2017 has been a massive year for classic sneaker revivals as well as outstanding collaboration models. The releases were across the full spectrum, from standard coloured team ups to something way out of the box. We list down the best 10 sneakers to have been released this year of our Lord 2017, so feel #blessed. No Ultraboosts this year, sorry.
Undefeated Nike Air Max 97
The revival of Christian Tresser’s masterpiece was no small thing, with Nike bringing the model back into rotation in full force. Debuting in numerous colourways, starting with the legendary ‘Silver Bullet’ colour, graduating to a limited edition Swarovski version that we’ve only had a glimpse of someone wearing it at Sneakerlah, the revival was well received, both locally and internationally, but what really caught the eye of many, was the model’s collaboration with Undefeated.
2 colourways were released initially, in monotone black, then monotone white, cladded with a leather mudguards with Undefeated’s lettering circling the shoe in red and green stripes. It was an instant hit, cementing the model as a modern classic. Off-White had a stint at it too, but it just looks a bit meh compared to Undefeated’s iteration. Sorry, Virgil.
Tom Sachs X NikeCraft Mars Yard 2.0
A much beloved and highly coveted silhouette, brought back from the deathbed of the archives, and remastered with modern comfort.
Initially, you were only able to get the shoe if you attended the Nike Space Camp, and upon completion, were given the opportunity to purchase a pair. Obviously, people were crazy for old style aesthetics with new updated materials, and as a result, the Mars Yard 2.0 was released, and proceeded to be picked up like there was no tomorrow. Posers need not apply.
Adidas NMD Hu
Pharrell’s hand in the NMD model sent shockwaves through the scene, adding high fashion aesthetic on top of the runners’ already good looking appeal that doesn’t sacrifice any functionality at all. The Friends and Family pack, featuring a maroon primeknit, is still one of the most highly sought after models in the series, fetching upwards of RM8000 on the resell market, and shows no signs of stopping.
After the introduction of the Trail version of the NMD, a N.E.R.D. collaboration for the band’s revival, and a partnership with Chanel using the trail silhouette as the model of choice, the NMD Hu won’t be found at a discount anytime soon.
Air Jordan 1
When the classic cycle repeats itself, the Air Jordan 1 is bound to be one of the names that sneakerheads stick by, and in 2017, its return received major success, from the reconstruction of the Off-White AJ1, to the history rich AJ1 Gatorade Pack. Different variations, different interpretations, but same DNA all round. Pay your respects to the legend.
Sean Wotherspoon AM97/1
Unique to no end. Part of the Air Max Day’s RevolutionAir Program, the shoe gained massive public favour amongst all other entries and subsequently won the contest in a landslide. With an initial release of 2 locations, and a travelling Kombi that gave a pair to whoever could find the van, the corduroy clad beauty was a shoe quite literally like no other.
The Air Force 1 picked massive traction in 2017, and in conjunction with the model’s 35th anniversary, Nike launched the AF100 project, collaborating with visionaries around the world to reinterpret the classic white on white design. While the Roc-A-Fella iteration is one of the best in the collection, Travis Scott’s won our hearts over.
Inside-out canvas top with interchangeable velcro swoosh, large patches, and gum outsole makes this look like any other drop, until you take a closer look at the details. Devil’s in em, after all.
Nike Cortez Kung Fu Kenny
The Cortez had a slow uprising this year; a sudden spark in its popularity helped by no less than Nike releasing Compton and Long Beach versions of the shoe, as well as Serena Williams sporting a crystal covered pair during her wedding, but none we think pulls the silhouette better than Kendrick Lamar’s.
Red and white are the colour of choice for Kendrick, making for a simple yet bold colour combination, with references to his album plastered everywhere on the shoe, from a “Don’t Trip” ribbon on the lace, to Kung-Fu Kenny embroidered in Mandarin on the toe box, it’s definitely a statement piece.
The Vapormax is something truly revolutionary. Comprised of only 3 major pieces, not accounting the lace and flywire, it was a tireless exercise in simplicity, that put function first before form. What resulted was a shoe that looked absolutely out of the ordinary with style, and performance to boot.
Clot’s major collaboration with the model was eye popping to say the least; blood red with matching air sacs meant it stood out even more amongst the wave of “regular” looking sneakers. A more subdued look in the form of a laceless version courtesy of Commes Des Garcon was available, but by then, the Vapormax has already cemented itself as one of the best to have come out of Nike this year.
Adidas NMD Neighbourhood X Invincible
The original NMD silhouette is a common sight everywhere, especially in Malaysia, and to be honest it’s a bit boring now seeing the shoe in every street that you pass by. However, Invincible and Neighbourhood sought to refresh the model a bit, by giving it a souvenir jacket treatment.
Simple black upper with white midsole, complete with a tiger patch and Mandarin lettering on the heel tab with Invincible and Neighbourhood adorning the front block, makes for an understated, yet mean looking design that catches you in just the right angles. While the release is only just happening, the collaboration manages to bring the NMD out of the dead, and we think it’s one of the best collaborations yet to adorn the silhouette.