The sneaker scene welcomes at a frenetic pace a plethora of collaborations between brands and designers that feature innovative technologies setting the future of sportswear right before our very eyes and creating high-end remasterings of retro styles that we look back on with pleasant nostalgia. The tremendous advancements in streetwear means that selecting our favorite releases of the year has not been an easy task, yet we were determined to narrow them down. Here is our selection of the 10 best sneakers of 2019. By Foot District.
Nike SB Dunk Low Staple Panda Pigeon
Created in collaboration with Jeff Staple, the Pigeon Panda color scheme wraps around the Nike SB Dunk to prove that those who rejected the silhouette years ago were quite wrong in doing so. The pigeon appears four times throughout the model, which features a black and white panda-themed color palette, a nod to Staple’s Chinese heritage, with a vibrant green bamboo print on the insole, matching Nike‘s Swoosh on the tongue. The outer sole features a patterned design of newspaper headlines that echoed the SB Pigeon sneaker hype at the time of its first launch. Now, for its third official collaborative drop, this Nike SB Dunk Low Staple Panda Pigeon joins our Top 10 list for best releases of 2019.
adidas Futurecraft Loop
This year adidas has presented one of its most ambitious projects, revolutionizing sportswear with a purely avant-garde and experimental style. The innovative adidas Futurecraft Loop is a high performance running shoe designed with 100% recyclable materials, able to decompose and be reused to create a new shoe. It was made to be remade.The German brand takes a step even further in its commitment to promote environmentally sustainable processes and proving a social conscience that has positioned it as one of the most advanced brands in the field. The adidas Futurecraft Loop is designed to be used, disposed of, and remade again and again. A transformative approach to the sneaker universe that inevitably places it in our Top 10.
Air Jordan 1 Retro High Travis Scott “Cactus Jack”
The Air Jordan 1 Retro High Travis Scott “Cactus Jack” was one of the most highly-anticipated collaborations of the year. In design partnership, the Jordan brand and Travis Scott decided to flip the AJ1 Swoosh and leave it resting just above the sole, and then cover the shoe with an array of neutral colors and premium materials. There even was a secret pocket inserted and hidden in the lining of the shoe. This collab achieved an unprecedented amount of attention and has become one of the most famous in AJ1 history. Almost nothing compares.
Air Jordan 1 x Nike SB “L.A. to Chicago”
The connection of the Swoosh and the Jumpman brands with skateboarding culture only further demonstrates their far-reaching influence and legacy. In May of this year we were pleased to witness the magic of a collaboration between Jordan and Nike SB for an updated version of the iconic silhouette of the Air Jordan 1. The Air Jordan 1 x Nike SB “L.A. to Chicago” was the latest creative reinterpretation that embodies the legendary matchup of the Lakers vs. the Bulls, with a striking Court Purple/University Gold colorway that fades to red and black after use, a mind-blowing feature that has left basketball and skateboarding fans completely enamored.
Asics Sportstyle x HBX Gel Kayano 5G OG “Meadow”
This year Asics and HBX joined forces to bring us the most sophisticated iteration of the Kayano 5. The latest reissue has become one of our favorite 2019 sneakers, with a color scheme that perfectly enhances the sihouette’s various layers, materials, and design. The Asics Sportstyle x HBX Gel Kayano 5G OG “Meadow” arrived just before June to bring us the summer vibes we needed, reinterpreting the ’90s chunky sneaker trend with urban sophistication.
Sacai x Nike LD Waffle Green Multi
We saw them for the first time at Paris Fashion Week and instantly knew that we were looking at one of the most powerful drops of the season. A duplicated Swoosh, an eye-catching colorway, and a sculpted heel plate that extends beyond the silhouette are the key elements of the Sacai x Nike LD Waffle Green Multi, a model that combines and updates the Waffle Daybreak and the LDV, two retro-running classics from Nike. The reinterpretation came about in a large part thanks to the mastermind of Japanese designer Chitose Abe from Sacai who shared his vision to pay tribute to the heritage of the Swoosh. It quickly became a must-have for sneaker collectors around the world and it’s not hard to see why.
Off-White x Nike Air Force 1 Low University Blue
The intense blue of the Off-White x Nike Air Force 1 Low University Blue reminded us of the ocean we wanted to dive into this summer. Virgil Abloh created a new addition to his exclusive collection of reissues of the AF1 by Off-White, with a University Blue colorway that became one of the most surprising grails from the designer. With Nike‘s silver Swoosh and red and white details, the sneakers caused a real fervor following the intense hype of the other silhouettes designed by the creative genius. It was also noted that the very first pair was given exclusively to Serena Williams. Yet another piece from the collaborative collection has changed the history of sneakers forever.
Afew x Diadora N9000 “Highly Addictive” NYC
The joint effort with Afew was one of the best design projects that the Italian brand has recently worked on and released. In full rerelease spirit, the collaboration brought us one of the most iconic silhouettes of 2019, our new favorite version of a tribute to the Diadora V.7000. For the Afew x Diadora N.9000 “Highly Addictive” NYC, it was the big apple that was the inspiration behind the mismatched, concrete-inspired colorway, limited to just 50 pairs, and released exclusively in store at Sneakernstuff NYC.
Converse x Ambush Chuck Taylor All Star 70’s Hi White
It didn’t take long for Yoon Ahn of AMBUSH to become a leader in the world of streetwear sneakers. After her partnership with Nike, the designer linked up with Converse to stamp her style mark on a brand classic, reinventing the iconic shoe while preserving its rich heritage. The exclusive capsule that resulted from the union brought us one of the best models we’ve seen this year. The Converse x Ambush Chuck Taylor All Star 70 Hi White was rumored to sell out immediately, even when we barely heard the news of the collaboration, and the rumors proved true and the end product turned out to exceed all expectations. It’s a Top 10 without a doubt.
Reebok x Pyer Moss Experiment 4 Trail Fury
It has been claimed as one of the most outstanding collaborations of 2019 and it’s not hard to see why. Reebok‘s sportswear style meets Pyer Moss’ activism fashion, resulting in an exclusive capsule in which the main attraction was the Reebok x Pyer Moss Experiment 4 Trail Fury. Its style evokes 80s workout gear and takes the chunky sneaker trend to a whole new level of luxury streetwear. Each part of the silhouette embodies a concept that tells the story of the struggle and rise of a population stomped on by the dominant ruling class. Social conscience and impeccable design are the key takeaways from one of the best sneaker gems of the year.