New year, new kicks! We're only a month and some change into 2022's slate of sneaker drops – and still, in some cases battling the supply chain issues that have dogged the world of sneakers over the last two years – but it's already clear that this is gonna be a loaded year! Below are the sneakers that the SF staff is the most excited to wear in 2022, including styles that are yet to release, joints that just hit the market and recent pairs that we haven't had a chance to rock yet.
Ross - Jess Gonsalves x ASICS GEL-Nimbus 9
Angelo Baque's 'ASICS Collective' is a fresh and interesting way to approach sneaker collaborations, and when the initative was announced my attention snapped right to the shoe Procell co-owner Jess Gonsalves was holding. Was it ... a GEL-Nimbus 9?! It sure was.
I worked at Champs Sports in high school, and the GEL-Nimbus 9 in red, black and silver was my daily driver during my shifts. It was a thoroughly proletarian choice of work footwear – not necessarily 'cool', but comfy and functional. Expensive-looking too. You can't sell shoes to rich country club dads unless you wear rich country club dad shoes right? Eventually, I left my job at Champs behind and my GEL-Nimbus 9 in the trash can because they were thoroughly cooked. I never thought I'd see a pair again, but Gonsalves appears to have the same affinity for the obscure runner that I do, and she's even stamping it as cool – in an authentic NYC way, not a country club dad way. I'm not normally a white sneaker guy, but I'll be wearing those GEL-Nimbuses to death, and delighting my inner 15-year-old while I do it.
Lucas - Salomon ACS Pro Advanced
With a great amount of shoes and knowledge to my name comes a great amount of questions about what’s hot and what’s not, and over the past few years, I’ve had one answer for all these questions: Salomon. The brand can do no wrong. If there’s a sneaker you need in your rotation this year, it’s gotta be a pair of Salomons, especially the ACS PRO Advanced. The ACS Pro Advanced's tech sheet is packed to the teeth, including the brand’s infamous saw-tooth grip. But if the debut drop in December was anything to go off, you’ll need to set your Xbox controller to vibrate over your trigger finger when trying to cart these this year. As they say in France, 'bonne chance'!
Amber - Nike Dunk Low 'Valentine's Day'
With Nike Dunks having saturated the market so heavily over these past couple of years, you're either going to love or hate a release as gaudy as the Dunk Low 'Valentine's Day' for 2022 – and I'm not going to lie, it straight up makes me blush! I love the hot pink, the textures and the frilly Swoosh absolutely seals the deal for me. Will they play hard to get? Probably. But you know what they say, don't hate the player, hate the game!
Minh – adidas Superstar 82
I’ve been into sneakers for long enough to see multiple reissues of the adidas Superstar, but I’ve never owned a pair. Vintage Made In France examples have always been too inaccessible for a first-timer, and the general release versions leave a lot to be desired. That’s due to change this year with the Superstar 82, a more accurate recreation of those OGs that I couldn’t attain. From what I’ve seen of the behind-the-scenes process, designer Chris Law went to a microscopic level of detail to get these just right. Pushing one of the biggest shoe companies to completely overhaul their high-margin moneymaker into a more authentic product has to be applauded. I’ll be doing that by copping a pair (or three).
Anthony – New Balance 990v6
This year I've challenged myself to walk 350,000 steps. I can't think of a better shoe than the New Balance 990v6 to achieve my goal in style. Being somewhat contrarian, I will always value aesthetics over performance when it comes to activewear. Now don't get me wrong, famous for comfort and quality, the 99x series never disappoints when it comes to performance. Aesthetically though, the 990v5 wasn't all that exciting, thankfully, however, the v6 is a chonky improvement over the previous iteration. Gone are the harsh sharp edges, plastic ankle panel, and suede side panel that made the v5 feel a bit too 'techy' for my tastes. The v6 replaces these elements more mesh, more curves, and more sole. Hitting any personal health goal takes hard work and persistence, but who says you can't be drippin' whilst doing so?
Gabe – Air Jordan 1 High 'Hyper Royal'
Dunkmania may have swept the sneaker industry in recent years, but I’m still loyal to the Jumpman vault. I’ve had my eye on the Air Jordan 1 ‘Hyper Royal’ for quite some time, so it was a sick surprise to see them under the Christmas tree in December. I’m a sucker for lighter palettes on the AJ1 High, so this one will no doubt be a strong presence in my 2022 rotation – I don't care that it came out last year!
Cesca – New Balance 2002R
There hasn't been much out there in the sneakersphere that's excited me in 2022, but the New Balance 2002R just keeps going from strength to strength. Salehe Bembury killed it with his link-ups last year, but this year the attention is on the GRs, which have appeared in some seriously lush colourways. Case in point: the 'Nightwatch Green' version that landed recently. I'll be picking these up ASAP, and, no doubt continuing to lust after other 2002s well into 2022.