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In a year that was rife with so much uncertainty, nothing really felt the way it used to feel. They were times where near seemed far and far near. But then they are sneakers, one of the things that provided comfort and stability in these highly unwaning times. Although release dates for almost everything were shifted and re-shifted, it was always a thing of joy to have one more sneaker added to the collection. Maybe the hope of using those someday after the lockdown provided some sort of hope and relief that we so sought.
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While 2020 might have shut down other aspects of the community, the sneaker kingdom was not to be moved. In fact, it revived and renewed some long lost designs. The revival of Nike SB and Dunks, as well as the renewal of Virgil Abloh’s design strategy, have done justice to this claim. In all the drama that surrounded the entire universe, the familiarity and comfort sneakers brought were undeniably pleasant. Here are some of the best sneakers that kept us company through a truly devastating year.
1. Off-White x Air Jordan 5 (Price $200)
Release Date – February 15th, 2020.
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“All shoes are good, but not all are as good as others”. This must be the case with Off-White x Air Jordan 5. The shoe was able to hold its spot from the beginning of the year all through the end. The Off-White x Air Jordan 5s were unveiled in a city both Jordan and Abloh refer to as home. The trademarked silhouette of Abloh was seen on the stripped liner.
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The sneakers were also lined with synthetic upper Swiss-Cheese’d circles that could be detached at will. The pre-yellowed sole gave the sneakers a vintage feel which was truly glorious. The manner with which Abloh was able to make a 30-year-old Air Jordan 5 feel new is really commendable. The designer sure knows his way around the classic sneaker design collection.
2. Ben & Jerry’s x Nike SB Dunk Low ‘Chunky Dunky’ (Price $100)
Release Date – May 23rd, 2020.
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Hats off to Nike and purveyors of pint-sized ice cream Ben & Jerry’s. The duo produced an unexpected yet perfect collaboration that gave birth to the “Chunky Dunky”. The Chunky Dunky gave us a lot to talk about. Like who would want to wear a shoe covered in clouds and faux cowhide with a rainbow tie-dye liner? But I think that was the aim.
The “Ice cream shoe” came out just the way the producers had intended it to be – a better hit than the last one. While others have criticized Nike for not taking the shoe line seriously, others have lauded them for the guts to venture into something new while providing an entertaining marriage between ice cream lovers and sneaker addicts.
3. Union x Air Jordan 4 (Price $250)
Release Date: August 29th, 2020.
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When the pair of sneakers was leaked earlier in the summer, no one wanted them. It’s funny how things change. Maybe the high expectations levied on the sneakers took a toll on its unveiling. Many persons had seen the teaser for so long that when it was leaked, they lost interest.
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Union brought some modifications to the Jordan 4s which may have sparked renewed interests in the commodity. Instead of its conventional shoe tongue, a new tongue that could be cut open to reveal a full-sized tongue was utilized. Unlike other Jordans, the Jordan 4 is the first to carry a meshed toebox.
4. Dior x Air Jordan 1 (Price $2, 200)
Release Date: July 8th
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Dior brought a new perspective to the Jordan 1s with its collaboration with Air Jordan. Dior’s introduction of a High and a Low version of the Air Jordan 1 was the highlight of the release. The release was a recreation of the original 1985 Jordan 1. The creator spared no costs in creating unveiling his Jordan 1 makeover which may have blotted out some of the shoe’s appeal but created a new swagger in the Jordan world.
5. Joe Freshgoods x New Balance 992 “No Emotions Are Emotions” (Price: $260)
Release Date: February 14th, 2020.
Image Sourced Via: @Nolis Anderson
Back for the first time since it was discontinued in 2010, the New Balance 992 was arguably one of the 2020s most popular shoes. The shoe’s pr thrived on Joe Freshgood’s collab with New Balance. The designer went for the “Anatomy of the Heart’ theme with a suede red and pink to perfectly fit the atmosphere of love on Valentine’s day when it was released. The All-Star Weekend had attendees lined up around the block to mark one of the last memories people had of themselves going all out for a pair of sneakers.
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