It is that time of the year again, the time to look back at everything that has been going on to judge the good and the bad before entering the new year 2018.
Unlike other lists, that have dropped weeks ago, I really took the time to think this ratings and waited till the very end to put it out, so here it goes: the best sneakers of the year (and maybe a few honorable mentions).
10. ADIDAS YEEZY BOOST 350 V2 “ZEBRA”
The hype for the Yeezy 350 V2 has been progressively dying over the past year due to the large amount of variations that have dropped. This situation has been recognizable in the last two releases of the year (Beluga 2.0 and Blue Tint), having the lowest resell prices to date (around 300€).
Regardless, all of the pairs have been highly sought after and immediately sold out, so one of them deserves one of the spot of this list: the Yeezy Boost 350 V2 “Zebra” . This shoe dropped twice, first in February and then in June, which made the price and hyped after it to sink. Even so, some fans considered this shoe the best 350 ever and due to it success it actually came out again later in the year in form of the Semi Frozen Yellow.
9. NIKE AIR MORE UPTEMPO X SUPREME
Every year in streetwear culture is a year dominated by Supreme, so one of their collaborations definitely deserves a spot on this list: the Nike Air More Uptempo.
2017 has been dominated by Nike primarily with two silhouettes that have been constantly generally released: the Nike Air Max 97 and the Nike Air Uptempo. The run of the first one started with the comeback of the OG colorway: the “Silver Bullet”, and the run of the second one actually began after the collaborative release of three different colorways with Supreme (Gold, Triple Black and Red and White).
The shoe stands out because of the splendid idea of replacing the word AIR on the upper for the word SUPREME, and out of the three the one using the original Boxlogo colors stays in the foreground.
8. AIR MAX 1/97 VF SW “SEAN WHOTERSPOON”
A shoe that is actually set to release next year for Air Max Day on March 26th but that has been created this year at the Nike Vote Forward competition, in which creators around the world took different Air Max models and made them their own.
Sean Whoterspoon co-owner of Round Two (a vintage clothing and resell store that started in Richmond, Virginia and expanded to Los Angeles and New York City) really deserved to win as he designed not only a good looking shoe but a completely new model with completely new materials.
Sean took risks in his design by having full creative control and putting together the midsole of the Air Max 1 and a innovative corduroy upper of the Air Max 97, then he ended the process by adding different colors to the outsole and the upper-layers.
The Air Max 1/97 VF SW has unexpected hit the market already this year, reason why it is on number 8 on this list, with a very limited release at the Richmond Round Two location. Although it is in next years release when the true potencial of the shoe is going to be shown, maybe making this shoe a candidate to be in the best shoes list of two different years.
7. AIR MAX 1 “THE MASTER”
Staying on the Air Max Month of this past year, Nike surprised the fans not only with the rerelease of the Air Max 1 Atmos (shoe that dropped on March 26th as winner of the Vote Forward competition of 2016) but also with the fully new itineration of the Air Max 1 The Master, that turned to be most hyped one of every Air Max dropping that month.
These shoe deserves this place on the list because of the Air Max 1 being the most common collector-sneaker but more precisely for being a shoe that puts together all the legacy and history of all Air Max 1 bangers, models that everybody has dream of having, models that are authentic sneaker grails (both Atmos x Airmax 1B, the Kid Robot x Air Max 1, the “Cherrywood” Patta x Parra Air Max 1, the Air Max 1 “Beast”, the “Kiss of Death I” CLOT x MC YAN x Air Max 1 NL, the Air Max 1 OG in red and blue, the green “Chlorophyll” Patta x Air Max 1, the “Supreme” Atmos x Air Max 1, the “Albert Heijn” Amsterdam Parra x Air Max 1 and the Air Max 1 Premium SP).
6. NIKE AIR FORCE 1 LOW “TRAVIS SCOTT”
2017 has been a great year as anniversary of many Nike silhouettes, one of them being the 35th years since the release of the legendary Air Force 1 (also 30 years since the Air Max 1 or 45 since the Cortez). For the celebration Nike planned from November 30th to December 3rd the release of the AF100 collection, which consisted of the Nike Air Force 1 Low “Roc-a-fella”, the Just Don Nike Air Force 1 Hi, the Nike Lunar Force 1 Low Acronym and the Nike Air Force 1 Low “Travis Scott”.
Out of all this shoes the Travis one is considered the best, with a canvas upper and including the excellent idea of having exchangeable swooshes.
Also remarkable, and deserving an honorable mention, is the comeback of the Nike Air Force 1 “Roc-A-Fella”, being an historic New York shoe that set the bar at the time for future Sneaker collaborations with entertainers.
5. ADIDAS NMD HUMAN RACE TRAIL “N.E.R.D.”
The second itineration of the Pharrell Human Racers came out this November, making even more noise than the previous ones of 2016.
Four different colors dropped as a limited release for the general public, a fifth one as a Billionaires Boys Club exclusive in New York City, one more as a collaboration between Pharrell and Channel (that dropped exclusively at Colette in Paris and has resell prices around the 15.000€) and a last one at ComplexCon in collaboration with Pharrell’s group N.E.R.D.
The reason picking this last one for the list resides on the ability and hype of the shoe to capture everyones attention at ComplexCon (which took place on November 4th and 5th in Long Beach, California) and shutdown the Adidas-booth, and even dominating over every other huge drop at the event.
4. ADIDAS YEEZY BOOST 700 “WAVE RUNNER”
The new Yeezy-wave for 2018 has already started with the release in November of the Wave Runner. This silhouette is going to drop in different colorways such as triple black and triple white next year, together with the similar looking shoe “Mud Rat 500″. Both of this models are set to take over 2018 as the new generation of Kanye West shoes for the german sport brand.
The Yeezy Boost 700 “Wave Runner” became a lot of backlash at the beginning for looking very much like a dad shoe. Nevertheless the shoe looks pretty well constructed to me with the different colors matching perfectly too.
The shoe serves as an excellent turnaround for a new successful Yeezy-line, and this model being the OG, deserves immediately a higher place on my list.
3. NIKE AIR PRESTO X OFF WHITE “THE TEN”
The Presto is a shoe that for ages has never leave the Sneaker-stores shelves but was not ever considered one of the best Nike silhouettes.
Unlike other pairs in The Ten collection, the Presto really surprised everyone, turning to be one of the best, if not the best pair of the full pack. This happened because Virgil Abloh really figured out how to deconstructed the shoe by given him a completely new character, different that the one the Presto used to have.
For many Sneaker-enthusiasts and publications, because of the mentioned surprise factor, this is really the shoe of the year, over the Air Jordan I; and maybe it is, for setting the path for designers to treat shoes and collaborations at they will, creating almost new models.
2. AIR JORDAN IV KAWS
A piece of art, that is what this shoe is.
The collaboration between Jordan brand and contemporary artist Kaws turned into a shoe with top quality and look: a Jordan IV with a detailed suede upper, with the typical Kaws-hands, a glow in the dark outsole and the XX from the Kaws-eyes in the back, substituting the Jordan logo.
The only reason why this amazing shoe is not in place number 1 is because another artist/designer, Virgil Abloh, came through and deconstructed a better Jordan silhouette, the best Jordan silhouette, the original Air Jordan 1.
1. AIR JORDAN 1 X OFF WHITE “THE TEN”
The main shoe of The Ten collection, a shoe that was shown and hyped by celebrites and influencers months before it was even officially announced.
Everything was perfect in the rollout of this shoe and I really think that when we look back at 2017 and each one of it big releases, we are immediately going to remember this year for Virgil Abloh’s job, specially with the Air Jordan I, the most wanted shoe of the year.
Main picture from thesolesupplier.co.uk