2021 Sneaker Trend Predictions
If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that predicting the future ain’t easy. With that in mind, upon reviewing our Sneaker Trend Predictions from 12 months ago, it looks like our track record at forecasting the future of footwear is nothing to be sneezed at.
Sneakerheads are inherently fickle beasts, so anticipating their movements is always a tough task. However, after a year of documenting their activities, we’ve peered deep into the SF crystal ball once again to uncover the upcoming trends for 2021.
Read on for our hype-othesis.
Still Drunk on the Dunk
It's no secret which silhouette dominated 2020, and we can't see that hot streak coming to end anytime soon. The early-2000s Dunk 'Golden Era' lasted several years, and considering the recent product cycles of other popular classics from Nike, you can expect the Dunk to probably overstay its welcome, too.
There's already some heater drops lined up, most notably the latest Supreme x Nike SB Dunk Low collection. But the real question is whether Virgil will finally drop his Futura collaboration? Reply hazy, try again.
Forum Brought to the Fore
The somewhat low-key resurrection of the Forum in both its low- and high-top forms was one of adidas' highlights in 2020. Having just brought back the fan-favourite silhouette in OG form, you can expect the Three Stripes to hero it in 2021 – and we're pumped for it.
Whetting our appetites with limited edition collaborations with the likes of BSTN, Heitor da Silva, Sivasdescalzo, Footpatrol and Sneaker Politics, adidas are positioned to make the 1984 icon one of the best nostalgia silhouettes of the new year.
The 99X Factor
While many fan-favourite silhouettes returned in 2020, it was the New Balance 992 revival that made the most headlines. Sneakerheads couldn’t get enough of the classic model, especially the eye-catching collaborations. And, while more sought-after renditions of the 992 are sure to feature in the new year, you can expect the New England brand to dust off a few more 99x icons off the back of a standout 12 months.
Word has it that New Balance will look to hero a few earlier 99x silhouettes, likely the classics from the pre-2000s era. The purists can also potentially look forward to a ramp up in production of Made in USA colourways, with COVID-19 likely having an impact on the supply chain in other manufacturing regions.
Colour of the Year: Green
The shift to more sustainable practices is already in full swing, but expect even more planet-saving initiatives from sneaker brands in 2021. Nike will undoubtedly ramp up their production of sneakers made from recycled materials, while an undercurrent of sustainability-first brands will begin to filter into the mainstream.
Perhaps a sign of things of come, Swiss brand On recently launched the Cyclon: a 100 per cent recyclable sneaker, only available via a monthly subscription service, where members can return end-of-life products back to On, in exchange for the latest version.
Get on Game!
The video games industry is currently bigger than the music and film industries combined, so it’s no surprise we saw some high-profile gaming collaborations infiltrate the sneakersphere in 2020. We got projects with eSports star Ninja, as well as the Cyberpunk 2077 and League of Legends franchises, but things really hit fever pitch when Travis Scott unveiled a PlayStation x Nike Dunk Low.
Gamers are more likely than ever to splurge on fresh kicks, and the big brands definitely answered the call with well-thought-out colourways, minus the gimmicks. There’s no doubt more will be loaded up in 2021, especially special drops to complement the release of next-gen titles.