It’s that time of the year where everyone does their top 10 lists of the year. Hope you like them because I personally despise them. But none the less I am doing one simply to put my own spin on the lists. What’s that spin you ask? It is a genuine and honest look at what I actually bought and truly wore. Disclaimer, a few of these I was seeded but I actually where them because I love them.
Now lets get started!
Actually this list isn’t top 10 but top 9 styles and technically it is 11 shoes.
1 :: FlyKnit Racer ::
I have seriously considered selling my whole collection to gain the funds necessary to buy every pair of these but that seems slightly excessive so I will pass. I write about this shoe way too much, so I will keep it short and to the point, this is the perfect shoe to me. This is my Eames Chair. This is my 911. This is my perfect pair. And these were the two I wore the most of my Racer collection this year.
2 :: Free FlyKnit 4.0 ::
This is the shoe I wore the most. I seriously fought hard not to wear this everyday. It is comfortable. It is lightweight. It is pretty durable. I will say I debate heavily if I should have gone up a half size or not. Because when I put them on they are snug as hell but after a few minutes they stretch and form around my feet.
One thing I really love about this shoe is the colorway. Call it the Red October fad but I have always loved all red colorways in many products products before the Yeezy II hit. This shoe has an iconic feel to me. I think it will still look good years from now. I think what the Free FlyKnit 4.0 suffered from was over production and too many colorways. This was the first real play of FlyKnit being brought to the masses at an affordable price but the over saturation of colorways made them sit on shelves, which is par for the course of Free product lines. Plus the color-blocking was awkward at times. This shoe was way more successful when it had a tonal palette. None the less with the stock still high on these, and this colorway in particular, I will be grabbing an extra pair to hold on to after I destroy these.
3 :: LunaRacer 3 ::
This shoe, like the FlyKnit Racer, has been in production since 2012. I for one hope it never goes out of production. The silhouette is perfect and the original tooling, from 2008 may I add, still makes a bold statement and feels amazing under foot. Keep this iconic Running Flat around until the next revolutionary manufacturing technique can improve what it succeeds at. Because it is its use of processes that make it special. All areas of this shoe is executed at high level. It may not be new material but it is from a new perspective and that makes it stay fresh.
4 :: Kobe IX Elite ID ::
So this shoe clearly wasn’t photographed by me and that is because at the time of photographing the shoes for this list it was sitting under my in-laws Christmas tree. But I have them now and they are heavenly. They fit great and feel great. And the colorway is ill. I will save my full design perspective on them for a B’s Desk feature in the very near future but simply to the point it is everything a basketball shoe should be. It is the best Kobe since the V in my opinion. Get a pair, you won’t regret it.
5 :: Air Jordan I Pop’s ::
This shoe means a lot to me for a few reasons. One, I became a father this year. It is the best experience of my life and it only keeps getting better. Two, it was a gift from the Jordan Brand for being a father. It was a very significant and touching gift that I will never forget. It is easy to say when you receive something from a brand that you love it but I am telling the dead honest truth when I say I love these. The quality is perfect and in a year where damn near every Jordan I possible has come out this one takes top spot for non-original colorways. Plus they go perfectly with blue APC denim.
6 :: Jordan Future ::
This shoe is fantastic. While severely over saturated it still manages to stay fresh with its refresh of materials and colorways every season. It had hits and misses in its spectrum of releases but each version showed the breath and depth of what a simple pattern with an iconic sole unit can be.
Never have I seen a shoe that can range from $150-$375 and still be successful. It featured premium colorways like the one you see above to colorways that bordered on being team colorways all the way to luxury inspired materials that are fully woven leather. It was really a beautiful example of what a Color & Material design team can do for you. If I had it my way I would have picked up every one of the tweed colors that dropped this fall. It was so fresh and very unexpected to me.
The only thing this shoe can do to improve itself going into 2015 is having the Jordan Brand space out the releases more. Not necessarily the amount of styles but the rate at which they came. Like I said earlier it was over saturated and because of this the versions that were really successful didn’t always have the chance to shine because it was released with a plethora of other colorways that didn’t tell a significant story.
Fix that and the shoe will stay relevant.
7 :: Air Jordan XIII ::
I just did a B’s Desk on this iconic shoe so you can read more on that over there, but to keep it simple, it felt great to be able to get the shoe that inspired me to become the designer I am today. Thank you Jordan Brand.
8 :: Air Jordan XX9 ::
This shoe was my favorite basketball silhouette to wear this year. What started on the XX8 keeps accelerating with the XX9 as the Jordan Brand has turned their focus from creating products that celebrate Michael’s legacy to creating shoes that celebrate the innovation that he brought to the game. Without the Air Jordan the idea of telling a story through function wouldn’t exist within footwear but over the years that became lost as the shoe became a mascot to the brand. Thankfully that has all changed and the XX9 is the best example of this direction. It blends the best performance on the market with the most dynamic fit, feel and aesthetic on the market to make one of the most captivating Air Jordan’s ever.
It leaves me hyped to see where the XXX will take us.
9 :: Air Jordan VI ::
From a retro standpoint it was the year of the VI. Celebrating its 23rd anniversary this year, a number more significant then 25 to the brand, so they pulled out no stops in what they would offer for the VI. With as many dope material and color stories they did on the shoe, none were better then the iconic Infrared. I am very happy to add another pair of these to my collection, especially one that isn’t cracking and falling apart.