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It seems that every week, a new sneaker hits the market as brands try to keep up with their insatiable customers. It’s really easy to get lost in all the noise and some of the best sneakers don’t even reach the masses. But 2017 has been kind to us and given us some really high quality footwear so far. Here’s the best of the best.
The NMD, adidas Originals’ new kid on the block has quickly established itself as the sneaker to be seen in. The R1 unveiled in December last year has been updated with the latest model, R2 and the sneaker is flying off the shelves – even without any major celebrity endorsements, the likes of which we usually see from adidas. Capitalising on the R1’s massively popular silhouette, adidas brought back the colours and a similar style, complete with the red and blue plugs in the mid sole. This sneaker has sex appeal written all over it.
The sneaker’s design contains references to other popular adidas models like the Micro Pacer, Rising Star and Boston Super, but sneakerheads are unlikely to care about all of that. This shoe can easily stand on its own in the footwear market. It’s packed with modern tech, it’s comfortable, and heck, it’s really really good looking.
Air Jordans 1
These shoes are an absolute classic. The Air Jordan 1 is a staple for an sneaker enthusiast. It’s as iconic as the come. Anyone remember the name ‘Michael Jordan’? An upgrade from the 2016 edition, “Banned”, the all-new Air Jordan 1 is in a class of its own in terms of appeal and character. While the leather on the black sections isn’t premium by any means, it’s still decent and the blue panels easily make up for this. It smells and feels just like leather and if you’re a sucker for nice materials on a classic, then this shoe is for you.
Nike Mars Yard 2.0
Way back in 2012, New York City artist Tom Sachs teamed up with Nike to bring us the NikeCraft Mars Yard. It was a space-inspired sneaker that just loved to be worn. Sachs himself would wear-test the shoes for years. It was during this time that he realised the sneakers needed an upgrade. 5 years later we have the NikeCraft Mars Yard 2.0.
The sneakers look almost identical to the originals, but have several key differences. A polyester mesh has replaced the Vectran upper, the red pull tabs are much stronger now and the outsoles have been toned down to make the shoes suitable for urban wear. With socks? Without socks? No matter. The shoes are made with material that allows for either: a concoction of mesh and cork. And mostly all natural too. No dyes or overly harsh chemicals. And the polyurethane midsole is raw and unpainted. The thinking behind these shoes is well summarised on the packaging with a line that reads “Posers need not apply.”
It was inevitable that Vans was going to get in on a ‘top sneakers’ list. These legendary lace-up high tops feature sturdy canvas and suede uppers, reinforced toecaps (because you’re going to be wearing these a lot!), padded collars for support and the signature rubber waffle outsoles. Ladies shoes? Or mens? These beauties are a winner for both sexes. And if you’re looking for A-list celeb endorsements, how about Kim Kardashian sporting these sneakers in plenty of paparazzi pics.
Adidas YEEZY Boost 350 V2
If the YEEZY craze wasn’t big enough, adidas have dropped another model to fuel the fire. Internet sneakerheads call them the ‘Zebra V2’ and it’s easy to see why. The striped black and white version of the shoe does really resemble the African horse-donkey. But that name wasn’t coined or endorsed by adidas. To hype the shoe up more, adidas only released limited stock to adidas key Originals stores, driving resale prices through the roof and leading us all to believe that this sneaker was the most ‘limited edition’ V2 yet.