While I am well aware that both Jake and I have not posted on the blog much since we started our college journeys, I figured that this is the best place to post my top sneakers of 2012. Without further ado, here are my top 10 kicks for the year.
BONUS: Extra Butter x Reebok Pump AXT “Ahchoo”
Extra Butter x Reebok Pump AXT "Ahchoo"
While the Ahchoo Pumps came out last year, I did not put them on my list because they came out on New Year’s Eve, and I did not plan on buying a pair until I saw the Ahchoos in real life while covering their release at Extra Butter. After seeing them on all of the staff’s feet, I just couldn’t resist that uniquely paired burgundy and beige colorway. Little things on the shoe, such as the Dee Brown-esque orange basketball Pump, the EB logo on the heel, and the wordy insoles make this sneaker even more special. Great design from a great shop. I look forward to more great sneaker collaborations in the future from Extra Butter!
10. Air Max 90 Hyperfuse “Infrared”
Air Max 90 Hyperfuse "Infrared"
The Infrared AM90 has always been my brother’s go-to beater sneaker, so I could never imagine myself getting a pair to wear. But if I did get a pair of Infrared AM90s, this specific pair would be it. The shiny silver swoosh on the shoe works very well with its famous bright Infrared accents.
9. Supreme x Nike SB Dunk Low 2012
Supreme x Nike SB Dunk Low 2012
I actually was able to get a pair of the 2012 Supreme SBs for myself when they released over the summer, but for how much I could sell my pair for, there was no way that I could keep them. However, I must admit that the sneaker’s combination of red leather and elephant print is pretty wild, yet also cool enough for me to imagine myself loving if I wore a pair often enough.
8. Supreme x Nike Air Force 1 Low (particularly Black)
Supreme x Nike Air Force 1 Low
This collaborative pack between Nike Sportswear and streetwear brand Supreme is a pretty cool one (and not just because it is from Supreme). Yes, the red Supreme labeling on each sneaker’s swoosh is nice, but these sneakers look great because of their use of the classic white midsole and gum outsole combination. The Supreme Air Forces also use a cool waterproof material on their uppers that looks good even when creased. All of these attributes work together the best on the Black pair, which I bought for the Fall and Winter seasons and have been wearing a lot lately.
7. Ronnie Fieg x New Balance 999 “Steel Blue”
Ronnie Fieg x New Balance 999 "Steel Blue"
Simplicity at its finest. While Ronnie Fieg swiped one of the most popular New Balance colorways ever with this design (from the Steel Blue 1300 [also Ronnie's favorite New Balance sneaker that he didn't design]), he applied it in such a great way to the 999, my favorite New Balance model. I love the beige leather, lush grey nubuck, and the odd shade of blue suede on the perforated toebox on the sneaker. These are great for any occasion, and can easily be dressed up or down.
6. Air Jordan IV Retro “Bred”
Air Jordan IV Retro "Bred"
I never really loved this colorway of the IV, but after wearing another IV (that is coming up later on the list) throughout my first few months of college, I was convinced that I had to get the Bred IV to wear throughout the Winter. Combine that motivation with the long-awaited release of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ debut album (and my re-discovery of “Wings” and its sick music video), and I started to truly love these IVs. Not to mention that just from “The Shot” alone, these are true classics in the Jordan catalogue.
5. Nike Flyknit Trainer (particularly Black/White)
Nike Flyknit Trainer
When the Flyknit Trainer first released towards the end of July, I did not get the minimal hype that had built up for it, besides for the Volt colorway (which my brother bought). I only discovered how great the Flyknit Trainer is when I decided to get a pair of these as my new running sneakers. I opted for the Black/White colorway, and boy, I could not have picked a better pair. I love how the colors on the shoe are so simple, yet the design of the knitting near the toe is so radical. I am also surprised that the Flyknit Trainer has not completely broke down on me after much intense wear. And in my book, at least aesthetically, these are definitely over the HTMs. The sole on the Trainer is so sleek, while the sole on the HTM looks like a puffy cloud and does not accompany the upper as well as the Trainer’s does.
4. Ronnie Fieg x Asics Gel Saga “Neptune Blue”
Ronnie Fieg x Asics Gel Saga "Neptune Blue"
My favorite Ronnie Fieg design of the year. I successfully ordered these off the #Kithstrike and, when they arrived at my house, I was pleasantly surprised by how well the colors on the shoe worked together. I especially love the Neptune Blue Sagas because they take the same water-based theme of the Cove Gel Lyte IIIs, my favorite Ronnie design to date. The atlantis-like Cove blue takes over the tiger stripes and outsole on this one, while the upper and midsole feature a lush lavender-ish grey that remind me of cloudy skies and wet sand. Finally, a few touches of white on the shoe’s upper and the round blue/grey laces make it even more appealing.
3. Air Jordan IV Retro “White Cement”
Air Jordan IV Retro "White Cement"
This is the IV that I referred to before. What an awesome sneaker. I have always liked the Air Jordan IV model, but never as much as I have this year. In fact, I didn’t even realize how great the Cement IV looked until I saw my brother and a few others wear it a few times. The white leather upper brings out how technical of a model the IV is, while the black and grey accents make the sneaker surprisingly look great beat up. A Jordan classic that would never look bad, perfect…pretty much. What two shoes could possibly top this?
2. Air Jordan I Retro KO Hi “Bred”
Air Jordan I Retro KO Hi "Bred"
I am seriously surprised that the Bred KO went so under the radar. I was in Israel when these came out, and while I already had a pair on lock, I was able to obtain a second pair with ease. Anyways, I love how the classic “Banned” Bred colorway looks on the KO. The wide red toe, the combination of canvas and leather, even the availability of both red and black laces. Not to mention that the Bred KO did not have the rather silly yellowed midsole featured on the Chicago KO. These are definitely the next best thing to a pair of leather Bred 1s, maybe even better.
1. Nike Air Yeezy 2 (particularly Black/Solar Red)
Nike Air Yeezy 2 Black/Solar Red
Call me a hypebeast. Call me a Kanye stan. I don’t give a fuck. My favorite album for 2012? Cruel Summer. My favorite song for 2012? “New God Flow” (yes, its a Pusha T song, but Kanye steals the show on it). What else would you expect my favorite sneaker for 2012 to be? I loved the first Yeezy model, particularly the black colorway, and I could not wait to get my hands on the Yeezy 2, once again, particularly the black colorway. A year or two ago, I never would have thought that Kanye and Nike could create a shoe on the level of the first Yeezy, but man, was I wrong. I love everything about the sneaker: the glow-in-the-dark Air Tech Challenge II outsole, the bright red lining, the snakeskin-like panel, the thick mesh tongue, the new strap, the gold and black aglets (besides for the fact that they could fall off so easily), and more. If anyone has or knows someone with a legit 10.5 pair, I am willing to trade almost any of my shoes (multiple pairs) for them. I actually bought a pair of these on the resale market, but then sold the shoe for a little less than I paid because I couldn’t justify spending so much on one sneaker, not even my favorite sneaker of 2012.