While the hype train continues to steam ahead, it’s easier than ever to snooze on sneakers not worn by Travis Scott, tweeted by Kanye West, or endorsed by A$AP Rocky. These are the five releases that deserved a little more attention.
5. Li-Ning's Furious Rider ACE
The Furious Rider ACE stepped onto the sneaker scene during Paris Fashion Week in June, the Beijing-based Li-Ning deciding to channel a little retro-futurism with their latest design. Aesthetically reminiscent of your PC’s innards, Li-Ning’s vintage 1990s runner combines on-trend chunk with idiosyncratic finesse, the layered linework and diverse textures ultimately bringing your gaze to a swirling vortex on the sneaker’s toe.
This bad boy is strident, statement and seductive, and might just be the circuit breaker you need in your rotation.
4. The adidas Nite Jogger
It was the Nite Jogger that opened adi’s 2019 campaign, Three Stripes launching the silhouette in an abandoned garage in the backstreets of Peckham, London.
Remixing their 1970s runner, the Nite Jogger takes inspiration from the high-visibility tech dominating the era. The design has already captured the attention of Japanese streetwear label White Mountaineering, who offered their own interpretation of the silhouette during Paris Fashion Week.
While not met with the same glitz and glamour of the LXCON launch (adi tapping drip-lord Jonah Hill for the event), the Nite Jogger has nevertheless showed potential, and should make it to the main streets with some high-vis link ups and adoption from the broader sneaker community.,
3. Mizuno's Wave Rider 1
Mizuno’s classic Wave Rider 1 made its return in 2018 after a 20-year hiatus, the Japanese brand staying faithful to the OG blueprints of Japanese designer Tuan Lee. The raucous design tags the heel with all the hallmarks of 1990s street art, bringing in a huge tide to the midsole that should’ve made more of a splash.
The Wave Rider is loud, incorporating the bright, gratuitous branding typical of the 90s, and arriving in a host of retina-burning colourways.
2. ASICS GEL-Kayano 5
Another vintage sneaker to grace the catwalks in Paris, the ASICS GEL-Kayano 5 made its first appearance in two decades at GmbH’s SS19 show. Designer Toshikazu Kayano modelled the first Kayano on the stage beetle (literally), the sneaker undergoing a multitude of evolutions before being conceived in its prettiest iteration yet. The Japanese brand have started 2019 with some real pace, recently linking up with Bulgarian fashion designer Kiko Kostadinov for the nuclear GEL-Delva sneakers.
1. Fear of God Nike Air Skylon II
Jerry Lorenzo’s Air Fear of God 1 release sent tremors throughout the sneakersphere in 2018. Even secular sneakerheads were turning their heads to the stars, contemplating who on earth sanctioned the design.
With a heel halfway to heaven, and a design underpinned by Jerry Lorenzo’s ruthless vision, the Air Fear of God 1 was an elusive cop. Following up from the bonkers Air Fear of God 1 release, Lorenzo and his Fear of God label dropped the Air Skylon II, a beloved retro with endless colour blocking opportunities. Lorenzo kept it clean, revealing two monochromatic colourways that were a lesson in steeze and restraint.
But the sneaker barely caused a whimper.
Forgive me father for we have all sinned, it’s been 42 days since the Skylon dropped and none of us copped.