MEMORABLE KICKS OF 2018

2018 was a mix of retro meets “chunky, dad shoe” meets new silhouettes that challenged conventional norms. New technology and new material were incorporated in updated classics. Nike reclaimed the technology thrown from adidas and PUMA didn’t waste any time throwing punches this year. Here is our list of the 20 Best Sneakers that released in 2018. If you disagree, please feel free to add in the comment section.

[1] Nike React Element 87

Best Sneakers 2018

This is hands down the sneaker of 2018. Nike put to rest the whole debate about whether or not they were loosing to adidas in the tech and design department (for now at least). Nike’s React Element 87 is named after the element Francium (which is #87 and most explosive). This kick offers all the latest in Nike technology including its React cushioning foam and lightweight, transparent upper. The OG colorway current starts at $525 on Flight Club with other colorways at a more affordable $180.

[2] Sean Wotherspoon x Nike Air Max 91/1

Best Sneakers 2018

Released on March 26 as part of Air Max Day, these Sean Wotherspoon were perhaps the most sought-after sneaker of 2018. As we wrote earlier this year “according to Nike, Wotherspoon turned to his closest friends and family to create a shoe that reflects his ‘by this community, for the community’ focus.” These start for $690 on Flight Club.

[3] Off-White x Air Jordan 1

Best Sneakers 2018

These are the cleanest of the Off-White x Nike collaboration. Virgil Abloh also devoted a colorway to Michael Jordan’s alma mater, UNC. Both are pretty dope. Both deserve to be on this list. The all white pair is starting at the obscene $1,790 on Flight Club while the Jordan 1 Retro High Off-White “Off White UNC” pair is starting at the more “reasonable” $950 on Flight Club.

Best Sneakers 2018

[4] Yeezy Wave Runner

Best Sneakers 2018

These are one of the most hyped up shoes this year thanks to Kanye West and the Kardashian crew. The Yeezy Wave Runner nails the “cool dad chunky shoe” trend. We dig the pop of color. They are currently starting at $415 on Flight Club and $395 at Stadium Goods.

[5] Nike x Off-White Presto “Black & White”

Best Sneakers 2018

One of the most hyped sneakers of the year (and last) the duo of black and white Air Prestos from Nike x Off-White’s Virgil Abloh are some of the most comfortable but complex sneakers to release this year. You can find these starting for $570 in white and $660 in black on Flight Club (whites are far less than the original which starts at $1700).

[6] PUMA x ADER ERROR RS-100 Sneakers

Best Sneakers 2018

These super retro Puma x Ader Error provided a new sneaker silhouette we didn’t know we wanted. Based in Seoul, Ader Error is an artist collective, working together to change the landscape of modern art and fashion. With the RS-100 Sneakers, they are on their way. These retail for $180 at Puma.com.

[7] Yeezy Powerphase Calabasas in Black

Best Sneakers 2018

The gray version made it into last years “Best Sneaker Releases of 2017.” Ordinarily releasing a new colorway wouldn’t warrant a position on this list; however, the Yeezy Powerphase in black is the perfect shoe to dress up and dress down. There is no reason in our book you can’t wear these with a tux.  They are starting for $119 at Stadium Goods.

[8] adidas Continental 80

 

No, it’s not the same as the Yeezy Calabasas above. These original adidas kicks dropped in 1980 and were untouched until re-released in 2018. Here is your go-to vintage looking sneaker at the affordable price of $80 on adidas.com. They also come in an array of colorways.

[9] PUMA Thunder Spectra

Best Sneakers 2018

Puma came out swinging in 2018 with the release of the Alexander McQueen inspired PUMA Thunder Spectra. They provided a quick look at what Puma was planning on releasing this year. These retro, chunky, color-block kicks were originally launched in Harlem, and only 500 pairs were initially made available. We originally featured these in our “15 Chunky Sneakers We Have Our Eyes On Right Now” in January 2018. Today you can find them starting at $130 on Flight Club.

[10] Engineered Garments x Hoka One One Tor Ultra Low

Best Sneakers 2018

One of Hoka’s most rugged silhouettes, the Tor features a waterproof/breathable E-Vent membrane and rests atop a rugged Vibram® outsole and thickly cushioned midsole. The “maximalist” cushioning of Hoka footwear offers more cushioning than any other shoe while maintaining an overall light weight. These are currently sold out everywhere, but we predict these will pop up again in the new year.

[11] Nike Air Jordan 3 “Tinker”

Best Sneakers 2018

Sometimes adding a logo is a good thing. Tinker Hatfield’s original Air Jordan III sketch finally came to life to celebrate 30 years of the iconic model. When these released earlier this year, we wrote, “The Jordan 3 has maintained its position as one of the best Jordan silhouettes, and by purchasing these, you will have a streetwear classic you can wear the rest of your life.” The “Tinker” is starting for $230 on Flight Club.

[12] Nike x A-Cold-Wall* Zoom Vomero +5

Best Sneakers 2018

Much like the Puma x Ader Error RS-100 Sneakers, Nike x A-Cold-Wall* alters an iconic silhouette with an exaggerated heel piece — which apparently is the newest trend in sneakers. We dig the deconstructed and repurposed look here. These are currently sold out everywhere but we are hoping for a wider release.

[13] COMME des GARÇONS Homme Plus x Nike Air Max 180

Best Sneakers 2018

First shown during SS18 Paris Fashion Week, these Air Max 180s released in three colorways. All in a variation of vibrant pink. During a time where chunky dad sneakers were the trend, COMME des GARÇONS bucked the trend, stayed true to themselves and went after the EDMer in all of us. The COMME des GARÇONS Homme Plus were exclusively sold at Dover Street Market. We featured them in our “12 Best Spring 2018 Sneakers” list.  These are currently ranging from $250 to $475 on Flight club.

[14] Kiko Kostadinov x ASICS GEL-BURZ 2

Best Sneakers 2018

These are up there in the cult shoes of the year conversation. They are hard to find and the people who have them and wear them swear by them. Some call them the most comfortable shoes they have ever worn. The colorways are inspired by traditional Bulgarian pottery and feature FoamFlyte sole that delivers both form and function.  You can find them in some sizes on Flight Club starting at $285.

[15] adidas Originals Yung 1

Best Sneakers 2018

These remixed versions of an old adidas Falkendorf sneaker were first released in June and later received exclusive versions with multiple streetwear brands. And most notably a Dragon Ball Z version.  These were perhaps the best adidas launch of 2018 and are featured in our “15 Chucky Sneakers” list at the beginning of the year. They have the right amount chunk with the right about of versatility to stay on trend but reach a broader audience. You can find these in various colorways at adidas for $120. Or in white starting at $145 at Flight Club.

 

[16] Nike M2K Tekno

Best Sneakers 2018

Nike modernized their cult-classic Monarch silhouette to bring us the chunky, dad-friendly, M2K Tekno. Yes, it looks and feels like it could be a Yeezy shoe (or that this original silhouette could have influenced Yeezy’s?)  You can find these on Nike in multiple colorways for $100.

 

[17] Serena Williams’ Off-White x Nike Blazers

Best Sneakers 2018

Introduced as part of Virgil Abloh’s “Queen” collection the Blazers are hot. A white and gray upper is complemented by neon yellow detailing, a pink to purple to gray midsole. Plus who can forget Serena Williams 2018 comeback year? They are currently starting for $800 on Flight Club.

[18] Nike Air Max 98 “Gundam”Best Sneakers 2018

The “Gundam” colorway of what might be Nike’s oddest Air Max, the Air Max 98, is a nod to the RX-78-2 suit from the Gundam sci-fi series. What the Nike Air Max 98 “Gundam” has going for it in 2018 was the nostalgic ’90s silhouette, primary colors, the chunky dad feels, and it’s sci-fi influences. Perhaps if one sneaker personified 2018, it would be the Nike Air Max 98 “Gundam.” In many ways, it’s like a bulldog. The longer you look at these, the more you start to find them hot. These are starting at $350 on Flight Club.

[19] Balenciaga Track

Best Sneakers 2018

First seen during their AW18 runway show in April, the Balenziaga Track sneakers are the latest in Balenziaga’s cult sneaker lineup. You might scoff at Balenciaga, but you cannot deny the impact they have had on the sneaker market. These are currently being sold for $895 on Mr. Porter.

[20] Nike x Tom Sachs Mars Yard Oveshoe

Best Sneakers 2018

We have to hand it to Nike and Tom Sachs for all the hype around the release of the “overshoe.” Currently, there is only a size 10 available on Flight Club, and it’s going for $2450. Yes, you read that right. It’s a sneaker you may never see in the real world, and for that reason, it deserves its spot on this list.