This is the beginning of my “David vs Goliath” series where I will be highlighting different designers and sneaker brands outside of the big five brands in North America. The big five include Nike, Adidas, Under Armor, New Balance and Puma. These massive brands seem to have a strangle hold on the sneaker industry but there are so many different people and brands who are on the come up and will inevitably be vying for a spot amongst the sneaker elite in the coming years. First up is one of my personal favorite designers John Geiger.
Nike Zoom Revis "Jets"
John Geiger, Pittsburgh native and Miami resident started to gain traction and recognition in the footwear industry while working with future NFL hall of famer Darrelle Revis on the “Zoom Revis” with Nike. Since then Geiger has been pushing against conventional norms and challenging the sneaker industry like only he can. Geigers first big moment in regards to pushing back against the big sneaker companies was when he released his own customs of the iconic “Air Force 1” silhouette that he dubbed the “Misplaced Checks AF1”. This sneaker caused some commotion within Nike as this was not technically a sneaker done in collaboration with the brand. The meaning behind the name “Misplaced Checks” has had some rumors surrounding it in regards to Geiger possibly feeling like he wasn’t compensated properly while at Nike but these rumors have never been publicly confirmed nor denied by Geiger himself.
Nike AF1 Low John Geiger "Misplaced Checks"
This shoe as you can see has the transcendent Nike Swoosh placed over and over on the shoe hence the name “Misplaced Checks”. Because this was not a collaboration with Nike, Geiger went out and bought each and every AF1 that he was able to get his hands on and made these all himself. After the release Geiger set the Internet ablaze, people were going crazy for the shoe and all the sneaker blogs were theorizing how this came to be or if it was an official collaboration. After some closed door discussions with Nike the “Misplaced Checks” sneaker has not seen the light of day since, however there are still many pairs floating around the Internet.
Since then Geiger has established his own clothing/design brand titled “John Geiger Co.” and Geiger has released his own silhouettes of sneakers along the way, with the “002” and “GF-01” models being his most prominent. Geigers “002” model has a very distinct silhouette reminiscent of different popular sock top style designer sneakers. Geigers “002” can be seen almost nightly during the NBA season, in the tunnel where players and coaches alike are getting their fits off. Recently Geiger and Madden 20 have released a collaboration where Geiger has designed uniforms for the games backyard mode as well as releasing an all over volt colourway to the public (pictured below).
John Geiger 002 "Madden 20"
Most recently Geiger has released two pairs of his newest model the “GF-01” which you may have seen in an earlier blog. The “GF-01” or Geiger Force 1 gets its namesake from the silhouette that it is inspired by the Nike “AF1” while also being a call back to the infamous “Misplaced Checks”. With the AF1 silhouette not being able to hold a trademark by Nike many companies have released shoes with a similar cut most notably the “Bapestas” by A Bathing Ape. Geiger puts his own spin on the silhouette inspired by his favorite shoe growing up the “AF1” while still maintaining his own style and flair. So far Geiger has released two colourways of the “GF-01” in an off-white colourway with an iridescent swoosh as well as a pair inspired by Miami’s yearly Art Basil in a all over teal colourway with a peach coloured knit logo on the upper. The quality of these pairs are exceptional which you would expect from designer sneakers and the uppers are an all over pebbled leather.
John Geiger GF-01 "Off-White"
Although Geiger has not received the same recognition as the big five sneaker brands, if he maintains this same energy and design style I see him climbing the ranks of the sneaker world at warp speed. If this is the first time you’ve heard of John Geiger I promise you it wont be the last.