50 of the Best New Sneaker Silhouettes from the 2010-2019 Decade
As the year and decade comes to a close, it’s time to look back on all of the great sneakers that have released over the past 10 years. Thousands of different sneakers have come out in that time. Here, we present 50 great new silhouettes that were introduced between 2010 and now. That means retro colourways, thousands of collaborations, and first-time reissues are ruled out of this list, as they would muddy the choices. Instead, we focus on sneakers that had an undeniable impact on ‘the culture’. Some were merely a flash in the pan, while others became permanent fixtures in sneaker lore. These sorts of lists are always going to be subjective, and each sneaker that has made the cut definitely deserves an article of its own. But hopefully, their inclusion is justified in the greater context of 10 years worth of sneaker releases.
By no means is this list ranking the entries from 50th to 1st, but there are a number of sneakers that definitely belong in the top five. At the very peak is the Nike Roshe Run. It’s simply the best new silhouette of the decade. Its minimalist design predated the contemporary shapeless ‘potato sack’ sneaker trend, and its low price point had mass appeal amongst both sneakerheads and newcomers. Early OG colourways in the ‘Iguana’ and ‘Calypso’ fetched big dollars on the secondary market, and it was simply a comfortable sneaker that worked thanks to the Solarsoft insides. And yet, Nike never intended to market it as a ‘hype’ shoe. It’s the pivotal sneaker of the 2010s.
Additionally, Nike’s Flyknit Racer and Trainer changed the way brands approached sneaker construction, and arguably resulted in a modern renaissance for HTM. We had our chance at the Nike MAG, and power laces finally happened with HyperAdapt. The jury is out on Joyride though. The Mars Yard can stay, and the Lebron 8 is due for a retro! Lunar lived on for a while too, with the excellent Cole Haan Lunargrand series and the Lunarglide line.
On the other side of the ring, adidas fought back with UltraBOOST and NMD_R1, notwithstanding the groundwork laid by the Y-3 Qasa and ZX Flux. Of course, the biggest boon for Team Trefoil was Kanye West’s mutiny, bringing the Yeezy name over, and promising sneakers for everybody. The Yeezy BOOST 350 v2 looks like it’ll carry into at least 2020 to fulfil that promise. An honourable mention goes to the Busenitz skate shoe, which came out in mid-2009, so it was too late to be considered in 2000-2009 decade lists, but too early for this one.
It wasn’t just the ‘Big Two’ who made the largest waves this decade. New Balance won the race for the first 3D-printed sole with the Zante Generate, though adidas have rolled out 4D tech much wider. What NB had though, was the 990v3, which is enjoying its twilight years with killer colabs of late. That said, the v4 and v5 will likely prove their mettle in years to come. Reebok did some crazy stuff with the Liquid Factory concepts, and cross-pollinated adidas BOOST onto the Instapump Fury. Converse refined the Chuck Taylor All Star with the Chuck 70. The initial First String releases absolutely overshadowed the forgettable Chuck 2 with Lunar soles.
Fashion and Sneakers
Some may remember when Beyonce wore Isabel Marant wedge sneakers in 2012, causing dozens of bad copies from brands, big and small. Rihanna’s Fenty line with PUMA got more girls into sneakers, which was an admirable achievement. Then Jeremy Scott put teddy bear heads on adidas high-tops, proving sneakers could be wearable art. Fashion would increase its flirtation with sneakers throughout the decade, effectively turning Rick Owens’ Geobaskets into a meme. The Balenciaga Triple S marked the death of the Dad shoe – not before PUMA had a glimpse of glory in the Thunder. And, somehow, Salomon went from the trail to the runway.
Finally, some editorial license has been exercised to include some smaller labels or niche independents in this decade list. Australia’s FEIT innovated with the Biotrainer, naturally handmade. The Gourmet Dignan was pretty crazy with its The Departed–inspired drawcord-sack shroud, back in 2011! Japan quietly toiled, flexing the AJ4-homaging Hender Scheme MIP-10 and visvim effectively produced a ballin’ 990 with the Roland Jogger.
Enjoy this list and see you in 2020!