While we’re not sure where all the time has gone (is it really August already?), we must say that 2018 has been a pretty exciting year in terms of sneaker launches. Sportswear giants and luxury fashion houses alike delivered a plethora of splurge-worthy styles during the first seven months of the year. From taking apart familiar silhouettes and reconstructing them, to developing innovative sneaker designs inspired by archival styles, it has been a creative process of pushing boundaries and establishing novel trends.
With new sneakers dropping on a daily basis, we take a breather to look back on some of the most outstanding footwear releases of 2018 so far. Continue reading for our favorite picks from adidas, Nike, PUMA, Reebok and more.
Jordan Brand has released a number of amazing women’s exclusive sneakers this year, among which is the memorable “Season of Her” collection. Featuring a lineup of 10 different colorways ranging from the peachy “Sunset Tint“ to the pastel “Hydrogen Blue,” the Air Jordan 1 collection easily won the hearts of female sneakerheads. Each pair features a satin and soft suede makeup that gives the basketball shoe a refreshing, polished look.
Chanel totally nailed it with its Pre-Spring 2018 sneaker offering. Emblazoned with the Parisian luxury brand’s iconic “CC” logo, the high- and low-cut kicks pack a punch with head-turning accents of neon orange, fluorescent pink and blue. Despite the high price point, the collection was seen all over social media and is definitely one of the most sought-after sneaker releases of the year.
Another favorite among style enthusiasts, the COMME des GARÇONS x Nike Air Max 180 was unveiled earlier this year in three equally striking colorways: “Laser Pink,” “Pink Rise” and “Solar Red.” Perfectly meshing the retro, dad shoe trend with the pink craze that dominated most of 2017, the release of course achieved mainstream popularity.
While this isn’t Tyler, the Creator‘s first collaboration with Converse, it is probably the best one yet. The two-tone GOLF le FLEUR* One Stars that were launched back in June are highlighted by their summer-appropriate color schemes, namely “Purple,” “Molten,” “Plum” and “Candy.” The whimsical design also sees an all-over floral print on the outsole.
Forever pushing forward with new innovations, Nike debuted the sleek and ultra-comfy Air Max 270 silhouette in the beginning of the year. Mixing key elements of both the Air Max 180 and the Air Max 93, the running shoe is constructed with a breathable mesh upper and an Air Max unit with 270-degrees of visible air. If you haven’t already tried on a pair, read about why the sneaker became an instant hit of 2018.
The Balenciaga Triple-S continued to rule the fashion world during the first half of 2018. Back in February, the Demna Gvasalia-helmed label updated the beloved design in six different colorways, including a fluorescent yellow iteration approved by none other than the baddest style icon, Rihanna. With the brand’s Fall/Winter 2018 sneakers slated to release soon, it’ll be interesting to see if the Triple-S trainers will remain as one of the most coveted kicks by the end of the year.
For her final Fenty PUMA collection, Rihanna blessed her fans with one last pair of her signature creepers. Drawing inspiration from surf apparel, this particular rendition of the Cleated Creeper is made with a sporty, bungee cord fastening and a translucent sole unit. While the shoe may not be as wildly popular as the Velvet Creeper that debuted back in 2016, it’s definitely a collectible item for superfans of the Bad Gal.
Nike started the year strong with an all-female designed collection dubbed “The 1 Reimagined” that deconstructs and redesigns two of the company’s most-loved models, the Air Force 1 and the Air Jordan 1. Covered in off-white, the initial 10 styles paved the way for unique colorway releases in the rest of 2018. In particular, the Spring collection featuring eye-catching hues of “Violet Mist,” “Light Blue,” “Luminous Green,” “Cinder Orange” and “Geode Teal” is a favorite of many.
The Converse Chuck 70 “GHOSTING,” also known as the final silhouette of Virgil Abloh‘s “The Ten” collection, was made available earlier this year. The transparent upper and sole unit perfectly encapsulate the see-through trend that has become all the rage this year. Other unmissable details like the red zip-tie tag and Off-White™ branding on the side panel and the toe box are also what make this pair a must-cop for fans of Abloh.
Riding the wave of the retro sneaker trend, adidas took inspiration from its ’90s archive to develop its Falcon silhouette, which dropped in a women’s exclusive colorway for its debut. The low-top runner features a classic mesh construction combined with suede and reflective overlay panels, and is completed with a chunky, molded heel unit.
First unveiled at John Elliott’s Fall/Winter 2018 runway show in a red, white and blue color combo, the Nike M2K Tekno bears resemblance to the ultimate dad shoe, the Nike Air Monarch, while featuring contemporary design elements. Its leather-constructed upper is emblazoned with Swooshes in varying sizes, while the midsole is cut through with dramatic accents that give it a statement-making look.
PUMA also joined the dad sneaker party with the debut of its Thunder Desert model. Arriving in “Natural Vachetta” and “Smoke Green,” the pastel-hued kicks is built with mixed uppers of premium suede, texture leather and mesh. All these, of course, sit atop a stacked midsole that pretty much sums up the sneaker trend of the moment.
First spotted on friends and family like Kim Kardashian and celebrity hair stylist Jen Atkin, the YEEZY 500 is undoubtedly one of this year’s most anticipated sneaker drops. The futuristic shoe which is crafted with sculptural, soft suede and mesh panels is rounded off by a lumpy-looking sole that’s simply hard to miss. The runner has been released in mostly neutral colorways including “Blush,” “Super Moon Yellow” and “Utility Black,” but if Kanye‘s Twitter posts mean anything, we may expect to see pastel pink and lilac iterations of the shoe in the future.
While the adidas Yung 1 debuted back in January, it wasn’t until this summer when it released in the tri-color “Collegiate Navy/Red/White” version that the Three Stripes silhouette began to gain traction. The retro-inspired trainer is crafted with a classic mesh upper featuring nubuck overlays as well as other embroidered elements. The EVA midsole offers both style and comfort, making the shoe a favorite among street style stars.
Just when you think you’ve seen them all, Nike gives the Air Force 1 a whole new look by adding one subtle yet absolutely clever design feature. Coming with a set of interchangeable Swooshes, ranging from white leather to a holographic style, the classic sneaker is suddenly injected with new life. This is just one of the customizable Swoosh packs that the sports giant released this year, and we’re definitely hoping to see similar drops over the next few months.
This Palace Skateboards x Reebok Workout collaboration is one that many slept on and regretted. Among the three colorways released, our favorite is this cream leather design that’s accented by bright hues of blue, bubblegum pink and yellow. Palace’s spelled-out logo can be seen all over the laces, yet the overall clean look of the runner still makes it extremely wearable.
The Sean Wotherspoon x Nike Air Max 1/97 was technically launched in late 2017, but it wasn’t until Air Max Day this year that the hybrid sneaker saw a general release. The contest-winning design features an Air Max 97 upper covered in multi-colored corduroy, while borrowing the sole unit of the timeless Air Max 1 silhouette. If you managed to get your hands on a pair of the limited-edition shoe, consider yourself lucky.
In July, JW Anderson delivered what’s probably his best collection for Converse yet. Dubbed the “Toy” collection, the playful range reimagines the classic Chuck Taylor All Star 70 in a number of childhood-inspired iterations. Our favorite from the bunch are the high-tops that come in “Kumquat/Cherry Red/Blue Radiance.” Constructed with glossy uppers that are paired with fuzzy laces and translucent soles, the design is made for the kids at heart.
Rounding off the list is Nike’s latest performance runner, the EXP-X14. Featuring the same cushioned midsole as that of the Epic React Flyknit, this new silhouette is built to offer all-day comfort. The semi-transparent upper gives the shoe a futuristic and on-trend look that style lovers find it hard to resist.