The Air Jordan 3 "Racer Blue" Revs Up This Week's Best Footwear Drops

July is here, the US is coming off a long holiday weekend, and the world’s biggest sneaker brands have a sizzling summer slate of releases for savvy sneakerheads this week.

On the feature front, the HYPEBEAST team shared their favorite shoes to wear in the first half of 2021. We also spoke to Xbox principal designer Elliott Hsu about the Space Jam x Nike x Xbox collection, and held a roundtable-style interview with Nice Kicks about the history of their tie-dye adidas collaborations. The latest Sole Mates guest was fine artist and designer Ju Working on Projects, who spoke on his Nike Sky Force “Game Worn” collaboration.

It was an undeniably busy week for collaborations across multiple brands. To name a few, there was a closer look at the Off-White™ x Air Jordan 2 Low “Black/Blue,” a first glimpse at the Bad Bunny x adidas ZX 8000 “Ice Cream,” detailed images of the KAWS x sacai x Nike Blazer Low, an on-foot teaser for the A$AP Rocky x Vans Slip-On, Matthew M. Williams showing off new iterations of the 1017 ALYX 9SM x Nike Air Force 1 High, a reveal of the Supreme x Nike Air Force 1 Low “Wheat,” Kanye West’s new adidas YEEZY BOOST 700 in “Wash Orange” and a handful of Space Jam: A New Legacy x Nike LeBron 18 Low styles. Even NBA PJ Tucker got in on the action with his own Dolce and Gabbana sneakers.

Elsewhere, PJ’s Milwaukee Bucks teammate Giannis Antetokounmpo’s Nike Zoom Freak 3 was officially announced, we got a look at a Spike Lee Air Jordan 1 PE that was made for the Cannes Film Festival and were treated to info on Nike’s new “Rawdacious” colorway for the Tokyo Olympic Games. The Air Jordan 4 “Red Thunder” was leaked, and a wealth of Dunks from Nike SB and Nike Sportswear had moments as well: the FTC x Nike SB Dunk Low, the SB Dunk High “Strawberry Cough,” the SB Dunk Low “Mummy,” the SB Dunk Low “Laser Blue,” the Dunk Low “Triple White,” the Dunk Low “Shimmer” and the Dunk Low “Crazy Camo.”

Now that you’re all caught up, let’s get into this week’s 10 best drops. When you’re done, head over to HBX to check out even more new footwear styles.

size? x New Balance “College” Pack

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Size?

Release Date: July 8
Release Price: TBC
Where to Buy: size?
Why You Should Cop: UK-based retailer size? and New Balance’s “College” pack of new takes on the 550 and 574 pays homage to a key piece of Americana — namely collegiate style from the ’50s — by using size?’s signature orange color mixed with white and cream tones. The 550 offers a classic, hoops-centric look, while the all-orange 574 gives off solid retro running vibes.

Jordan Brand Quai 54 Collection

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Nike

Release Date: July 8 (Paris Exclusive)/July 10 (Global)
Release Price: TBC
Where to Buy: Nike
Why You Should Cop: Jordan Brand’s latest Quai 54 collection is made up of fresh takes on the Air Jordan 5, Air Jordan 1 Low and Air Jordan 35 Low. All are done up in a crisp white, black and red colorway and boast special prints inspired by Paris’ vibrant West African community. With the famed French streetball tournament set to return this year after a COVID-19-necessitated hiatus in 2020, this collection offers a compelling, celebratory homage to Parisian hoops.

Nike Dunk Low “Laser Orange”

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Release Date: July 8
Release Price: $100 USD
Where to Buy: Nike SNKRS
Why You Should Cop: Nike’s Dunk Low “Laser Orange” serves up sweet summertime style with two-tone colorblocking and a classic build. Frankly, we can’t blame you if you’re a little Dunked out at this point in the year — but if you’re not, the “Laser Orange” is an undeniably appealing summertime option. It’s a women’s style, but will arrive in an extended size run so the fellas can get in on the action as well.

Patta x Vault by Vans “Mean Eyed Cat” Collection

Patta

Release Date: July 9
Release Price: TBC
Where to Buy: Patta
Why You Should Cop: Patta and Vault by Vans’ “Mean Eyed Cat” collection is back for its third installment after previous releases in 2015 and 2017. This time around, it’s the most expansive offering yet: seven takes in total on the Old Skool and Sk8-Hi, done up in colors like “Frost Grey,” “High Risk Red,” “Silver Pink,” “Salute” and “Almond Buff.” Each also features bold Patta script branding and signature midsole hits. This week’s release is a Patta-exclusive drop, and a global release will follow on July 15.

Nice Kicks x adidas UltraBOOST “No Vacancy”

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Nice Kicks/Emma Faukner

Release Date: July 9
Release Price: TBC
Where to Buy: Nice Kicks
Why You Should Cop: Nice Kicks’ fifth and final tie-dye collaboration with adidas, the UltraBOOST “No Vacancy” is inspired by a great American pastime: summertime road trips. Its red and black tie-dye pattern provides a callback to 2016’s Nice Kicks x adidas NMD R1 — the two’s first tie-dye sneaker — making it a bold style and a thoughtful history lesson all in one.

UNDERCOVER x Nike GYAKUSOU ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT%

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Release Date: July 9
Release Price: TBC
Where to Buy: Nike and UNDERCOVER
Why You Should Cop: UNDERCOVER and Nike’s running-focused GYAKUSOU collaborative line has added a little extra flair to the record-breaking ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT% by giving it three bold colorways and plenty of special branding. The burgundy/forrest green and red/navy makeups will see a global release, while the blue and black pair is an UNDERCOVER exclusive.

New Balance Tokyo Design Studio Niobium Concept 2 “Water and Dirt Trail Pack”

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New Balance

Release Date: July 9
Release Price: $200 USD
Where to Buy: New Balance
Why You Should Cop: Arguably the week’s most unparalleled release, New Balance Tokyo Design Studio’s new set of Niobium Concept 2s is inspired by hiking and trail running. The hybrid sandal/mules are arriving in “Chocolate Brown” and “Indigo,” each of which features details like marbled midsoles, Vibram outsoles and geometric webbing patterns that pull directly from vintage trail garments.

ASICS GEL-Lyte III “Patchwork Pack”

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Asics

Release Date: July 9
Release Price: $125 USD
Where to Buy: ASICS
Why You Should Cop: ASICS’ cult favorite GEL-LYTE III is dipping into Japanese patchwork on its newest style, the aptly-dubbed “Patchwork Pack.” Mixing smooth tan suede with a varied assemblage of quilt-like blue and red patches, the “Patchwork Pack” is a beautiful bricolage take on one of ASICS’ most popular lifestyle silhouettes.

NEIGBORHOOD x Vans ComfyCush Sk8-Hi and Era

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Neighborhood

Release Date: July 10
Release Price: TBC
Where to Buy: NEIGHBORHOOD
Why You Should Cop: NEIGHBORHOOD and Vans’ ComfyCush Sk8-Hi and Era are upgraded both technically and sartorially. The first piece is provided by Vans’ modern-day foam technology, making for a more comfortable and supportive skating experience, while the second is provided by murky color schemes with special “THE FILTH AND THE FURY” midsole hits. Sometimes less is more when upgrading a classic, and this two-pack of collaborative kicks understands that perfectly.

Air Jordan 3 “Racer Blue”

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Brandon1an

Release Date: July 10
Release Price: $190 USD
Where to Buy: Nike SNKRS and atmos
Why You Should Cop: Essentially a color-flipped take on the beloved Air Jordan 3 “Fire Red,” the Air Jordan 3 “Racer Blue” is an undeniably appealing summertime option that combines its eponymous blue shade with crisp white leather and dark, murky elephant print. It’s hard to stack up to an OG, but the “Racer Blue” pulls it off without breaking a sweat.
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