The Most Important Sneakers of 2016

  • Air Jordan 30

    Jordan Brand

    AIR JORDAN XXX

    The Jordan XXX will be one of the most anticipated sneakers released in 2016. The Jordan Brand recently announced their plans to unveil the silhouette mid-January but the release date is still TBD. The XX9 was one of the best performance sneakers throughout the past year and you can expect the brand to keep pushing the limits on MJ’s signature line.

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  • Kanye West

    adidas

    KANYE’s YEEZY BOOST LINE

    Whatever Kanye touches is going to sell. It is just that simple. ‘Ye was a huge part of the adidas revolution in 2015 and his dominance does not look to be stopping anytime soon. Who didn’t want a pair of Yeezy Boosts this year? Almost every big name athlete or entertainer rocked a pair. (Even Swaggy P laced up a pair of Yeezy Boost 750s on court this season.) The sneakers sold out within minutes each time they released.

    ‘Ye is one of the most influential people in pop culture and fashion and we haven’t seen someone make the transition from music to fashion quite like him…at least not at his magnitude.

    We also have to give credit to Nic Galway, the VP of Global Design at adidas Originals, who had his hand in virtually everything fire currently coming out of the three-striped brand. While he works behind the scenes, Galway has a major influence over Kanye’s line. You better believe these two have some more ideas cooking up for 2016.

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  • Nike

    NIKE AIR MAG

    October 21, 2015 marked the day we reached the exact time in the movie Back to the Future II. Every big name brand capitalized on the day. Nike created waves during the day with the anticipated and rumored release of the Nike Air Mag. While they didn’t actually release, the Swoosh gifted actor Michael J. Fox aka Marty McFly with his own self-lacing pair. Following the video, the brand announced the sneakers will be available in 2016.

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  • James Harden adidas Sneakers

    adidas

    JAMES HARDEN’s FIRST ADIDAS SIGNATURE SNEAKER

    The Three-Stripes went all in on James Harden and the brand’s expecting him to bring their basketball division to the next level. The brand had a very successful year in its lifestyle division and signing the Beard is a step in the right direction for its performance sector. He has a unique personality and his style matches the direction adidas is going in.

    Though adidas recently dropped very limited numbers in the shoe he is currently playing in–an all-white Crazylight Boost–for $200 million Harden is pretty much guaranteed a signature shoe in 2016.

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  • Drake Air Jordan 8 OVO

    Noel Vasquez/Getty Images

    DRAKE/JORDAN BRAND

    Like Kanye, Drake is a major influencer in sneaker culture. His relationship with the Jumpman team rose to new levels after finally dropping their first collaboration, the OVO Air Jordan X. But it doesn’t stop there. Drake teased more from their collab that will hopefully be dropping sometime in 2016. On Instagram he flashed white OVO VIIIs, OVO Black VIIIs, Air Jordan XIIs, and it is rumored the OVO Air Jordan X will be dropping as well. While we will continue to bump “Jumpman” from the WATTBA tape, Drake has to release all of this heat sometime soon!

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  • LeBron James

    Nike

    NIKE LEBRON 14

    LeBron just changed the sneaker game forever by signing a lifetime deal with the Swoosh. It is a landmark deal. LeBron has had the second most profitable signature line of any modern day or retired athlete and his sneakers are always anticipated right before the NBA season.

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  • Stephen Curry Under Armour

    UNDER ARMOUR CURRY THREE

    Under Armour’s basketball division is completely centered on Stephen Curry at the moment. Steph is one of the most marketable players in the NBA and his popularity is still soaring, especially with the younger fanbase. His signature line has been successful so far and it will be interesting to see how Under Armour keeps making his sneakers better. Under Armour is still growing as a brand and has made it known they are not scared to compete anyone.

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  • adidas Ultra Boost

    adidas

    ADIDAS ULTRA BOOST

    The adidas Ultra Boost might have the unofficial “Sneaker of the Year” title for 2015. Just read the blogs and this sneaker pops up high on every list. Along with the Yeezy Boost, the Ultra Boost helped adidas this year in a major way. The sneaker is extremely lightweight and comfortable. Ever since the Nike Roshe Run dropped onto the scene, more and more people are going for a comfortable fit over a tech-y appearance.

    Going into 2016, adidas has already released an updated version of the sneaker with a more supporting Primeknit upper, as well as an “uncaged” edition. Though we don’t know what’ll come next, look for adidas to push the envelope in unpredictable ways with one of its greatest silhouettes.

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  • Air Jordan 4

    Jordan Brand

    AIR JORDAN IV

    Every year the Jordan Brand gets us hyped up for the return of some of their most historic retros. This year, you should have February circled as the month with the coldest J’s as the Air Jordan IV “Cement” will be releasing as part of the Retro Remaster initiative. The brand reintroduced the Nike Air logo on the heels, which returns the classic sneaker back to its OG roots.

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  • Pusha T adidas

    adidas

    PUSHA T/ADIDAS

    Recently, adidas has been a brand unafraid to step outside the sports world. We saw it through their relationships with the likes of Pharrell and Kanye. But the company also has strong ties to West’s GOOD Music label with endorsements from Big Sean, Teyana Taylor, and associate 2 Chainz. All the names mentioned above are some of the key influencers in the world of streetwear but none of them–besides Yeezus–dropped something as fire as Pusha T did. The all-white with the gum bottom and the all-black edition of the Running Guidance ‘93 were both flames. While they are based off one of adidas’s most popular running models, Pusha’s sneakers speak high fashion more than anything. Expect the crew to make some more dope collabs.

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  • Air Jordan 30
  • Kanye West
  • James Harden adidas Sneakers
  • Drake Air Jordan 8 OVO
  • LeBron James
  • Stephen Curry Under Armour
  • adidas Ultra Boost
  • Air Jordan 4
  • Pusha T adidas

The past 12 months were a great year for sneakers. Every brand brought something to the table.

By dropping dope shoes with artists like Kanye West and Pusha T, adidas kicked off a revolution. They also signed James Harden to a lucrative contract as the new face of their basketball brand.

Nike kept things moving forward by pushing new limits in performance sneakers with some prominent releases from their signature divisions.

The Jordan Brand released some nostalgic retros from their Retro Remastering initiative.

Under Armour proved they are a serious up-n-coming brand as the Curry line has been successful through the rise of Stephen Curry’s popularity.

And PUMA had a resurgence after locking down the streets with timeless classics and dropping some fire collabs.

The future of sneakers is in great shape–2015 was a year of innovation. We saw companies step it up on the technology front. We saw a different level of craftsmanship when it came to some of the best sneakers of the year, like the adidas Ultra Boost and everything within Jordan’s Remastered program. It really is an exciting time to be a sneakerhead, with almost no limit on what 2016 can bring. The New Year already has a lot of things in store for us and despite a litany of fantastic shoe releases coming over the past month, we’re expecting 2016 to be the biggest sneaker year yet.

As the calendar turns over, we are spotlighting some of the sneakers you can’t afford to miss in 2016.

As we ring in the New Year, here are the Most Important Sneakers of 2016.

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image via Jordan Brand