We may have entered 2022, but we're looking back at the last year – and its sneakers.
There's no denying that the Highsnobiety team has a love for shoes, and when it comes to our favorite drops from 2021, there are a lot of great silhouettes worth noting.
Nike had a strong year with plenty of Air Jordan 1s and Dunk Lows, but the AJ3 still reigned supreme among the HS squad. Appearances from Salomon, ASICS, and New Balance come as no surprise, as many of us are starting to move away from the usual suspects. Collaborations were just as popular as classic silhouettes, despite the abundance of team efforts among brands lately.
Take a look at some of our favorites below, and stay tuned as 2022 is guaranteed to come with its own fair share of great kicks.
Rhianna Matthews – Market Editor
A Ma Maniere x Nike Air Jordan 3
Of-course it has to be the A Ma Maniere Air Jordan 3 “Raised By Women”. The pair is inspired by the role women have played in our lives and includes multiple homages to them throughout the design. For me its a pair which automatically makes you feel some sort of way when you put them on. And of course the quality and comfort is top.
Fabian Gorsler – Footwear Editor
New Balance 2002R Refined Future/Protection Pack
I find it so refreshing that a general release pack dominated so much of social media real estate this year. The idealist in me hopes that it’s a sign of things to come; a shift away from the over-reliance of brands on hyped collaborations and the community’s appreciation for cool product, regardless of what name is associated with it. It was impossible to scroll through Instagram and avoid the “Refined Future” pack, both before and after its release, which speaks volumes to how popular it was. Sure, there were “bigger” releases like Travis Scott’s fragment AJ1 Low, but, to me, this New Balance 2002r had everything: great quality, an interesting theme, and near-perfect execution.
Alexandra Pauly – Style Writer
COMME des GARÇONS x Salomon RX Slider 3.0
Comme des Garcons’ many iterations of the Mary Jane occupy a special place in fashion lore, so when the label trusted Salomon to riff on the girlish silhouette, I freaked. Entirely sex-less and deliciously flat, the CDG x Salomon RX Slider 3.0 was a welcome antidote to flashier styles peddled by YEEZY, Nike, and Converse.
Sam Cole – Associate Style Editor
ASICS Gel-Preleus "Rave Pink"
Kiko Konstadinov's reshaping of ASICS Sportstyle is one of the most impressive aesthetic shifts I've seen in the sneaker industry to date. Prior to him taking the helm as creative director, I never really paid the brand much mind; now, I'm a true believer that it rarely misses. In my head, the idea of a pink, red, and green runner is seriously grotesque, but these just hit differently. I could see myself rocking these in our reality's version of The Matrix Reloaded's cave scene once we're all Metaverse-livin'. 100 more years of Kiko ASICS!
Jake Silbert – News Editor
AURALEE x New Balance 550
Believe it or not, this was the only shoe I bought this year. AURALEE's got the magic touch, that's for sure; no other sneaker got me to actually spend cash. Even compared to AURALEE's previous New Balance collabs (all killer, of course), this 550 is a special one. All-white shoes are usually pretty boring, but AURALEE flipped the script with tonal differences in the midsole — when you've got a silhouette as good as the 550, it's the little things.