adidas EQT Titan 96 Hi

  • MADE ON: --/96
  • ART.NO: 031266

Fat, chunky, completely bland colorway, yet somehow these vintage adidas EQT Titan 96′s leave their mark in history as a futuristic and comfortable weightlifting trainer.

I’ve just unstrapped, laced up, and put a pair of vintage adidas Equipment (EQT) Titan 96′s on my feet and I must admit I’m having mixed feelings. There’s no fancy talking around this model’s blocky last, nor is there any smooth prose to make it’s plainly uncreative colorway more palatable.

While this weightlifter’s footwear pair is given an interesting and original profile, the toe box aims to drive one’s fashion senses insane. Noticeably up-turned and overly sealed in its thick, black out sole, providing excessive ample forefoot rock and massive support, the end aesthetic is awkward and downright duck-like.

I’ve never been a fan of straps – or at least not when they’re actually used for fastening together a sneaker – and the wide, centrally placed Velcro lace guards on these Titan’s are far from desirable, or even useful in my casual wear. Unstrapped, however, they surprise me with a healthily fat – and not-too-dangly – appeal (those this isn’t pictured here, as the shoe is left completely open), adding to the overall absurd structure of the shoes.

Now wearing the shoes without looking down is a whole ‘nother experience. Well padded, tri-cut angle collar for the coolest of movement freedom, and great forefoot support even with the laces loose and the tongue popped a bit. The outsole shape is outstanding; a secure and solid stance is given with the ability to roll on and off the toes with ease, making the sneaker hefty, yet elegant, in a barbell and bench-press sort of way.

Once I got used to the fit and feel, I found myself catching them in the mirror again and beginning to appreciate their semi-tricked out appearance, guided mostly by function, and thus not succumbing entirely to the fashion frenzy that we know all too well in the drops of today. The considerably unattractive geometric white mesh patterning that appears across the upper in triangular window shapes gives breath-ability, decorating the shoe in a 1990s, imaginative view of futuristic space ships. Performance logos encircled in various places push the presence of simple mechanics, and the design of the wild outsole itself makes a mind meld of H.R. Giger and LEGO bricks.

The last ditch effort of yellow highlights – so few it’s a shame to even call them that – and silver backed world flags on the tongue logo express fully the way this shoe was drawn up. Certainly form and function above fashion, and while I’d agree openly with the opinion that these are quite a bulky, unforgivable introduction to the ’90s world of bad taste, they’re certainly a pair I’d wear with pride, as though I were a Titan and my actions and armor mattered more than my accessories.

written by Dylan Cromwell

photography by errol

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