At the half-year mark at my new job,  I began to wonder how work was impacting my physical fitness. Although I run (wickedly satisfying) mental marathons on the weekdays, my desk job is no different from looking at sitting hours logged. So I bit the bullet to try out several fitness monitoring devices on the market.

Jawbone Up, Nike Fuelband, Fitbit One

At the heart of wearable devices like the FitBit One, Nike+ Fuelband, and Jawbone Up are accelerometers and algorithms that track how much you flail around daily (e.g. steps taken, calories burned). You set goals and monitor progress on the device / app.

I tried the Fuelband and the Up for a week each, since they were wristbands with solid reviews. The Jawbone Up scores higher on design, battery life, and functionality; the Nike Fuelband shines in its simplicity and one-button ease of use. Overall, I like the Up better, since the the bonus sleep monitoring feature gives way to answering interesting questions, e.g. how much sleep can I get on a redeye flight?

A few personal findings:

  • I sleep like a baby.
  • I have surprising average activity levels.
  • I compensate for weekday sitting by dancing through the weekends. See screencaps comparing steps taken at work vs. a concert.

Continue reading for device details on design & fit, app features, and battery life.


The LunarGrand series sports the Nike Air Lunarlon shock-absorbing sport outsole on a dress shoe upper from Cole Haan (with memory foam insoles). Call it what you will, a sneaker that means business or a dressy running shoe–the line comes in great colorways and are wicked comfortable.

Design sketches from Cole Haan’s Innovation Designer Salehe Bembury.


The Gramercy Oxford doesn’t have the Lunarlon tech, but it does have an EVA sneaker outsole and is brilliant all the same.
gramercy oxford

Promotional for the release of the limited edition double pack of the original Nike Cortez back in February. Character design by Brian Schmitt & tokyoplastic; animation by tokyoplastic.

It looks like I’m not the only one wanting to get a replica of the “Air McFlys.” Fans of the Back to the Future movie franchise have begged Nike for years to manufacture the pneumatic, auto-lacing, light-up sneakers that Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) wore in Back to the Future II.  

In 2007, the McFly 2015 Project {banner shown below} launched a website to petition for the production of the legendary McFlys. The grassroots campaign at has since then disappeared.

Interestingly enough, patents for the shoe {shown above} were filed soon after the movie debuted [read The McFly 2015 Patents via Neatorama]. So, why hasn’t Nike put these out yet? Nike could be waiting for the year 2015, of course, but Nike could also be figuring out “just how much NBC Universal, which owns the rights to the film and is the parent of CNBC, wants to associate with this product.” Recent Nike shoe releases with heavy influence by the “Air McFlys” have not been explicitly linked with the films.

The sold out 2008 release of the Nike Hyperdunk (a tribute to the “Air McFly”) was limited to 350 pairs and wound up resurfacing on Ebay for as much as $2000. This colorway of the Hyperdunk has subtle references to the movie on the insole & tongue and rocks the iconic gray upper, teal speckled midsole, and glow-in-the-dark outsole. Better yet, the Hyperdunk features Flywire technology, which debuted in incredibly lightweight track shoes in the ’08 Beijing Olympics.

Flywire uses “the barest exoskeleton of wispy, high-tech filaments — roughly 7 linear feet of thread, affixed to an ultrathin fabric scrim — to provide its structure and shape (think of a space-age Roman sandal). With the usual need for supporting material reduced almost to zero, the shoe is not only featherlight, but also radically simple, fast, and cheap to build.” [High-Tech Gear for Olympic Athletes via FastCompany]

The 2008 release of the Nike SB Tre A.D. with the “Air McFly” colorway recieved much less hype, but the shoe boasted an equally impressive tech sheet and had a glow-in-the-dark Nike swoosh.

Apparently only the most advanced sneakers from Nike are graced with the McFly treatment. Unfortunately, neither models are not the real deal. I guess I’ll just have to wait for 2015 like everyone else…

Well, everyone except for Mark Kurath, who commissioned an orthopedic shoemaker to make handmade, custom-fitted pair of McFly’s – read more from his exclusive interview DIY McFly Sneakers @ SneakerFreaker. Those shoes look amazing!

Fairy tale scenery out of everyday objects by Magdalena Bors:

The effect of coupling old painting styles with modern subjects is quite dramatic, it seems as if time and history itself becomes compressed within these:

Kehinde Wiley is known for creating his own version of contemporary portraiture that appropriates young African American men in the place of more well known portraits of old world power figures, religious icons etc. For his newest solo exhibition he has chosen to depict seven young men from Brooklyn in poses inspired by the fallen warriors and saints that appeared in the old 18th and 19th century paintings of Holbein, Mantegna, Houdon, Maderno, Retout and Clesinger. The young men are shown in old traditional poses of religious figures or leaders in the moment of death or repose, but their expressions and dress are wholly their own.”

[More photos of Wiley’s “Down” Exhibition @ Art Observed]

In 1974, Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman poured liquid urethane into his waffle maker to make the sole for the Waffle Trainer, Nike’s first iconic shoe model. The Nike Sportswear “Original Waffles” Windrunner Set is a homage to the original waffle sole. [via Hypebeast]

Julian Wolkenstein

Craig Ward

“Typographic Pandemonium” from DesignByHumans

Nike Blazer High from the new “Scribble” Pack