What’s up, everybody! It’s Legendary Lade and I’m back with another Kickin’ Facts column. What a year 2021 has been for sneaker releases! We’ve seen everything from hyped Jordan collaborations to the continued dominance of Nike Dunks. New Balance also had a stellar year, solidifying themselves as a worthy player in the Sneaker world. For my last two columns of the month, I’ll be counting down my Top 10 sneakers of the year. My picks are purely preference-based and while you all may not agree with all my selections, I’m sure you’ll appreciate most of them.
Let’s get into it.
We have the Aime Leon Dore x New Balance 550 in “Natural Green.” As I said earlier, New Balance definitely had a great year and this pair is one of the main reasons why. Comfortable, stylish, affordable, and bound to age well, you can’t beat this model in this subtle colorway. Beloved by models, hypebeasts, and regular Joe Smhoe dads in the country alike, it was one of my most worn sneakers this year without a doubt. I can’t wait to see what NB brings in 2022.
After years of teasing, the Yeezy 450 “Cloud White” was a breath of fresh air in the Yeezy line-up when they debuted in March. From the sock-like upper to the ridged midsole/outsole, it’s a stylish and conceptual-looking sneaker all in one. Kanye has solidified that Yeezy is a brand of many desirable silhouettes.
The Off-White x Nike Dunk Low “The 50” series was such a bold undertaking by Virgil Abloh that there’s no way it couldn’t make my Top 10 list! I chose “Lot 1” because it’s the cleanest pair in my opinion with varying laces, a zip-tie tag, numbered midsole badge, and crisp industrial text. Much respect to Virgil for these.
The New Balance 2002R “Protection Pack” is arguably the best New Balances to come out this year. I chose the “Rain Cloud” pair because they are uniquely deconstructed with premium suedes, leather, and mesh on top of NB’s classic ABZORB midsole and N-ergy outsole. This pair invokes everything I could possibly want in a sneaker: texture, design, and desirability.
We have the Lanvin Leather CURB sneakers. While these first debuted on the runway of fashion house Lanvin in January 2020, the CURB had a very impressive year. Look no further than basketball tunnels, Instagram posts to “in real life” and you’ll see these sneakers. Inspired by the Vans “Osiris,” the CURBS have a chunky thick sole with a rounded toe and two sets of laces. What I like most about them is how they compliment everything. You could be wearing the most modest outfit and voila put these on and instantly you have a fashionable look.
What do you think of my list so far? Stay tuned for my Top 5 next week!