You’re going to see every other end of year list place the Union L.A. Air Jordan 1s right near the top, and we totally get why: one of them certainly deserves it. The black, red, and white colorway is very dope and sits right in the new tradition, catalyzed by Acronym and perfected by Off-White, of remixing silhouettes of classic sneakers. This release was perfectly timed to hit all the best-of lists. Like a December movie release timed for Oscar season, Union's well-hyped collaboration was still fresh on everyone's minds while they wrote their lists. These are definitely one for the books, and we can't wait to see what their staying power proves to be.
Pharrell caught some flack for this "Blank Canvas" collection with Adidas, offering white knit versions of everything from the Stan Smith to his signature Running Hu. The problem: They were released as a canvas around the Hindu holiday of Holi, where bright powders are launched into the air to fill the world with color. Whether it was an act of appropriation or reverence is a debate for another time. Either way, the sneakers were a very fresh option and set the scene for popular customization like we'd see later on the Off-White Air Prestos.
The first thing you should be looking for when you want to purchase cute sandals is what kinds of materials they are made from. The most common ones are made from leather. This includes not only the straps, but the sole of the sandals as well. The leather is perfect to absorb sweat from your feet as well as endure a lot of wear and tear throughout the hottest months of the year. Leather also stretches as you're wearing it. This means that you're going to be able to have shoes that will mold to your exact shape and size of foot. You will not be locked into the mold that the manufacturer made for the shoe. Instead, you will create the mold using your foot.
Outer Sole: Specialized rubber manufacturers like Vibram offer durable treads for hiking and portaging over rough terrain. Stealth Rubber, featured in Five Ten climbing shoes and Astral river shoes, is designed to stick to rocks to keep you on your feet in the current. You can spend days researching rubbers but at the end of the day, reputable brands use excellent proprietary sole materials.
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.
After Lance Mountain brought a layered customization to the Jordan 1 and Virgil Abloh tore it apart and sewed it back together, Nigel Sylvester took those bold moves and blended them into subtler, personal flourishes on his latest collaboration. Taking inspiration from how his own pairs look after being heavily worn, the result is a sophisticated design with alluring details, and definitely a top pick from the year.
You'll want boots that last all season, keeping your stride comfortable and easy while standing up to the rigors of the pavement and the trail alike. Materials can make a huge difference in everyday wear. Leather is prized for its durability and elegant appearance while suede is soft, comfortable and is also relatively tough. Explore women's boots, plus even more types of fashionable footwear in our shoe department!
When you get to the level of Alexander Wang, there's a confidence of design that seeps through into every piece. That confidence is on full display here. On paper the Puff Trainer shouldn't make any sense: the shoe features a quilted puffer upper with lacing that attaches to the sole and ties behind the heel, a sock entry (usually reserved for speedy, summer-based runners), and a color combination of black, maroon, and neon green. But when expertly balanced with appropriate restraint and flourish, the shoes are an achievement. Not to mention the sole unit is a show-stopper on its own. The sneaker is impressive from toe to heel, and is far and away one of the best offerings from 2018.
Outdoor, adventurous types can pick up a pair of weatherproof hiking boots, perfect for taming nature’s unexpected weather events. If you’re more of a concrete adventurer, slip into some rubber rain boots and keep your socks dry just as well. For a more ideal day when the sun is shining, zip up your fashionable booties, riding boots or motorcycle boots and connect with your inner fashionista. Match up your interests or hobbies to your style of footwear and find the ideal pair of boots for your one-of-a-kind lifestyle. Whether you’re treading on soil or pavement, your feet and your wallet will thank you.