Last year’s Sneaker News Top 30 list was a smash hit with readers, so with 2010 coming to a close, it’s time to get down to business again and reveal our selections for the year’s best sneaker offerings. Anyone can make a list of their favorite sneakers, but the aim of the SN Top 30 is to capture a cross-section of the shoes that made the biggest impact on the sneaker world in the last year. After scouring all the countless kicks that dropped in 2010, we began narrowing down the best of the best and eventually put together what we felt to be a strong representation of the finest footwear to release during the last 365 days. The tentative top 30 choices were then passed along to members of our staff and other sneaker associates to rank from 1 to 30, with the average results eventually going on to become the final order for the official Sneaker News Top 30 Sneakers of 2010 list.
In retrospect, 2010 shaped up to be a year full of diversity with a nice blend of new showstoppers mixed with some tried and true favorites, as well as some notable high-profile collaborations and new takes on some classic designs. With the 25th anniversary of the Air Jordan line being honored in 2010, Jordan Brand showed no signs of letting up on their sneaker culture stranglehold. In addition to the Silver Anniversary collection, JB brought back some favorites like the Cool Grey XI, AJKO and Infrared VI’s to help further ignite the celebration, but it was some new colorways like the Doernbecher Air Jordan III Retro and Bin 23 Collection that stole much of the year’s attention.
With Jordan Brand holding down the Retro game, Nike Basketball continued to dominate the performance b-ball market thanks to the introduction of the Hyperfuse and strong new signature models designed for LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant. For those with more of a fondness for the older Nike Basketball catalog, the beloved Air Foamposite One showed up once again, this time in a clever ‘Dirty Copper’ colorway that hit retailers a few months
before the coveted foam material also found its way onto another Nike B-Ball icon, the legendary Air Force 1 High. The presence of the AF1 Low was also felt courtesy of the ’5 Boroughs’ pack that dropped alongside the summer’s WBF festivities in NYC.
Over in the lifestyle arena, Nike Sportswear’s team-up with Dutch dynamic duo Parra and Patta became an overnight sensation while new stunners like the Lunar Woven Chukka and Lunar Macleay made some more subtle statements of their own. The Jeremy Scott x adidas Originals pairing continued to operate and flourish outside of the box while other collaborations like the Burn Rubber x New Balance, Missoni x Converse Chucks and Ronnie Fieg x Asics Gel Lyte III ‘Cove’ got some love of their own despite some less over-the-top approaches to their respective projects. In addition to the Jeremy Scott line, adidas also made their mark in the lifestyle market with the introduction of the Fortitude Mid and the launch of their sprawling Star Wars capsule.
2010 was a relatively quiet year in the skate shoe world with perennial powerhouse Nike SB seemingly taking a few steps back in terms of creativity. Despite a noticeable dip in must-have SB releases, the edgy ‘Skunk’ Dunks and latest Supreme collaboration reminded SB fans that the brand definitely still has a few tricks left up their sleeves. And speaking of unexpected surprises, Reebok made a nice comeback this past year with the introduction of their new ‘Zig’ line and the signing of top NBA Draft pick, John Wall.
Whether Zig technology and some of the other hot topics of 2010 will persevere onward to thrive in the new year is yet to be seen, but it’s a fact that there was plenty of tantalizing sneaker news to keep us all busy during the last year. Continue reading to check out the complete Top 30 Sneakers of 2010 feature and see where your own personal favorites ranked on our list. And stay tuned for a new interactive feature coming soon, where you’ll be able to throw in your own two cents on the best sneaker releases from 2010.