I have nowhere else to post this, so here goes nothing…
2013 was a great year for sneakers, even though I feel less interested in sneakers than I did a year ago. My work and activities at college have consumed much of my time and attention, but I’ve found time here and there to look into and buy new kicks (though I didn’t get anything from early August to mid-December, a four month span!). I now appreciate the sneakers I actually have and wear more than what I don’t have, for the most part, unlike in the past. Anyways, here are my top 10 sneakers of 2013:
10. Air Jordan IV Retro “Toro Bravo”
The “Toro Bravo” IV is such a stunning shoe. The red nubuck looks great with the subtler white, black, and grey accents, all on one of my favorite Jordan models. Bueno.
9. Ronnie Fieg x Asics Gel Lyte III “Knicks/ECP”
The “Knicks” Gel Lyte III in Kith’s ECP pack was my favorite retro runner from this year. Reaching back to his NY roots, Ronnie Fieg killed it with the eye-popping combination of blue and orange suede and a very clean color pattern. The use of a basketball-inspired colorway on a retro runner did irk me a bit though, which is why these aren’t higher.
8. Nike Roshe Run “Squadron Blue”
I didn’t buy into the hype when the Roshe Run first released last year because there wasn’t a colorway I could single out to get. The “Squadron Blue” colorway, however, did catch my eye when pictures of it hit sneaker blogs early in 2013. I ended up buying them soon after they dropped, and wore them all throughout the summer. The combo of blues make it a great summer colorway on arguably the greatest summer sneaker model ever.
7. LeBron X P.S. Elite “Championship Pack”
This year’s NBA Finals were insane. The many memorable story lines included Tony Parker’s incredible game-clincher in game 1, Danny Green’s remarkable three-point shooting streak, and, of course, Ray Allen’s death-defying three-pointer to bring game 6 to overtime. Through it all though, LeBron James played like a monster, averaging just under 32 ppg in the final four games, and amassing triple-doubles in games 1 and 6. The “Championship Pack” LeBron X P.S. Elite, which LeBron actually wore in games 1, 6, and 7, is a symbol of that greatness that can’t be ignored. I also really like the combination of red, black, and gold, and did as well when that colorway was used on the LeBron 9 last year.
6. Packer Shoes x Adidas Top Ten 2000 Iman Shumpert “2wo 1ne” PE
Ever since I first saw Iman Shumpert don this all-orange colorway of the Top Ten 2000 on court, I’ve loved it. When Packer Shoes released the shoe earlier this year, I originally bought them for my brother, Jake, because he’s a huge Shump fan. But, he ended up not wanting them after I had already bought them. I had then started on-and-off searching for a pair for me, and I was reminded about that again after Packer’s recent restock. I ended up finding someone selling the “2wo 1ne” Top Ten 2000 in my size, and even though Shump isn’t playing too well this season, I am happy to finally have the bright shoe.
5. Air Jordan III Retro ’88 “White Cement”
I’ve wanted to get a pair of “White Cement” Jordan III’s for a bit, and when the opportunity to buy these came about, I knew I couldn’t miss it. This is such a clean and versatile colorway that can be rocked any time of year. I appreciated the connection to the Dunk Contest that Nike used in the release time and the “Nike Air” on the back of the shoe, but I didn’t even care for the “Nike Air” besides for that. I just wanted a fresh pair of “White Cement” III’s.
4. Nike Lunar Flyknit Chukka Tarp Green/Crimson
After Joe La Puma claimed that Flyknit Chukkas were the new sandals, I had to try them on. I eventually did on my trip to Europe in May, and found them to be extremely comfortable and light, almost like walking on a cloud. At first I couldn’t single out a colorway to get: the HTMs were too expensive, the Black/White was too simple, and I wasn’t really feeling the University Red. I finally decided that the Tarp Green/Crimson colorway had the right amount of both subtleness and pop, and now I love them. The Flyknit Chukka is my favorite new model of 2013.
3. Air Jordan 1 Retro OG “Bred”
You know, I wanted to take credit away from the “Bred” 1′s because so many iterations of this colorway have come out in the past few years, but I couldn’t put them any lower than 3. They’re just classic. The black and red leathers on this silhouette look so clean, especially with a pair of nice jeans in the Fall and Winter. I wore my Bred KOs that came out last year to the ground, and I imagine that I will do the same with these once my pair comes in.
2. Nike Dunk Low Premium “Viotech”
I’ve always been intrigued by the wacky “Viotech” Dunk. Even Robin Williams made them look cool. I thought that they would never retro, and be one of the sneakers that always caught my eye, but was just too expensive to justify getting. However, when news of a re-release dropped, I had to have them. This sneaker is eye-popping, yet not too out there because of the simple Dunk model. I can’t think of a better word to describe it than awesome.
1. Air Jordan 1 Retro “Chicago”
When I started liking Jordans in 2009, there were two particular shoes that I could only hope and dream that Jordan Brand retro’ed soon: the “Concord” XI, which came out in 2011, and the “Chicago” 1, which finally returned in 2013 in its true leather form. Many people passed on these because they had a Jumpman on the tongue instead of “Nike Air,” but to me, one little detail like that could not bring how much I liked the shoe down. I know that the “Bred” 1′s were the ones that got banned by the NBA, but when I think of the original Air Jordan, it’s this colorway that sticks out in my mind above all. The combination of red, white, and black leathers just SCREAMS classic. I’ve worn my first pair of “Chicago” 1′s a lot this year, and have another on ice for down the line. Wearing these will never get old. P.S.: Take a hint, anyone with a DS pair of these in a 10.5…
Before I go, I want to give a special shout out to Extra Butter and Exit 36 for being great people and helping me stay fresh this year. Thanks for reading, and here’s to 2014 being a great year in sneakers!