The Best General Release Sneakers of 2022

The Best General Release Sneakers of 2022

Forget the hype – general release sneakers are where the heat’s at. This rule of thumb especially rang true in 2022, as a selection of under-the-radar pairs chilled on shelves for easy purchase and/or experienced solid sell-through without a single dollar spent on marketing. Because these slow burners sometimes get relegated to the sale section, it’s worth scooping some of these up before they’re never seen again – which is when they start fetching the big bucks.

Nike BRSB

Nike SB BRSB

Nike SB offer more than just Dunks and Blazers. Old-school sneakerheads and skaters alike should cherish the BRSB for its blend of retro styling and modern tech. Even those who have never touched grip tape should appreciate the sleek Cortez-inspired silhouette with heritage colours – who expected a Nike Sting OG reference in the mix? – and contemporary cushioning seamlessly mixed together. And perhaps the best thing about this model is the fact they can be picked up right now with no raffles, competitions or bots required.

New Balance 1906 M1906RQ
via Up There

New Balance 1906R White/Green

While technically a GR, the New Balance 1906R has been moving like hotcakes. This white, cream and green edition was a moodboard magnet, ticking all of the right boxes among the online disciples. The 1906R brings a techier edge to the upper that its 2002R cousin doesn’t quite match up to – largely thanks to the copious amounts of mesh and webbing on top. Cream elements and a gum rubber sole, plus verdant green, are a surefire hit. Look up ‘M1906RQ’ on the secondary market to find a pair.

adidas Adimatic

adidas Adimatic

The adidas Adimatic has already been exalted as one of the best reissues of the year, but it really also deserves some shine as a solid GR from the Three Stripes. It’s been a drama-free run for the model – the same can’t be said about the rest of the company – and some very tasteful colourways have been ripe for the picking. While it saw some collaborative touches from the likes of Jamal Smith, HUMAN MADE, and NEIGHBORHOOD, the Adimatic thankfully wasn’t done to death by having too many random co-signs. And, like the BRSB, they’re chilling at skate stores and boutiques, ready for grip tape and the streets.

Air Jordan 3 Fire Red

Air Jordan 3 ‘Fire Red’

The Air Jordan 3 ‘Fire Red’ returned this year bearing its period-correct Nike Air branding on the heel tab. Despite this vital detail coming back, some markets didn’t take to it like a moth to the flame. Sure, the bean counters at Jordan Brand might consider this a poor metric, but being able to pick up a pair of Jays days – if not months – after release is arguably how things should be. The AJ3 is an all-time great, and with the impending reissue of the Nike Air-branded ‘White Cement’, just watch heads start freaking out when the ‘Fire Red’ supply begins drying up.

Reebok Answer DMX

Reebok Answer DMX

Reebok have given sneakerheads plenty of Questions in the past couple of years, and now, they’re bringing the Answers too. The timing couldn’t be more perfect, as there seemed to be some sentiments of Question fatigue brimming amid the dozens of releases. It also happened to be the model’s 25th anniversary this year, but the ‘bok showed some restraint, keeping the releases down and the stock healthy. Like its Jordan competition, the steadfast availability of the Answer DMX at stores harks back to the good old days.

ASICS GEL-Kayano 14

ASICS GEL-Kayano 14

General release sneakers can often be slow burners. Case in point: the ASICS GEL-Kayano 14. It actually returned right at the end of 2020 in its OG colours, but the whole 2010s-performance-shoe-worn-casually trend hadn’t quite kicked off yet, so the earliest releases were heavily discounted. Fast forward 24 months, and the model (and brand) has climbed to the top of mainstream and niche minds thanks to a slew of solid inline colourways and the market maturing to choose comfort over style. Of course, the Kayano 14 delivers both.

It’s been another big year for sneakers. Catch up on the best of 2022 here.

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