The Prequel: July’s Best Sneakers

  • adidas SL Loop Runner
    adidas SL Loop Runner

    Release Date: July 2

    This sneaker is taking its cues from one of the greatest adidas shoes ever. In 1972 at the Summer Olympics in Germany, the adidas SL 72 was the podium shoe. Track athletes would finish up their races, unlace their on-track shoes, and get comfortable with the T-toe and sculpted concave midsole.

    The Loop Runner is next in line in the family, reshaping the legendary classic into something that all kids would love to wear today. It doesn’t have the same legacy of its predecessor–that shoe basically created the adidas brand–but this July, you won’t find a more comfortable shoe.

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  • Air Jordan XIV
    Air Jordan XIV

    Release Date: July 4

    There’s not a sneakerhead in the world that doesn’t love a good black and yellow colorway. This July 4th, Jordan Brand is obliging all of us by bringing back one of Michael Jordan‘s greatest sneakers in new colors.

    Dubbed, as always, as “Thunder,” these will retail at $170 and will be the start of a variety of XIVs releasing in 2014. With a black nubuck upper and yellow accents, it’ll be one of the best dark-based sneakers in your rotation this summer.

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  • Nike LunarGlide 6
    Nike LunarGlide 6

    Release Date: July 10

    Being that the summer months are heaven for runners everywhere, there’s no better time to release the LunarGlide 6 than right now. Six years in the making, this sneaker sports enhanced Lunarlon foam, a redesigned outsole pattern, more Dynamic Support stability and an all-new engineered upper. This sneaker will be releasing in a white-based version, with black, crimson, and cobalt accents.

    Already available on NIKEiD, the sneaker drops on July 10.

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  • Nike KD7
    Nike KD7 "35,000 Degrees"

    Release Date: July 12

    This will be the second colorway to launch of Kevin Durant‘s latest signature sneaker, the Nike KD7. The lead colorway for the new collection, this sneaker takes inspiration from a strike of lightning. Unpredictable and dangerous, the names comes from the average temperature (35,000 degrees Fahrenheit) of when lightning strikes the ground.

    Featuring an upper splashed with bright mango, a grey midsole and strap, and a volt outsole, the shoe quickly drew interest from sneakerheads when it was first revealed on at the end of the June. With these colors, it’s the perfect summer shoe to flaunt or rock on the court.

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  • Nike Kobe 9 Elite Low
    Nike Kobe 9 Elite Low

    Release Date: July 12

    Kobe Bryant’s signature line has long been considered the most innovative sneaker in basketball, and more than half a year after the 9 originally released, the lowtop version is again pushing the envelope.

    Featuring game-changing sneaker technology like Flyknit, Flywire and Lunarlon, this release is meant to pay homage to Kobe’s love of music. This purple edition draws inspiration from pop music and has a moon surface graphic on the outsole. Some fans are even calling it the “Michael Jackson.”

    This shoe will also drop in a white-based version on August 16, which is dubbed the “Beethoven.”

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  • Nike Hyperdunk 2014
    Nike Hyperdunk 2014

    Release Date: July 16

    Set to retail at $140, the newest iteration in the Hyperdunk line will use Paul George as its leading pitchman. With both indoor and outdoor ball on their mind, Nike went to work installing Lunarlon cushioning, Hyperfuse construction, and Flywire technology.

    The first installment in the Hyperdunk 2014 will release in this bright orange/mango colorway, with black accents.

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  • adidas OG Stan Smith
    adidas OG Stan Smith

    Release Date: July 16

    Everyone needs some casual white shoes for the summer. The adidas OG Stan Smith takes it one step farther, letting you basically rock a history museum on your feet.

    First released in 1965, this sneaker started out donning Frenchman’s Robert Haillet name before eventually turning to Stan Smith. A two-time Grand Slam singles champion, Smith won his last tournament over 30 years ago but this sneaker is so clean, smooth, and versatile that kids are still wearing them.

    Make sure you’re ready for the return of the Stan Smith later this month, as well as multiple suede colorways of the same sneaker.

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  • Jordan Future Flight Remix
    Jordan Future Flight Remix

    Release Date: July 23

    The Jordan Future definitely threw everyone for a loop when images of the lifestyle sneaker first released. But after a few weeks, it became an undervalued jewel. You know those kicks that look unbelievable in person that you’d never expect to? That’s the Future.

    Building off that shoe, Jordan Brand has a new fusion model dropping later this month. Dubbed the Jordan Future Flight Remix, it’ll release in an awesome grey, yellow, and black colorway that brings to mind the “Thunder” Air Jordan XIV releasing a few weeks earlier. With a translucent outsole and a leather upper, the sneaker clearly takes inspiration from the V and XXII. Whether it is an on-court or off-court look remains to be seen, but the model should definitely be on your radar in July.

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  • adidas SL Loop Runner
  • Air Jordan XIV
  • Nike LunarGlide 6
  • Nike KD7
  • Nike Kobe 9 Elite Low
  • Nike Hyperdunk 2014
  • adidas OG Stan Smith
  • Jordan Future Flight Remix

There’s no better time to be wearing some fresh kicks than during the summer. It’s hot out. Everyone’s outside. Everyone is looking good, and feeling good.

From adidas to the Jordan Brand to Nike Basketball, July is shaping up to be a big month for sneaker lovers. Luckily for all of us, Champs Sports has the hookup. For more on where you can head to grab your pair before they sellout, head over to the Champs Sports Store Locator.

Each month in The Prequel, we’ll preview some of the freshest sneakers you need to be watching out for. This month, you should be copping a new favorite in a slick new colorway from the NBA MVP, an old school classic that got a new school makeover, as well as many others.

Follow me on Twitter at @seanesweeney