As a streetwear community inspired by our love for sneakers and hip-hop, I thought I'd share with you my own personal list of my Top 10 sneakers ever. There's an unprecedented demand for new and hyped sneakers. So with so many new faces to the game, I thought now would be the perfect time to tell you all my top 10 list of best sneakers in 2022!
10. Converse Chuck Taylors
It started as a staple basketball sneaker, has now become one of the most recognisable sneakers of all time.
The Converse Chuck Taylor All Star is one of the most versatile sneakers to ever exist. A. favourite amongst gym goers and emo kids alike. It’s spotted in hardcore mosh pits to high fashion shows and it is not once questioned about its place.
9. Air Jordan 3
The Air Jordan 3 was the first basketball sneaker to have the visible air bubble and was the reason Michael Jordan decided to stay on board with Nike after his eyes were wandering from the Swoosh after a lackluster Air Jordan 2 (although this has had a resurgence in recent years thanks to the likes of Off White and Union LA collabs).
8. New Balance 990 v5
Marketed as "Proof that quality still exists, our Made in the USA 990v5 is the ultimate blend of performance and style." this super versatile and super comfortable sneaker turned a lot of sneaker heads in the past year or two as a low key flex that nods to your understanding of the culture without drawing in too much attention. It has everything that makes a great dad show and then some and I gotta say we're here for it.
7. New Balance 550
Another New Balance to continue the list. New Balance have been going from strength to strength in 2022 and long may it continue. The 550 is a retro sneaker pulled from New Balance’s archive. Delivering a vintage aesthetic, this OG hoops shoe bridges the gap between old-school and new with its premium fabrication and instantly recognisable ‘N’ branding. The perfect silhouette for every single season, the NB550 is set to be the most coveted sneaker of 2022 and offers a more understated alternative to the likes of Air Force 1s or Dunks. But more on that later...
6. Air Jordan 4
Featuring that all important visible air unit, the Air Jordan 4 was the first Air Jordan to make it’s way to the silver screen, sighted in Spike Lee’s ‘Do the Right Thing’. The culture behind this behemoth of a sneaker, combined with its pure versatility makes it a must-have for any collector. Its also crazy popular at the minute. One downside is that it isn't the most comfortable shoe in the world which is why it isn't higher on the list.
5. Yeezy 700 v1
One of my favourite sneakers in my collection, the Yeezy 700 was not well received when it initially released back in 2017. The landscape of sneaker was very much focussed on sporty, knit models like the ultraboost and 350s. However, people started to come around to this sneaker. And it is arguably responsible for the rise of the dad-shoe trend we currently are in the grips of. With a 90s aesthetic, boost comfort and a lot of hype, this shoe is hard to beat.
4. Nike Dunk Low
Let’s be real, this wouldn't have even made the top 20 this time in 2019 or 2018. Many of us hadn't even heard of dunks back then because it had been so long since they were popular. However, as so often is the case, collaborative works with Travis Scott and Virgil Abloh saw an enormous resurgence in the desire for this timeless silhouette. These days they are beyond popular and are probably the most sought after pairs of kicks you can get. Demand is soaring and we can see why. So easy to style, so many great colourways and so many outstanding collabs. This deserves a spot in the top 5.
3. Nike Air Max 1
Knowing the history of Nike air is so crazy because you learn things like the air cushioning concept was initially pitched to Adidas who binned the idea because they saw it as a fad. In hindsight, we know that it led to Nike becoming the biggest sportswear brand in the world. And it is models like the Air Max 1 that can be attributed to that. Designed by legendary sneaker designer Tinker Hatfield, he had to fight to get the Nike board to allow him to use a visible air unit in the heel as it was unheard of at the time (crazy right?). After much debate, they let him use it. The rest is history.
2. Nike Air Force 1
The white Air Force 1 Low is one of the bestselling shoes of all time. The hyped-up collaborations and limited-run collectibles may have given the AF1 a covetable level of prestige and helped spread its gospel to new generations, but the monotone makeups, particularly the white-on-white, have been the ones keeping the lights on at most sneaker shops over the years. You can't step outside without seeing this shoe. Although its not as easily accessible as it once was, the beauty of an easier cop, blended with its unrivalled comfort and style makes this one an absolute must.
1. Air Jordan 1
This sneaker needs no introduction. The one that started it all.
Air Jordans changed the whole dynamic. The Jordan 1's importance in the entire Air Jordan range, a range that is almost single-handedly responsible for modern-day sneaker culture, is the reason why this holds such strong influence. Some crazy collabs along the years (Travis Scott, Fragment etc) have made it all the more coveted. There is so much possibility with this shoe as it completely transcends normal sneaker demographics. Everyone wants these.
And there you have it! Some honourable mentions are Yeezy Boost 350 v2s, Adidas Stan Smiths and Adidas Superstars. We love these kicks but I just couldn't realistically justify putting them above any of the other sneakers on this list which have been hitting so strongly in recent years.
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