camouflage pattern to its distinct advantage, combining it with woodland colours or simply clean white for dramatic effect.

Alongside these limited sneakers, Diadora have released a limited run of T-shirts to accompany the drop as well as Sweatshirts, which at Soleheaven, we're gifting these to all customers who purchase a product from this range, giving you even more reason to bag something from this limited release. 

The models in the very limited pack include the V7000, N9000 & Game L Low. The hardest thing will be deciding which one your going to choose. Priced from £75.

To Shop The Diadora 'Bright Camo' Pack - Click Here.

Diadora N9000 'Bright Camo' Pack

Diadora V7000 'Bright Camo' Pack

Diadora Game Low 'Bright Camo' Pack

Diadora 'Bright Camo' Pack

Diadora 'Bright Camo' Pack


Staff Selections: Nike Drop 1 Spring '17 Part 2

Here are the rest of our staff selections from the latest Nike Drop.

Callum / Merchandise Director

Nike Air Max 95 Premium

Priced at £125

Click here to buy

"This colourway is very distinctive and really stands out against other 95 releases. I'm always a gravitate towards Tan & Mustard tones, so these really caught my attention soon as they came out of the box. They'll stand out but they're still so easy to pair with an outfit."

Harry / Warehouse Manager

Nike Air Huarache Run Ultra WMNS

Priced at £100

Click here to buy

 "The seasonally toned 'Oatmeal' uppers bring a warm start to the new year and move away from the dark tones of Winter, these instantly bring a radiant light to my outfits, plus these are mad comfy as they hug the foot!"

Ant / Photographic Content Manager

Nike Classic Cortez Leather

Priced at £65

Click here to buy

 

"These are OG for a reason, the colourway is a classic and matches with so many outfit variations due to the minimal shape and colour these have. It’s a unique twist to invert the colour and brings a renewed variation on some timeless sneaks."

Tom / Content Writer

Nike Air Footscape Magista Flyknit - 816560-003

Priced at £165

Click here to buy

"I can’t express fully how much I love this silhouette, the honeycomb Flyknit upper with the ankle sock gives me such a sleek look on the foot, matched with the staple colourway these have means they’re a new essential for my wardrobe."

Josh / Warehouse Assistant

Nike Air Max 90 Ultra 2.0 Essential - 881982-300

Priced at £105

Click here to buy

 

"I like the way Nike have reworked some iconic features from classic silhouettes with the lightweight Hyperfuse taping on the mudguard and the thick weaved mesh on the toebox, it's showing innovation and creativity as Nike keep bringing new updates on traditional sneaks."

These are our personal choices but we understand everybody has different tastes, so check out the new stock for yourself as there is loads on offer!


QuickStrike release: Nike Kobe AD

We all love a good quick-strike release, the exclusiveness, the tense moment to see if you copped some heat. So if you are wanting to get your hands on these then get your checkout cart ready as these will move faster than Kobe on the court..

Just because Kobe retired doesn’t mean he has no influence on the court. When you are that much of a legend your legacy lives on regardless of you being on the court or the side-lines, so when Kobe released the AD (After death) he made it clear he was still a strong part of the Basketball culture and continues to spread his creativeness and vision to his fans.

This iteration of the Nike Kobe AD is being dubbed as ’Triple White’, despite the fact they feature hints of silver, you can see the release features predominantly white throughout covering the upper as well as the insole, sockliner and heel tab. which is shown on the synthetic leather across the heel and Engineered Mesh base. To gloss over the clean look of the sneaks they feature refined Silver accents on the Nike Swoosh, Flywire cables and heel counter. These Kobe's even feature unique groove detailing around the toebox and even on the inside of the heel tab Finishing the look is an icy translucent outsole. Unique groove detailing features around the toebox and even on the inside of the heel tab

Not only do these AD boast astounding style, they feature highly innovative technology throughout, even down to the smallest little details. Containing the famous Nike Zoom air in the heel unit to provide low-profile responsiveness and to impact your movement for explosive changes in speed. The micro-tuned Lunarlon foam in the sole is extremely lightweight and provides great cushioning on the court, the forefoot is inspired by the Nike Free with the multi-directional flex grooves which allow for quick cuts and lift-off which will undoubtedly increase your game. 

"WE ARE ALWAYS TRYING TO PROGRESS. FOR THE KOBE A.D. IT'S ALL ABOUT PERFECTING THE TECHNOLOGY WE HAVE WITH PRECISION, EFFICIENCY AND THE SHARPNESS OF THE LINES OF THE SHOE."Kobe Bryant

Available now online, so act fast before they are gone!

Click here to purchase


Music For The Sole: Childish Gambino 'Awaken My, Love'

Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino. The legend who created his stage name from a Wu-Tang name generator, which already makes him my hero.

From first seeing him in the American TV show Community with his quirky, witty humour and style, to him developing into a Golden Globe winner for 'Best performance' in his latest show Atlanta. So not only is he a successful actor he is also a writer, producer, director, comedian, rapper, singer, and songwriter. He is highly loved across the world due to his persona; he’s likeable, sensitive, and observant, the down to earth everyman who even rocks up to shows & events in some beat up Cortez sneaks.

With his latest album 'Awaken, My Love', Childish has released yet another uniquely amazing album. Moving away from his typical conventions of southern rap & straight pop and on to his love for funk by using a mix of dirty thick Bass, guitars & even a xylophone along with some amazing vocals. My favourite tracks on the album have to be 'Redbone' & 'California' purely for the funkadelic vibes they ooze which has led to it being on repeat in my house for a few weeks now.

If you haven't listened to his latest album then you are definitely missing out, you can find the full album on Spotify & iTunes.

The video below shows Childish Gambino performing my favourite track 'Redbone' Live for the Jimmy Fallon show.


Staff Selection: Nike Drop 1 Spring '17

So a new year has begun! Which means new styles, new trends and exciting releases. We have received a large variation of Nike in our store, there is an immense amount of new stock to select; from the highly comfortable Flyknit mercurials & Magista to the iconic Cortez. We even have new iterations of the street-ready Air Max 95's & 90's! All of us Team Soleheaven have chosen a pair of sneakers that we deem our favourite from this latest drop.

DALE / Managing director

Nike Air Max 95 Ultra Essential - 857910-006

Priced at £120 - Click To Buy

"I’m really into the monochrome aesthetic of this release. the hyper fused upper provides a trimmed down profile and shape that sits kindly with all my denim/pant options. This is definitely a seasonal staple for me".

 

SIMON / Store Manager

Nike Zoom Mercurial Flyknit - 844626-101

Priced at £165 - Click To Buy

"The colour palette is sublime on these! Especially the tan heel and gum outsole. It’s a clean contemporary look. It’s also great to see the iconic Zoom Spiridon sole merging with the futuristic textured fly-knit upper".

 

OLLIE / Sales Specialist

Air Force 1 'Palm Green' - 315122-306

Priced at £72 - Click To Buy

"I have always liked the Air Force 1’s because of that retro appeal they exude, so to see them in a warm shade of green after the dark tones of Winter its refreshing to see the colours come back into style, plus the suede upper adds a premium edge on the ‘Harlem’ staple".

 

ANDREW / Photography Intern

Nike Air Max 90 2.0 Essential - 875695-100

Priced at £105 - Click To Buy

"I’m enjoying the simplicity of this colour way as it's very minimal but still has the bold aesthetic with the striking black mudguard, along with the mesh and hyper fuse giving an authentic sporting feel for all day comfort when cruising the streets"

 

JACOB / Sales Assistant

Nike Air Max 90 WMNS - 325213-410

Priced at £95 - Click To Buy

"Always been a big fan of the 90 silhouette so when I saw these I was instantly sold, the colourway is so clean and to be finished off with an oat swoosh detailing just really finishes these off."

 Shop the full Nike collection - Click Here.

Stay tuned for the next post featuring the rest of the staff selections!

And remember to let us know what your picks are from the first Nike Drop of 2017 in the comments below...


Soleheaven Stylist: How to wear your Flyknit Mercurial's XI FK

So recently we received a lot of stock from Nike to start the new year, one of our personal favourites from the drop was the Nike Mercurial XI FK which came in three highly unique and contemporary colourways. The sneaks that were inspired by the football boots that have been famously rocked by the legendary Cristiano Ronaldo, so if they are good enough for him on the pitch, then they definitely suffice for the streets.

You can click here to purchase the Sail / College Navy / Pale Grey Colourway

You can click here to purchase the Dark Grey / Pale Grey / Light Charcoal

You can click here to purchase the Black / Dark Grey / Deep Royal / Blue

These innovative kicks feature an intricately woven flyknit upper with a segmented toebox which cleanly breaks the shoes up whilst providing comfort with the most natural feel physically possible. They are even built on the iconic Nike Spiridon sole which flaunts distinctive patterns in both the midsole and outsole. Even the way they elegantly rock a leather heel in a colour that matches the outsole. 

They are personally my favourite out of the 100’s of models we received, for all the reasons that I listed above and also for the fact they can literally be styled with so many different outfits. If you don’t believe me, read this post and I will not only show you just how adaptable and versatile these sneaks are. But how to style them in the most effective manner!

Firstly the key is to emphasise the ankle sock and flaunt the flyknit upper due to the sleek profile they provide for your feet so if you love rocking cropped pants then these are perfect. As shown below you can even don them with jogging bottoms.

You don't want to wear something that pulls the focus off of the sneaks, so avoid contrasting colours and slim pants and try stick to neutral like black, grey, navy or beige pants. It also makes the outfit if you can have matching details in your outfit with accessories or branding. For example, these sneakers have Navy accents on the toebox and swoosh so to accompany this the jogging bottoms feature Navy on the branding and pull cords (It's the small details that make the outfit).

If you don't fancy a trip to your local tailors then you can always do a simple roll up on your jeans/pants, as previously stated anything to accentuate the ankle makes the sneaks pop and pulls the focus due to the vibrant swoosh and heel. So.. You have seen them styled with jogging bottoms and below you can see them with smart pants.... and that's not even half the styling options.

If you are more of an expert at rolling cuffs then you know that a pin-roll is a great step up from the standard roll. Pin-rolling is perfect for styling with the Mercurials as they have a slim profile and yet again compliment the ankle sock. 

So. We have styled them with skinny jeans, slim jeans, smart pants and even jogging bottoms and they have looked perfect in every scenario. These really are an adaptable pair of kicks. Matched with the comfort these give. They are honestly without a doubt my favourite release from the 1st drop from Nike.

Below are a few more photos from our styling. Let us know what your favourite colourway is and drop a comment or #Teamsoleheaven on social media to show us what you style yours with. I hope this styling guide helped you on your journey to becoming a style icon.


Photo of the Week

I love it when we see a sneaker that has a strong concept behind it. This week's knock-out release is Saucony's GRID 9000 which comes in a striking red and blue colourway, inspired by the ancient sport of boxing.

We took the pair to our local boxing gym to put the sneakers in their natural habitat. Our model, Tom donned the gloves and got put to work on the punch bags and in the ring to see if the 'sparring' release would live up to it's name.

This week's photo of the week shows Tom resting on the ropes in the ring during the session. The complementary colours and the strong texture of the rope provides context that is immediately recognisable.

Read our full blog post about the Saucony GRID 9000 'Sparring' here.

Plus a huge shout out to FIT Club Gym Newcastle for letting us use their space for the shoot. 


Watch Native Skateboards 'Coast to Coast' Here!

In 2015, the talented Adam Todhunter and a crack team of local lads embarked on a mission to produce a northern skate video, entitled Coast To Coast. The premise of the video was to film local skaters tearing it up from Newcastle To Cumbria, all the way across the northern half of England, and oh boy did they supply the goods. 

At the beginning of 2016 Adam uploaded the full movie to Youtube for your viewing pleasure, or you can cop a hard copy in Native Skatestore at any time!

~Team Soleheaven 


Sneaker Focus: Saucony GRID 9000 'Sparring'

Saucony Grid 9000 'Sparring With Saucony Sneaks'.

"Sparring is where you put your knowledge, your strength, your condition, and technique into practice"

Are you ready to spar in the ring? Well, thanks to Saucony, and Saucony Sneaks, you are now kitted out for the challenge. With their latest release dubbed ‘Sparring’. Influenced heavily by boxing and as a metaphor for everyday challenges in life that you must tackle head on. 

The colour-way takes some striking visual cues (quite literally) from the world of boxing, from the vibrant red covering the mesh toe box and suede mudguard, sock lining and parts of the midsole where the opposing blue takes up the lateral parts of the sneaker as well as the tongue, lacing and heel area, as well as fighting for space on the mudguard. Each colour represents each corner of fighters in the ring and the red toe box could even reflect the style of boxing gloves. The gold tones on the lateral branding, heel quarter and flecks within the midsole reflect the championship belt and show the dominance these bring. The gum sole is a neutral colour to emphasise the visually strong upper.

The lightweight mesh upper provides breathability & supreme comfort from the Nylon sock liner that hugs your feet, whilst the suede panelling retains that premium aesthetic making this release that extra bit special, the rubber outsole delivers great traction thanks to the triangular lugs and the G.R.I.D cushioning system allows for easy all-day wear.

This release is exclusive to Europe only with only 1200 pairs in circulation, which means we are very pleased to be stockists of this limited drop. So prevent yourself from getting knocked down, fight your challenges head on and get your gloves on (…Well sneaks in this case) and brace yourself!

We decided to get into the spirit of this theme and lace up the gloves ourselves as we visited our local boxing ring at F.I.T Club on High Bridge street in Newcastle to test out the sneakers and delve into Saucony’s ideology of "Sparring".

Releasing online 7/1/17 at 12:00 pm GMT in very limited numbers.

Priced at £95

Click here to purchase at time of release