There are so many sneakers that released in 2021 that trying to create a list of favorites would be impossible. While there are no shortage of "Top 10" sneaker lists across the internet as the year comes to an end, we like to do things a little less conventionally here at Sneaker Throne. So, rather than list our favorite sneaker releases of 2021, we are going to take a different approach to shine some light on the ways some sneakers stood out from the crowd. Here are The Best Sneakers Of 2021 Done...Differently.
The loss of Virgil Abloh is something many are still trying to wrap their head around. One of his last gifts to the sneaker community was one of the most polarizing releases of the year. "The 50" Nike Dunk collection was released as "blind box" drops, meaning you didn't know what color you were getting until you opened it. While the reaction to these releases were a mix of love and hate, it was precisely what Virgil Abloh did best, make people talk. Rest In Peace.
The "Yeah, It Still Goes Hard" Sneaker Of The Year
End of the year lists are obviously pretty subjective, and as previously mentioned, we like to do things differently here at Sneaker Throne. However, the Air Jordan 11 is a place where many of us can come to an agreement. Especially when it's an iconic colorway that we haven't seen in over 10 years, and it's been reworked to even higher standards than its last release. It's hard to deny that this retro was one of the most important of the year.
The "Love It Or Hate It" Sneaker Of The Year
If we're being honest, the YEEZY Foam Runner might be the most hated sneaker of the year, but as designer Brett Golliff said, the beauty in what the YEEZY brand is doing is that they are pushing the envelope with manufacturing. That kind of thinking and design work, although it might not be for everyone, drives the business of footwear forward. So whether you love or hate the Foam Runner, the process in which it's made will one day become a part of other sneakers in your collection.
The Sneaker Designer Of The Year
It would be difficult to say that anyone besides Virgil Abloh deserves the hypothetical "sneaker designer of the year" award, but if we were going to, Salehe Bembury would be our choice. With multiple New Balance collaborations, and most recently a Crocs collab that is reselling for more than we care to believe, the former Versace Director of Men's Footwear has solidified his place amongst the elite when it comes to footwear designers.
The Sneaker Silhouette Of The Year
The silhouette of the year? That has to go to the Nike Dunk. There were so many Throne-Worthy Nike Dunks this year that we couldn't even count them all. The Nike Dunk, like the Air Jordan 1, is just an easy shoe to wear and there is always a colorway that you can get into. Although they were harder to acquire this year than ever before, Dunks reclaimed their place as MVP of the sneaker game.
The Surprise Sneaker Of The Year
The Air Max 1 is about as legendary as it comes but that also means a lot of people only want to see it released in very specific ways. Patta threw that out the window with a series of AM1 collabs featuring a wavy mudguard. The new look was not only surprisingly popular, it had purists and traditionalists jumping through hoops to get each and very colorway.
The "It's About Time" Sneaker Of The Year
Bad Bunny is one of the top 10 most listened to artists on Spotify, and were not saying that all things popular always good, but in this case...it's about time. The Puerto Rican rapper has been a mainstay on the airwaves and this year, finally, the team at adidas gave him his own collaboration on the iconic Forum Low. Needless to say, Bad Bunny killed it on nearly every colorway.
The Best "New" Collaborator Of The Year
James Whitner's A Ma Manieré brand has been one of the most respected boutiques in the game but this year everything changed. The A Ma Manieré x Air Jordan 3 elevated our expectations for a collaboration through its premium materials and incredible storytelling. Prior to release, the idea that the iconic Elephant Print had been left off this release seemed like it disappointed the traditionalists but once the materials, purpose, and presentation, will make everyone pay close attention to all future A Ma Manieré collabs.
CHECK OUT OUR MOST POPULAR CONTENT
750,000 People Are Trying To Buy Those Nikes You Want 🤯
7 Weird Sneaker Facts You Didn't Know
Travis Scott Has More Nike Collabs On The Way
Love It Or Hate It: The Impact of Virgil Abloh and Off-White