‘Best of” lists are usually a source of much controversy, as opinions will always differ on any debatable topic. So, when we started to put together our Top 30 Sneakers of 2009 list, we got as many opinions as possible, asking our entire staff and some friends in the industry to rank their favorites from the year. Each individual list was then indexed and used to create composite rankings, ensuring that a variety of opinions would be factored into the final Top 30. The result is a comprehensive list of all the kicks that made our cut this year, along with some crisp photos and background info on each.
2009 was a big year for sneakers, no matter what your areas of interest may be. Jordan lovers were treated to quite a nice year thanks to the return of some beloved classics like the True Blue Air Jordan III, and of course, the almighty Space Jams, with new looks like the Toro Bravo pack and the Sixty Plus proving to be solid additions. Staying inside the basketball realm, Nike b-ball had a huge 2009 thanks to the overwhelming popularity of the Zoom Kobe IV and then, the Air Max LeBron VII. Both lines already had a nice following, but the latest signature models for Nike’s two biggest names were met with glowing receptions and strong sales to match.
Nike Sportswear also kicked things into high gear with a nice variety of both new and retro releases. A ton of people were excited to see the return of the Air Griffey Max 1 and the Foamposite, as well as new hybrid models like the Air 1/2 Cent and the Air Maxim 1 Trainer. The LIVESTRONG Greatest Hits pack, on the other hand, provided a
nice blend of old and new thanks to the Black/Varsity Maize color scheme being applied to several of Nike’s most coveted “grails.”
While many sneakerheads were beginning to lose faith in Nike SB, the line came back strong enough to keep many collectors around. The release of the elusive Gucci Dunk Highs and Blue Lobster Dunks created a nice buzz for SB, and the introduction of the Stefan Janoski pro model proved that there were still plenty of new places to take their skate designs. Also helping out the Nike SB cause was the release of the Supreme x Nike SB Bruin, always a welcome combination for collaborations, not to mention the start of a new age for the classic Bruin.
Of course, that wasn’t the only hot collaboration of the year. The biggest team-ups of 2009 both involved Kanye West, who put his stylish touches on successful footwear projects with Nike and Louis Vuitton. Other big collaborations of note included UNDFTD’s partnerships with both Converse and Puma and Reebok’s ambitious Pump20 retailer collaboration collection. Last but not least, CLOT’s Air Force 1 and the DQM Air Max 90 Current Huarache also turned plenty of heads with their respective collabos.
Aside from the aforementioned 2009 kicks, there was plenty more heat floating around, so take your time going through our list of the Top 30 Sneakers of 2009 for a recap of the hottest styles from the past year. Feel free to share your opinions on the best kicks of 2009, and let us know if there was anything else that you think should have made the cut. Special thanks to Osneaker, Flight Club NY and Premium Laces.