Sneakers
From the ground up

Buying shoes for credibility is one of the biggest potential traps for anyone who is interested in sneakers. If you’re looking for a New Years resolution, rock the shit that you actually like, and don’t dress for others.

This is basically the 10 shoes I wore the most this year, but also make sure to rewind to some of my personal recommendations and favorite articles from the Highsnobiety Sneakers channel this year, including our interview with the adidas Collector who owns more Stan Smiths than Stan Smith, our conversation with Tinker Hatfield on the HyperAdapt 1.0, and our op-ed on why sneakerheads have no reason to wear terrible pants.

Without further ado, here are 10 of my favorite sneakers that I owned and loved this year.

Converse One Star

“The hairy suede is just such a great yet subtle quality that lends itself really well to the low-top silhouette. These were in heavy rotation throughout the year, just a simple pair that is easy to throw on in the morning with some light denim.

The suede became a bit nappy with wear, I even took these as my one-and-only pair when travelling over the weekend a few times, but overall they held up really well.”

Nike Air Jordan 1 “Royal”

“The “Royal” colorway was a really nice low-key alternative to 2016’s “Bred” Air Jordan 1 that re-released in late 2016, but honestly I enjoyed rocking the “Royal” version better. It’s the definition of a classic, you just can’t hate on these, and the mixture of leathers is super on point.”

Hender Scheme x adidas Originals Micro Pacer

“I’ve only scratched the surface as far as actually breaking these in, but after watching Hender Scheme for a long time, it’s sick to own a pair. As much as these are utter art, I can’t wait to see them in a couple years when the leather darkens, and a nice patina has developed.

Instead of the regular cardboard shoe trees that come with some sneakers (Jordans for example), the Micro Pacer even came with a vegetable-tanned leather insert to help keep the shape. These are absolutely wild, and I didn’t have to think twice about including them on my list.”

RONE Ninety-Five

“A pleasure to wear, – and exactly like the Hender Scheme Micro Pacer – I plan on breaking these in to the fullest. I used to say about the Vans Authentic; “This is the shoe I could wear every day of my life,” but the RONE Ninty-Five makes me think twice about that. Even when they get slightly beat up after a night out, dirt seems to wipe off of these quite easily. Definitely check out RONE if you’re not already familiar.”

Patta x Vans Old Skool

“Just so so fresh, I was a huge sucker for the the bold graphics here, right down to the branding on the laces. Like I mentioned above, I have a ton of love for Vans, and when I wasn’t wearing the classic black or navy blue Old Skool, I would bust these out for special occasions. These were not widely available, but like they say – if you know, you know.”

NikeLab Sock Racer

“Incredibly comfortable, and probably the best summer shoe of the year for me. I hope there are some more colorways of these available next summer.”

adidas Gazelle

“This was 100% the “I woke up too late and these look good with everything” pair of 2017. I’ve always had a pair of Gazelles in rotation, and 2017 was no different, with this navy blue pair getting laced up on a weekly basis.”

adidas Originals Samba “Made in Germany”

“Spending a bit more on domestically manufactured kicks isn’t justifiable every single time, but definitely in this case. The micro suede on these Sambas is pure butter, and the entire construction is evidently to a higher standard than general-release Sambas. The exaggerated tongue is also a fun detail.”

Corridor NYC x Victory Sportswear Runner

“One of my first ever jobs was in a shop that only sold jeans, and for a time I was really obsessed with raw denim. This collaboration between Corridor NYC and Victory Sportswear features indigo-dyed panels. While I did wear these a fair bit, I still have a ways to go before they break in properly and start to show some wear like an old pair of Levi’s. Victory Sportswear also makes all their sneakers by hand in Massachusetts, and the quality is clear to see.”

Virgil Abloh x Nike Blazer

“I was fortunate enough to scoop a few pairs of the Virgil Abloh x Nike pack, and I’m a big fan of the Prestos, Air Force 1s and Jordan 1s, but the Blazer spoke to me the most. The offset Swoosh is a great detail, and generally I’m quite a fan of high tops. I’ll throw the orange laces on these eventually, but for now I like the stock white-on-white look.”

Follow Chris Danforth on Instagram.

  • Photography: Highsnobiety.com

Vancouver-born, Berlin-based writer with a steady hand on the keyboard.

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