Each year in sneaker hierarchy can be measured in technical innovation just as well as hype or style. This year, Jordan Brand applied Flyknit technology to the Air Jordan III, a move that required amazing dexterity and development when it comes to creating new textures from the material. The III is famous for combining smooth and tumbled leathers with the legendary elephant skin print. Jordan was able to get all those textures, and more, in 3D out of the Flyknit, making for a sneaker—and a process—that combines old and new.
For many sneakerheads, the Black Cement 3 is considered the greatest sneaker of all time. A combination of silhouette, colorway, social significance, and basic wearability created a perfect storm. The shoes were made available to the public again for the first time since 2011, introducing a new generation to the GOAT sneaker and letting the rest of us refresh our collection.
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.
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.
The Justin Timberlake take on the new Air Jordan 3 wasn’t just a game changer because it used the original Tinker Hatfield sketch for the iconic Jordan 3 as the design base (that includes a Swoosh that seems intrusive 30 years later), but also because Nike dropped the shoes when Justin Timberlake took the stage during the super bowl. It was a true sneaker moment that definitely goes down as a hallmark of 2018.
Victor Cruz has made his transition off the field seamlessly, using his position to do good works for his community and his influence to inject more style into the lives of his fans. His first shoe in this new stage of life is the Air Force 1 Mid "V. Cruz" that elevates the shoe in every respect. Rolled edges, premium materials, and gold-toned hardware take the iconic AF1 to the next level. But what makes this a great shoe isn't just the aesthetics: Cruz has reshaped his public identity after his injury forced him off the field, and he's now a philanthropist and style magnate. These shoes represent the ability of a public figure to change and incorporate new contexts. When it comes to identity agility, Victor Cruz is a model we can all learn from, employing a skill set we all need to develop.
With the possible exception of track and field, there isn’t another sport as spartan as wrestling when it comes to individual gear. Compared to competitions that require helmets and bats and sticks and skates and shin guards, wrestling requires only headgear, a singlet, a mouthguard and shoes. The most important piece of that puzzle in terms of athletic performance, the one piece that directly affects the outcome of a match, is a pair of wrestling shoes. Here’s what most beginners and their parents ask when looking for this vital piece of equipment.
Hiking: Going big in sandals require some strapping for security. Teva and Chaco are the most common technical hiking or trekking sandals. Unlike flips, hiking sandals have straps that wrap around the heel and typically incorporate a cinch buckle for a snug fit on all types of terrain. Usually equipped with a more rugged, hiking-shoe-style outsole, such as Vibram rubber, hiking sandals also have a stiffer midsole that makes difficult tasks like scrambling or launching canoes safer. The toe on hikers is usually more robust and some people prefer sizing up a half-size for a bigger buffer between their little piggies and obstacles. The “Hiking” style sandal has been widely adopted by kayakers and rafters after years of losing flip flops in rapids and twisting ankles during portages.
The sneaker community is split pretty drastically around the Legacy 312, and we understand why: The shoes represent a mash-up of some of the most beloved sneakers in the Nike and Jordan archives. Intensely nostalgic sneakerheads have called the combination Don C put together a travesty, but if you're willing to look forward, there's a lot to appreciate about the shoes. Depending on the colorway you grab, the shoes can be bold or subtle, a mirror of how you can see these sneakers as retro inspired or entirely new. There are more colorways of this sneaker coming that haven’t released yet so stay tuned.