Always one to turn its sneaker releases into a massive event, Miami’s own SoleFly provides collaborations at minuscule scales. The numbers are always super small, forcing intense competition to grab pairs—and this year’s Air Jordan 1s for Art Basel fit that same mold. They made two pairs: one incredibly limited in patent leather, and another slightly less limited in smooth leather. Both pairs played with orange, green, and black in different ways, inspired by the store’s official colors and the color-blocking of OG Jordans, but the patent leather pair was next level. The “Art Basel Black” will join the SoleFly Jordan IIIs, and others, as some of the rarest sneakers in the game.
A-Cold-Wall*’s Air Force 1 from 2016 is this writer’s favorite sneaker of the last decade, so any related follow-up is going to land squarely on this list. What made the original such an incredible pair was how it took fresh out-of-the-box lacing and turned that into the default for a pair of Forces—it formalized a counter-culture aesthetic into the only option. The Low version released at the end of this year continues the same lacing pattern with a mostly smooth upper that approximates the panels of the high. We’ve lost some of the textures off the original, but ACW has hit it out of the park again thanks to their grasp on how sneaker culture interacts with the wider world.
*2nd pair must be of equal or lesser value. Excludes accessories and certain styles, including but not limited to adidas, Asics, Bear Paw, Birkenstock, Converse, Dr. Martens, select Fila styles, Keds, Koolaburra by UGG, Merrell, Rainbow, Reebok, Rockport, Saucony, Sperry, Teva, Tommy Hilfiger Kids’, online Timberland & Timberland Pro, plus all Nike styles.
Designer Exclusions (Certain categories of merchandise are excluded): Akris, Ala�a, Balenciaga, Birkenstock, Brunello Cucinelli, Céline, Chanel, Chloé, Christian Dior, Christian Louboutin, Comme des Garcons, Dior Homme, Dries Van Noten, Ermenegildo Zegna, Fendi, Filson, Givenchy, Gucci, Kate Spade New York handbags, Lanvin, Loro Piana, Maison Margiela, Miu Miu, Off-White, Prada, Private Label, Sacai, Ugg, Valentino, Versace.
2018 can boast some truly innovative steps in sneaker design, and the DMX Fusion 1 from Reebok and Pyer Moss is squarely in the pantheon of that arena. The silhouette itself is like a dozen other sock runners, but the lacing system is almost mind-boggling. The laces start at the very toe and help inform the shape of the vamp as they pull back to the quarter. Once at the quarter they crisscross a few times through loops, which are rigged so low on the shoe, they're almost at the sole. The laces then wrap around the heel before coming back to the tongue for closure with a lacelock. It's a complicated but refreshing system, and it opens the door for a lot of customization.
We don't want to confuse the two very different trends of Dad Shoes and Chunky Shoes, but the Balenciaga Triple-S represents the peak for both of them. Those trends are petering out, but we cannot deny that the Triple-S has had a massive impact, and the reverberation continues. Each chunky sneaker released since the Triple-S seems like a weak knock-off of the sneaker that truly set the tone. The year has also seen the silhouette develop and change in both look and price because the shoes sell out as quickly as Balenciaga can make them. It's truly a phenomenon.
2018 was an intense year for sneakers. We started the year heavy on the chunky soles and dad shoe trend, and, as the year wraps up, we're getting more into personalized pairs. White sneakers are appearing across every market, acting as canvases for amateur creatives to leave a personal touch on their kicks. Meanwhile, brands have also been focused on blending the past and the future; you’ll find this list is populated with shoes that draw inspiration or elements from the '80s and '90s, but play with them in very contemporary ways. And while technology used to be about running away from the past, the sneakers in 2018 show us that we can use it as a launching pad. This is our list of the best sneakers of 2018.
Have you ever wanted to order pizza but you couldn’t be bothered to reach for your phone? Pizza Hut solved that perennial challenge with its Pie Tops II, designed and manufactured by Shoe Surgeon. The sneakers have obvious retro sneaker inspiration, but the killer is that they are optimized with tech to order a pizza for you and then pause your TV when the delivery guy arrives. They may not satisfy your sneaker thirst, but they can satisfy your hunger.
The one that fits. A particular brand or style might be popular right now, but next season, that popular brand or style could change. Your best bet is to try all the brands and styles available in your price range and pick the one that feels best. If you hear great things about a shoe, try it on. If it feels good, wear it. If not, try another style.
Another entry in the reappearing retro runners, the latest collaboration between Supreme and Nike took the surprising form of the Zoom Streak Spectrum Plus. They feature the classic combination of mesh and leather in sharp waves across the upper. Not satisfied enough with the old-school material design, each colorway is covered in flames. The effect is at once respectful of the past, while also giving it a cheeky update. These were by no means Supreme’s most popular collaboration, but they’re fresh and fit squarely into what the industry has been up to this year.
The straps on sandals are another thing you're going to want to consider. The point of the straps is to maintain the position of the shoes on your feet. This can be accomplished with the use of straps that crisscross over the over the tops of your feet. The most common sandals cross your foot in a horizontal pattern. The straps connect to the sides of the shoes and can be adjusted utilizing buckles in certain straps across the shoe. There are also those straps that utilize Velcro in order to keep the shoe properly in place. You can decide which is more comfortable for you as you're shopping for your shoes.
It was only two years ago that Acronym released its first Presto with Nike, even though it feels like a generation ago in terms of sneaker releases. Predating the Off-White collection, the remix that Acronym brought to the Presto was a big surprise—at that point Nike very rarely let collaborators edit its silhouettes. It was a shot across the bow for traditionalists, and caused a well-deserved fervor. This year they followed up the partnership with a trio of Prestos that played with pattern as much as texture, and color as much as expectations. We don't think the 2018 pairs quite live up to the 2016 pairs, but they're still a welcome addition to 2018's list.
We have been reviewing online shoe stores since 2016. We did in-depth searches on each website looking at shoes for women, men and children, finding what kind of deals were available and contacting customer support with questions. The best online shoe store we found is Zappos.com. Major benefits include a year-long return policy, 24/7 customer service and a vast inventory of shoes for men, women and children.
2018 will go down as the year Nike and Jordan Brand started thinking about the women’s market seriously. Jordan created an entire sub brand devoted to their female customers, and launched pieces with the “1 Reimagined” program. Ten new takes on the Jordan 1 and Air Force 1 offer complete shakeups of these classic designs, shuffled up for a female customer base. Don’t let the gender designation get in the way; some of these deserve full market distribution.
LeBron James put his money where his mouth is for the latest incarnation of his namesake sneaker. Every year he gets the opportunity to start a massive conversation when he releases his latest shoe, and this year he released the very first LeBron 16 with a design by Harlem Fashion Row: a collective of female designers of color lead by Brandice Daniels. Undra Celeste, Kimberly Goldson and Fe Noel. They blended their styles and processes to create a sneaker that works no matter who is wearing it, but delivers a message that breaks barriers not only in opportunities for designers but also in expectations from consumers.
Not to outdo the original Ash Green 4D from Adidas, Taiwanese brand Invincible brought the shoe to the next level. The "Prism" pair is here because the upper sets it apart. Where the OG 4D is remarkable for its sole, these Prisms stand on their own even if they didn’t have a 4D sole. Adidas and Invincible basically hacked the Primeknit process to hide a rainbow of yarns into the knit under a gray outer shell. The result is dynamic and textural. Knit sneakers have been around for a minute, and while they've made advances in textures, this is the best use of color we've seen industry-wide.
Of course. Women’s and girls’ wrestling programs at the high school and collegiate level are growing both in number and popularity. Even in cases where female-only programs don’t exist, many schools offer it as a co-ed sport. It’s now an Olympic competition. That said, manufacturers don’t really differentiate between the male and female wrestler’s foot, so while you may be able to find some shoes that are traditionally feminine in color, there’s no functional difference between those and shoes featuring traditionally male color schemes.
For eligible purchases made with the SaksFirst Credit Card in Saks Fifth Avenue stores, catalogs and at saks.com. During this event, SaksFirst members will earn 2 base points plus 4 bonus points per eligible dollar spent from $1 to $4999, 4 base points plus 8 bonus points per eligible dollar spent from $5000 to $9999, and 6 base points plus 12 bonus points per eligible dollar spent thereafter, based on your calendar year-to-date net purchases. Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH stores, saksoff5th.com, corporate gifts and gift card purchases are not eligible for this bonus points event. Certain exclusions including some designer and licensed departments, salon products and services, alterations, restaurants, taxes, gratuities and delivery charges apply. See style advisor for full list of exclusions. Offer valid in Saks Fifth Avenue stores from 3/7/19 to 3/8/19 and on saks.com from 3/7/19 at 12:01 AM (ET) through 3/8/19 at 11:59PM (ET).
Adidas's Handball Top is a real throwback and a true example of how great shoes were in the 1980s. Once basketball and running took over sneaker trends, soles got pretty boring. If a company wasn't trying to inject as much air as possible into the sneaker, they were just creating waves of EVA and rubber. The sole on these relatively understated kicks have vertical ridges that would be unexpected in 2018, while the upper is old school without feeling tired. The Oyster Holdings collaboration utilized muted tones for sneakers that make a statement but don't scream.
Adidas is currently engaged in a global push to reduce its carbon footprint, and one of the more interesting ways the brand has approached the issue is to be hyper-local. The new AM4 program underscores the brand's abilities at the SpeedFactories, which are manufacturing centers that operate in each of the global markets. In 2018, Adidas has toured around to major cities releasing local versions of a new BOOST runner calibrated for the aesthetics of each city. The shoes may not be the most aesthetically appealing pairs, but they promise a new future of manufacturing and that's huge.
The outdoor shoe came back with a vengeance this year, and that's in large part thanks to Kith's ongoing partnership with Adidas' Terrex brand. They released a slew of kicks, but our favorite is this TR Boost EEA. We love these because they straddle the line between an ostentatious outdoorsy shoe and a more digestible streetwear look. The classic Ronnie Fieg colors of navy and salmon pink appear all over the shoe, with a rugged sole that makes them work just as well on a hike as they do on Lafayette Street.
Foot Locker is one of the best online shoe stores for athletic footwear. You can find shoes for specific sports and activities, such as basketball, golf, cheerleading and tennis. You can be very specific in the type of athletic shoe you want by narrowing the search results to item categories such as lightweight, maximum cushion, motion control and stability.