Our recommendations for the perfect summer.
Jordan XIV “Last Shot” + Shorts
You know the lines from Will Smith’s “Summertime” anthem? The ones that go: It’s late in the day and I ain’t been on the court yet/Hustle to the mall to get me a short set/Yeah I got on sneaks but I need a new pair/Cause basketball courts in the summer got girls there. It doesn’t get any better than this combo—the classic Air Jordan XIV “Last Shot,” the ones MJ wore when he crossed and pulled up on Utah’s Bryon Russell to hit his last shot in a Bulls uniform, and matching shorts—when it comes to summertime fresh. Inspired by the Ferrari 550M, the XIV has plenty of design cues—the Ferrari-like crest of the Jumpman logo, the grill-like midsole, the outsole that mimics performance tires, the “side mirrors” on the tongue, the buttery leather from the car’s interior—from the supercar.
We’re crowning the S9 as the phone for Summer ’18 for myriad reasons: The best-in-class camera—highlights include the low-light shooting capabilities, the slow-mo video (pushes into the pool never looked better) and vivid color captures— means all your summer memories will look even better than you remember. The slim and lightweight design (a decent phone case is highly recommended) means the S9 won’t take up too much space in the limited pockets of shorts. The IP68 rating is industry-speak for 1.5 meters for 30 minutes, but in real world usage means the S9 can survive an inadvertent dip in the ocean, an underwater selfie or rogue water balloon. The bright OLED edge-to-edge screen will get compliments from bystanders, but just as important, make the phone easily viewable even under the brightest of sunny days. The expandable microSD memory and headphone jack—that’s just bonus.
Those summer runs are liberating—the only layers necessary are a light top and shorts—so it only makes sense that the accompanying audio equipment be just as minimal. The Freedom 2, as the name suggests, is a barely-there Bluetooth earbuds that locks in where it counts: in your ears. The three interchangeable tips/fins keep the buds in place, no matter how rigorous the run, and the sweat- and waterproof design can endure the byproduct of hard work (sweat) and inclement weather. The Freedom 2 isn’t exactly noise-blocking (which we wouldn’t recommended for outdoor running) but it does offer a enveloping sound experience, with can further be customized with the Jaybird app. The simple three-button controls manages volume and track selection and can also handle calls. The four-hour runtime means charging often, but the charge clip itself is an external battery that can double the usage to eight hours.
Even if your daily commute—or summer jaunt—doesn’t involve a motorcycle, you’ll appreciate the thought behind the Rider Daypack, which was designed by motorcycle riders. The rugged pack is made with a durable and slash-proof canvas material with a water-repellent coating (in severe downpours, there is a built-in rain cover that ensures everything stays dry), a MOLLE webbing system to integrate all kinds of accessories (it includes a detachable pouch) and ergonomic panels for comfort and airflow. There’s even security features like a 360 eXomesh locking system—a steel cable that cinches and locks the main compartment with the included TSA-approved padlock—that will deter any would-be thief and a RFIDsafe blocking internal pocket to keep digital opportunists from harvesting any credit card data from your wallet.
The AQ10 will keep the summer soundtrack playing in its submersible (up to 1 meter for 30 minutes), floatable, durable (it can survive a 1.2 meter drop), and beach-ready (dirt and dust proof) compact design. The Bluetooth speaker pumps out bold sound and the design allows it to be hung (with a carabiner, rope, use your imagination) in endless ways, can double-up as a portable battery to recharge your phone with its USB port and a water- and dust proof compartment on the underside keeps your stash dry.
Don’t confuse it with the crusty bottles found at your local Chipotle’s, the Diamond Reserve Sauce celebrates the McIlhenny Co.’s 150-year anniversary of the humble condiment hailing from Avery Island, La. The small-batched sauce has been concocted with hand-picked peppers and aged for up to 15 years before it gets paired with sparkling white wine vinegar and bottled in a mini champagne-like bottle. To our taste buds it’s got the same tangy and smoky notes of the root condiment, but with an added je n’ais sais quoi complexity that pairs well with any backyard cookout fare this summer.
The ultimate accessory for instant summer swag is a pair of classic aviators—just ask any flyboy, heist ringleader or Vegas bachelor party boy that have utilized a pair to add more style to his Hollywood role. We like the P’8508 for its…we can’t quite pinpoint exact reasons, but we can start with the stainless-steel construction, the polarized lenses (it comes in an array of colors, but our vote is for blue in 2018) and the timeless aviator styling.
It says volumes that the Wave+ is the best-selling multitool from a company that created the category. The Wave+ is a slightly upgraded version (the + version adds wire cutters) of the multitool that started it all for founder Tim Leatherman, an Oregon State graduate with a mechanical engineering degree, who wanted an all-encompassing tool to help navigate a post-college trek across Europe in a temperamental Fiat back in 1975. Eight years and countless prototypes later, Leatherman hit the market and it’s now the de facto standard of versatility. The centerpiece of the American-made Wave+ is the pliers, but kitted out within itself is wire cutters, a crimper, wire stripper, knife, serrated knife, saw, scissors, ruler, can opener, file and three screwdrivers—enough to get you out of any bind during any road or camping trip this summer.
These runners from adidas might be minimal in design—the lightweight knit runner upper is webbed with a stretchy overlay (which is an homage to the company’s legacy running shoes, the Marathon, with its meshed midsole) and sits on a cushiony insole and EVA foam midsole—but maximizes environmental impact. This Deerupt model is part of Parley, adidas’ initiative to raise awareness to the importance of the oceans in our ecosystem. The blue mesh that wraps the upper is made from recycled ocean plastic harvested from coastal clean-ups around the world.
If you ever find yourself rushing from a run at the park to a night out, we wholly recommend the Curry 5 “Welcome Home,” which can transition from the basketball court to wherever a summer night can take you. From a performance standpoint, the Curry 5 checks all the boxes: The low-profile design is tailor-made for a speedy game, the knit bootie locks in the foot like a sock and the Anafoam overlay protects and gives the shoe structure. The EVA foam midsole could’ve been better, but adding on anymore would compromise the responsive low ride. From an aesthetic standpoint, the Curry 5, particularly the pictured “Welcome Home” model is the knit/Anafoam hybrid overlay. From afar, it’s a clean grey atop the summer-ready white upper, but up close, it’s a multicolor effect, making it a perfect shoe for the colors of summer. The turquoise-speckled midsole and icy bottom perfectly rounds out the package.
With back-to-back triple-double seasons, there’s plenty for Russell Westbrook to celebrate, but he’d rather give shine to his brother, Raynard, for graduating this summer from the University of Central Oklahoma. Westbrook’s first signature shoe gets blacked out, save for the tongue—on the left shoe are the colors of Raynard’s graduation robe and the right shoe has the orange and blue of the Oklahoma City Thunder—with the inspirational message of WHY NOT U? for every grad walking down the aisle to receive his or her diploma.
You can pay a premium for your daily fix of cold brew—or even worse, diluted “iced” coffee—or you can smartly make and pour your own for a fraction of the cost. It couldn’t be easier with this cold brewer: add ground (preferably a coarse grind) coffee into the infuser, fill the pitcher with cold filtered water, let steep for at least 12 hours. The result is a refined cup of coffee, minus the bitterness and acidity released from the hot brewing and the hefty mark-ups from the local barista.
The “Black Cat” began as one of Michael Jordan’s earliest nicknames, but for sneaker enthusiasts, it now represents the blacked-out legacy editions of his signature shoe. Previously found on the III, VI, and XIII, the latest XXXII will get the Black Cat treatment. The Flyknit upper envelops the foot, while the reinforced foam “wings” wrap the heel and ankle for lockdown. Zoom Air provides cushioning and the carbon-fiber FlightSpeed offers up energy return for explosive landings. The highlight of the otherwise simple design is undoubtedly the iridescent hits on the “Wings” logo on the tongue, Jumpman logo on the midsole and the six circles that highlight each of MJ’s six titles.