What does it take to be a sneakerhead? It’s not as complicated as you might think. All you need is love for sneakers, but to really experience life as a sneakerhead (other than taking Ls on hyped releases), there are a handful of sneaker styles that you should consider having in your collection. Don't think of this as a checklist, but more as a rough outline that you can add your own personal flair to and create the foundation for a really dope collection of sneakers. Check out the 10 Sneakers Every Sneakerhead Should Own in 2023 and let us know what you would add to the list over on Instagram.
1. A pair of Air Jordans in an original colorway.
This one seems kind of obvious and as sneakerheads, we tend to glorify the originals but at this point those might not be the safest to wear. However, you can rock a pair of retros in a close-to-original colorway like Michael Jordan wore with the Chicago Bulls and you'll be feeling fresh.
2. A pair of adidas with BOOST cushioning.
Whether it's a pair of the elusive YEEZY BOOSTs, the insanely popular Ultra Boost, or one of the countless other adidas models, wearing a pair of adidas that features full-length BOOST cushioning will change your life. Maybe that's a bit of a stretch but there's a reason "Yeezy just jumped over Jumpman" was the theme for Nike boyz making the switch to the Three Stripes.
3. A pair of Nike Air Max runners.
Since it was first unveiled in 1987, Nike's visible Air Max cushioning has been one of the most desired technologies in the sneaker game. These days, the selections range from classic collabs on the Air Max 1 to the VaporMax and beyond. To say owning a pair of Air Max is an absolute must, would be an incredible understatement.
4. A pair that's wild and out of your comfort zone.
Whether it's something like the 2016 release from mita sneakers, A Bathing Ape and Reebok, with their BAPE City Camo Pump Fury that features cam, glow-in-the-dark, and no laces, or another wild and boldly-colored model, everyone should own a loud and obnoxious pair of kicks. You can never go wrong with a pair that gets people asking, "What are those?!?"
5. A pair of Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars.
There are no shoes that are as globally popular as the Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star. For over 100 years, the Chuck Taylor has been a staple in fashion, streetwear, and sneakers. Whether you go with a collab like the KITH x Coca-Cola collab, an Off-White collaboration, or just a classic pair of black and whites, the Chuck Taylor is timeless.
6. A pair with crazy technology.
Nike's recent ISPA line is proof that pushing the envelope with tech is nothing short of amazing. Whether you opt for those, a pair of auto-lacing Nike Adapts, or something like the adidas 4D line that features 3D-printed midsoles, modern technology helps push the entire world of sneakers forward. That's a win-win.
7. A crazy retro collab.
Retro products are huge part of the sneaker game. While a pair of Air Jordans or Air Maxes are classic, collaborations help elevate the silhouettes that often get overlooked. Whether it's Supreme bringing back the Nike Air Trainer, or Ronnie Fieg's KITH reintroducing an entire generation of sneaker enthusiasts to the ASICS GEL-Lyte III, you need a pair of retro collabs in your life.
8. A comfy pair of “dad shoes,” also known as New Balance.
The term “dad shoes” might be new to the sneakerhead community over the past decade but what they represent has always been a must-have. The New Balance 990 in nearly every variation is the perfect mix of comfort and lowkey styling that would make a perfect everyday sneaker for dads and normcore enthusiasts. The iconic grey colorways are an easy choice but don’t sleep on collabs from creatives like Teddy Santis, Ronnie FIeg, and Action Bronson.
9. An iconic sneaker colorway.
When it comes to iconic colorways and unique materials, few sneakers compare to the Air Jordan 3 in the “Whtie Cement” or “Black Cement” colorway. Of course, Nike has made a number of other classic prints and colorways, the Air Safari and Animal Print Air Max 1s instantly come to mind. Even with all the other brands out there, it’s hard to imagine a more important sneaker than the “Elephant Print” equipped Air Jordan 3 that not only saved Nike’s relationship with Michael Jordan, but it was also the shoe he wore for one of his most iconic performances, the 1988 NBA Slam Dunk Contest.
10. A pair of comfy slides.
It might sound blasphemous to the most diehard sneakerheads, but you can’t really beat a day off chillin’ in some comfortable slides. Nowadays, there are tons of options to choose from, too. From the classic adidas adilette and Nike Benassi to modern variations like Salehe Bembury’s Crocs and Yeezy Foam Runners, the days of boring flip flops are long gone for the modern sneakerhead.
There you have it, 10 Sneakers That Every Sneakerhead Should Own, but as we said at the start, the key is taking your own approach to adding the perfect pairs to your collection. Colors, materials, where you live and the weather you experience are all important details to consider when creating the perfect sneaker collection. If you do it right and love the pairs you have, throw them into your Sneaker Throne, turn on those lights, and show them off for the world to see because your kicks deserve better than boring cardboard boxes.