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The Biggest Sneaker Stories in 2022

The Biggest Sneaker Stories in 2022

Tie your laces tight! Sole-shaking headlines have been causing havoc among sneakerheads this year. From adidas breaking up with Ye to Nike suspending Kyrie Irving and suing StockX, there are historic tensions simmering across the entire industry. But hey, that’s not to say there also hasn’t been some extreme heat dropping across the calendar year.

So put on your crash test helmet and mouthguard – these were the biggest sneaker stories of the year!

adidas Drop Ye

After months of growing tension, adidas cut ties with Ye and his Yeezy imprint in October. The termination of the partnership came after a series of anti-semitic tweets and comments by West and followed other brand blow-ups with Ye, including GAP, Balenciaga and JPMorgan.

adidas later confirmed that they would continue to manufacture Yeezy models without the branding. The breakup is expected to result in a 246 million dollar hole in adidas’ fourth-quarter sales.

Don’t expect this story to die anytime soon. Keep up with Ye right here.

Nike Wage War on Resellers

It was a long, long time coming, but Nike finally announced more stringent measures for enforcing rules on bots and backdooring.

Specifically, Nike implemented changes to their Terms of Sale, stipulating that orders placed through software or bots could be cancelled. Furthermore, Nike could charge restocking fees, refuse refunds, or suspend accounts of users suspected of being resellers or exceeding the spending limits set by the brand.

Will Nike’s changes put a dent in the resale industry? Time will tell…


Nothing could stop Nike’s panda Dunks from chewing through the industry in 2022. By no means a revolutionary colourway, the simple black and white composition inexplicably rose to cast a shadow across the market, resulting in high-top counterparts, restocks and ballooning resale prices.

MSCHF ‘Wavy Baby’ vs Vans

No year is complete without some high-level lawsuits. No strangers to courting controversy, agent-provocateurs MSCHF found themselves in hot water yet again after the release of their Wavy Babies in April.

Made in collaboration with Tyga, Vans argued that the Wavy Baby blatantly copied their classic Old Skool model. MSCHF were sued for trademark infringement, false designation of origins, unfair competition, and trademark dilution.

The court eventually ordered MSCHF to stop selling the Wavy Baby.

The ‘Silver Bullet’ Returns!

One of the most beloved colourways of the Air Max family, the Nike Air Max 97 ‘Silver Bullet’ returned to much fanfare in November. Celebrating its 25th birthday this year, the OG colourway famously made waves in Milan, where the rippling uppers and mountain bike-inspired design sparked dreams of Italian futurism.

Nike Suspends Partnership With Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving once again dominated headlines in 2022 for all the wrong reasons. This time, he shared a controversial documentary on Twitter titled Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America. Replete with anti-sematic rhetoric, the Brooklyn Nets responded by suspending Irving for a minimum of five games, while Nike put a halt on their partnership.

Undoubtedly one of the most successful signature series in the NBA, the Kyrie 8 was slated to arrive in November. Meanwhile, Nike co-founder Phil Knight recently expressed doubt that Nike will return to Irving.

Balenciaga-haha Paris Sneaker

Demna Gvasalia and the team at Balenciaga have invariably owned the pop culture discourse in recent years. Appearing in everything from The Simpsons to Fortnite, the luxury label sent the footwear industry into meltdown with the reveal of the Paris Sneaker in May.

Pre-distressed to all kinds of apocalyptic levels, the model incited vehement reactions online.

According to Balenciaga, the shoe is meant to ‘be worn for a lifetime’. Well, it looks like it’s already spanned multiple.

Travis Scott’s Record-Breaking Air Jordan 1 ‘Reverse Mocha’

Houston’s Travis Scott continues to cause mass hysteria in the sneaker industry, with this year’s Air Jordan 1 ‘Reverse Mocha’ smashing records for raffle entries.

As many as 2.4 million people attempted to score via Travis Scott’s website. At the same time, Nike CEO John Donahoe declared that 3.8 million entries were made for the ‘Reverse Mocha’ via the SNKRS app – breaking the record for the most member entries ever.

Can La Flame’s get any higher with the upcoming Air Jordan 1 collaboration scheduled for 2023?

Louis Vuitton x Nike Air Force 1 Release 21 Models

Talk about a reselling frenzy! The Louis Vuitton x Nike Air Force 1 collection generated eye-watering resale prices back in July, with the collaboration selling for around 3.5 million won (approximately $2,440) and subsequently selling on the resale marketplace for 14 million won ($9,763).

Initially debuting to the world back in 2021 at Louis Vuitton’s SS22 ‘Amen Break’ show, the collection included a whopping 21 styles, with all models designed by the late great Virgil Abloh – Louis Vuitton’s former creative director.

The Air Jordan 1 ‘Lost and Found’

Sneakerheads simply can’t get enough of the iconic ‘Chicago’ colourway. The first retro in several years, the ‘Lost and Found’ model was inspired by an era when shoe boxes were often lost in inventory stockrooms.

According to the design team at Jordan Brand, the modus operandi was to create a ‘time travel moment’ so a new generation of sneakerheads could experience what it might have been like to find an old Jumpman grail.

Unfortunately, the SNKRS app couldn’t handle the extreme demand, resulting in online furore.

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