THE battle for 2022’s best sneakers is beginning to heat up. There are commonly a variety of brands, types, and materials to choose from.
This year has been loaded to the fullest with hot drops from Nike and Yeezy to New Balance, and things are looking better now that the deluge of pointless collaborations and dull colorways is starting to recede.
Almost all of the second-half releases have been claimed as bangers, but it’s more complicated than you might think because there are so many different shoe brands out there, and even more set to enter the market.
These aren’t your normal white sneakers. These shoes smashed barriers. Some honour designers or decades of history, and some are too good to be true.
Without further ado, let’s check out the list of the best sneakers (so far) this year.
-> Vans x Notre OG Style 36 LX
Both Vans and Notre radiate laid-back style, which makes the OG Style 36 LX more endearing than its standard release brother. These kicks come in four colours and have a handshake graphic instead of the traditional Vans stripe.
-> New Balance MADE IN USA 990v3
New Balance’s creative director, Teddy Santis, applies his minimalistic design to its lifestyle division, and the result is this New Balance MADE IN USA 990v3 “Sea Salt.” Most of the sneakers are covered in white (a “dad shoe” look), but the creamy midsole panel and red tongue branding give them a sporty edge.
-> Nike Air Jordan 1 High “Dark Marina Blue”
Nike’s Jordan Brand has always loved to revamp the Air Jordan 1 colorways. These new “Dark Marina Blue” Dunks were released in February this year, and although the buzz was low, and there’s nothing groundbreaking here, some sizes of the sneakers were still sold out quickly. This sneaker’s accessibility and sleek appearance make it one of the best Air Jordan alternatives in 2022’s first half.
-> Converse x Stussy Chuck 70 High
Converse and Stussy are teaming up to served two shoe designs, the Chuck 70 and the One Star, respectively. It’s the Converse x Stussy Chuck 70 High-tops, which are the first to be revealed. A nod to the shoe’s coastal heritage is evident in the footwear’s historical look. The sneakers’ black hemp material uppers give them a decidedly West Coast vibe. Unvarnished foxing accentuates and embroidery of the star logo completes this pair of shoes’ aesthetics.
-> Travis Scott x Nike Air Max 1 “CACT.US CORP”
Despite last year’s Astroworld Festival tragedy, Travis Scott and Nike have decided to release their Nike collaboration. When it comes to Nike Air Max 1s, Cactus Jack artist Scott brings back his distinctive reversed Swoosh design on the lateral walls, as well as his new logo on the tongue and a Cactus Jack banner on the right heel of these new “CACT.US CORP” colourways.
-> Adidas x Allbirds 2.94 KG CO2e
The Allbirds footwear brand was like “a new kid on the block” in the sneaker industry, but they were already performing really well by collaborating with Adidas. These shoes see a surprising amount of weight and quality that has gone into this eco-friendly collaboration that the first time Adidas has ever manufactured footwear with less than 3kg of ‘trash’, and the shoes are made of at least 25% recycled materials, a bio-based midsole and an ultralight textile upper.
-> Nike Air Force 1 ‘07 LX
Whether it’s freezing outside or not, the Nike Air Force 1 “07 LVX” keeps your style on fire with at least 20% recycled materials by weight. Designed to keep you warm, this piece features a quilted design and a fleece-like inside that’s designed to keep you snug. To create the speckles in the outsole, Nike Grind, a waste product from the shoe-manufacturing industry, is mixed with rubber.