Some of the Biggest Sneaker Surprises in 2022
Sometimes you may think that you’ve seen it all, but then a bringback, a collaboration or a microtrend will make you think again. Moments like that happened a handful of times this year, reminding many in the sneakerspace that the best may still be yet to come. With the year coming to a close, let’s get stuck into some of the sneaker releases that surprised us in 2022.
Hysteric Glamour Team Up With Kiko Kostadinov and ASICS
No one saw the Hysteric Glamour x Kiko Kostadinov x ASICS GEL-Quantum Lylia coming, let alone a whole new women’s model introduced into the sneakersphere altogether! Considering both these factors, this link-up was one of the biggest surprise sneaker releases of the year and doubled as one of the most popular as well. The only part about this release that didn’t surprise anyone was how fast it flew off digital shelves!
Nike Resuscitates Cult Y2K Silhouettes
One of the most successful traits of Nike has been the fact that they can repeatedly tap into the zeitgeist of decades past and make it enticing for new generations – thanks to the perfect amount of nostalgia. This year, Nike did that on two counts, namely with the bringback of the Nike Air Kukini and the Nike Zoom Vomero 5. In hindsight, the fact that Nike reissued these silhouettes is a no-brainer, with both being Y2K-born models. Now, it seems there’s no stopping the Swoosh from bringing out more and more new colourways.
The eBay x Nike SB Dunk Low ‘Sandy’
Midway through 2022, whispers began floating around the sneakersphere, suggesting that the eBay x SB Dunks could be returning in a fully fledged release. Dating back 20 years to 2003, the concept would be brought back into the fold with a twist on the OG. Finally, in November, confirmation came through that pairs would release – alongside Nike SB announcing a charity auction of ten collectors pairs with proceeds going to the Bodecker Foundation.
Return of the New Balance 580
The New Balance 580 has seen very limited releases over recent years, but in 2022, NB had different plans for the runner, opting to make it the centrepiece of some very big collaborations. Things kicked off with Palace, who dropped two pairs: one rather loud and the other somewhat toned down. You could consider this the gateway partnership of the year, as Stray Rats were the next brand to tap the 580, releasing two colourways that were very 2007-inspired. Since then, New Balance have rolled out more General Releases, as well as flipped the script on the OG ‘Real Mad Stussy’ pairs too. Yeah, the 580!
The Onitsuka Tiger Mexico 66 Becomes a Microtrend
Thanks to various social media platforms and the digital age, microtrends in sneakers and fashion seem to sprout like field mushrooms, making it easier than ever before for the masses to cotton on to certain things. On this account, a surprise microtrend in 2022 has been readily available (up until now): the Onitsuka Tiger Mexico 66, in particular the yellow and black striped colourway that many refer to as the ‘Kill Bill’ or the ‘Uma Thurman’, in reference to Kill Bill. We covered this footwear moment earlier this year, where we also confirmed that Bruce Lee and Uma Thurman did not wear this model.
The Yeezy adidas Partnership Ends
Not quite a sneaker release that surprised us, but more of a moment that has undoubtedly gone down in the books as one of the most shocking partnership dissolutions in streetwear and sneakers. In 2022, adidas officially called it quits with Ye and Yeezy, vowing to continue producing former Yeezy silhouettes without the branding. On the flip side, there are sure to be some surprising releases coming from the Three Stripes in the very near future – like this recently surfaced adidas BOOST 350 V2 ‘Granite’. Watch this space.
Keen for more best-of-2022 retrospectives? Head here!