There was an overabundance of sneaker releases in 2017. Along with the releases came a ton of hype. So much so that many of us are left asking if sneaker hype has gone too far? From Nike’s release of their collaboration with Tom Sachs to YEEZYs to 2017’s OFF-White Virgil Abloh “The Ten” release perhaps the industry has gone too far. The hype around sneakers, much like buying sneakers, used to be fun. Today it seems it has become a business. A cut-throat industry that involves online robots, third party retailers, lots of queuing and idiotic bloggers like myself telling you that these are the best sneakers of this year to only ignite more hype.
Whether or not sneaker hype has gone too far, we can all agree they are an important fixture in our culture and of our history. I remember in 1991 when the Jordan IV came out begging my mom to get me a pair because a few of my friends had them. I am not sure I remember much more about 1991 but I remember those kicks. I remember how cool they looked. I remember how they made me feel when I finally had them. From the Jordan’s I went to the adidas Sambas. Since then I remember many moments in my life because of the sneakers I was wearing at the time. Go figure.
So here are the 20 sneakers that will help me remember 2017 [an overall horrible and chaotic year thanks to the state of our world and of our country]:
 OFF-White x Nike Air Presto
The entire much-hyped Virgil Abloh “The Ten” collection can be found on many best sneaker lists this year, including some more styles on this list, but the OFF-White Nike Presto are in a league of their own. Virgil Abloh didn’t just complement the Presto silhouettes, he made them better. He made them versatile. In many ways, I believe, Abloh just showed Nike how to move forward with the super comfortable and streetwear approved Presto.
 Adidas Originals YEEZY Powerphase Calabasas in Gray
Releasing this week the adidas Originals Yeezy Powerphase Calabasas in Gray are super sleek. They are the perfect example of how best to bring back retro kicks. It’s all about that gray on these simple but iconic silhouettes. I imagine you feel like you can fly while wearing these. On sale December 9th: www.adidas.com/yeezy
 NikeCraft x Tom Sachs Mars Yard Shoe 2.0
One of the most sought after and legendary kicks this year were the NikeCraft x Tom Sachs Mars Yard Shoe 2.0. Nike did not make it easy for customers to purchase. There was waitlist. You needed to take a boat to Governor’s Island in New York City to go through a crazy obstacle course to just get to purchase the shoe. Sure, it probably says a lot about the sneaker industry. Mostly bad. However, these have been almost mythical and therefore one of the best sneakers this year.
 Adidas Futurecraft 4D
It’s 2017. There is no button on the Apple iPhone X. Self driving cars on the way. So are 3D or 4D printed sneakers. One of the first to have a ‘wide release’ the adidas Futurecraft are made entirely with a 3D printer and unlike the typical first prototypes these don’t look horrible. In fact these look cool which for me putting them on this list, this is, is a no-brainer.
 Balenciaga Trip S
Before you judge, it’s important to realize what an important role this silhouette has played in many other sneaker releases or re-rleases this year. YEEZY, adidas, Raf Simons x adidas, and Nike all released clunker, more fashion forward sneakers this year with Balenziaga leading the way.
 COMMES des Garçons’ Homme Plus x Nike Dunk High
We have all seen tiresome releases and re-releases and new color ways that fall flat but Comme des Garçons’ Nike Dunk’s changed the game by becoming more transparent. It is always nice to see new, fresh material work on the classics so well without having the Shoe Surgeon getting involved.
 WOOD WOOD Asics Gel DS Trainer OG ‘Moon Rock’
Asics, hands down, make some of the most comfortable and stable shoes. However, at times their designs can get a tad busy. Wood Wood’s Asics Gel DS Trainer OG in ‘Moon Rock’ takes this model to new levels of sophistication with leather and suede. This is one of the best looking trainers out there, and guess what it can be worn as a actual trainer you can wear like you would a trainer. It’s not just for style.
 Adidas YEEZY Wave Runner 700
When I first saw these I just thought, “this is Kanye being Kanye.” But then I realized despite all his craziness and immaturity, Kanye is a genius. He has one of the best eyes for trends in the sneaker market and these are proof of that. They have grown on me.
 Undefeated by nike Air Max 97
What I love most about these is that they remind me of growing up. Sure these exact ones didn’t exist then, but the Air Max 97 did, and so did late 90s early 2000s rappers love for Gucci. So the All black Undefeated Air Max 97 with the green and red piping (that is reminiscent of Gucci’s colors) just makes me nostalgic.
 Nike x Riccardo Tisci Dunk Lux Chukka
The best part of the Riccardo Tisci Dunk Lux Chuka are how simplistically luxurious they are. Here is a silhouette that will never go out of style. They should be your go to sneaker if they are in your closet.
 New Balance 574S
New Balance came out with some great styles and colorways this year, but even they will agree that 574S was one of their best. It’s amazing what a little texture and a subtle splash of color can do to a familiar design. Like Asics these sneakers can be worn as sneakers at the gym.
 WOOD WOOD x adidas Originals Gazelles
It’s a best of 2017 list. Madness and Mayhem accurately describes how most of us feel about this past year. So of course Wood Wood’s adidas Originals Gazelle’s deserve a spot on this list.
Another one of the Virgil Abloh’s “The Ten.” I have always been a fan of the Blazer Mid. They are the perfect sneaker to dress up with a suit. Trust me. This OFF-White version highlights some of the best qualities of the collaboration while enhancing one of my all time favorite Nike silhouettes.
 Converse Fastbreak
The one sneaker re-release this year that should be in everyone’s closet is the Converse Faskbreak. Every color way more iconic than the last. These are perfect for kicking around the neighborhood. Plus they look better as they age.
 adidas EQT Cushion
One of our picks for the most comfortable sneaker of the year that does not sacrifice on style is the adidas EQT Cushion. These come in a few color ways but the black is pretty damn sexy.
 Karhu Sychron Classics
The sneakers I kept seeing more and more this year were the Karhu Sychon Classics and for good reason. They feel iconic but not trying too hard. And to be honest they are mad comfortable. Really looking forward to seeing what this brand does next.
 Kaws Air Jordan IV
The Kaws Air Jordan IV may be at the top of many sneakerhead’s list this year. I am big fan of the Jordan IV — might be my favorite Jordan silhouette. I also really dig the gray and the glow in the dark sole. This sneaker might have been higher on my list a couple years ago when I couldn’t get enough Jordan IVs.
 Tyler, The Creator x Converse Golf le FLEUR
Besides Kanye, never has their been a collaboration between a musician and sneaker brand that made this much sense. You look at the Tyler, The Creator x Converse Golf le FLEUR and you get where Tyler, The Creator comes in and where Converse comes in. And best part it works, especially if you dig the colors.
 OFF-White x Air Vapormax
The last OFF-White x Nike on our list is not the Air Jordan 1’s (Although they would have been if this list was any longer), but the Air Vapormax. Nike went big with the Air Vapormax this year and at first I found them to fit well but look weird. Then Virgil Abloh got his hands on them and I saw their potential and their subtleness. I see where Nike is going and I like it.
 Nike x A Cold Wall Air Force 1 High
Probably more shoe than sneaker at this point but the Nike x A Cold Wall Air Force 1 Highs are pretty damn cool if you’re that gallery goer type of person.