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The Best of the Great Outdoors in Sneakers 2022

Great Outdoors 2022

GORPcore has continued to thrive in 2022, with every major sneaker brand making a foray into outdoor-geared footwear – whether for form, function or both! Despite being an amalgamation of multiple microtrends, the shift towards the outdoor aesthetic has quickly been ingrained into the zeitgeist, and it’s become commonplace to witness hiking silhouettes as casual everyday beaters.

From GORE-TEX Gaiadomes to the Factory Team Flesh, here’s what sneakers did in the great outdoors throughout 2022.

Outdoor Aesthetic

The ‘GORPcore’ look has skirted the confines of fashion’s in-the-know elite and made its way into the mainstream. Because of that, big brands are capitalising off the outdoor aesthetic, looking to hardy hikers and technical apparel as references when creating products. One brand that went all in was Dior, who took to Paris Fashion Week and showcased an SS23 menswear collection that exuded plenty of outdoor vibes. Kiko Kostadinov and ASICS dabbled in some GORP flavour, especially with their GEL-Sonoma series, which boasted rip-stop, GORE-TEX-infused uppers.

All About Heritage

New Balance looked into their archive for their outdoor onset, giving their 1980s Rainier boot a fitting retro with the help of Aimé Leon Dore! They weren’t the only ones to dive into their annals, either. Oakley footwear experienced a full resurgence in 2022, and with the help of Brain Dead, the pair resurrected silhouettes like the Flesh. The sneakersphere welcomed the Oakley lifestyle return, as their early-aughts gear has continued to trend on social media for the past few years.

Nike ACG has also continued to dig in their crates following a retro-heavy 2021. This year, they focussed their efforts on the Air Mada, initially released in 1994. Following a debut of muted colourways, Nike’s All Conditions Gear pulled out more of their classic combos – and a few wild iterations – quickly making it a go-to beater for fans around the globe.

Technical Traits

Nike ACG also focussed on their technical silhouettes for 2022 and came out swinging with a barrage of heater silhouettes. The standout was the ACG Zoom Gaiadome GORE-TEX, which debuted for the Beijing Winter Olympics. Initially, the model was released in an athlete-only colourway to be worn by those sponsored by Nike. Later in the year, Team Swoosh decided to drop two colourways: a muted black and brown.

The second silhouette on the ACG agenda was the Mountain Fly Low! Although they released last year, Nike decided to reissue the low-top Mountain Fly, this time upgraded with a full GORE-TEX upper guaranteed to keep you dry.

Trail Runners

Trail running as an activity has been trending on social media, and so have sneakers made for the niche sport. Salomon, the French outdoors brand, has been leading the way. This year, they linked up with London-based COPSON for the ULTRA RAID. Despite the colab being fairly unassuming, it fell into the brand’s minimal aesthetic perfectly thanks to its ability to switch effortlessly between functional and casual wear. Another brand leading the way in the trail running sphere is norda, the new Canadian kids on the block. Their 001 silhouette has caused a splash on the scene – and we can see why. The upper is crafted with Dyneema tech, a durable woven fibre fifteen times stronger than steel.

Find more 2022 year-in-review content here!

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