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Best of 2018

2018 has been an interesting year in the sneaker community. The Yeezy hype seems to have gone, as well as the old school “first come, first serve” releases. While raffles are not a new thing, it surely feels like we will see a lot more of them in 2019. Meanwhile, stores have started to figure out new ways to give exclusive access to lucky consumers, including buying “sets” of shoes, and in some cases clothing, instead of just purchasing the actual release. Others have moved to social media to try and make everything as fair as possible.
In terms of releases, we have seen a big movement from Nike releasing collaborations on the classic Air Max 1 but also producing new silhouettes like the React 87. Meanwhile, Adidas seemed to lack in creating a hype for the the brand similar to the NMD and Ultra Boost era, but gave the fans a preview of how future footwear could look like with the futuristic 4D technology. 
Puma and Reebok dropped great retro silhouettes, Hikmet Sugoer's Sonra brand and KangaROOS showed that high quality footwear in low stock still can hype up their fans and Diadora chose to end the year with a homage to their fans. 
What were the most interesting happenings around the sneakers?

Over the past week, you have voted for your favorite releases, stores, brands, silhouettes and much more. So let’s get into it.

Best Release of 2018

Picture by  @One_man_army.07

Picture by @One_man_army.07

Sean Wotherspoon x Nike Air Max 97/1 (48.1%)

 
Picture by  @max.loewe

Picture by @max.loewe

Beams x Afew x Asics Gel Lyte III “Orange Koi” (12%)

 
Picture by  @Alizulfikar01  &  @Emilliogw

24 Kilates x Mita Sneakers x Mighty Crown x Diadora N90002 “Respect Over Hate” (9%)

 

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Worst Release of 2018

Picture by  StockX.com

Picture by StockX.com

Yeezy 350 “Frozen Yellow” (43%)

 
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Dragonball x Adidas Pack (30%)

 
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Off-White x Nike Zoom Fly (16%)

 

Best Brand of 2018

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Nike (68%)

 
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Diadora (10%)

 
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Asics (9%)

 

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Worst Brand of 2018

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Adidas (26%)

 
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Puma (19%)

 
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Reebok (14%)

 

Best Storyline / Inspiration For A Release of 2018

Picture by  @Yukigraphics

Picture by @Yukigraphics

Highsnobiety x Hikmet Sugoer x Diadora Pack (50%)

 
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Concepts x New Balance Made In UK 991.5 “Lake Havasu” (25%)

 
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YourID x New Balance 574 “Barista” (14%)

 

Worst Storyline / Inspiration For A Release of 2018

Picture by  @Kickposters

Picture by @Kickposters

Off-White x Nike “The Ten” Collection (62%)

 
Picture by  @Jotaese27  &  @Aintfussed

Picture by @Jotaese27 & @Aintfussed

24 Kilates x Asics Gel Lyte III “Express” (18%)

 
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Overkill x Kangaroos “Adam & Eve” Pack (16%)

 

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Best Sneaker Silhouette of 2018

Picture by  StockX.com

Picture by StockX.com

Nike Air Max 1 (29%)

 
Picture by  @Theoze

Picture by @Theoze

Nike React 87 (22%)

 
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Nike Air Jordan 1 (20%)

 

Best Sneaker Collaboration With A Non-Fashion Brand

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Dragonball Z x Adidas Pack (50%)

 
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Sega x Puma Pack (26%)

 
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Hot Wheels x Puma (16%)

 

Best Sneaker Collaboration With A Fashion Brand

Picture by  @Kickposters

Picture by @Kickposters

Off-White x Nike “The Ten Collection” (35%)

 
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Carhartt x Nike Pack (22%)

 
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United Arrows x Kith x New Balance Pack (19%)

 

Best Sneaker Packaging (Box, Accessories, Design)

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Beams x Afew x Asics Gel Lyte III “Orange Koi” (64%)

 
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Dragonball Z x Adidas Pack (13%)

 
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Afew x Kangaroos Coil-R1 “Mighty Forest” (11%)

 

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Best Sneaker Shop of 2018

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Afew (32%)



 
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End. (15%)

 
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24 Kilates (14%)

 

Worst Sneaker Shops of 2018

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Offspring (32%)

 
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Size? (19%)

 
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End. (13%)


We asked some of our writers for their opinion:

Picture by  @Mvximoustach

Picture by @Mvximoustach

@100bandits

Sean Wotherspoon x Nike Air Max 97/1

To be honest, I really didn’t want to pick this shoe. The reason being: it’s too obvious. The Wotherspoon 97/1 was without a doubt one of the most overhyped shoes of the year and I didn’t even manage to land a pair. And maybe that’s partly the reason why I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Because maybe had I tried them on I would’ve learned that they aren’t comfy (I’ve yet to try on a pair of Nikes that was could live up to Asics’ gel or Adidas’ boost). And maybe had I seen them in person and touched them with my own hands I would have been less than thrilled with the quality compared to any Sonra or Kangaroos or Diadora. But I haven’t. This pair was the first Nike (maybe ever) that I truly tried hard to land, unsuccessfully every time, even fruitlessly entering any contest I could find to win a pair after release and tapping my European friends for a chance at an exclusive UK restock. The Nike Air Max 1 is arguably Nike’s best silhouette, and I’ve heard comparisons between that and my favourite silhouette, the Asics Gel-Lyte III (however much I feel like the latter is infinitely incomparable), and I’m even though I’m not a fan of the Air Max 97, something about the combination of midsole and upper from the two shoes strikes gold. For me, everything that makes this shoe perfect is what surprises me that it was such a hyped release in the first place: the bright pastels, particularly the dominance of yellow, not a particularly attractive sneaker colour (name me one other yellow sneaker with remotely as much hype, and Yeezy Frozen Yellows don’t count—those are flat out terrible and were hyped based only on exclusivity, of which there is now none); an upper done entirely in corduroy of all materials—corduroy has worked before (Patta AM1s), but on much more palatable colourways; a shoe designed by a relatively unknown collector, a dorky dad from Richmond, Virginia, not some mega-high-profile celebrity or designer. It’s bright, it’s offensive, it’s out there—and that’s exactly what I love in a shoe. It’s the perfect fusion of two models that had yet to be discovered, and bringing corduroy to the bizarre wavy panels of the AM97 upper made it just the right amount of crazy. It’s a rainbow wave on a decade-away retro air pocket midsole. I’m not one for hype, and there have been times I’ve genuinely grown tired of a sneaker because of the hype around it. ‘It’s not worth all that,’ I think. But this sneaker was different. The fact that the hype around this release didn’t kill my interest, and a resell price of $600+ USD has me still hunting for this shoe both say something. I’m sure there are many people out there who bought the shoe solely based on its hype or resell value—and that’s fine, but that’s for another opinion article—but that’s not my style. Or maybe I did just buy into the hype—I’m just too starry-eyed to notice.

I’m not a sneakerhead who buys every shoe, sometimes simply because I live in the southwest corner of Canada and not much shows up here, and sometimes because I’d rather spend my money on catching up on old, harder-to-find releases. The 97/1 simply eluded me at every turn, but I’m not giving up that easily. For me, any shoe is really just a matter of time, and my pick for sneaker of 2018 will show up on my feet one day, just you wait. Then I will finally know: Did it deserve the crown?

Honourable Mentions:

I was really close to picking all of these: the Asphaltgold x Asics Gel-DS Trainer “Jugendstil” was the first colourway on this silhouette that made me fall in love with this shoe, one of my favourite pick-ups of the year and one of the comfiest; the Sonra Proto x 24 Kilates “Saffron” put a gorgeous pop of colour on one of the most premium quality sneakers in the game; Hikmet Sugoer x Highsnobiety x Diadora N9002, a perfect colourway; Afew x Kangaroos “Might Forest”; Sonra Proto “Pink Robin”, or just about any other Sonra this year; and the list goes on: Mizuno and Sneep came out of nowhere to have amazing years, Nike re-introduced some excellent retros, and Asics had a strong comeback from a slow 2017.

 

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Picture by  @Ash.148

Picture by @Ash.148

@Francesco108197

When I read or listen to sneakerhead’s opinions about best release of the year, I never see someone choosing an Adidas pair. Many of us were disappointed by the german giant and, to be honest, I haven’t copped any shoes with the three stripes in 2018. But the paradox is that my “award” goes to its Futurecraft 4D, in the OG ash green color. Produced in a ridiculously limited amount and sold at a crazy price (300 $), this highly anticipated silhouette was released on January 18th just in NYC area. Impossible to cop for me, they have soon become my 2018 grail. The plain primeknit black upper and the revolutionary midsole created with “light and oxygen” made it an instant classic, even if this technological construction seemed to be the main reason for such a limited production. They reminded me the days when Adidas ruled with the NMDs, before saturating the market as it’s now happening with Yeezys. Other Consortium releases followed this one, with some really interesting collaborations (Invincible, Sneakersnstuff, Footpatrol, Daniel Arsham, Kith and a previously F&F only pair), but I didn’t like none of them more than the OG.

 
Picture by  @Max.loewe

Picture by @Max.loewe

@Max.loewe

I have to go with the with the popular opinion and pick the Sean Wotherspoon designed Air Max 97/1 Hybrid that was released on 3.26 as Air Max Day Special. I voted for the pair at the Nike website the year before and waited patiently for them to finally come out. All teasers by Sean hyped me up a bit more. Finally in my hands I was amazed by them: flashy colors, corduroy upper and a unique hybrid out of two of my favorite Nike silhouettes. A personal reason that makes them special for me is the fact my friend Oliver did everything he could to get me this pair for retail price after my chances here in Germany went against 0%. But all in all, is the Sean Wotherspoon assisted 97/1 really living up to everyone’s expectations? For me they do. Materials, colors, Sean as designer and the unique look make them 100% my pair of the year. So Mr. Wotherspoon, now please make Nike produce the sample pairs. Need those aswell. More 97/1 for me!