Cologne Tag

It’s not a secret that we love to explore other cities and countries. Perhaps due to the daily struggle we sometimes forget about the great things and people of our hometown Cologne. We are actually annoyed about it. So, this new episode of „Sneakerzimmer meets“ delivers on a simple promise: Get to know your neighborhood and your neighbors. Technically speaking Daniel Gottschlich is not our neighbor, but he’s also from Cologne, born in Troisdorf, and one of Germany’s most ambitious and aspiring chefs. We’d like to introduce you Daniel’s highly innovative take on modern cuisine, his stylish fine dining restaurant „Ox & Klee“ and his imperturbable love for sneakers.

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We met Daniel – no surprise – at his restaurant in Cologne’s Rheinauhafen, which has become a symbol of modern urbanism thanks to its luxurious crane houses and sophisticated architecture. If you want to live in this part of Cologne with a breathtaking view of the city’s skyline and literally next to the Rhine, we recommend you have deep pockets. In all other cases you can still opt for a walk along the Rhine (comes free of charge) or have an outstanding dinner experience at „Ox & Klee“. We would bet any money that you won’t forget the evening at this two Michelin stars rated restaurant. According to the world’s most famous restaurant guide, two stars are the proof of an „excellent cuisine that is worth a detour“. Hence in case you didn’t consider Cologne for your travel plans as yet, you might now reconsider (and if you write us a message, we will send you some more recommendations).

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Daniel is a really cool guy with a very interesting vita. After working as a sous-chef in a traditional Cologne Brauhaus he and his girlfriend opened the first „Ox & Klee“ restaurant in the bustling Neustadt-Süd neighborhood. That was in 2010 and by that time something like casual fine-dining didn’t broadly exist – at least in Cologne. Most of the gourmet spots felt rather pretentious and stiff in those days, not very appealing to us or a younger clientele in general. Daniel probably came to realize something similar as he and his team were beyond that old fashioned dining concept. After leaving the old location with the first Michelin star in 2016 they were poised for the next big step. And here we are: In an incredibly stylish, way bigger and likeable open space with an unique view of Cologne’s Marina and skyline.

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Despite a huge transformation with regard to location, style and ambience the completely new „Ox & Klee“ of course didn’t start from scratch. Together with his well-rehearsed crew Daniel, who is also a musician with heart and soul, continued on a very solid foundation. His impeccable reputation as a chef is the result of hard work, willingness to take risks and to think outside the box. In the meantime „Ox & Klee“ has been awarded with a second Michelin star (now for 2 years in a row). The Michelin buzz put the restaurant on a bigger culinary map and clearly raised the bar. However, many chefs admit that the pressure can be paralyzing sometimes. With every new menu you also have to create a new one-of-a-kind experience to keep up with expectations. It seems to us that up to now Daniel has found the right balance. He finds inspiration from music, culture and the world around him. He loves to travel like we do and to explore other cuisines.

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The dinner at „Ox & Klee“ follows a journey alongside different flavors from sour, bitter, salt and sweet to umami and fat (yes fat). Called „Experience Taste“ Daniel’s menu is an elaborate example of modern cuisine, thought-out, highly creative and a culinary eye opener. As a guest you are educated in seasonal ingredients, all kinds of preparation and truly unusual flavors. It’s such a fun thing, especially when there are no pretentious people around you. The different flavors of „Experience Taste“ are omnipresent. It starts with the amuse-bouche and ends with the Petit Four from Ox & Klee’s stellar patisserie. As a guest you only have to choose the number of courses. The current menu features pulpo, sablefish with goat cream, pig snout with asparagus and ox cheek in a creamy bourbon sauce. And did we mention their delicious house baked bread? It’s so addictive! The drinks from the „Bayleaf“ bar downstairs are nothing sort of first-class. We opted for their classic Negroni, celebrating 100 years of cocktail history. We also recommend the cocktail-pairing menu at „Bayleaf“.

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When it comes to kicks, Daniel is a very loyal guy. His big love are Vans, Vans and Vans again. He can’t imagine himself wearing a different brand. If someone from Vans should happen to read this post, they should immediately talk to Daniel and sign him on as a brand ambassador. Instead of looking for fake influencers, the brands must finally support passionate and creative people again. We are also tired of all that flexing on social media. Daniel rocks his Vans in the restaurant, on stage and wherever he goes. This is cool, because it’s real! But as you can see his crew also likes Nike. We were surprised to find a Flyknit Trainer in the kitchen. But what’s the big deal? They simply wear what they like. It’s as easy as that! You should do the same. Don’t buy overpriced kicks to impress people you don’t know. Come to „Ox & Klee“ for a lasting experience. Collect memories not things! The good things are here.

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Reading the headlines about Cologne during the last year one could easily gain the impression that this city is a war zone. We live here and we can assure you that the opposite is the case. But the incidents from New Year’s Eve 2015/2016 still resonate in people’s minds. We won’t deny this. But that’s only a small fraction of our beloved hometown and – trust us – Cologne is as safe as any other major European city nowadays. Neither do we feel threatened nor do we feel unsafe. So take a walk with us through some neighbourhoods and let us introduce our favourite spots of Cologne.

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The best start into the day is with a hearty breakfast. For many years we kicked off our weekend at Cafe Weissenburg (Weißenburgstraße 66), an unpretentious restaurant in the Agnesviertel. You can choose your favourites from a multiple choice menu. It’s like building your own breakfast – we recommend the scrambled eggs with ham and cheese. It can get crowded on weekends and you won’t find many tourists here. It’s a place where the locals meet. We also recommend their brunch, which takes place once a month (usually on the first Sunday).

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If you stay in multi-ethnic Ehrenfeld, you should consider Zeit für Brot (Venloer Str. 202). It uses the concept of a “design bakery” combined with a café that you can also find in other German cities like Berlin and Frankfurt. They bake their delicious breads in an inhouse bakery literally before your eyes. The taste and the freshness together with the strictly organic ingredients justify the above average prices for most of their breads, cakes and pastries. Zeit für Brot attracts a crowd of all ages with an elaborate concept of good food in a laid-back atmosphere.

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From Zeit für Brot it’s only just a short walk to the wonderful historic Neptunbad (Neptunplatz 1), which was once Cologne’s first public bath house. Today it is home to a big Asian sauna and bath area among other things. Find some time to relax on the sun deck or work out at the gym in a beautiful Jugendstil setting. Burning some calories doesn’t come easier. Naturally you can also have lunch or a small bite at the adjacent restaurant/café (and add some calories again).

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After breakfast, let’s do the obvious things first. A short walk around the famous Eigelstein area, which used to be a red light district with many bars and night clubs some of which some remain until today, will lead to the central station and the world famous Kölner Dom (Cologne cathedral). This impressive building needs no further introduction. Here you can follow your touristic instincts. Take pictures and enjoy the view from above. But watch your step if you decide to ascend the tower! It’s like a little workout after breakfast.

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Walking straight ahead, leaving the Dom to your left you will see the entrance to a central shopping area around Hohe Straße and Schildergasse, where many of the big fashion retailers like H&M and Zara are located. You know what to get there – so no surprises. At the beginning of the Hohe Straße one of the biggest size?-stores (Hohe Straße 160 – 168) in Europe opened back in 2015. Their footwear selection is quite sizeable and includes many size?-exclusives. Here you can get the latest quickstrikes from Nike, New Balance „Made in USA“ & „Made in UK“ and also a broad selection of adidas Originals and Asics footwear. Take your time and have a browse!

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Within spitting distance is the new JD Sports store (Hohe Str. 128-132). With its 3 levels and multiple well assorted brand areas the store offers a wide range of general sneaker releases and – like size? – many exclusives. It also boasts a large apparel section with brands like Champion and Ellesse, who made their comebacks recently. They were big during our childhood, which perhaps explains our crush. The British sneaker retailer apparently expects a lot from the remodelled shop. You can also find other major sneaker retailers like Snipes, Kickz and Office London on Hohe Straße.

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The same thing could probably be said about the new Foot Locker/House of Hoops store (Schildergasse 84A) on Schildergasse. It’s in the former adidas place. Perhaps you’ll remember it from an earlier trip to Cologne. Foot Locker and its House of Hoops line need no introduction. When we checked the store on the opening day, we stumbled upon some nice restocks of NMDs and UltraBoost releases (some being FL exclusives). It’s also a big plus that many of the employees are huge sneakerheads themselves.

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Thanks to social media (especially Instagram) photography attracts more and more people nowadays. So perhaps you want to check out Foto Gregor Neumarkt 32-34) one of Cologne’s biggest and oldest stores for photography equipment. If you find yourself at Neumarkt, which also marks the southern end of shopping street Schildergasse, you can’t miss the Foto Gregor sign at the corner. Make sure to check their basement and the vintage cameras on display. Even if you can’t afford them, those beauties will warm your heart.

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It’s time for a quick lunch or some sweet treats with a good coffee. Both will be served at Miss Päpki (Brüsseler Platz 18) in the hip Belgisches Viertel (Belgian quarter). The small, cozy café at Brüsseler Platz offers food (try their quiche) as well as hot/cold drinks with lots of love. If it’s too warm or crowded inside, you can also enjoy your latte or cake outside. Forget Starbucks, come to this place! Right next door is Pivot Skateshop (Brüsseler Platz 22). It’s obvious what to expect here. If you appreciate Nike SB releases or other skate shoes, you might reward yourself with some nice pickups.

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If you don’t find anything at Pivot, not to worry. Our next stop is the one and only The Good Will Out (Händelstraße 41), Cologne’s finest sneaker boutique. They have done collabs with New Balance and Asics and their footwear selection is excellent thanks to the highest accounts from Nike (Tier Zero), adidas (Consortium), Asics, Saucony, Puma and many more. Yeezy Boosts, NMDs, Asics collabs – almost every Saturday people queue at TGWO and their second store N/GH (just a short walk around the block, Jülicher Str. 14), which was just recently transformed into an art space with changing exhibitions and events. If there is something like the heart of Cologne’s sneaker community, then it beats at TGWO. We love the guys and the place close to being our second home!

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Literally next to N/GH is Cologne’s one and only Sneakermuseum. It is owned and managed by the TGWO crew. The space itself is quite small, but the temporary exhibitions like the history of the Air Max 1 are always worth a visit. During the last months the space was dedicated to the fascinating adidas Futurecraft story. Did we mention that admission is free? The Sneakermuseum is usually only open to the public on Fridays and Saturdays (but closed at the moment, better check this before your visit).

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We know it’s probably too early for dinner, but as you find yourself now at N/GH and TGWO’s Sneakermuseum, you are just some steps away from one of Cologne’s (or even Germany’s) best restaurants. Chef Maximilan Lorenz from L’Escalier (Brüsseler Str. 11) takes you on a culinary journey with his tasting menu (prices between 79 and 109 Euro), presenting traditional German cuisine with a modern twist. His charming, cosy restaurant offers a gourmet experience, great food and an excellent wine selection. Lorenz, who is only 26, was honoured 2016 by the world famous Guide Michelin. The critics gave L’Escalier a much sought-after star rating. We highly recommend making a reservation as the space in the restaurant is limited to only a few tables.

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Perhaps you want to check some other stores before having dinner? Alma (Palmstraße 38) is quite a new name in town. It’s a sneaker store only for girls and kids. With its focussed profile and a steadily growing selection of brands chances are good for Alma to establish themselves in the sneaker community. During our first visit we met a highly motivated team. Alma also hosts special events like readings from time to time.

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If you walk further along the famous ring road “die Ringe” that runs along the stretch where medieval city wall used to be and that during night time turns into a party area for a young crowd with many bars, pubs and clubs, you will pass by a Cologne institution: At Café Wahlen (Hohenstaufenring 64) you can travel back in time to the 1950s. It’s a place your grandma would immediately fall in love with. Since 50 or 60 years nothing seems to have changed here. Besides all the nostalgia they make delicious cakes and chocolates. And you can still order a „Kännchen Kaffee“. Fuck that Pumpkin Spice Latte!

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Another time warp awaits you at Flakes Corner (Bonner Str. 69) in Cologne’s Südstadt. It’s literally a cute sugar bomb and Germany’s first Cornflakes café. Flake junkies can combine their own cereal mixtures from over 120 types of corn flakes and mueslis (not to be confused with healthy granola). From Captain Crunch to Coco Pops the decision is yours! Top off your bowl with different sweet toppings like Kinderschoko Bons, Oreo, Giotto or gummi bears and your choice of milk (with such exotic flavours such as Peanut Butter or Mint). Besides corn flakes the café also makes delicious waffles, milk shakes and cookies. And the guys sell many US candies that are otherwise hard to get in Germany. There’s no time for regrets when you enter this sweet kind of heaven!

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If your daily dose of nostalgia isn’t satisfied after this, you might rush to Early Bird Records (Lindenstraße 77). Entering this store of vinyl dreams wil make you feel young again. We would call Early Bird our secret fountain of youth. Curated and owned by Cologne’s Hip Hop fanatic Frank Schneider the store offers a big selection of mostly rare and original Hip Hop and Oldschool releases including many collector’s items. Feel free to sink into Early Bird’s unique vibes of vinyl classics.

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In striking distance a new food spot has been drawing a crowd recently. The restaurant called “Sonder” (Lindenstraße 93) is a casual and yet chic place for every occasion. On weekends they offer a refined breakfast menu. Try their avocado bread with fresh lime and green asparagus. Or how about a healthy fruit salad with yoghurt? All small breakfast plates are meant to be shared. The coffee comes from Cologne’s oldest coffee roasting facility Schamong Kaffee, which is also a big plus. Of course you can also have lunch or dinner at Sonder. It’s a really cute and very cosy restaurant.

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Now we are going back to the Belgisches Viertel for another store check. Release your inner Scandinavian’s screams of pure joy at Schee (Maastrichter Str. 36). Find nordic styles and home accessories that are probably overpriced but also too nice to miss. If you can overcome this temptation, you are either broke or blind (no offense to blind people). Schee, who supply Sonder with their interior products, looks like an Instagrammer’s wet dream.

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Another hot spot for interior design connoisseurs is How we live (Beethovenstraße 15) located in the trendy Rathenau quarter. The store focuses on Scandinavian brands like Hay, ferm living, Normann Copenhagen, String among others. If your heart beats for elegant, minimalistic design chic, you will probably spend some money here. We love the easy going shopping experience at How we live and their ever supportive staff.

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We now want to return to Ehrenfeld, which is easy to reach by bus or tram. Turn into Körnerstrasse with its cute shops and cafés. One of them is Ehrenfeld Apparel (Körnerstraße 73), an independent clothing brand from – of course – Ehrenfeld. They are well known in Cologne for their playful styles that borrow references from pop and streetwear culture. One half of Sneakerzimmer was born in Ehrenfeld and lived in this neighborhood for many years. So we are a little biased.

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All coffee connoisseurs will probably cherish a stop at Van Dyck (Körnerstraße 43). “Echt Kölnisch Kaffee” is their tagline, a reference to world famous 4711 “Echt Kölnisch Wasser” eau de toilette. We won’t call it a café. It’s actually a roasting facility with a minimalistic, award-winning interior. You can either sit a bar while sipping your espresso or drink it like the Italians right next to the baristas. They only sell high quality, 100% organic coffee. They also do barista workshops. You could describe Van Dyck as Cologne’s cathedral of coffee culture.

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Fancy a meal like back in the day while having a good Kölsch? We guess a brewery (Brauhaus) is the place you’re looking for! We won’t recommend the usual suspects around the Altstadt – some might call them tourist traps. Instead, take the tram from Rudolfplatz (route 1, direction Weiden/Junkersdorf) and get off at Clarenbachstift in Braunsfeld. Just across the tram station you will find the old Marienbild Brauhaus (Aachener Str. 561). During the summer you can have some classic Cologne meals in the Biergarten (and a refreshing Kölsch of course). The food is heavy, delicious, honest and never lets you down. Meals like Sauerbraten, Rouladen and Schnitzel are German classics. And as an appetizer you have to taste the „Metthappen“ (tartar on a roll).

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Burgers are one of the biggest food trends, that’s why you don’t have to look long for a burger joint. They are literally everywhere. Skip the usual suspects and order your patty at Die Fette Kuh (Bonner Str. 43) Instead. This small grill in Cologne’s Südstadt is always crowded, so take some time for your burger experience. We can assure you that it’s worth the wait! Besides seasonal creations their menu offers something for everyone. What about a Teriyaki Burger or a Triple Cheese? Even vegetarians will be pleased with the veggie option. Ehrenfeld’s Bunte Burger (Hospeltstraße 1) takes the veggie burger idea one step further. Originally a food truck concept they strictly do vegan burgers, which admittedly sounds pretty strange. But even people like us, who enjoy meat, will appreciate Bunte Burger’s new and brave approach to “burger culture”.

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An always more than delicious choice is the cute wine restaurant Sorgenfrei (Antwerpener Str. 15) in the Belgisches Viertel (it’s quite close to Schee). You can “build” your own dinner from different smaller dishes or just go with their four course menu instead. The food here is really special and can compete easily with famous gourmet restaurants. We’ll guess that sooner or later the creative cuisine at Sorgenfrei will be awarded with their already much deserved star rating by Michelin. Besides a menu that changes with the seasons, you can always order their steak & fries classic. And as it is a wine restaurant, you don’t have to worry about a perfect wine pairing.

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Like any major city Cologne boasts its own Zoo (Riehler Str. 173). Even though the park is open to the public throughout the entire year, we recommend an evening tour during the summer nights. The zoo does guided tours after the closing time several times a week (only during summer months). You can register at the zoo’s website. It’s really pleasant to enjoy thevirtually empty park. And probably you will learn some things about the residents during your visit. Don’t forget to see Cologne’s most famous animal Hennes, the billy goat – mascot of Germany’s best football team 1. FC Köln!

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As the sun goes down, Cologne’s nightlife wakes up. We are film fanatics so going to the movies is always a good option. The Residenz (Kaiser-Wilhelm-Ring 30 – 32) at Kaiser-Wilhelm-Ring is a luxurious movie temple. Relax in your big leather seat while drinking a glass of wine. The movie selection is a well-balanced mix between big Hollywood names and independent films. You can’t buy popcorn or nachos at the Residenz, which is a big plus! Other nice movie theatres in Cologne are the Odeon in the Südstadt and the Metropolis at Ebertplatz (for originals). Movie geeks should also check out the Traumathek (Engelbertstraße 45), one of the last “oldschool” video stores with a special interest section, genre movies and forgotten cult classics. The associated café is very cute too.

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Now we are ready for a good drink! Our suggestion for a memorable cocktail experience is the Suderman (Sudermanplatz 3) near Ebertplatz. It’s a stylish yet very comfortable place with an exquisite spirits selection. The bartenders are deeply knowledgeable of spirits and they can prepare a drink exactly to your preferred taste. The Suderman and its sister institution Spirits (Engelbertstraße 63 near Rudolfplatz) are up there with the best bars in cities like New York and London. While you’re sipping your drink, we would like to say goodbye. We hope you enjoyed the day with us in Cologne!

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Wir haben diesen Guide ganz bewusst auf englisch verfasst. Unser Bericht soll mehr als nur ein kleiner Stadtführer sein. Wir möchten damit auch vor allem Menschen außerhalb Deutschlands ansprechen, die bereits einen Köln-Besuch planen oder mit dem Gedanken spielen, die Stadt zu besuchen. Manche mögen nach den zugegeben negativen Schlagzeilen der letzten eineinhalb Jahre ein falsches Bild von Köln haben. Wir fühlen uns hier bis heute sehr wohl und genau das soll hier zum Ausdruck kommen. Die allermeisten Kölner sind offene, tolerante und sehr großherzige Menschen. Hier soll jeder nach seiner Façon selig werden. Nur für Rassisten, Fanatiker und Chaoten ist in Köln kein Platz!

Wie schnell so ein Jahr vergeht, merken wir immer wieder daran, wenn die Sneakerness in unserer Heimatstadt Köln ihre Zelte aufschlägt. Dabei unterscheiden sich die einzelnen Ausgaben vor allem durch ihre Ausmaße – diese nehmen nämlich von Jahr zu Jahr immer weiter zu. Dieses Mal fand die Leitmesse für Turnschuhkultur schon zum zweiten Mal in den X-Post-Hallen im Agnesviertel statt, wobei abermals mehr Stores, private Verkäufer und Besucher vorbeischauten. Schon Stunden vor Eröffnung bildeten sich am Einlass lange Schlangen. Der Andrang am Samstag war groß und ließ erst am späten Nachmittag spürbar nach.

Da wir auch mit einem kleinen Tisch vertreten waren, haben wir es leider nicht ganz geschafft, überall vorbeizusehen und jeden, den wir treffen wollten, auch zu treffen. Die Zeit war wie jedes Jahr einfach zu kurz. Und doch hat uns der Sneakerness-Virus wieder nach kürzester Zeit gepackt. Ein Highlight waren für uns die von Klekt organisierten Charity-Auktionen zugunsten der Kölner Krebshilfe. Auf dieser ging uns auch der wunderschöne Diadora x LimtEDitions N9000 „Castellers“ ins Netz. Ansonsten hatte unser Sneakerness-Tag so einige Kümmel-Schnaps-Runden bei 43einhalb und viele Wiedersehen mit alten Bekannten und Freunden zu bieten. Wir freuen uns schon jetzt auf eine Fortsetzung in 2016!

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Den Release der ersten TGWO-Collabo konnten wir als Kölner natürlich nicht auslassen. Noch mehr freut es uns aber, wie viel Resonanz das „Autobahn“-Pack überall ausgelöst hat. Dass sich die Schuhe so schnell verkauften, ist aber nicht allein der Limitierung zu verdanken. Denn beide 577er „Made in England“ sind vollauf gelungen und jeder für sich ein Qualitätsprodukt. Natürlich zeigt sich erst im Doppelpack die ganze Story hinter der „Autobahn“-Idee der TGWO-Jungs.

Bis heute können wir nicht genau sagen, ob wir den „Day“ oder den „Night“ den Vorzug geben würden (müssten wir auswählen). Die Wahl wäre wohl situations- und stimmungsabhängig. Für den „Day“ spricht unserer Meinung nach der CW. Die Mischung aus kräftigem Blau, das die deutsche Autobahnbeschilderung symbolisieren soll, dem hellen Grau (Asphalt) und den weißen Akzenten (Mittelstreifen) ist New Balance-typisch und passt daher perfekt zum Modell. Von der Materialseite aus besticht der Schuh durch seinen Mix aus hochwertigem Suede und Leder. Dazu gibt es eine perforierte Toebox und eine passend zum Autobahn-Thema bestickte Zunge. Die Liebe zum Detail zeigt sich beim „Day“ nicht zuletzt, wenn man einen Blick in ihn hineinwirft. So ziert die Innensohlen das Muster des alten, rosanen Führerscheins (Vorlage war hier übrigens Alex’ Original-Führerschein).

Der „Night“ hat hingegen andere Talente. Und die spielt er seinem Namen gemäß aus, sobald es dunkel wird. Natürlich sieht der Schuh auch bei Tageslicht ziemlich schick aus. Das wollen wir nicht verschweigen. In der Farbgebung des „Night“ spiegelt sich das nächtliche Bild der Autobahn wider. Dieses besteht zum einen aus unterschiedlichen Grautönen (bis hin zu schwarz), zum anderen aus einem roten bzw. weißen Fersenbereich, der dank 3M-Einsatz das auftreffende Licht reflektiert und im Fall des weißen sogar über ein Glow-in-the-Dark-Feature verfügt. Wir haben versucht, diese Spielerei auf einigen Fotos festzuhalten. Wer sich jetzt fragt, wieso der Schuh zwei unterschiedlich farbige Fersen besitzt, muss nur einmal bei Dunkelheit den Verkehr auf einer Autobahn oder Schnellstrasse beobachten. Die Antwort geben aber bereits die dazu passenden Innensohlen. Beim Material zeigt sich zudem noch ein wesentlicher Unterschied zum „Day“. So besitzt der „Night“ an beiden Seitenpartien ein Glattleder-Stück. Dadurch erscheint er fast noch etwas edler als sein blau-grauer Buddy. Auch bei der Qualität des Leders mögen wir nicht meckern. Hier bleibt New Balance seinem guten Ruf treu.

Etwas gelitten hat dieser in den letzten Jahren jedoch bei vielen „Made in UK“-Modellen was die Form anbelangt und so war in diesem Fall durchaus Skepsis angebracht. Gerade der 1500er aber auch der 577 wirkten aufgrund ihrer veränderten Toebox im Profil oftmals unförmig und klobig. Die beiden „Autobahn“-577er sind zumindest in unseren Größen (US7 & 9,5) von diesem Schreckensbild weit entfernt. Allein in der Draufsicht mag manch einer den Anblick gewöhnungsbedürftig finden. Wir stören uns daran jedoch nicht wirklich, zumal das Gesamtpaket einfach überzeugt. Mit kleinen Zugaben wie dem Air Freshener im Autobahn-CW und Einlegepapier mit heimischem Strassenkarten-Aufdruck wurde das Konzept der ersten TGWO-Collabo konsequent zu Ende gedacht.

Nun sind wir natürlich gespannt, was Alex und Oli als Nächstes austüfteln. Man munkelt, dass es nicht mehr lange dauert, bis dieses Geheimnis gelüftet wird. Aber auch darüber werden wir sicher berichten. Solange bleiben wir erst einmal Fußgänger auf der Autobahn.

E. & M.

After nearly three years of preparation and work on their first New Balance collabo Oli and Alex from Cologne’s sneaker store „The Good Will Out“ today celebrated the release of their „Autobahn“-pack consisting of two great NB577. A mainly grey and blue „Day“-model and a darkgrey/black „Night“-shoe with reflecting 3M elements. The inspiration for the pack came – no surprise – from the famous german Autobahn and especially from the oldest Autobahn A555 between Cologne and Bonn. So it’s also a bit of a regional thing.

Yesterday already many sneaker fans put their names on the list mostly for both shoes. This morning the crowd got even bigger and bigger and when the release started over 60 people waited outside the store. It’s great to see that this project had such a big response in the sneaker community. Next saturday the pack will hit international retailers in very limited numbers (we will post the full store list soon on our site). At this time we can’t pick a favourite – both shoes look awesome as you can see from our on-feet-pics.

We really like the story and whole concept. From the special paper imitating a street map, the litlle air freshener and the details of the shoes, this is for sure one of the best, elaborate collabos of 2013. Stay tuned for our full recap on both shoes that we’ll post during the next days. One highlight of the release was no doubt the raffle of five massive special conceret (!) boxes. So five lucky guys can put their shoes now at home in a grey altar.

Finally let’s say this: We’re really proud of the guys. „The Good Will Out“ has established itself as one of Germany’s finest adresses for sneaker connoisseurs. Their contribution to german sneaker culture is substantial and shouldn’t  be recognized only in and around Cologne.

E. & M.

Geschafft! Ein wirklich turbulentes, schönes, irres aber auch anstrengendes Wochenende liegt hinter uns. Alles begann bereits am Freitag Abend, wo der Release der neuen Sneaker Freaker-Ausgabe im und um The Good Will Out bei Kölsch und Jägermeister gebührend gefeiert wurde. Die anschließende Party des Runners Club Cologne ließen wir dann aber aus, mussten wir doch am Samstag Morgen bereits um 7 Uhr aufstehen, um unser Zeug für den Verkauf auf der Sneakerness vorzubereiten. Dort war um 9 Uhr schon Hochbetrieb. Private Verkäufer und Shops luden ihre Sneaker-Ladungen gleich LKW-weise aus. Wir konnten mit unserem Tisch fast neben dem Eingang wirklich zufrieden sein. Gleich nebenan hatten die Jungs von Deaup (thx for the shirt guys!) ihre Schätze aufgebaut, was auch sehr entspannt war.

Mit etwas Verzögerung wurden kurz vor halb eins dann endlich die Tore geöffnet. Sofort strömten Hunderte Sneakerheads das Dock One in Köln-Mülheim. Einen solchen Ansturm hatten wir nicht erwartet. Zeitweilig galt sogar ein Einlass-Stopp, weil die Kapazitäten der Halle ansonsten gesprengt worden wären. Das Preisniveau war insgesamt recht anspruchsvoll – ein NB670 Wood Wood für 800 Euro oder ein „Nazar Eye“ für 1000 Euro zählten sicherlich zu den Highlights. So wie wir wissen, fanden beide jedoch keinen neuen Besitzer.

Im hinteren Teil der Halle hatten vor allem Franzosen viel Vintage-Heat im Angebot. Die Dame fand dort einen schon etwas gerockten Huarache „Wings & Waffles“. Auch einen Free Flyknit HTM konnten wir von dort mitnehmen. Insgesamt gingen wir nach beiden Tagen mit fünf Paar neuen bzw. gebrauchten Schuhen nach Hause. Neben dem Huarache waren uns zwei Free HTMs, ein Air Max 1 Beast und ein Flamingo (ja Hypebeast) ins Netz gegangen. Wer nicht sucht, der findet.

Verkauft haben wir natürlich auch manches, so dass sich das Wochenende auch aus dieser Sicht durchaus gelohnt hat. Viel wichtiger war uns jedoch, so viele Sneakerfreunde – neue wie alte – getroffen zu haben. Wir können leider nicht alle aufzählen. Mit manchen haben wir uns länger, mit anderen leider nur kurz unterhalten können. Am Sonntag freuten wir uns vor allem auf den Besuch der Stuttgarter Jungs um Suppa, die neben vielen Schätzen auch faire Preise mitbrachten. Auch unser Freund Sneakerb0b war am zweiten Tag am Start.

Am Sonntag war es dann insgesamt etwas ruhiger, was uns aber nicht störte (dagegen hatte irgendwer die Musik in der Halle lauter aufdrehen lassen, wer war das?). Über die Location können wir nur Gutes berichten. Alleine die Luft wurde nach einigen Stunden ziemlich stickig, so dass man sich gerne draußen bei einem Kaffee die Beine vertrat. Bereits nächste Woche findet in Warschau die nächste Sneakerness statt – dann aber ohne uns. Dagegen haben wir uns fest vorgenommen, im kommenden Jahr endlich mal in der Schweiz zur dortigen Sneakerness vorbeizuschauen.

Ein wirklich klasse Event abseits der eigentlichen Sneakerness-Veranstaltung fand Samstag Abend im „Sneakermuseum“ statt. Unter dem Titel „Airmax 87 – Hype & History“ hatte Blogger-Kollege Ascoyne ausnahmslos Air Max-Schätze zusammengetragen. In einer US13 sehen die noch eindrucksvoller aus. Dazu gab es Kuchen mit Air Max-Glasur und einen großen Sale im The Good Will Out (21% Rabatt auf alles zur Feier der 21. Sneakerness), top! Für die perfekte Organisation möchten wir uns zum Ende noch bei Pascal, Kai und Giacomo von Sneaker Freaker sowie der gesamten Sneakerness-Crew bedanken.

Nun ist erst einmal Nichtstun angesagt. Am liebsten wäre uns jetzt, wenn morgen Samstag wäre.

E. & M.