Just as every year has a defining news story, a defining fashion trend and a defining social movement, so too does it have a defining sneaker. You know the kind — the type that initially generates bulk hype through celebrity collaborations and limited-edition OG re-releases, only to eventually filter its way down into the Footlockers and JD Sports of the world. We're all too familiar with the cycle by now, and we've seen it in everything from the Adidas Stan Smith to the Vans Authentic.
Of course, that's not to say that it's not deserved in many respects. Sneakers don't stick around without having a certain timeless quality. You just have to get in before their stock peaks.
Based off the end of 2019 and the first few releases to generate hype this year in sneakerland, we're already starting to get a very good idea of the models that brands like Nike and Adidas have planned for a big 12 months to come. Thus, here's our tip on the kicks set to dominate the world of courtside appearances, high-fashion collabs and high-profile releases in 2020.
Vans Classic Slip-On
Classic Vans models like the Old-Skool and Sk8-hi have had a massive moment of late, proving popular with lifelong skaters and as a go-to sneaker for teenage schoolgirls in equal measure. Now though, with much of menswear taking a turn away from eye-catching silhouettes and big logos, for the more subtle-y minded, the classic slip-on could prove a popular choice. Ours are in plain white, thanks very much.
Nike Dunk SB
One of Nike's most iconic sneakers has had a very, very long cooling-off period since it dominated the scene back in the early 2000's, but late last year, the Dunk SB low made headlines once again when Nike re-released one of its most storied colourways — the Viotech — in December. Shortly after, Off-White dropped a reworked version of the model. Now, with skating set to take centre stage at the Olympics and a raft of colourways (including a Travis Scott 'Cactus Jack' collab) on the way, the SB Dunk is poised to have its biggest year in decades.
The Adidas Gazelle has firmly had its moment in the sun as the standard-bearer of Adidas's domination of '90s inspired Football wear. Now it's the Samba — a model that's set to be front and centre when Jonah Hill's Adidas collaboration is finally unveiled — that might become the Three Stripes' go-to model when it comes to capturing the vibe of the Terraces.
Asics Gel-Lyte III
We haven't seen much of Asics' more classic running models since the collab-heavy mid-years of the decade. But 2020 marks the 30th anniversary of the iconic split-tongue model, so expect a big year of releases to come from the old favourite of stores like KITH, Atmos and Beams.
Nike Air Max 90
It's been a few years now since the Air Max 90 really had a big year of re-releases, but to celebrate the model's 30th birthday, Nike have committed to bringing it back with their most faithful ever rendition of the iconic running shoe. At the very least, we can take a good stab at the model Nike will be basing Air Max day around this year.
Air Jordan 1 Low
Last year was firmly the year of the Air Jordan 1. Even if it wasn't particularly heavy on OG re-releases, collaborations with the likes of Travis Scott, Dior and Off-White were enough to send certain colourways into the stratosphere. Now, Nike seem to be turning their attention to the low-top variant, not only announcing that the Dior collaboration will include a Jordan 1 low, but a wealth of new colourways to hit store shelves soon.