Photo: Eboni (IG: @Eboni.y)
  /  12.31.2022

What’s up, everyone? I’m Legendary Lade and I’m back with my final column of the year. My Top 10 sneakers of 2022! Without further ado, let’s get right into them.

10. Tom Sachs x NikeCraft: General Purpose Shoe

Release Date: June 10, 2022

Coming in at No. 10 on my list is the NikeCraft: General Purpose shoe in the studio colorway by NYC-based contemporary artist Tom Sachs. Almost as important as its sleek, minimalistic design is its message that shunned everything sneaker culture stands for today. All hype aside, this was a much-needed, beautifully restrained release this year.

9. Martine Rose x Nike Shox MR4 Mule

Release Date: July 7, 2022

What do you get when you mix a traditional Nike Shox with a heel by one of the most intriguing London-based designers? An elegant sophisticated take on the Nike Shox that no one knew they needed but made so much sense! Kudos to Martine Rose for the unexpected but pleasant twist.

8.  Joe Fresh Goods x New Balance 993 “Performance Art” in Powder Pink

Release Date:  Oct. 7, 2022 

Joe Fresh Goods had a phenomenal year with New Balance but his “Performance Art” series stood out the most. Particularly the 993 powder pink pair that is equal parts delicate and desirable. It’s always great to see New Balance give creatives the space and resources they need to fully harness their ideas. It’s a win for all involved.

7. Off-White x AF1 “Brooklyn”

Release Date: Sept. 15, 2022

Not much needs to be said about the Off-White “Brooklyn” AF1s. Despite being released in the same year as another very hyped AF1 collab by the same designer, the Brooklyn AF1s still managed to be one of the most desirable launches this year. Credit the colorway, credit the Brooklyn Museum exhibition, credit Virgil Abloh… Any way you credit it, these just hit!

6. Travis Scott x AJ1 Low OG “Reverse Mocha”

Release Date: July 21, 2022

Travis Scott can do no wrong with his AJ1 series, and a lot of credit is due to him for his part in revitalizing the AJ1 Low and making it desirable again. It was a tough choice between these or the “Black Phantoms,” but the “Reverse Mochas” solidified their spot because of the color contrast and quality material used.

5. A Ma Maniere x Air Jordan 4

Release Date: Nov. 23, 2022

At this point, we need the A Ma Maniere team to take on every Jordan number! Consistent storytelling, quality material usage, and seamless rollouts have become the norm for every collab they approach. The AMA 4s are just the latest in a consistent lineup of collabs where luxurious materials and details take centerstage.

4. Jordan 2 Retro OG “Chicago”

Release Date: Dec. 30, 2022

While it took years to get the Chicago 2s back on the market, they did not disappoint. The 2s inherently denote luxury, having been originally made in Italy. Add in the sharp details and traditional Jordan construction, and even the harshest sneaker critics were sated.

3. Air Jordan 1 “Lost and Found”

Release Date: Nov. 19, 2022

The Lost and Found 1s are self-explanatory on any Top 10 list. What’s not to love? You have the classic colorway, the white toe box, red panels with the Swoosh in black, and aged detailing throughout the sneaker. Once again proving nostalgia is the way to the hearts and pockets of sneakerheads worldwide!

2. Nike SB Dunk Low x Concepts “Orange Lobster”

Release Date: Dec. 2, 2022

This year was the perfect storm for the release of the Concepts “Orange Lobster” dunks. Months of speculation and random on-foot sightings finally gave way to its official release, which did not disappoint. The latest colorway in a decade-long collab series made its mark and the special box inspired by Salvador Dali was the extra icing on the cake.

1. Louis Vuitton x Nike AF1 “Gold”

Release Date: July 19, 2022

There’s a lot of debate about why these shouldn’t be on any list but without a doubt, the LV x Nike AF1 “Gold” is my No. 1 sneaker this year. So luxurious in its material usage while paying homage to the 40th Anniversary of the AF1 silhouette, it’s the perfect rags-to-riches story for a sneaker that used to be so heavily bootlegged. Kudos to Virgil for even getting so many styles into production.

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