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Let's face it: 2022 was a tame year for sneakers.No mincing words, it lacked exciting debuts in the world of collaborations and original designs and not much in the realm of unprecedented surprises or comebacks. Still, it was enough to add up to a solid 12 months, and compiling such a list with limited headroom remains a challenging task.
Although Web3 and digital assets have made significant strides, sneaker consumers have stayed very true to the past when it comes to wearable products. The most sought-after shoe styles have decades-long roots, but have been reinterpreted through modern ideas and concepts that continue to push these almost vintage designs into the future. Most of our top ten list, not to mention the most sought-after shoe styles of the year, was born in the 1980s, as style trends haven't strayed much from the minimal, almost bland aesthetic that has dominated footwear fashion for the past few years. . And while we didn't make our list a Dunk (not by SB), 550, Samba, or Air Max 1, these classic models deserve a lot of credit for the in-store retail revitalization.
That's not to say that new designs and modern ideas don't deserve attention. Nike's Cryptokicks iRL sneaker, the first native shoe to launch on Web3, gave us a glimpse into the future of the sneaker community. Kiko Kostadinov returned to show his vision with the GEL-Quantum Lylia, a hybrid of two archival silhouettes. And while we at the Cactus Plant Flea Market have been conditioned to expect the unexpected, its Flea 1 rules and conventions are twisted like no other.
History has shown that a bad year is always followed by a memorable one. There is more brand parity than ever. The aforementioned Web3 space is evolving. Once the changing societies dissolve completely. The future is wide open.
Without further ado, here are Sneaker News' 10 best sneakers of 2022, followed by an "Honorable Mention" selection made by our editorial team.
10. Joe Freshgoods x New Balance 90/60 „Penny Cookie Pink“Arguably the busiest employee of the year, Joe Freshgoods coordinated a variety of builds across New Balance's long list of opportunity offerings. While the Chicago native parlayed his efforts in 2021 by fronting the Boston brand's 'Conversations Amongst Us' campaign, it was his 'Penny Cookie' collaboration with the newly designed New Balance 90/60 that garnered the most attention. looks due to its neutral composition attracted attention and paid tribute to the delight of the Windy City.
9. adidas adiFOM QRegardless of your opinion of him, the former "Kanye West" will leave a void in the sneaker world until he finds a new home. The Three Stripes haven't publicly acknowledged their appreciation for the former adidas Yeezy frontman, but they've certainly capitalized on the trends, color palettes and design choices that are popular and associated with Ye. Amid a public feud between the former Mr. West and adidas, the German sportswear giant released silhouettes like the adilette 22 and adiFOM Q, the latter being the focus of a cheeky TikTok video addressing their controversial nature (You think it was a blatant copy of the Yeezy Foam Runner). The adiFOM Q has a lot going for it to compete with Yeezy's slip-on design, but it sheds some light on the future of the brand's design direction.
8. Gucci x adidas GazelleIn 2022, the Three Stripes have fully immersed themselves in the world of the catwalk and high fashion, and they have a number of luxe collaborations to show off. But among the many projects launched over the past year, Gucci x adidas Gazelle is by far the most attractive, as its different colorways perfectly exude the essence of one of the most iconic fashion houses of all time.
7. Concepts x Nike SB Dunk Low „Orange Lobster“Mimicking and mixing the primary colors of a lobster has led to one of the most recognizable sneaker chronicles in recent memory. And four years after its last edition, Concepts blessed the end of 2022 with the sixth iteration of its legendary crustacean-influenced Dunk Low series. The return of the embellished composition, topped off with an orange homage to the coastal delight, only cemented the Boston brand's mammoth influence in the industry.
6. Off-White x Nike Air Force 1 Low „Museo de Brooklyn“Although Virgil Abloh passed away over a year ago, Virgil Abloh's influence can still be felt in both fashion and sneakers, as well as much of his subsequent work, from the Louis Vuitton x Nike Air Force 1 to his first original Nike shoes, released throughout 2022. . The Off-White x Nike Air Force 1 'Brooklyn' joins the Swoosh's many tributes to the late designer's life and is sure to remain one of the most memorable collaboration offerings.
5. Jjjjound x ASICS GEL-Kayano 14On the surface, JJJJound's August 14 ASICS GEL-Kayano looks like (jjj) just another budget trainer from the Japanese sportswear institution, and that's part of its appeal. The Montreal-based design studio has been equal parts praised and criticized for favoring simplicity that flirts with laziness, a common criticism of the GEL-cushioned proposition, but there's something impressive about 'it' shoes built with this formula. . Instagram mood boards and downtown New York City have heightened the importance of the collaboration, but looking back on 2022, it's impossible not to see the year partially summed up by the retro runner, especially as the model has been in the shelves for more than two years. brackets
4. Nike Kobe 6 Protro "Mambacita"The collective encouragement of Kobe Bryant fans has ground to a halt since the Black Mamba's existing contract expired in March 2021. A year later, the two parties agreed to an extension, promising a prosperous future for Kobe shoes to their base of global followers. First up was the sentimental "Mambacita" protro, designed with Gigi Bryant in mind. Fittingly, the shoes dropped on May 1, the date of Kobe's late daughter's sweet 16th birthday, and later again in August for the Los Angeles natives.
3. Tom Sachs x Nike Multipurpose ShoesThe Tom Sachs x Nike multi-purpose shoe is right up there with some of the most boring shoes of 2022 and that's exactly what the artist intended. The collaborative model, often referred to as "GPS," was designed to be a "perennial favorite" not unlike the Air Force 1 and many other Swoosh icons, so it shouldn't be your most exciting thing."
2. Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG "Lost And Found"Perhaps the most in-demand sneaker of the last half decade, the famous "Chicago" colourway finally saw the light of day in November 2022. Jordan Brand decided to add a layer of storytelling to the release, giving the shoes a worn-in effect and the box of shoes while inserting a fake receipt from Sandy Bros. Sports Depot. Nicknamed "Lost And Found," this release harkens back to the age-old traditions of finding old, extinct pairs at mom-and-pop retail stores.
1. Louis Vuitton x Nike Air Force 1 BajoThere is little that has not been written or said about the late Virgil Abloh's work with Louis Vuitton and Nike since the collaboration came to light during Paris Fashion Week on June 24, 2021. The Illinois native lost his battle cancer before he could see couples fetch more than $350,000 at auction; Friends and family receive their exclusive styles; and his magnum opus are number one on countless best-of lists. Through his work as a menswear director for Louis Vuitton, as a freelance DJ and more, Abloh introduced an almost neurotic fan of "culture," from skateboarding to clipse.
Without the Off-White front man, an Air Force 1 with "LV" printed on the profile Swooshes would be a thing of the past, finding credibility and value only among devotees of hip-hop and street fashion. Yes, the 47 pairs in the Louis Vuitton Air Force 1 collection were almost impossible for "normal" people to get their hands on, but that doesn't make the effort any less important; Rather, the ambitious nature of Abloh's expansive project harkens back to the time the trained architect found inspiration. Whether or not there is another collaboration between the two institutions, the Louis Vuitton Air Force 1 has cemented a place in the sneaker pantheon.
Sneaker News Staff: Honorable Mentions/Personal Favorites
Yu Ming Wu
Nike x Nike SB Dunk Low
Air Jordan 1 Hi '85 „Georgetown“
YCMC x New Balance 990v3
Ain My Way x Air Jordan 4
Invicto x Nike Air Force 1 „Clerks“
New Balance 991 My UK "40th Anniversary"
Moncler Trailgrip GTX „Grau/Oliv“
Social Status x Nike Air Penny 2
Stussy x Converse aft
Brain Dead x Oakley Flesh
Kiko Kostadinov x Hysteric Glamour x ASICS GEL-Quantum Lylia
COMME des GARÇONS x Nike Air Max 97
Stella McCartney x adidas UltraBOOST 22 „Blanco nube“
Nike Spark Flyknit “Coconut Milk”
Nike ACG Air Mada "Light Bone"
Air Jordan 2 OG "Chicago"
Kasina x Nike Air Max 1 "Won Ang"
this is never the x New Balance 1906R
ASICS UB3-S GEL-Nimbus 9
COMME des GARÇONS x Nike Air Sunder
Nike Dunk Low „Jackie Robinson“
Ain My Way x Air Jordan 4
Dear Leon Dore x New Balance 550
PUMA MB.01 „Rick y Morty“0