Nobody ever predicted that sneakers would become a fashion statement. Louis Vuitton employing a sneaker expert for the upcoming collection? That was unheard of up until recently. This time ten years ago, sneakers were what you wore to the gym (while praying that no one would see you). In the 90s, New York City's power women started wearing sneakers to work. It was an attempt to ease the load from wearing heels, but the unspoken code was clear: You wear them for the commute, and that's it. Now that everyone from Tommy Hilfiger to Yeezy is churning out "must-have" sports shoes, it's official. Sneakerheads are the coolest kids on the block.
One brand above all will always dominate, though. While Nike faces stiff competition from the likes of Adidas, Reebok, and Puma, the sports giant is still ahead. Most of the best-selling sneakers of 2017 were Nike, according to The Washington Post. The brand's signature logo is one of the most-recognized slogans on earth, not to mention the best-selling. If words like "Jordan" or "Vapormax" get your heart rate up, you've come to the right place. From the super-affordable to the extortionately priced, we'll be checking out the top Nike sneakers to buy – regardless of the buyer's taste. Whether they're buying Nike sneakers for their functionality or their fashion, here are 25 for everyone to consider.
25 LEBRON 15 FRUITY PEBBLES
LeBron James' love of Fruity Pebbles is hardly a secret. Teaming up with Nike to release a shoe inspired by his favorite breakfast, The King designed the LeBron 15 Fruity Pebbles. The look is ultra-modern and it couldn't be more 2018.
The Fruity Pebbles shoe was inspired by LeBron James' favorite breakfast.
The multi-color variant of Nike's new BattleKnit upper has white detailing on the tongue, a heel collar, and a crystal-clear Zoom Air unit. Sneakerheads will know to look out for the special branding on the insoles – the King's personal touch to this $185 shoe.
24 CONVERSE ONE STAR 74
Converses literally come in a zillion different styles and colors. Whether it's schoolkids, hipsters, or Rihanna wearing these, the affordable Converse is a tennis-style shoe that will probably never go out of style. Converse was acquired by Nike in 2003 for $309 million, although the name has stayed the same. A pair of these is the ultimate fashion accessory – name one outfit that hasn't been accessorized with the Converse shoe. The Weapon was a huge success, although there have been many special editions since.
23 AIR JORDAN 1 x OFF-WHITE NRG
At a retail price of anywhere between $1,600 and $31,000, a pair of Air Jordan 1 x OFF-WHITE NRG is likely to stretch beyond most peoples' budgets. Still, you can window shop. In 2018, Virgil Abloh continued to focus his design on the Air Jordan 1 by dropping this white-infused model. The release was super-exclusive – you're looking at a shoe that's harder to come by than the "Chicago" colorway from 2017. If you're wondering why the price is so high, Virgil Abloh is the artistic director at Louis Vuitton.
22 AIR MAX 270
Nike fanatics are likely to own a pair of these. The Air Max 270 is inspired by the 1993 original Air Max 93 and the Air Max 180. It gets its "270" name from an internal Nike nickname for the Air Max 93 – it referred to the 270 degrees of visibility in the air unit.
The 32 mm heel is the tallest for any Air Max ever made. Celeb fans include Drake, Beyonce, and LeBron James.
The shoe comes in every color under the sun. At $150, it's considered reasonably priced for Nike.
21 AIR MAX ZERO
Available in men's and women's styles, the Nike Air Max Zero was first released in 2015. It was unveiled during Nike's Air Max Day campaign, and it pretty much flew off shelves. The white/mid navy/Hyper Jade range saw the original 1985 shoe reinvented as it was inspired by the Centre Pompidou's inside-out design during a Paris trip. The shoe is straight-up inspired by runners, although like all Nike shoes, it's equally a fashion statement. Prices mostly depend on color, although you're looking at around $130.
20 X OFF-WHITE "FOOTBALL, MON AMOUR"
This one is hot of the press. In June 2018, Virgil Abloh announced that his new OFF-WHITE x Nike Collection would include a celebration of "the beautiful game." The Football, Mon Amour ("football, my love" in French) doesn't even have a price, but it's unlikely to be cheap.
Virgil Abloh drew inspiration from his youth, recalling playing hip-hop tracks on his way to soccer matches.
"I wanted to communicate where a player strikes the ball," Abloh said about the shoe's dots.
19 JORDAN 1 RETRO HIGH SHADOW
Sneakerheads were pretty hyped for the April 2018 release date of the Jordan 1 Retro High Shadow Grey. Classic styles have always been best-sellers, and this shoe has been following the trend of previous models. The Shadow Grey brings an understated vibe to the traditional basketball high-top. It's somewhat similar to the "Banned" and "Royal" Jordan 1s, although it stands alone with tumbled leather and a subtle black and gray contrast. These retail for between $165 and $180. Not cheap, but hey! It's not $4000.
18 AIR MAX 1 WATERMELON
This shoe has so many #watermelon Instakicks, you'd think that Nike was in partnership with the actual fruit. The Nike Air Max 1 Watermelon is instantly recognized by its vibrant green suede mudguard, pink swoosh, and pink/green banded tongue and heel hits. It's a total summer shoe that was released in May 2018 and retails for $110. It comes in Summit White, Sunset Pulse, and Kinetic Green. Air Max shoes were already getting the celeb treatment in the 90s– Sporty Spice from The Spice Girls was a huge fan.
17 AIR MAX 1/97 SEAN WOTHERSPOON
The general consensus is that Sean Wotherspoon's Air Max 1/97 was hands down the most-hyped Nike release of Air Max Day 2018. The sneaker went from "must-have" to "impossible to buy" after LeBron James posted this pic of himself with a pair. Sean Wotherspoon is the co-founder of the vintage boutique store, Round Two. He is also one of the planet's biggest sneaker collectors, with a seriously impressive vintage collection. The 1/97 is loved for its corduroy finish and multi-color look. It could be yours for $160.
16 VAPOR STREET FLYKNIT
You know a shoe is getting a lot of hype when there's build-up for the White and Royal colorways release. The Vapor Street Flyknit is a shoe that channels race day technology into a street-ready silhouette. Up until the new color releases, fans were mostly getting their hands on the light gray model, but the two-tone shoe is now available in a wider range. The React Vapor is often shortened to "Vapor Street," although it's worth knowing that the shoe stems from the Vaporfly 4% and Vaporfly Elite models.
15 AIR FORCE 1 FLYKNIT LOW
Nike released the first Air Force 1 Fklyknit Low sneaker as a revamp of its iconic 1980s shoe. Not surprisingly, it gets its "Air Force" name from the Air Force One plane that carries the President of the United States. Sneakerheads are crushing so badly on these – and with good reason. Endless customizations and color varieties come with a huge range of fabrics and heights, although the Flyknit Low is a favorite. The shoe retails for around $100 on the Nike website.
14 VIRGIL ABLOH OFF-WHITE x NIKE
This might as well be the Holy Grail of all Nike shoes for sneakerheads. The Virgil Abloh OFF-WHITE has been hand-painted here with a Renaissance twist, but the shoe itself is exclusive enough without the fan art. In April 2018, Louis Vuitton's artistic director, Virgil Abloh confirmed that the Black OFF-WHITE x Nike Blazer would be released later this year. With its signature factory-style print, classic lines, and crisp white color, this pricey model is topping most wishlists.
13 AIR HUARACHE DRIFT BREATHE
The much-loved Nike Air Huarache comes in enough varieties to keep even the biggest Nike fan happy. The Nike website currently stocks 68 types of Huarache, from the iD to the Ultra. The Huarache Run Drift is definitely one of the more futuristic styles.
Celeb Huarache fans include Zendaya, Kylie Jenner, Justin Bieber, Drake, and a ton of sports faces.
Released on January 25, 2018, the runner-inspired shoe is edgy, sleek, supportive, and a total fashion statement. Select models retail for under $100.
12 REVOLUTION 4
A total classic, the Nike Revolution 4 has been one of 2018's biggest best-sellers, according to HighSnobriety. People are turning to this shoe for its lightweight runner look, "goes with anything" feel, and sleek, supportive sole. With a breathable mesh for sweat control, it's not surprising that Kendall Jenner was spotted wearing this shoe in sunny Los Angeles. Runners love it for the EVA foam cushioning midsole, lace-up closure, and flex grooves for a natural stride. At around $60, it's one of the most affordable Nike sneakers around.
11 OFF-WHITE X NIKE AIR PRESTO
The great thing about the Presto is that it's available in two types: the ultra-exclusive (and very unaffordable) OFF-WHITE, and the regular kind. If you've been seeing the name Virgil Abloh flying around Nike, that's because the Louis Vuitton artistic director is a huge deal this year. His collaborations have made the OFF-WHITE range an absolute status symbol, and "The Ten" shoe really shakes up sneaker culture. These OFF-WHITE Prestos retail for over $2000, although the Nike website stocks 46 Air Presto shoes around the $100 mark.
10 AIR JORDAN IV
When Jay-Z is wearing them, it's official. The Nike Air Jordan IV was listed by Business Insider as one of the top ten selling Nike shoes of 2018. Sneakerheads are making a beeline for the Retro models, though.
The Nike Air Jordan was first introduced in 1984. Even back then, it was a best seller.
It's a basketball shoe that has been loved through and through by NBA players, and the Retro version even features full-grain leather. The shoe is super-stylish, super-popular, and totally earning its place on this list.
9 AIR MAX 1 ATMOS ANIMAL
Good luck getting your hands on a pair of these – the Nike website sits at a firm "sold out." These eager shoppers likely waited in a long line for the much-anticipated Air Max 1 Atmos Animal release during the spring of 2018. Originally released over ten years ago, the Atmos is an iconic collaboration of classic Nike design and Japanese sneaker boutique. The Koji influence displays tiger, leopard, zebra, and pony prints against a statement red swoosh, and sneakerheads are loving the four-type laces customization.
8 FLEX CONTACT
The Nike Flex Contact is the ultimate casual, affordable street shoe – probably why it has worked its way onto Business Insider's top ten best-selling Nike shoes of 2018. To be fair, it's also a bit of a giveaway that a shoe has been successful when the Flex 2 is also available. Available in men's, women's, kids, and toddler ranges, the shoe comes in a mostly black or grey palette, although the contrasting swoosh gives it the Nike edge. They retail for around $75.
7 OFF-WHITE X NIKE AIR VAPORMAX
The entire Vapormax range has been hugely successful in 2018. As sneakerheads debate whether the Nike Air Vapormax can beat the Adidas Ultra Boost, the game is on. Nike is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Air Max – an innovation that completely revolutionized the sneaker market. The Vapormax was hugely hyped. Wearers love how the upper is similar to the Nike Flyknit Racer, and yet totally different. Then there's the cushioning... that cushioning. The OFF-WHITE models retail for $825-1,1790, although the regular Vapormax range is much cheaper.
6 AIR MAX 97 SOUTH BEACH
March 31st, 2018 was a pretty big deal for Nike sneakerheads. It marked the release of the Air Max 97 South Beach. Fans were quick to notice the similarity to the Air Max 98 – the shoe has the same Kinetic Green and Pink Blast coloring, but it's missing the navy. Beachy colors here are every inch the "South Beach" name, and this shoe has a distinctly tropical feel. With a $160 price tag, it isn't the world's most affordable shoe, but it's a figure that huge fans will happily drop for a much-anticipated model.
5 AIR JORDAN 1 RETRO HIGH OG
The Nike Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG is the hyped-up sneaker that fans were looking forward to buying, not wishing for. This basketball shoe is a mash-up of two classic styles, and it dropped on Nike's SNKRS app in February 2018. The first Air Jordan 1 mixed black, red, and white. Not surprisingly, this Retro model is nicknamed the "Bred Toe." The "Bred" and "Black" toes go way back as Air Jordan colorways – that's a huge appeal for Nike enthusiasts. The shoe retails for $160.
4 AIR MAX PLUS PRM BARELY ROSE
Nike made a lot of girls happy with this shoe. The Nike Air Max Plus PRM Barely Rose is a sporty, feminine shoe that crosses athletic attitude with a little "pretty in pink." The shoe isn't a million miles off the Air Max 97 and Air Max 98, although it's got more of a bubbly look than the two equally popular alternatives. The sneaker costs around $169, which is slightly less than the Air Max 97 or Air Max 98.
3 CONVERSE CHUCK TAYLOR ALL STAR LOW
Yes, the most-followed person on Instagram is wearing one of the cheapest Nike shoes around. Selena Gomez is just one of the dozens of celebrities spotted in Converse sneakers on a daily basis.
The Converse Chuck Taylor All Star is a favorite with Selena Gomez. They could be yours for around $80.
The Chuck Taylor All Star Low is an "anything goes" sneaker that's casual, stylish, comfortable, and affordable all at once. The celeb fanbase includes Selena Gomez, Rihanna, Blue Ivy, and Malia Obama.
2 AIR MONARCH IV
Inspired by the great outdoors, the Nike Air Monarch IV is the "coolest uncool" shoe that's having every 90's hipster fumbling for their credit card. Esquire called it "The Godfather of all dad [sneakers]." The magazine credits Kanye West for unleashing the trend aspect to a shoe that was "the original ugly sneaker." Now that celebrities are wearing the Air Monarch IV with a giant Gucci bag for an accessory, the shoe has enjoyed a bit of a revival. This pair is a colorful take on the original monochrome look.
The Tanjun was one of 2018's top ten best-selling Nike shoes. The running classic offers comfortable chic– enough for it to be "The Most Popular Shoe In America," according to GQ. This $65 sneaker has been worn by everyone (and your mom) and it's still cool. Of course, that giant Nike swoosh just reinforces the fact that Nike is the playground's heavyweight.
If you've got Facebook friends who live for Nike's latest drop, they need to see this. Hit share and be the friend who will get late-night DMs saying: "I love you so much."
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