9 Things We Expect to Happen in Sneaker Culture in 2016

Last year gave us all-new technology, silhouettes, and collaborations, but 2016 has even more in store for sneakerheads and athletes alike. With high fashion collaborations hitting their peak, knitted performance technology taking over in the lifestyle category, and the first All-Star Weekend to ever take place outside of the U.S., next year is already looking like one to remember.

It’s safe to assume adidas will continue to come up this year, thanks to successful partnerships with Kanye and newly sponsored James Harden. Adversely, expect for Nike to make the most of it’s principal athletes–lifetime LeBron, Cristiano, and Serena–with exclusive collabs and signature collections. Into it? Take a sneak peak now at 10 Things We Expect to Happen in Sneaker Culture in 2016.

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1. Timb Takeover

A photo posted by Timberland (@timberland) on

Timberland is the winter staple that continues to re-invent itself season after season. Styles this year range from the traditional 6-inch boot to the revamped Euro Hiker and Field Boot silhouettes, available in a full spectrum of colorways starting with the OG Wheat hue. That said, keep your eye out for new texture too. The Timberland Exo Web Boot features a premium full-grain leather that’s waterproof and scuff-resistant thanks to a webbed all-over texture.

2. All Knit Everything

Knitted materials have been around for a few years now, slowing replacing former fabrications for a clean, all-over texture that ups the ante on performance technology. Expect brands to take it up a notch, extending the knitted option to all collections, including your favorite classics. For example, adidas is switching up many of the Original silhouettes in Primeknit material for a whole new look.

3. All-Black Tones Will Finally Give Way to More Color

A photo posted by PUMA (@puma) on

The past year has shown us a decent spread of all-black-everything and grey scale colorways, but expect brands to shift away from this minimal mentality in 2016. If this makes you wary, monochromatic styles are the best way to break into color. PUMA and adidas Originals will continue to expand their suede classics in a spectrum of hues, or if you’re partial to canvas check out the range on the Converse Chuck II.

4. PUMA Holds Down the Streets

A photo posted by PUMA (@puma) on

Thanks to their relationships with influencers like Rihanna and some of the NFL’s most stylish players, PUMA is re-prioritizing their lifestyle offering this year. Look forward to a new crop of re-releases in reimagined colorways geared to making you fall in love with this German brand all over again.

5. Metallic/Reflective Hits

Though reflective hits and all-over metallic styles have been successful in the past year, expect brands to really ramp up the flashy finish on performance and lifestyle products. Nike goes beyond the classic silver and gold options with gunmetal, rose gold, and platinum shades, adidas opts for a copper finish for the D Rose 6, while LeBron’s signature collection relies on a classic gold look for apparel and footwear.

6. Next Level Fleece

A photo posted by LeBron James (@kingjames) on

Nike Fleece went hard this year, incorporating insulation panels, engineered ventilation, and synthetic lining to keep wearers as warm as possible without adding extra weight. Pick from sleek joggers, hoodies, and vests for comfy options that never look sloppy, and expect next year’s separates to continue to push the envelope in terms of innovation.

7. Watch The Throne

Kanye made waves this year with his collaboration with adidas, not only releasing two signature shoes and complete collections, but also signing off on the adidas Ultra Boost by releasing his own colorway (which sold out in seconds). It’s hard to say if West’s aesthetic will veer from the minimal, flesh-toned looks and monochromatic kicks we’ve come to expect, so keep your eye on what’s next from Kanye x adidas.

8. Signatures Hit the Streets

Thanks to low-cut silhouettes and knitted textures, the latest performance models can seamlessly transition to the streets. Case in point? James Harden’s most recent signature with adidas, the 2015 Crazylight Boost Primeknit, is available in seven colorways that look great on and off the court.

9. The Most Important Moment of the Year in Sneaker Culture

A photo posted by champagnepapi (@champagnepapi) on

For the first time ever, Toronto will be hosting the NBA All-Star Game. Kicking off on Friday, Feb. 12, the weekend will include the Sprint All-Star Celebrity Game, BBVA Rising Stars Challenge, and State Farm All-Star Saturday Night along with the Sunday night ultimate showcase. With all-new uniforms by adidas and Drake’s inevitable influence over the weekend, this weekend will have enough sneaker eye-candy to last you all year long (or at least until March Madness).

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