The Surprise Sneaker Hits of 2021 (So Far) is presented by eBay.
As we all know, it’s damn near impossible to crystal-ball the sneaker industry. From long-forgotten hardwood sneakers of the 1980s to circuit-breaking contemporary designs like the Yeezy 450 and Nike Cosmic Unity, we’re constantly surprised by what’s hitting real and digital shelves in 2021.
These are the surprise sneaker hits of 2021 (so far), and don’t worry if you missed the original drops, because you can shop them right now with confidence on eBay.
New Balance 550
A long-forgotten basketball sneaker from the 1980s, the New Balance 550 returned to plenty of fanfare last year thanks to an Aime Leon Dore collaboration. New Balance and ALD worked tirelessly on recreating the visual and material fidelity of the original 550, even hunting down a rare Japanese NB catalogue from the 80s for more info on the silhouette. And the sneaker sleuthing was worth it.
The NB 550 was a home-run, New Balance following up their ALD collaboration with a mountain of stellar in-line colourways in 2021. Recently teaming up with masters of Japanese minimalism AURALEE, the New Balance 550 will undoubtedly fill our release calendars with plenty of heat for the rest of the year.
Nike Cosmic Unity
Nike soared straight into space with the Cosmic Unity in February, the interstellar blueprint arguably one of the best eco-conscious sneakers of recent times.
Jam-packed with early-2000s energy, the Cosmic Unity was first worn on the hardwood by indomitable Lakers talent and style soothsayer Anthony Davis. Manufactured with an impressive 25 per cent recycled material by weight, the deep-space sneaker utilises the always-durable Air Zoom Strobel, a signature aspect of Kevin Durant’s much-lauded KD 12 and KD 13.
A lynchpin of Nike’s lofty ‘Move To Zero’ mission, the Cosmic Unity is one we can all get behind.
Kanye West’s Yeezy label continues to polarise the sneaker industry, fuelling vehement discourse online with some of the most experimental sneakers on earth. Case in point: the Yeezy 450.
It always takes some time for the dust to settle on Kanye’s releases, but when the air finally cleared on the 450, the verdict was in: sneakerheads couldn’t cop them fast enough.
Blowing-up the status-quo, the extraterrestrial Yeezy 450 is emblazoned by the signature claw-like moulded foam sole unit. Originally glimpsed outside of the Yeezy Season 8 fashion show at Paris Fashion Week, the 450 was another design assist by Steven Smith, the agent-provocateur proving his avant-garde credentials yet again this year.
Oh, BAPE STA baby, where have you been? The legendary Japanese streetwear imprint BAPE is fast-approaching its 30th anniversary, and what better way to jump on the bandwagon than with the generation-defining BAPE STA?
It’s been a long time since we’ve seen so many BAPE STA colourways hit the market, the Ura-Harajuku label collaborating with Gunna and revisiting some of their greatest hits this year – including a trio of colourways in April paying homage to 1980s basketball.
Yes, A Bathing Ape is washed and ready to rinse the competition in 2021!
New Balance 990v3
One of the most lauded silhouettes in New Balance’s prodigious vault, the New Balance 990v3 made an unexpected, blazing return thanks to collaborative heavy-hitters like Bodega, Joe Freshgoods and Kith.
One of the best kept secrets in the industry, the third generation 990v3 is still the darling of NB’s royal 99X series, the indelible catalogue, of course, more recently dominated by the 990v5 arrivals.
Hell, the Joe Freshgoods collaboration is so tasty it even graced the cover of Issue 45 of Sneaker Freaker magazine!
Causing minor ripples last year, the Forum has reached all-new heights this year with heavyweight collaborations featuring the likes of reggaeton superstar Bad Bunny, Pharrell’s HUMAN MADE, and Beyonce.
A hallowed hardwood hero from the 1980s, the Forum is still balling three decades later, and we honestly couldn’t be happier.
Buy some of the surprise sneaker hits of 2021 (so far) right now from ,eBay!