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Black Friday Sneakers & Sportswear: What’s at the Top of Our List?

Boardroom convenes its Style Roundtable to identify our most-coveted picks for the holiday season and reminisce over memorable sartorial gifts from years past.

Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, the holiday season is fully upon us. That means Black Friday. That means hitting the Starbucks drive-thru at 4:57 a.m. to put all those pilates-practicing book club types on notice. It means stampedes in and out of Walmart for 4K televisions with 240 Hz refresh rates (120 is absolutely not enough to render each of Detective Olivia Benson’s pores in perfect resolution). It means reducing all of us down to our basest instincts in pursuit of the most magical five-letter word in the wide, wide world of late capitalism:

STUFF.

Fortunately, Boardroom is here to get focused and cut through all this madness to focus on what truly makes us tick this time of year: sneaker and apparel glory.

So, for Black Friday 2022, we convened our first-ever STYLE ROUNDTABLE — Ian Stonebrook, Bernadette Doykos, and Sam Dunn — to satisfy three key queries:

  1. What’s an upcoming sneaker or sportswear release you’re most looking forward to and why?
  2. Tease us on a Black Friday sneakers or apparel deal that caught your attention.
  3. What’s the best footwear/sportswear gift you’ve ever received in the past?

Let’s get fitted.

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What’s the upcoming sneaker or apparel release you’re most looking forward to?

IAN STONEBROOK: This holiday season, the release I’m monitoring the most is the “Raptor” Air Jordan 37. As a married man with more retro releases than I can wear, I’m always looking for something fly and functional on-court that reminds me of my younger days.

BERNADETTE DOYKOS: I’m very, very excited for the new KITH winter drop. I am obsessed with outerwear and coveting the bandana-style quilted puffer and the crocheted jacket, which has a sort of Carhartt-inspired back that speaks directly to my Maine-loving heart.

SAM DUNN: The Run the Jewels Nike Dunks, America.

They’re out next year, ideally coinciding with a hypothetical RTJ5 album drop??? Honestly, I don’t even know how much I *actually* like them, but I’m a white guy in his 30s who listens to backpacker hip-hop and will never hesitate to wax about its superiority vis-a-vis trap and drill, so I don’t think I need to explain my fanboy enthusiasm further.

Tease us on a Black Friday deal that has your attention.

BD: Nothing too crazy, but I have wanted Air Max 97s since Mariel O’Brien used to lap us all in her electric blue and neon greens during field hockey practice. This year, I treated myself to my first pair in my collection, and now am on the market for a winter-y colorway that can be worn during the endless New England winter.

SD: I have heard tell that Nike is offering up to 60% off retail rates on certain offerings and Adidas is pushing 70% off. But all I really care about is securing my Annual One New Pair of Jeans™ I purchase every year. Probably from Uniqlo. Spoiler alert.

IS: How about some advice for anyone looking to get gifts for others — ask exactly what they want, because I’ve never been big on opening audibles. For the selfish and frugal folks like myself, I’d avoid SNKRS, resale prices, and malls at all costs. Instead, I’d add older shoes on eBay to your watch list and expect the seller offers to come in as low as ever due to the season.

What’s the best footwear/apparel gift you’ve received in the past?

SD: In sixth grade, my grandma took me after school to get some damn Nike Air Prestos. My grandma! And these were the original ones — this was 2000, the year those space-age slip-on jokers debuted.

I was immediately no worse than the second-coolest guy in school for the rest of that week; my buddy Pat had gotten the exact same pair several days earlier and I didn’t even care that this may or may not have made me a filthy poser. The only thing that mattered was that I had the coolest sneakers on earthplanet and they were blue and black and slick as all hell — during this particular moment in human history, you didn’t need much more than that besides the N64 Expansion Pak (you can’t play Majora’s Mask or Perfect Dark without it!).

BD: The best gift I’ve ever received, I gave to myself. There’s this incredible sports-focused thrift store in Santa Monica called Quiz Daddy’s Closet and I happened to be there weeks before a big birthday. Amidst some incredible throwback jerseys, I found a 1992 Dream Team paper-style jacket that was an official collab with Kellogg’s. Pretty sure you had to send in box tops to get them.

Also, they definitely didn’t have a rights agreement for some of the team’s biggest stars, so there’s a whole lot of John Stockton on there. Anyway, it’s awesome and the best birthday present I’ve ever received.

IS: Nearly 20 years ago to the day, I went to the Lansing Mall with my mom to get the first “Raptor” Air Jordan 7 retro release and remember really debating getting those or the “French Blue” foray. I still have my pair all these years later and it was worth waiting a few weeks to open them up on Christmas.

The Air Jordan 7 “Raptor”

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