Once again, it’s been a whirlwind of a year for sneakers. Collaborations hit an all-time high of weirdness and, sometimes, quality, while a handful of non-collaboration silhouettes stole the headlines on release, proving that the big names in sneakers are putting more time and effort than ever into their brand development.
It felt, unfortunately, increasingly harder to get your hands on any pair of hyped sneakers this year, though. Despite release mechanisms and apps that promise to level the playing field, unless you knew a guy or had the fastest trigger finger in your town, you probably caught an L. That’s why StockX has been the savior of our rotations.
Always in stock, the resale platform has given us second chance after second chance, so it’s only right that we picked our top 10 sneakers of the year that we shopped at StockX. Part of our consideration in this selection was difficulty to cop at retail, while another part is purely down to style.
See the best sneakers that we copped from StockX in 2021 below.
Nike x A Ma Maniére Jordan 3 Retro
No doubt a part of all of the 'best of' lists this year, the A Ma Maniére Jordan 3 stood out thanks to its neutral palette and retro appeal. Oh, and how difficult it was to buy.
New Balance x Salehe Bembury 574 Yurt Shark Skin
Inspired by the geometry of shark skin, this 574 was just a drop in an ocean of alien, unorthodox updates this year.
New Balance x JJJJound 990v4
What began as a moodboard on Instagram has become an empire of understatement, collaborating with brands of all sizes. JJJJound had a year to remember and these 990v4s were the pinnacle.
Nike x COMME des GARÇONS Homme Plus Air Foamposite One
Teased at COMME des GARÇONS' FW21 show, Nike really made us wait for this drop. But, in November of this year, we were all treated to a screen telling us that we hadn't secured a pair. Except those of us who shopped at StockX.
ASICS x Kiko Kostadinov Gel-Quantum Levitrack
ASICS rode the wave of performance this year. With running silhouettes dominating our rotations, the Japanese label left us no excuses not to cop by collaborating with a host of exciting names, too.
adidas YEEZY Foam RNNR Sand
Love them or hate them, they made an impact this year — much like anything Kanye did in 2021, actually.
Nike x Off-White™ Air Jordan 2
2021 will always be a sad year for streetwear, sneakers, and luxury fashion. Virgil Abloh's desire to innovate and reference will be remembered for generations to come.
New Balance 2002R Protection Pack
Whether you were waiting with your card details and address saved in autofill or not, it's highly likely you couldn't secure your pair of torn-out Protection Pack 2002Rs. That earned this pair a place in today's roundup.
Nike x Patta Air Max 1 Waves
With the history of exclusivity that this collaboration has behind it, the Nike x Patta collab was never going to be an easy cop. They even gave us four chances with different colorways but many of us still couldn't bag a pair the traditional way.
adidas x Bad Bunny Forum Low Back to School
Bad Bunny has had a meteoric rise to fame this year, culminating in — obviously — a cover shot for Highsnobiety's HIGHart magazine. Oh, and he dropped a pair of kicks we couldn't buy at retail, too.
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