Over the last few articles, we’ve been counting down our top sneakers of the year, building up the suspense to this very moment. The final part of our top sneakers of the year list. So, without delay, let’s get straight into our picks for the top 5 spots on our sneakers of the year list.
Starting off the second half of our top 10 sneakers of the year list, Travis Scott has once again edged his way into conversations on the topic. A year of ups and downs, Scotts more recent silhouette adaptions haven’t caught on as much as his earlier work. But new colorways and renditions of earlier works (such as on the Air Jordan 1 Low) have kept his collaborations as some of the wildest and most sought-after releases of the year. Scott released two different colorways of the Air Jordan 1 Low this year, but we chose the Jordan 1 Retro Low OG SP Travis Scott Black Phantom – which came entirely in black save for some white branding – for our list due to its creativity. Deciding to stray away from previous Travis Scott releases and taking a much more minimalist approach. With over 3.5 million entrants in its SNKRS raffle, the fact that this shoe is only number 5 is a testament to the quality of the next 4 sneakers.
Making his second appearance on our top 10 sneakers list, Joe Freshgoods rounded off his historic year in sneakers on a high, releasing three New Balance 993’s decked out in pink, grey and green respectively. The pack followed on from his previous “inside voices” collection, now taking on the name “performance art”, and involving a rollout which included entering a raffle for the shoe by donating second-hand books and art supplies to charity. The shoe’s simple colour blocking, using soft pastel colors, was a winning combination. So much so, that we thought the shoes were this year’s best proof of New Balance’s continued dominance at the top of sneaker culture.
3. Nike SB Dunk Low Concepts Orange Lobster
It’s challenging to top one of the most coveted sneaker collaborations ever, but Concepts keeps raising the bar with its Lobster Dunk series, which began with the first red pair in 2008. Since then, there have been versions made into Kyrie Irving’s signature basketball shoes before all of his drama, as well as blue, green, purple, friends-and-family yellow pairs. The Nike SB Dunk Low Concepts Orange Lobster, one of the biggest mystery-filled shoes over the previous 12 months, was added to the lineup this year and debuted first at Art Basel. There was some debate over whether or not the early leaked pairs had black bands on the toe box (they did). They are unquestionably the best Nike SB Dunk this year, as that area of Nike has cooled off since it re-ignited a few years ago.
Image: Sneaker News
Coming in second on our list is Atlanta retailers A Ma Maniere, the debatable winner of 2021’s sneaker of the year. Specifically, we’ve chosen their Jordan 4 Retro A Ma Maniére Violet Ore above their other stellar collaborations as one of the best sneaker releases of the year. Coming in a luxury burgundy upper and a matching sail sole, the model continued from where the grey and burgundy A Ma Maniere x Air Jordan 2 left off and the upcoming Air Jordan 12 collaboration will follow. With the Air Jordan 4 already being one of the top shoes of the last few years, save for a special Off-White release in 2021, the model has seen few collaborations that have been able to capture the same genuine excitement as its retros. However, A Ma Maniere dismantled this trend, becoming the most anticipated Air Jordan 4 in 2022.
Rounding off this list it is none other than the Jordan 1 Retro High OG Lost And Found. Coming in identical red, white and black colour blocking to the Air Jordan 1 Chicago, the model caused a frenzy online the second sneaker fans got wind of this release. Now, if this sneaker release was simply a Chicago Air Jordan 1 Retro, it may well have still topped our list, the original is that good. But this model cemented its place at number one by offering something new and piling on some extra nostalgia. Naming the colorway “Lost and Found,” the shoe references a story of walking into an old shoe retailer and finding a beaten-up pair of Air Jordan 1 Chicagos crumpled-up in the corner. The model therefore came with a fake receipt, a worn box and aged details on the model, all adding to the narrative of the shoe getting lost, before being found after years of aging. In doing so, the shoes honour one of the key parts of sneaker collecting, the process of the hunt. Searching for that rare sneaker at the back of a small independent store. And the adrenalin that comes with succeeding in finding an exclusive pair. Breathing new life into one of the best sneakers ever, the Air Jordan 1 “Lost and Found” is our 2022 sneaker of the year.