February 5, 2023
Finest Sneakers of 2022 Editor’s Picks

2022 was a curler coaster experience for sneaker tradition. The cross-pollination of luxurious trend labels and sportswear manufacturers reached a brand new apex, adidas pulled the plug on its historic partnership with Ye, MSCHF crafted sneakers that mimicked iconic silhouettes and Nike offered considered one of its hottest collaborations by means of Kohl’s. Radical shifts went down for big-name manufacturers, permitting smaller ones to garner extra time within the limelight and new ones to infiltrate the house. However all highlights and antics apart, the first pleasure about sneakers this yr remained the identical: the sensation of sporting them.

To place a bow on 2022, Hypebeast workers members compiled a listing of their favourite kicks that they laced up all through these final 12 months. It incorporates a mix of coveted collaborations from the likes of Nike, Jordan Model, ASICS and adidas to slept-on GRs from the likes of rising imprints like Salomon and newer business members like norda. The aesthetics of those choices caught our eyes, however their tales and wearability captured our hearts. Scroll additional all the way down to view the record.

JJJJound x ASICS GEL-KAYANO 14 “Silver/Black”

If there was any shoe that turned my go-to within the latter half of 2022, it was the JJJJound x ASICS GEL-KAYANO 14 in “Silver/Black.” I even managed to snag these up for retail, which was a reduction contemplating that they go for properly over double the unique MSRP on the resell market.

Secondly, this has been a sneaker that I’ve stored in rotation for any event. I are inclined to gravitate in the direction of neutral-toned clothes and one of many joys that I’ve acquired from this sneaker is its versatility and luxury. I’ve paired these with every part in my wardrobe: street-style ensembles, cozy sweatsuits when hopping on airplanes and even my lazy outfits once I’m out on a fast grocery or espresso run. Within the occasion that I do determine to spruce up my wardrobe with louder, extra colourful garments, I like that they’ll additionally neutralize these sorts of get-ups. As well as, they’re additionally trainers, so by nature their GEL-loaded midsole cushioning permits me to lace them up all day with out feeling any ache or discomfort. That is key, particularly for the variety of steps I rack up in New York Metropolis every day. – Elliot Santiago

norda 001

“The sneaker recreation is so stale nowadays,” I grumbled on the high of 2022, scratching a beard that’s one or two stressors away from sprouting gray hairs. I’m not making an attempt to duplicate the “previous man yells at cloud” scene from The Simpsons, however I did — and largely nonetheless do — really feel that approach. Too many drops. Too many collabs. An excessive amount of corny advertising. Not sufficient respiratory room. Little true innovation, and even much less storytelling.

Fortunately, I discovered norda. The model’s high-priced, high-tech 001 sneaker caught my eye, first on-line after which on cabinets: once I picked up a pair on the Ideas by Union Sq., I felt a spark of pleasure, the sort that had been absent from my sneaker-collecting expertise for fairly some time. I didn’t purchase a pair proper then and there, however my curiosity was immediately piqued. I’m a giant “why” man in relation to sneakers, and there have been a variety of “whys” to be explored behind norda: from how the founders conceptualized the model to the extremely high-tech supplies used on the 001, its design inspiration and the way it had garnered an avid, rising fanbase each on and off the paths. Later within the yr I snagged a pair and acquired to answering these “whys” myself. As you possibly can most likely guess, I liked what I discovered.

“We’re sorry,” Nick Martire, the model’s co-founder mentioned once I interviewed him and 001 designer Louis-Martin Tremblay in October. “As soon as you place [our shoes] on you’ll want a number of pairs since you’ll by no means wish to take them off.”

Three pairs later, I can verify his assertion was 100% true. – Ross Dwyer

Slam Jam x Vibram Put up Sneakers

If 2021 was the introduction to a post-sneaker world, then 2022 was the yr that threw the footwear rulebook out of the window – and I for one turned a loyal subscriber to the pattern. That’s why, for my sneaker of the yr, I’m choosing one thing extremely rogue – the Slam Jam x Vibram Put up Sneakers.

Not fairly a boot, nor a sneaker, Slam Jam’s (Un)Company Uniforms division stole my ft this yr with its Vibram link-up. Slight confession – I’d by no means owned a pair of Vibram-equipped sneakers earlier than this, and what Slam Jam did with a chunky, rugged Litebase and Megagrip rubber compound sole unit and lashings of plush foamy rubber for the midsole, mixed with an higher that screams of prototype growth styling, received for me.

The shoe is made by thermoforming on a 3D final utilizing Vibram’s StratX rubber sheet materials, which leads to a uni-piece and uniform aesthetic. The sock inside rounds this shoe out, and mixed it’s the best pair of sneakers to put on in my ever-growing rotation. When doubtful, these go on for his or her capability to work with virtually any outfit (notably my trusty pair of Bottega Veneta tech cargo pants and an outsized Raf Simons sweater, a JORDANLUCA nylon boiler swimsuit, or a classic dishevelled black swimsuit paired with a technical Prada zip-up shirt).

Singlehandedly, this shoe advanced my model journey this yr. Whereas I’ve all the time been a fan of technical garms, it by no means felt proper for me – the Slam Jam x Vibram Put up Sneakers modified that. – Eric Mind

Reebok Premier Street Trendy “Darkish Inexperienced”

In a world of numerous collaborations and restricted releases, a uncommon breath of recent air hit me with the reveal of the Premier Street Trendy in “Darkish Inexperienced” as I knew I wouldn’t should dedicate hours to getting into raffles or queuing for a pair. I patiently awaited the chance to seek out it in-store and once I lastly noticed it in a seasonal sale, the modern design that pulled me in at first sight struck me as soon as once more as I lastly held it in my arms. Upon making an attempt them on, every part clicked. Consolation, model and availability all collided to make this a launch I proceed to suggest and rave about. – Logan Fairbrother

Dangerous Bunny x adidas Discussion board Buckle Low “Blue Tint”

My sneaker of the yr is the Dangerous Bunny x adidas Discussion board Buckle Low in “Blue Tint,” due to the private story that’s connected to it for me. I used to be fortunate sufficient to see Dangerous Bunny 3 times this yr and every time was stuffed with unforgettable reminiscences: making new buddies, studying extra about reggaeton tradition and bringing pleasure to my ears.

From Puerto Rico to NYC to Mexico Metropolis, I actually acquired the prospect to dive deep into Benito’s Borinquen heritage and grew to understand the quantity of expertise that’s birthed from the small island. Being Latino myself, I actually love seeing the Hispanic group within the highlight, and I consider the “Blue Tint” iteration speaks to Dangerous Bunny’s ethos essentially the most due to its daring colour presence — much like Benito’s model and his newest album Un Verano Sin Ti … AKA my album of the yr.

PS: I swear the picture is actual and never Photoshopped – Nicholas Llanton

Air Jordan 1 Retro Excessive OG “Misplaced & Discovered”

Nothing can beat a basic, and in relation to sneakers nothing’s extra basic than Jordan Model’s notorious Air Jordan 1 “Chicago.” After I started accumulating sneakers again in 2015, I dreamt of getting the colorway in hand and on-feet — it was the grail of all grails for me because the pair that catapulted the Jordan line into monumental success. Getting my arms on a 1985 pair has been a dream of mine for years, and though not an actual re-release of the unique, the launch of the Air Jordan 1 Excessive OG “Misplaced & Discovered” felt like a pivotal step in my journey. Fortunately, I managed to get two pairs this yr, one to rock and one to inventory for the years to come back. Opening the mismatched field made me really feel like I used to be again within the early days of accumulating, giddy with pleasure to brush my fingers over each element.

Though it held excessive inventory numbers, it’s a pair I cherish and share a way of pleasure each time it hits my ft. Subsequent is getting my arms on a real OG “Chicago,” and since this pair options aged particulars harking back to an unique, it acts as a time machine to 1985. – Andrea Sacal

Ideas x Nike Air Max 1 “Message to the Universe”

We’ve seen some unbelievable colorways of the Air Max 1 because it celebrates its thirty fifth anniversary this yr — from the Patta releases to the “Ugly Duckling” and “Ironstone.” It’s exhausting to choose only one, however for me the Ideas assortment stood out essentially the most due to how unique it’s, particularly when the market is flooded with bland, drained dad sneakers. The whole idea for “Message to the Universe” was executed completely from thought to manufacturing, the loud, wild materials and patterns remind me of the golden period of sneaker collabs within the early 2000s, and, moreover, it reminded us that we’re a (sneaker) group on the finish of the day. – Dave White

Dangerous Bunny x adidas Powerphase “Benito”

Selecting only one sneaker is without doubt one of the hardest selections I’ve made all yr, however I’m going with the Dangerous Bunny x adidas Powerphase “Benito.” As a Puerto Rican native, it’s solely proper that I am going with my boy Benito and out of all of the sneakers he’s dropped this yr this pair stands out essentially the most. From the wild-yet-subtle colours to the best way they mixed 10 totally different sneakers on the ultimate design is simply mind-blowing. Benito has carried out loads for Latin tradition musically and politically since he’s been making music, so it provides me an excellent sense of delight and pleasure to put on his sneakers. – Bryan Velez

HUF x Nike SB Dunk Low “San Francisco”

I had the privilege of assembly Keith Hufnagel just a few years again when HUF opened in SoHo on Crosby St. Whereas we have been solely capable of chat for just a little, it was inspiring to listen to what concepts and ideas he had for the shop, how he needed it to really feel, even what music could be taking part in within the retailer on the common. Nike paying tribute to Keith with a “retro” HUF Dunk Low was a no brainer, however the tie-dye hidden panel gave it a little bit of dynamic creativity. Whereas I had the X-Aacto knife out, I went the additional mile and puffed the tongue circa early 2000s NikeTalk and added puffy laces to offer it a real SB really feel. RIP Keith. – Eddie Eng

Nike Air Drive 1 Low “West Indies”

I’ve come full circle with this shoe. All of my buddies and I owned the unique pair of the “West Indies” within the early 2000s. In September of this yr, I traveled to New York Metropolis for Vogue Week, and as quickly as I walked into HBX I seen the “West Indies” retro on the shoe wall. I immediately had a way of nostalgia as I vividly remembered donning the Antoine Walker Celtics jersey with a pair of Girbaud trousers and including the West Indies to finish the ensemble — the proper match for no matter occasion was going down! The choice to buy these and add them to my assortment was apparent from that time on. – Bentley Nwalupue

Supreme x Nike SB Dunk Excessive “By Any Means”

I like how the Supreme x Nike SB Dunk Excessive “By Any Means” feels very quintessential NYC. That “NY” emblem inside the “By aNY Means” embroidered slogan absolutely describes the basic New York mentality. Nike typically makes use of Supreme to reintroduce a wacky/non-traditional silhouette to experience the wave of hype, so I may admire that this collab was nearly doing a basic silhouette in a recent approach – Anthony Esponda

Martine Rose x Nike Shox MR4 “Black”

The Martine Rose x Nike Shox MR4 is the final word “when you’ve gotten a recreation at 6 and a dinner at 7” shoe. These have been the primary mules in my rotation, and so they turned a staple in my wardrobe for the later a part of 2022. Actually, I wore them a lot that there wasn’t even a rotation anymore. Received them for a good value too! Martine Rose undoubtedly upped the ante with this very polarizing pair, and I communicate from expertise primarily based on the compliment-to-roast ratio once I had these on.

It’s mentioned that more often than not that nice artwork is artwork that’s supposed to impress and problem us. I’d like to use the identical practice of thought to this silhouette. General, I’d say it’s Sneaker of the 12 months materials. – AJ Sacil

Salomon XT-6 “Lunar Rock”

Name me a convert, however I’m absolutely obsessive about these sneakers. I’ve all the time been a fan of white sneakers, however that is my first go-around with a climbing model so it’s each new and acquainted for me. The XT-6 is the full package deal: it matches with every part and are fairly probably essentially the most snug sneakers I’ve had on my ft. Added bonus: In case you reside in a metropolis like Hong Kong the place it always rains, they’ve an excellent grip! – Grace Wu

Air Jordan 1 Retro Excessive OG “Misplaced & Discovered”

Air Jordan 1s have all the time held a particular place in my coronary heart. Earlier than the silhouette turned scorching once more, I bear in mind swapping between Nike SB Dunk Highs and Jordan 1s when skateboarding with my buddies. Since then, my love for sneakers and trend grew, and any variation of an Air Jordan 1 “Chicago” turned a grail for me. The historical past and cultural affect of the colorway is all the time current within the sneaker world evokes nostalgia. What stood out to me about this “Misplaced & Discovered” pair was the the eye to element. This consists of the ageing, weathered shoe field, old fashioned receipt and the wrapping paper. All of it instructed a narrative and it’s undoubtedly a shoe that I shall be placing some miles on. – Noel Austin

G DLP x ASICS GEL-LYTE III “Tropicália”

‘Tropicália’ is without doubt one of the most related cultural actions of the century, combining Brazilian conventional parts with an progressive mind-set to encourage the entire world. G DLP and ASICS joined forces to have a good time ‘Tropicália` colours, patterns and historical past by means of product and editorial storytelling. Tremendous essential for the Brazilian group, the shoe was accessible in additional than 40 retailers all over the world overlaying each continent with our native taste. EPIC! – Marcus Vinicius

and wander x Salomon Odyssey

As a longtime admirer of Salomon, the Odyssey has not too long ago turn into a brand new favourite that presently lives on the high of my rotation. Extra particularly, the and wander x Salomon Odyssey is my sneaker of the yr. I’m in love with the silhouette because it carries the proper steadiness of assist and luxury, that includes EnergyCell midsole expertise and a barely roomier really feel (shout out to the Contactgrip too). I’ve loved the and wander iteration because the colorway and supplies deliver out the most effective in silhouette’s purposeful design. – Will Henry

Maison Margiela x Reebok Traditional Leather-based Tabi

This shoe has been on my want record for years now and what stopped me from shopping for them beforehand was that I may by no means discover my dimension. They have been additionally extremely costly. Nonetheless, I lastly discovered them in my dimension over the summer season at a extra “cheap” value, so I simply bit the bullet and I completely love them! They have been in my sneaker rotation for the higher a part of the summer season and solidified my love for all Tabi sneakers. It was simply tremendous good to lastly get my arms on a pair of sneakers I had been wanting for awhile now. – Beatriz da Costa

A Ma Maniére x Air Jordan 4

For me, the shoe of the yr is the A Ma Maniére x Air Jordan 4. Courting again to the primary A Ma Maniére sneaker of the gathering that launched in 2021, A Ma Maniére efficiently utilized every launch to amplify actions, and in essence, unify communities. The premium supplies paired with the marketing campaign’s compelling messaging is all I may ever ask for as a fan. – Tyler Mason

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