ARTICLE BY Gabe Filippa

The Sneakers You’re Sleeping On in 2022

The Sneakers You’re Sleeping on in 2022

Trigger warning: There’s more to life than Travis Scott colabs and SB Dunks *changes IG handle to private*. For one reason or another, some of the best sneaker releases this year have been slept on. From vintage ACGs to trailblazing 2020s tech, it’s time to stop catching Ls (and Zs) and cop a few easy Ws!

Nike Air Mada
Sneaker Politics

Nike Air Mada

Nike continue to unearth gems from their prodigious ACG catalogue, the cult-favourite Air Mada a lightweight, Air injected hiking shoe. Designed by Sergio Lozano in 1994 (the man most famously behind the Air Max 95), the Mada made its way down from the mountains again in 2022. But despite its on-trend GORPcore characteristics and mid-90s vernacular, the Air Mada has been inexplicably left at base camp this year, with plenty of sizes and colourways available.

Nike AIr Kukini

Nike Air Kukini

Fans of the Air Kukini have been patiently waiting for a retro for a long, long time. Known for its high-tech design and eccentric transparent webbing, the Y2K slip-on runner re-emerged this year in a steady run of solid colourways. More alumni from Nike’s Alpha Project, the Air Kukini is still widely available months after its relaunch.

adidas Superstar 82

adidas Superstar 82

SF staffer Minh Vuong beautifully expressed the bittersweet return of the adidas Superstar 82 in our mid-year roundup for 2022. Check it out below.

'I’ve experienced the entire life cycle of adidas' revitalised Superstar 82 so far. I covered its release at the beginning of the year, then sadly saw it languish amid all of the other sneakers on the market, and finally saw it end up in the sale section of most retailers. Before it fades away into obscurity, I want to give it its flowers. I already started the process by buying a pair for personal use, then I proclaimed it as one of 2022’s best sneaker retros. And I can again express verbally how great they are by picking them as my favourite sneaker of the first half of 2022.'

New Balance 1500

New Balance 1500

How could anyone snooze on the New Balance 1500? Originally introduced in 1989 and designed by the infallible Steven Smith (who's helmed classics like the 574 and 997), the NB1500 continues to intermittently hit the bargain bin in recent months – not an entirely negative thing given the hefty price tag. Still, even if you don’t find a bargain, the NB1500 is currently a lot easier to track down than more elusive models like the 99x series and 550.

A-COLD-WALL* x Converse Sponge Crater

A-COLD-WALL* x Converse Sponge Crater

Few designers share the ambitious design vision of A-COLD-WALL*'s Samuel Ross. A brand new silhouette made in collaboration with Converse, the Sponge Crater is formed with a sculpted Crater Foam body that incorporates a knit sock upper for comfort. With the Clog stomping through the industry in 2022, the Sponge Crater is invariably easier to cop than some of its more high profile contemporaries, and yet a case can be made that it’s one of the very best.

Nike Air Huarache
Asphalt Gold

Nike Air Huarache

Originally launching in 1991, the Nike Air Huarache celebrated its ‘Dirty 30’ last year. But despite assuming icon status for its many legions of fans across the globe, it looks like lights came on a little early for the Air Huarache after the initial revelry. While fan-favourite retros will always fly off shelves, there’s plenty of other colourways that have sprinted straight to the sale section! Good news for Hua-heads!

Nike ISPA Link

Nike ISPA Link

The Nike ISPA team (Improvise; Scavenge; Protect; Adapt) continue to exist at the forefront of sneaker technology, and their latest bonkers silhouette is no exception. Looking fit for interstellar exploration, the ISPA Link focuses on Nike’s circular design vision, a closed-loop system that yields no waste.

Featuring three interlocking modules connected without glue, the model is manufactured in a way that allows the wearer to recycle components at Swoosh stores. The midsoles are made up of pegs that slot into openings engineered into the upper, the deconstructed design taking just eight minutes to assemble – a fraction of the time it takes to manufacture traditional sneakers.

An unapologetic vision of the future of footwear, the ISPA Link is not for the faint-hearted…

Keen for more mid-year recaps? Make sure to check out the surprise sneakers hits of 2022 (so far!).

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