Thursday Thoughts: Retroing Shoes

Let’s delve into something that is apparent in the sneaker culture today. Everyday we get sneaker news about release dates, future releases, samples, sneaker collections, celebs rocking sneakers, etc. Whether we think the news is good or bad is always up for debate. So let’s talk about…

Retroing Shoes

We see it a lot, time and time again. A shoe drops, sells out, time passes, released again, rinse and repeat. This isn’t about which shoes retro or by which brands, this is more about the factors that go into retroing, let’s break it down.

A. Should any changes be made to the retro?

I know what some people are thinking, it’s a retro, why would you make a change? New technology and new materials could always be used to make comfort and performance of the shoe better without tampering with its cosmetic looks. Another reason to look at why a retro could have changes is to differentiate between retros and OGs. For some sneakerheads, this is not too hard with some shoes but it would help people to figure out if a shoe was a retro or not just by looking at it. It doesn’t have to be a huge difference, just something subtle.

B. When is it time to retro a shoe and how often?

When people think retros, what do they think? Jordan’s. Retroing the Cement 3’s has brought mixed insights from different people. Some think it’s great so they can grab a shoe while others think it brings down the satisfaction of grabbing an OG pair when the retro is sitting right on the shelves.

The “how often” part refers to the time between the retroing of a shoe. Take the Neon AM95’s for example, recent releases, 2005, 2008, 2010. Like stated before, some would see this as a good thing since it gives them a chance to grab them if they passed or just didn’t have the funds at the time. On the other hand, does it take the value (not price-wise) from owning an older pair?

C. What factors should determine when/if a shoe is retroed?

What does it take for a shoe to be retroed? Should it be based on hype, popularity? There are many shoes we could name that we hope one day will be retroed but when do you think is the time to retro a shoe? Look at the September/Sport Blue Air Jordan 6’s and the Nike Air Carnivores. To many, the Carnivores are ugly, a really niche shoe that appealed to a few people. The Sport Blue 6’s on the other hand, are considered the best 6’s by some and a sought after pair, yet never retroed. There are obviously many behind the scenes reasons why shoes are retroed or not, but let’s hear why you would retro a shoe.

Retros are something that really add to the sneaker game by letting newer heads grab some older styles or colorways but in a more (sometimes) durable condition and without the hunt to find them.

Should changes be made to retros? When is the best time to retro a shoe and how often should it be retroed? What factors determine when/if a shoe is retroed?

Here’s a little bonus also.

If you could choose any shoe to be retroed, what would you pick?

Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Written by Jedi Jump High aka Jordan Rainey
Photo Credit: Sunshining7

(See something in the sneaker culture that catches your eye and drives you crazy or impresses you? Send it to JJHKNOWS[@]gmail.com (topic only), and it could be used in a future Thursday Thoughts. Credit will be given if the idea has not already been planned or submitted by someone else. Remember, it can be anything sneaker related. Put “Thursday Thoughts” as the subject.)

About The Author

Lord G-Roc from the Great South. Twitter/IG: @GRocSmith

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  • REEBOK – Get on the freaking ball already will ya!

    Jordan – Retro the Olive IX’s… YEAH, I know must of us hated them way back then… but time heals all wounds right!?!? LoL… JUST DO IT!

    I’m not opposed to subtle changes in retro models to help distinguish them apart and help fight the stream of fakes that flood the market. i DO MIND the crappy material used! Let’s not go there though!

    Nike – Ok, it’s time to retro the Lebron AZG and Lebron II

    That is all!

  • Sept Blues!! Been on my mind for months now. THESE PLEASE JB! But all I really want in this world is for a retro of the Royal low 14’s and French 12’s

  • I’m with 4Drumz 100% on the subtle changes

  • Royal 1’s needs to be retroed! One of the best 1’s! Also, any 16’s and any 10’s from the City Series.

  • retros are good. i just got into the shoe game 5 years ago and i don’t have the money or time to be looking for old ass shoes in good condition. i wish they didnt change them from the originals but whatcha gonna do. as long as the overall shape and feel of the shoe is there, i won’t complain. but yeah, retros are great for people that either a) were not in the game back then 2) are too young to be arond to even get those shoes or 3) have an OG that is old as crap and unwearable or just want a new pair to rock and an old to stock. personally i’d be happy if Nike retroed the friggen white cement AJ IVs, adidas retroed some other EQT shoes, and if reebok retroed the OG pumps again.

    another question: would it be wrong for nike SB to retro their earlier shoes?

  • Yutdem

    I think the Retro’s are what carry the brand. Beside, how would you wear a 20 yr old Jordan? I think Retroing J’s are important to the brand & Jordan lover alike. The reason is there are alot of people who weren’t around when a certain shoe dropped. Or in my case, get a chance to wear a shoe that i haven’t owned in 20 yrs. 90% of the people i see are against retro’s have no valid reason. And these are the same people that are the 1st in line to cop the new 7’s or 12’s. How come no one is bitching at Adidas for making shell toe’s? New Balance with some of their shoes? Can you imagine the world without Retro Jordan’s? I can’t see anyone walking around in a pair of 86′ Jordan 2’s. So contrary to what most say, we need the retro’s.

    As for when, i think Jordan is doing a good job of gauging interest on a certain retro. I’m sure there were alot of retro’s shelved due to no one feeling them. It’s not often JB put’s out a true retro like the Bordeaux’s or cardinal’s. I like how they fill the shoe’s in between those with different flavor’s.

    To be honest, i can’t believe it’s even a topic. Especially when EVERYONE wears them….even the haters.

    Dreadz

  • @Megatron “would it be wrong for nike SB to retro their earlier shoes”

    Nice question to also add, I’ve always thought about SB’s and if they would be retroed and personally I would not want them retroed. Sounds weird but it just doesn’t seem right for them to be retroed, lol.

  • Sneakers should only be retroed only if the company does the following 1st.

    – Look at the sales of the shoe the last time they released it before they make the same DUMB mistake again (ex. Air Carnivores)

    – Company should ask itself, How far from the original colors, Materials and Price should we go. I would say no more than a 15% variance in all areas.

    -Company should not retro the sneaker for another 10 years after that. If someone misses it..too damn bad.

    -Company should also put feedback cards in the boxes of the retroes so the company can receive real feedback on their attempted hoodwink..and praise if they got it right.

  • CHRIS GONEZ

    THIS SHOE WILL BE VETTER IF THEY DID THEM LIKE THE CARMINES , WITH SUADE

  • @sneakerkingVA

    I think retroing sneakers is great, not only for the companies but also consumers. Like most of the real “sneakerheads” we have been into sneakers more than 90% of our lives but could not afford the sneakers we wanted as kids. Therfore we become adults and are now financial stable enough to cop the retroed version of our favorite shoes as well as some OGs.

    The downside is when we do have these highly sought after sneakers and still miss out due to the demand of older generations as well as the new school. Some sneakers are retroed over and over, and as a consumer we may feel the companies are struggling to come up with new innovative designs. For some consumers who aren’t as loyal to a brand, they may loose interest in that brand.

    While everyone is making suggestions.

    94′ Nike Air Max Diamond turf and
    Nike air heartache all nations edition sz 9s please

  • @sneakerkingVA

    Typo sorry
    Nike air huarache all nations edition

  • Rayray

    Retros are great! The thing is mass producing the shoe make it like it was back in the day

  • kvegas

    I am not oppose to retro gives a lot of those who missed out on the first go around but for GOD sakes stop with the dumb “vintaged” look? the whole point when I wear some of my vintage wear sneakers is that they look mintcondition although they could be 25 yr old shoes, why would I buy a shoe that is yellowed and scuff up and you want full retail? please!

  • AM95CONNOISSEUR aka THE LEGEND of BIGFOOT

    MAN.. I DO NOT CARE. RETRO THEM ALL AND AS OFTEN AS THEY WANT. SATURATE THE MARKET AND ALLOW ME TO GET EM FOR CHEAP. WE CAN MOAN ALL WE WANT BUT ALL OF US HAVE THAT ONE SHOE THAT PROBABLY HAS BEEN RETROED AT LEAST TWICE THAT FOR VARIOUS REASONS WE MISSED OUT ON AND ARE SALIVATING AT THE MOUTH FOR NIKE OR WHOEVER TO RETRO EM AGAIN.
    .
    PAPER CHASR… I KNOW THERE A TON OF NIKE, REEBOK, CONVERSE MODELS THAT DIDN’T DO TO WELL SALES WISE THAT WE WOULD ALL LOVE TO SEE COME BACK… THE CARNIVORE WAS ACTUALLY DOPE IMO… LOL.
    .
    THE THING I DO AGREE WITH IS THE QUALITY.. THEY SHOULDN’T VEER TO FAR FROM THE QUALITY
    .
    MY LAST POINT.. REEBOK!!! REEBOK.. I AM TALKING TO YOU. KNOCK IT OFF AND COME GET THIS LOOT THAT ALL OF US SN’EADS ARE WAITIN TO SPEND ON ALL THE BLACK TOP SERIES…PUMP SERIES, SHAWN KEMP, SHAQ AND GRANT HILL JAMMIES. LET’S JUST GET IT OVER WITH. CONVERSE TOO… WE COULD USE SOME WEAPONS, AERO JAMS/JETS AND KEVIN JOHNSON JOINTS BACK IN OUR LIFE. THANK YOU VERY MUCH

    SINCERELY YOURS

    AM95 AKA HARRY AKA SASQUATCH…

    chuuuch

  • AM95CONNOISSEUR aka THE LEGEND of BIGFOOT

    MY BAD FOLKS.. THREW IN FILA GRANT HILLS IN MY EXCITEMENT.. BAHHAHHHAA

  • DrPhil

    I’ve been waiting on the obsidian/sky blue AM95s for YEARS. They’re the first pair of AM95s I owned and they were stolen. If anybody has a pair sitting around in a 9.5 lemme kno sum’n

  • AM95CONNOISSEUR aka THE LEGEND of BIGFOOT

    AWWW MAN… NIKE NEEDS TO RETRO ALL THE DIAMOND TURFS TOO… ALL OF EM.
    – THE NIKE AIR MISSIONS
    – THE NIKE AIR RAIDS “LIVE TOGETHER/PLAY TOGETHER” EDITION

  • J Dizzle {Lou}

    I want reebok to put out the Shaqnosis again. It’ll never happen. In regards to jordans, I want to see the mochas again.

  • escoblesso

    Retros are good but I feel that that companies shouldnt release the same model mth after mth (example foamposites)…they should also keep the original materials when retroing sneakers because some of the material they putting in these sneakers kind of make the shoes look like fakes…IMO

  • J-Dawggggg

    when they retro a jordan, they should keep it og. like the new bordeaux’s, that silvery midsole made it look gay and not like the og, they ruined a shoe that people have been waiting for almost 20 years, well not for hypebeasts. but whatever.

  • As a young gun and newcomer to the game, I must say that I love when shoes are being retroed. I understand about the value, the rarity and the thrill of hunt that goes into what making the shoe game (no pun intended) the game. But as for me,a cash strapped college kid just trying stay fresh I like it when they drop the retros.

    Some upgrades are hit and miss when they drop. air flow’s for instance. I saw the OG’s posted on here a while ago and got uber excited, then i see the lunar flows and I’m stuck scratching my head. I know the lunar technology is very comfy, but if nike put the ‘sweat quality’ into their retros they wouldn’t really have to worry about making upgrades.

    I would like to see the Air Flow’s retroed and hit the states.but I’d like to see some adidas retroed like some t-mac 2’s and some kobe’s they could just do like nike did with the kg’s and remove whatever signature insignia was on the shoe, probably won’t happen though.

    Lastly every 10 years is about right for retroing and reretroing sneakers.

  • there should definitely be some space (time wise) between retros…as paper said, too damn bad if you didn’t get a chance to get em the first go round lol

    it gives us all something to look forward too & i’m not mad at that.

    my only request is that JB keep up with the Full Family releases of OGs as they did in the past, enough of that LE crap – small footed females like myself need love TOO ya know.

    In terms of what i’d like to see retro’d – there are a number of sneakers in mind BUT I’ll just say Laney 5s and Jewel & Super Jewel AF1s.

  • Nikeindabutt

    Agree w/ the comment about Bordeaux changes. While I still copped it was disappointing to see how much less ‘pop’ they had w/o the lime green accent. One thing I liked about 90’s colorways is that JB knew how to add splashes of loud colors to make a shoe exciting (i.e. infrared on the 6) whereas today it’s either a whole fruity colored shoe or dull. Sometimes less is truly more.

  • FoamHead

    Da Jordan 13 Breds need to be retroed

  • robbjay

    I say keep it the same. Give the new ideas to the new shoes.

  • even though their not an OG colorway i would like to see the undft 4’s or eminem 4’s re retroed, all blab about the rarity of a shoe is kinda irrelevant to me causes at the end of the day it’s just a shoe. Of course people are going to say man i’m passing on all these recent releases of an old shoe then 4+ years later thats the same idiot saying “aw man i shouldn’t have passed on those.”

  • chris-rewynd

    i need a pair of september 6s.

  • Hmmmm….I’ll take a pair of Maroon AJ6’s please. Had the OG’s in the 5th grade. I NEED THEM AGAIN.

    A pair of G. Payton “Son of Glove” Nikes with the monkey paw and zip up sleeve. Black/white

    Last but not least Reebok ES22 with the 2 Big Hexalite windows on the side like the AI Question. Black/White and clear bottom.

    Tell santa or something to hook that ish up by Xmas!

    …I’m done

  • Reebok has the worst retro’s. They need to release all of the crack cocaine. Like Crack blacktops needed. Kamikaze needed. shaq’s needed. emmitt smiths needed. Crack not wack pumps needed. Thank you.

  • Brandan E.

    please Nike, please retro the Penny Air Ups or Scottie Pippen Air Ups (with the #33 on the back)!!!

    there are tons of others but that should be kool for now.

  • Executive AKA The Crisis

    Good article. I pretty much have everything I want in my collection, but I don’t care if JB keeps retroing the same stuff I just have a problem with them butchering kicks.

  • Executive AKA The Crisis

    I could use a re realese of the carmine 6 I have the OG and the retro CDP.

  • Executive AKA The Crisis

    Oh yeah let me get some Emmit Smith pre season’s to man I could go on for days, anybody got any OG eastbay mags??

  • PLEASE DON’T RE RETRO THE SPORT BLUES.
    .
    LEAVE THEM.
    .
    THOSE ARE JUST TOO CRUCIAL TO BE RE-RETROED

  • Royal S

    Man re-retro some midnight olympic 6’s. July 4th weekend would of been perfect since their white & navy blue with a red jumpman but I’ll guess I’ll just collect other kicks till then.

  • urbanmiracle

    as long as there is a demand for em, retro them. JB and these other sneaker brands arent stupid. They see all that extra of hundreds of dollars these stupid “exclusive” boutiques get for selling the same sneaker they sell for $125. I for one, welcome any and all retros as often as possible. I know we all want to have the only pair on the block but not if it cost the whole block to get em. Im glad I can get some Cement 3s, some black 5s, the cardinal 7s and the true blue 3s for less than $300 bucks. And as for folks who talkin that well if you dont get em in time, too bad, miss me with that shit. why should I wait 10 years or pay out the ass for a sneaker because you want to exclusive? Makes no sense. these kicks arent just made for us “sneaker heads”, they are for everyone. and every and any one should be able to go to a footlocker and cop them without spending a night out in the cold. We got lives.

  • Vega

    Retros are a def. advantage especially to younger kids or newly discovered sneakerheads.If you think about it if kicks are released with a change such as look or material then they are a og pair in their own right. As far as retros id love to see im in favor of all 10s Grape 5s and a general release (not in a countdown or dmp) of the raptor and hare 7s

  • I enjoy the retros but I think the manufactures should always make a subtle change in order to make the Retro’s slightly different from the originals. As much as folks don’t like the Jordan Icon on the AJ’s, it is a good way to separate the Rs from OGs.

  • Shoes should not come out and then retro 3-4 years later makes no sence at all bring out stuff that hasent been retroed at all or in 10+ years bringing out shoes for example this year the cardinal 7’s and matalic 5’s that both came out in 06/07 makes no sense at all then on top of they the new quality is horrible just them alone no need to make major changes on the shoe with bad quality and then sell the shoe for a higher price thats pretty lame

  • HOFMAN

    I reckon that if they get retroed it should be at least 7 yrs after the other release, therefore they still stand for something. But i know why they keep on retroing, one word REVENUE! but definetly at least 7 yrs

  • Lem

    I’m cool with them retroing the shoes. I’m older now and can afford to get them. When I was younger it was a no go. It’s cool to get a shoe you wanted when you were a kid. I would like to see the Reebok Shaqs (the first pair), Reebok Kamikaze (the second edition), and the old school Diadoras.

  • CameronCrazie2

    NIKE: AIR UPS and AIR MISSION TRAINERS. THANK YOU

  • NikeHead

    I THINK ITS TIME TO RETRO THE LEBRON 8 SOUTH BEACH…… ANYBODY AGREE???

  • iSETtrenDz

    crazy.

    there was enough sensible comments so i’m just simply say Retroes are GREAT!!(in my Tony the Tiger Voice)..

    and yeah out of all kicks retro the Sept. Blue 6!!! sht blue is my favorite color, 6 is a WONDERFUL # LOL, & i’m wearin’ Varsity Red 6’s as i type this… damn i want them Sept. Blues!!!

  • privatereserve23

    Air Ups!

  • Retros are definitey good for the game; without them, most of us would’ve missed a great deal of sneakers dropped for various reasons. More importantly, without retros, many of us probably would have never even gotten into the shoe game. My first pair of J’s were OG X’s, but what really sparked my love for the brand (at the time) was the release of the IV’s.

    There’s nothing wrong with bringing back the past; it shows love and respect for the game, brings back memories, and gives that all around feeling of nostalgia.

    The problem is, the frequency and repetitiveness of retros being released, and quality; if JB is just gonna keep dropping the same ish every 2-5 yrs, raise prices, and f with the quality (and material) in a negative way, the. It’s a crime as well as a damn shame.

    I don’t wanna see Concords dropping every other year, and prices being raised, and some wackness like blue soles, different boxes, and jacked up prices.

    Stay true to the game; just because dudes (and females) are gonna cop regardless, doesn’t meant you (nike) should put cheap-looking, expensive ish out.

  • Excuse the grammatical errors; typing from my iPhone.

  • lacemob aka ja

    Can we get a retro 17

  • Swoosh

    I believe retro’s should exist due to the fact that there are younger people becoming sneaker lover’s. Such as myself. Im 18, and now that i have the money to buy some kicks it feels great, but not if my favorite shoes that came out before my birth are not gonna be released again.

    I would like Olympic XI’s to be retro’d.

  • Swoosh

    ^^^^ OMG to my first comment! wrong letter… that X was supposed to be a V!