Thanks to high credit card limits and the internet, collecting sneakers has gotten more popular than ever. The sneakerhead culture all began back in the 1970s in New York City. Back when hip-hop was first coming up, its fashion came up with it. Styles were loud, bright and often homemade. B-Boys would use markers to color in their shoes, or switch out laces to coordinate with the color of their shirt or hat. When Jordans came out in 1985, the in-your-face contrasting colors echoed the hip-hop style. Then the sneakerhead look was mass-marketed, and the trend spread into the suburbs and across the country.
Tinker Hatfield, the shoe designer behind Jordans, created the standard which is still copied today. More athletes wanted their own personal shoe line, and each style became even more over-the-top than the last. Soon the wild sneaker movement returned to its roots, right back to hip-hop. Kanye West is now designing shoes, and making big money.
It’s amazing how a movement based on some $20 Adidas can turn into a business that sells $35,000 pairs of shoes. The price increase just shows how popular kicks have become, and how much people demand the unique styles. Here are 25 new kicks that you need to see, and if you can afford it, bring a pair home. Most kicks listed here were just released, and we threw in a few wish-list pairs too.
25 Yung Lean's Converse One Star
Yung Lean's 'Toxic' One Star has the classic Converse one-star look with the tricked out neon and graffiti print on the sole of the toe. Here is the first shoe on our list, which was designed by a rapper. Yung Lean, whose real name is Jonatan Leandoer Håstad, is a Swedish rapper who grew up in Stockholm. His dad was a poet and owned a publishing company while his mom was a human rights activist. Not exactly from the streets, but music and kicks know no bounds.
24 Puma Clyde Court Disrupt
With the Clyde Court Disrupt, Puma attempts to enter the basketball market for the first time in years. Notice the higher than usual yellow knit top, which comes up from the regular Puma base. The laces also stretch down lower to provide additional support. Puma is building NBA shoes and contracts, signing Deandre Ayton, the 19-year-old center from the Bahamas. Ayton played for the University of Arizona and was just drafted by the Phoenix Suns. Jay-Z has recently served as a consultant for Puma.
23 Nike Zoom Fly Mercurial Flyknit
Here is the latest from Virgil Abloh, with his white and orange Nike Zoom Fly Mercurial Flyknit kicks. Virgil Abloh is a fashion designer who was born and raised in blue-collar Rockford, Illinois. After studying civil engineering and architecture in college, he made his big break when he entered the fashion world. He took an internship in Rome with Fendi, and befriended fellow intern, Kanye West. Since then Abloh has worked closely with West, and Jay-Z, designed clothing for Louis Vuitton, and founded the label, Off-White.
22 The Air Force 1 Jester
The latest Air Force 1, in classic royal blue, looks like a straight-up throwback. Take a closer look though, and you'll notice the swoosh is upside down. This shoe has not been released yet, but should come out within the next couple months. First called simply, Air Force, the high-top basketball shoe predates Jordans, with a debut in 1982. Their popularity spiked twenty years later when rapper, Nelly, sang a song about them. “Air Force Ones” peaked at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100.
21 Timberlake's Air Jordan 3 Bio Beige
You watched the Superbowl last February, right? When the halftime show came one, some people sang, some people groaned, and the sneakerheads were like, "Those shoes!" Justin Timberlake's Air Jordan 3 JTH Bio Beige will finally be released on July 9th, which has been a long wait since Super Bowl Sunday. You can't help but love the elephant print and the nostalgic Jordan 3 swoosh, originated by Tinker Hatfield. This shoe has a versatile look that could work at the office or in a club.
20 Adidas Originals Continental 80 Rascal
The best styles never change, and Adidas proves it. Sometimes all you need is some classic white sneakers to set an outfit off. This pair is the Adidas Originals Continental 80 Rascal. The shoe just released in June, and may remind some sneakerheads of the Stan Smith. Stan Smith was a tennis player who won two Grand Slams, back in the early 1970s. Music producer, Pharrell Williams, splashed some colors on the 'Hu Holi' version of the Smith shoe, but it didn't sell too well.
19 Off-White Air Jordan 1 UNC
Here's another fresh sneaker from the mind of Virgil Abloh. The shoe, produced via Abloh's label, Off-White, takes the first Jordan design and lifts it to the next level. The Air Jordan 1 UNC has the powder blue colors of The University of North Carolina, Michael Jordan's alma mater. The contrast gets boosted with a 3D swoosh with bright orange trim. The tongue is redesigned for better style, comfort, and support. Abloh grew up in IL in the 1990s, and was no doubt inspired by MJ.
18 The Adidas Yung-1
Look out for some of the most dadcore shoes on the list, right here. The Return of the Falcon Dorf, also known as the Adidas Yung-1 Colorway, is a return to a chunky and clunky decades-old look of the 1990s. You still have to admit, though, it's a pretty dope shoe. The black contrasts with the orange stripes, and the splash of collegiate navy throws everything off. The shoe was just released and is getting some rave reviews so far for comfort and performance.
17 Supreme/Vans SK8-Mid
All right, we had enough Nike stuff for a second, and had to bring some skater shoes into the mix. These shoes are straight-up wild, with pink and orange colors contrasting, while the corduroy shakes up the textures. This June release marks the latest collaboration between Supreme and Vans. The skating label Supreme came out of Manhattan in 1994. Vans was established over 50 years ago (1966) in southern California. The combination of east/west, and old/new seems to be working out well for everybody.
16 Travis Scott's Air Jordan 4 Cactus Jack
Travis Scott is yet another rapper who has dived into the world of sneaker design. Scott signed with Epic Records back in 2012, but got his first big hit with Antidote, in 2015. However, his personal life is gaining more attention lately, ever since he started dating Kylie Jenner. The couple had a baby, Stormi Webster, in February. Perhaps hanging out with the Kardashian family increased Scott's interest in fashion. This Jordan remake really hasn't changed much from the original Mars Blackmon, aside from the cool blue color.
15 Kendrick Lamar’s Nike Cortez Kenny III
With Kendrick Lamar’s Nike Cortez Kenny III, the rising rap star takes the classic Cortez and adds another bit of style. You can see the red stripe down the middle that reads, "Bet it Back." Fans are not quite sure what that means, but hopefully the slogan will be addressed in his music soon. Lamar continues the Kung Fu stylings of the Kenny 2. He also continues the writing theme from Kenny 1, limited, when "damn" was printed on the sides of the shoe, in place of the swoosh.
14 Nike Kyrie 4 Uncle Drew
The Nike Kyrie 4 'Uncle Drew' just released. It's a throwback that looks modern too, with the classic gum sole cut up into rigid lines. The shoe was released in line with the Uncle Drew movie, which premieres June 29th. Kyrie Irving plays the title role, and dresses like an old man with some serious game. Shaquille O'Neal, Chris Webber, and Reggie Miller play his grumpy old teammates. Back in the NBA, many Celtics fans were grumpy, after Kyrie's knee injury derailed their Finals dreams.
13 Air More Uptempo Scottie Pippen
Check out the Air More Uptempo 'Scottie Pippen.' Yes, they still make Scottie Pippens. Arguably the most under-rated player in NBA history, Pippen also has an underrated shoe line. These shoes were just released and have an eye-catching look that is hard to deny. The giant black"Air" spelled out along the side looks better than ever. Scottie Pippen is the all-time NBA defensive leader with an amazing 1,995 steals. But yes, he is still definitely under Michael Jordan's shadow, with b-ball and shoes.
12 Alexander Wang's Adidas Turnout Trainer
We're slipping back into the dadcore stuff with this pair, but you have to admit, they look pretty good. The single stitching along those famous three Adidas stripes, and the tongue lining, adds a simple contrast that sets the shoe off. They call this the Alexander Wang Adidas Originals Turnout Trainer. Wang was named GQ Best Menswear Designer of the Year and his clothes can be found in over 700 stores. He has designed for his own label as well as Balenciaga and H&M.
11 Craig Green's Nike React Element 87
These shoes were just created, but you can expect them to be worth thousands soon. The demand is high because a very limited number was made. This concept shoe is houte couture, made for the runway, and not expected to ever gain a wide release. However a pair or two is bound to appear on resale sites like Flight Club, or even eBay. Standard Nike React Element 87's were released in June. Craig Green is a British menswear designer who is lately taking runways by storm with deconstructed lines.
10 Puma RS-0 Play
With the Puma RS-0 Play, the brand takes a further step away from its traditional flagships like the Brasil. The RS-0 looks more like an Air Jordan 6 than a typical Puma. These shoes were just released in June. As most sneakerheads know, Puma began in Germany in 1924, as Dassler Brothers Shoes. Then, after World War Two, the Dassler brothers split, and Rudolph formed Puma, while Adolph formed Adidas. Puma is currently the 3rd largest sportswear company in the world, after Adidas and Nike.
9 Nike Air Max Speed Turf
Any Miami Dolphin fan will recognize these colors right away. The Nike Air Max Speed Turf honors Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino. The shoe is perfectly balanced with a wide Velcro strap and throwback exposed Tinker air pocket. Marino holds more records than any other quarterback who never won the big game. Marino led his team to Super Bowl XIX, but they lost to Joe Montana's 49ers in 1985. Dan later become a respected NFL analyst and now works as an advisor to the Dolphins.
8 Nike Air Mag 2016
Here's a shoe from the fantasy wish-list. It's the Nike Air Mag, a.k.a. the McFly, from 2016. There are still a few for sale, but it will only cost you $40-thousand. Not a bad deal, if you’re a serious sneakerhead with some highly disposable income. The shoe was designed by Tinker Hatfield and Tiffany Beers. It's based on the shoe that Tinker designed for the film, Back to the Future II. These futuristic shoes were released in 2011 and 2016, in small batches, and in high demand.
7 Eminem's Air Jordan 4
Here's another total fantasy shoe that goes for $37,500 on shoe sites like Flight Club. It seems as though the Air Jordan 4 was a big hit with rappers. And they like the color blue too. The Travis Scott, also mentioned on our list, looks pretty much the same, except in a lighter shade. Also, Levi's has just re-released the Air Jordan 4 in black denim. There are so many must-have 4’s out there. It makes things hard sometimes for sneakerheads to decide.
6 Adidas Pharrell Human Race NMD
Let's go back to 2016, for this slick shoe designed by music mastermind Pharrell Williams. The Adidas Pharrell Human Race NMD “Friends and Family” has a unique purple color, and loose laces that stretch around a slipper-like knitting. The shoe currently retails for a tall $11,000. Pharrell Williams is a trendsetter from his head-bobbing beats to his in-your-face fashion statements. There are currently 21 Twitter accounts in some variation of the name, "Pharrell's Hat." He’s the biggest producer in music today.
5 Nike Air Yeezy 2
The Nike Air Yeezy 'Red October,' came out in 2014, and was met with much praise from sneakerheads. Many of Kanye West's designs have a very knitted look, almost like grandma made them herself. But the Red October felt more like a Jordan, and the shoes retail for thousands. Pictured here, the Air Yeezy 2, from 2017, goes for about eight-grand. Justin Bieber was once spotted wearing a pair to the gym. Kanye recently filed to renew his copyright on the term Red October so he can expand the slogan into a sportswear line.
4 Air Jordan 32 Finale
Whoa! What is this?! We believe it's a leaked image of the Air Jordan 32 Finale. It's rumored to be announced on July 1, but we got a head start, so you saw it here first. We discovered this image on Twitter, from one of the biggest sneakerheads around, @Pinoe77. The colorful knit texture on these Jordans is amazing, and the word "Finale" is stitched across the interior of the tongue. It may just be the last Jordans in an incredible historic line.
3 The Nike Lebron 15 LIF
The Nike Lebron 15 LIF 'King's Crown' are some shoes that makes your jaw drop. These things came from another planet! Any serious collector has to respect the off-the-wall creativity that went into this. Check out the floral stitching that extends along the Velcro straps. Underneath is close knit sock, reminiscent of Balenciaga Scuba Sneaker. Lebron can pull off anything. We're excited to see where he ends up, after Cleveland got swept from the finals, and his free agency looms over the NBA.
2 Adidas Yeezy 750 Boost
This pair goes back to 2015, but the style is so timeless. From the mysterious mind of Kanye West, this shoe changed the game. It's like a blend of an Ugg and a Jordan, with some Air Mag mixed in too. Any sneakerhead has to acknowledge the mastery in this design. Just like Kanye's music, this shoe is about as risky and original as it gets. The risk really did pay off, though, and each pair still retails for at least $2,000.
1 Quai 54 Jordan 3
They call this shoe the Quai 54 Air Jordan 3. The look is simply incredible. The Quai seamlessly blends black leather and suede. It has the throwback Tinker mold, with an updated color scheme that looks almost digital. The sole of the shoe looks even more modern, with a brighter color scheme and translucent edge. The shoes were released in time with the Parisian Hoop Tournament. Expect a high demand for this shoe when it goes on sale very soon, on July 7th.