All the most hyped latest sneaker drops in 2020, under-the-radar gems expected to garner skyrocketing prices and rumoured releases to check out for all you sneaker heads out there.
Most on this list is the input from our contributor, Sneaker Surge HK‘s Mira Uttamchandani, who worked with our partner title, Lifestyle Asia.
Plenty of anticipated collaborations and special edition sneakers abound this season: From kicks tied tightly to the NBA schedule, that coveted Prada x Adidas pair (in case you missed it), more than one pair of fresh kicks from Off-White, a new plant-based shoe, as well as a few excellent evergreen options to add to your day to day rotation. Let’s check out the latest sneaker drops for 2020.
1. Union x Air Jordan 4 Retro ‘Off-Noir’
Los Angeles’ Union is something of a streetwear and footwear destination, and owner Chris Gibbs is set to release four collaborations with Off-White in 2020. The first is a set of Air Jordan 4’s in two colourways, ‘Guava Ice’ and ‘Off-Noir’ (pictured). “Back in the day, I always liked to wear my Air Jordan 4s with a short tongue, so I would fold them over themselves and tie them down,” Gibbs said. Harking back to his childhood, Gibbs implements this same idea by creating a customisable tongue on these new pairs: When purchased, the tongue is initially stitched down. Dare to cut the threads and you’ll unfold a normal-sized tongue with Air Jordan branding. The million-dollar question is how to cop this pair: To beat the bots typically used by flippers, Gibbs has reportedly worked with Shopify to create a multilayered check-out method, which presumably might make it easier for you to nab a pair.
2. Chanel Leather, Nylon & Grosgrain Sneakers
After three years in the market, the chunky ‘Dad’ sneaker style has made it to runway shows, on the streets, and even on the red carpet, and it seems to be here to stay. Several luxury brands have adopted this silhouette. For women who may have found it difficult to replace our stilettos with a pair of sneakers, these Chanel retro-inspired chunky kicks make it easy to do so. Chanel uses premium materials for this sneaker, including suede and calfskin with Chanel branding on the lateral sides of the shoe, making it a worthy (and comfortable) contender for whether you’re rocking them to a meeting or for cocktail hour.
3. Off-White ‘Out of Office’ Collection
When ‘WFH‘ has become the new normal and we’re struggling to separate ‘work’ from ‘play,’ trust Virgil Abloh to come to the rescue. Virgil Abloh has launched a new campaign dubbed ‘Out of Office’ as a vehicle for everybody to escape their current monotonous lifestyles. A part of his campaign is a pair of kicks that is designed using both basketball and running silhouettes, and comes in multiple colourways including muted tones such as pale blue and tan, as well as sharper iterations in red and green — just in time for the holiday season!
4. Prada x Adidas ‘Superstar’ Sneakers
A success story in how a US$80 sneaker sells for US$500 — and most customers believe it’s worth it. Like most noteworthy kicks, the Adidas Superstar has long been championed by both athletes and musicians, but it was Run-DMC who made it a cultural icon with the release of his song ‘My Adidas.’ As 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of the shoe, Adidas celebrates the milestone by joining hands with Prada to commemorate this classic pair. A testament to both houses’ craftsmanship, each shoe is made in Italy using premium full-grain Italian leather, passing through the hands of 100 employees just to make one pair. The shoe initially dropped in all-white version on 4 December 2019, which was accompanied by a Bowling Bag and limited it to 700 pieces. The second round dropped again earlier in September to much fanfare, with three additional colourways: all black, black and white, and chrome silver and white. Missed it in early September? You can still cop it from various online retailers around town.
5. Off-White x Nike Air Rubber Dunk, ‘University Blue’
We’ve talked about how Nike Dunks are the silhouette of the year: With multiple collaborations being launched this season, we can’t leave the renowned Virgil Abloh off the list. The Air Rubber Dunk is a fully new creation by Virgil Abloh, incorporating elements of both the Nike SB Dunk and another Nike silhouette, the P-6000. The shoe will release in three colourways: the first ‘University Blue’ (pictured) being a nod to Jordan’s college team colours, followed by a ‘Green Strike’ with a pop of orange and ‘University Gold.’
6. New Balance x Staud
If you find yourself running from a workout, to meetings to dinner with the girls and need the perfect look for all three occasions, this Staud x New Balance collab shoe has got you covered. The LA-based fashion brand worked with New Balance to launch an elevated athleisure collection, with everyday essentials for a more active lifestyle. The collection comes in autumnal tones, complete with long-sleeve crops, leggings, vintage inspired sweatshirts. The core of the collection is none other than the reimagined New Balance 327 sneaker, which features an oversized “N” logo in Bordeaux leather and contrast stitching.
7. Reebok ‘Forever Floatride Grow’
What do you get when you mix castor bean oil, eucalyptus tree, algae and natural rubber? The world’s first plant-based running shoe. The ‘Forever Floatride’ is a development from Reebok’s Cotton + Corn collection, which had a goal of making shoes from things that grow. Reebok did face some challenges when attempting to meet the high-performance needs of athletes using these materials, however after three years of developing the sneaker, they managed to create something that met, if not beat, these standards. Watch this video for more on the R&D process.
8. Air Jordan 1 ‘Dark Mocha’
If you couldn’t get your hands on the Travis Scott x Air Jordan 1 collab, Christmas has come early for you: Jordan brand is releasing the Air Jordan 1 High OG ‘Dark Mocha’ as part of their Holiday 2020 lineup, and this pair will be one of the first to launch end October. The pair is almost entirely inspired by the Air Jordan 1 x Cactus Jack collaboration by Travis Scott — these days, the pair is reselling at almost US$1,500.
9. Nike Air Force 1 Low ‘Toll Free’ Pack
When Nike calls, you answer; the Nike Air Force 1 has become one of the brand’s longstanding mainstays with its clean silhouette and canvas-like minimalism that allows for virtually any kind of design collaboration. The latest design is inspired by the fast-fading cultural phenomenon of the ‘1-800-Toll Free Hotline,’ and comes in two colourways and silhouettes. The AF1 Low comes in a white leather, whilst the Hi comes in a black with an all-over reflective print leather that reads ‘toll-free,’ ‘call-today’ and ‘Air Force.’ The shoelace dubrae for both shoes has also been replaced with retro telephone key shapes that read ‘Air.’
10. Ermenegildo Zegna Triple stitch
Ermenegildo Zegna is proud to present the iconic Triple Stitch in its latest sneaker release: a versatile slip-on sneaker, remastered for next-level comfort, lighter than ever. Essential and well-rounded, the Triple Stitch is a distinctive sneaker in the Zegna collection, a luxury icon in the modern man’s wardrobe. The enduring triple crossed elastic not only means the sneakers slips on and off easily but also speaks to Zegna’s heritage, recalling the three hand-stitches on a suit lapel. Zegna’s artistic director Alessandro Sartori has re-engineered the contemporary sneaker using a more lightweight and flexible construction, making the shoe more comfortable on-foot than ever before. A global seasonless design, the Triple Stitch has been reinterpreted in a spectrum of colours across a range of luxurious uppers.
11. LV Trainer Denim
Flirting with nostalgia and borrowing its lines from basketball shoes, the LV Trainer has since been reinterpreted each season in various colour combinations and materials. The latest sneaker is revisited in Monogram denim in different shades of blue and embellished with various Louis Vuitton signatures. Adorned with distinctive signatures such as the Monogram flowers on the outsole, “LV” logo on the leather tongue, and the new signature from the Fall Winter 2020 show on its sides – all elements complementing the vintage, clean-cut basketball sneaker design that is Virgil Abloh’s favourite. The LV Trainer features an innovative gel-injected outsole, supple technical lining and a padded collar for added comfort. Crafted in the House’s own workshop in Fiesso d’Artico in Italy, different zones of the shoe including the sole, heel, tongue and laces are defined and manually assembled, involving 7 hours of precise stitching work for each pair.
12. Dior b27
Channeling diverse inspirations, from the vintage look of ’80s tennis shoes to the skateboarding universe, this latest sneaker, available in low and high-top versions, feature an urban, sporty and refined line. Available in white, black or grey, they are embellished with a multi-material finish, combining smooth calf leather and nubuck with the Dior Oblique motif or the Dior Oblique Galaxy — in perforated leather. The B27s exalt Dior’s creative audacity, combined with its leather-working heritage, from edge dyeing to topstitching, with each step of the manufacturing process reflecting the exceptional savoir-faire perpetuated by the petites mains in the House’s Italian workshops. The result of a sophisticated assemblage, the shoe’s inlays are combined and layered to create a unique, three-dimensional effect. Dior codes are revealed in the art of detail, such as eyelets shaped after the iconic “CD” logo, while the name “DIOR” is embossed on the heel and inscribed on the sole, as an affirmation of a singular allure. Reinventions of the richness of the House’s heritage, these new essential objects of desire are the emblem of contemporary elegance.