This week’s edition of Quality over Hype is dedicated to my favorite model of all time, the Air Stab. It might feel a bit biased, but that's because it is. In my opinion this is the best runner of all time. I'm the self proclaimed STAB KING with more pairs of stabs then most of you kids own in your coveted Jordan's. However, the message is not lost, the Stab will forever be quality over hype.
A gift from the sneaker gods, a collab with the legendary London boutique, Foot Patrol. The premier sneaker destination for our homies over the pond, the crew at Foot Patrol had the foresight to bring an all-time classic back from the dead. Originally designed by the man, the myth, the legend himself Mr. Tinker Hatfield, the name Stab is short for stability, like the profile states: straight-lasted training shoe for the runner who needs maximum cushioning and stability. The Air Stab was the first model to combine the footbridge device/technology with the air sole cushioning. One of the first models with visible air and featured a noticeable teeth shaped overlap of the air window, truly a "sharp" design to reflect the name itself.
December 3rd, 2005 my prayers were answered when Foot Patrol resurrected the Stab, re-releasing my grail in their London boutique. Customers were met with a beautiful young maid that dressed the part and served hot tea out of their very own FP Air Stab mug. Not only did you get to enjoy a cup of old fashioned English tea, you were able to keep the mug as a gift from the store for coming out. The sneaker itself features an original color way not seen before its time, a quality lost in most collabs today. A white leather insole and Carolina blue (GO TAR HEELS!) color blocking on the check, side, and lettering. With teeth on the air bubble and unmatched quality suede wraps the toe and overlaps the grey heel guard, accented with blue speckled paint. Coupled with a grey suede logo on the back heel and a translucent sole that seems to mimic a gum bottom with age turns a familiar silhouette into a masterpiece.
In 2008 Nike decided to stop selling the Air Stab in the UK due to significant stabbings at the time, specifically in London. Coincidently, that same summer Nike staff members were victims of a stabbing incident at their own Nike store in London. So, the Stab had to go. Bad timing mixed with some bad luck caused the Stab to vanish from shelves, leaving collectors wondering if the model would ever make a return. Fast forward nearly a decade later and the Nike Air Stab made a triumphant return like Jordan, wearing the four five. It was only appropriate that Size? (Big brother to Foot Patrol) released two pairs of an exclusive, winterized version of the sneaker. Both the black and burgundy pairs are still available now at Size?. Imagine that, one of the world's top names in sneakers releases one of the most popular runners of all time, exclusively sold at their store, and months later it's still available. Not because they're not dope, but because they're not hype.
Just a thought, but in my opinion if Kith released the same two pairs of Stab's as an exclusive Ronnie Fieg collab, it would sell out. Not because of the appreciation of a quality sneaker, but for the hype. That's just my humbled opinion but if your one of the rare breed who desires a quality sneaker for the low, grab the white-emerald green pair that is sitting on shelves at the South Street Villa (Ask for Lou, tell him the Stab King sent you). The first general release this year and it favors an OG color-way, c'mon what more do you want. Speaking of OG Stabs, if you haven't seen Sepatufresh's first episode of "Vintage: A Day To Remember" you need to, it's amazing. The materials are legit, beautiful suede uppers with a light mesh toe box. COMFORTABLE and AFFORDABLE. You can also order a pair of the newest color way on Nike now, and enjoy a pair of quality sneakers.
The Stab King