The best sneakers of 2021

Image: Adidas

You’ve probably caught up with some of my work on this site over the past year but if this is news to you, hey, I like sneakers. I like wearing them. I like to write about them. I like to hunt for old pairs that pass me by day after day, finally feeling the need to find the shoe I wanted year after year at a good price. But I also think the sneaker lists could get kinda boring by the end of the year. Like, hey, we got it. The Dior Air Jordans were pretty great (although most of us may not know from having a pair or something). Ben and Jerry’s dance was great.

It often seems as if year-end lists create a purposeful build quotient rather than reflecting the voices and tastes of authors and compilers of taste creators. As such, I hope you’ve been following the “best of the year” conversation over the past few weeks in place of sneakers but this list needs to change a bit. These are, to me, the best sneakers of the year. They feature some new silhouettes, a classic retro or two, and take on some fresh old favorites. Any one of these will give a good boost to the rotation of your sneakers, which is even better to display whenever we are allowed to gather in public again.

Puma Clyde All-Pro Kujma Mid | 150

Graphic: Trace Dean

Puma dropped a cool heater in the latter half of the year with the Clyde Court Mid Kujma Pro. Designed by fashion juggernauts Ruud, it is a sneaker designed to suit the needs of the court that is comparable to everyday wear. These are some crazy casual kicks that go well with any outfit. They will help you work in court. You both get the best of the world.

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Nike Air Max 90 ‘Infrared’ | Prices vary

Graphic: Trace Dean

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I can’t lie, it’s a pretty personal pick (anytime my favorite time sneaker is going to make my year end list happy again) even though it’s purposefully one of the most iconic sneakers of all time, the Air Max 90 is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. Has done and Nike has re-released a ton of old colored roads and celebrated with some new ones. If you’re a fan of this particular Air Max model, there was a lot to love in 2020, but nothing seemed more significant than that or the shoe’s original infrared colorway made as a retro splash. Do you see it This is a perfect sneaker.

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Adidas Torson Artillery High | Prices vary

Graphic: Trace Dean

I don’t think anyone expected Kid Chudi’s first shoe with Adidas to be a classic basketball high-top retro made to celebrate the Third Bill and Ted movie, but even then, Chudi was never a conventional thinker. His Adidas partnership debuted with Torsion Artillery High, which became the most slip-on sneaker of the year. Famous by NBA superstar Grant Hill in his college days and everyone’s favorite cinematic slacker, these high-tops are the most notable for a huge floppy tongue, suits for baldness outside your jeans or comfortable retro vibes.

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Air Jordan 1 Retro ’85 | Prices vary

Graphic: Trace Dean

There should always be Jordan 1 here, right? It remains the sneaker of all sneakers and after taking the last dance cultural consciousness they are further ahead in the field of sneakers in everything. Your top 1 Jordan of the year will probably vary depending on personal taste but it’s hard to argue with ‘85 ’. This isn’t the first time in years that 1 has been reproduced without any tweets or changes to the exact specifications of any model, but it also comes in a red-black and red color. A black and red Jordan 1 is always a cause for celebration and this particular look comes in hyper-limited quantities.

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Nike SB Dunk Low Strangewave | Prices vary

Graphic: Trace Dean

Debuting ‘85 on the same day, Nike Dunk’s year is a start with this collaborative colorful road. Instant sales, ah to bring this a luxurious, impressive colorway current, a significant number in the resale market. There were a lot of great stings in 2020, but almost a full year later, it remains a standout

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New Balance Ime Leon Door 550 | Prices vary

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Speaking of the old school hoop shoes that came back this year, this dazzling stun has created some deadly hype in the 2020 course by partnering with Leon Door in New Balance Eye. If you can’t really go wrong with any of their collaborations, the revival of the classic New Balance 550, another throwback basketball sneaker, is the perfect underlined banner to add to your rotation.

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New Balance 997S Shoes Palace Great White | Prices vary

Graphic: Trace Dean

As I mentioned earlier, the new balance has created a lot of heat this year by partnering with some high-profile fashion brands. It really boosted the company’s stock and brought sneakers to the forefront for the first time in a while. It said one of their standout releases was a tough turn from the rest of their output. While the toned-down classic was taken on most of the brand’s hyperide sneakers, the Shoe Palace has become louder and weirder in homage to the Sharks in San Jose. Stop gambling. These are dope

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Nike Kobe 6 Protro Grinch | Prices vary

Image: Trace Dean

Much like the Air Max 90, when one of the greatest sneakers of all time comes back, you put it on your year-end list. Nike ended the year strongly, excluding the day before Christmas. What else is there to say about this that has not already been said? Kobe 6 Grinch is a legendary sneaker. It’s Rad to see it coming back, especially this year Black Mamba has left us.

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Nike Dunk Low St. Johns | Prices vary

Image: Trace Dean

Sometimes it’s not complicated. You don’t need a good story. You don’t need a Hypod associate. All you need is a great, reliable shoe that goes with anything. St. John’s Dunk is one of those shoes.

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