Sneakers, for yet another year, dominated the greater footwear marketplace. There were several moments throughout 2017 that shook up the industry and sneaker culture, but there were 10 in particular that people will be speaking about for years to come.
Check out 10 of the top sneaker moments from 2017.
The Release of Nike x Virgil Abloh “The Ten”
The designer’s deconstructed sneaker collection with the Swoosh, which features FN’s Shoe of the Year, was an undeniable fan favorite. Looks including the reimagined Air Jordan 1 and Air Presto are among the most sought after on the secondary market.
Adidas Drops its Parley for the Oceans Ultra Boosts
Several iterations of Adidas’ acclaimed Ultra Boosts made with ocean plastic (roughly 11 bottles per pair) hit stores throughout the year. The environmentally-friendly performance running shoes were a hit with sneaker fans and runners alike.
Under Armour Rebounds With the Curry 4
Fans did not react favorably to the Curry 3, with its chunkier design and the waning popularity of basketball sneakers largely responsible. But the Baltimore-based brand rebounded when NBA All-Star Stephen Curry debuted the Curry 4 during the 2017 NBA Finals. The knit upper has attracted even those who disliked past Curry designs.
Nike Launches its Air VaporMax Silhouette
An Air Max style with just an upper sitting atop an air bag with no midsole is something fans of the sneaker franchise have dreamed of. And Nike made it a reality this year. Its acclaimed Air VaporMax turned heads this year with every colorway and collab released.
The Arrival of the Yeezy Boost 700 Wave Runner
If you thought the love for rap star Kanye West’s sneaker creations would slow down in 2017, you were wrong. The introduction of new styles, most notably the Yeezy Boost 700 Wave Runner, kept West’s shoes on the feet of sneaker enthusiasts.
Adidas Unveils its 4D Futurecraft Sneakers
Here’s how Adidas described the process of making 4D Futurecraft sneakers to Footwear News in April: It is a process that uses digital light projection, oxygen-permeable optics, and programmable liquid resins to generate high-performance, durable polymeric products. Get it? If not, it’s OK, the shoes are innovative and will be a big part of Adidas’ future. You’ll have plenty of time to learn about them.
Converse Collabs With Rap Star Tyler, the Creator
Tyler, the Creator collabed with Converse on the brand’s One Star model, and months after it sold out in seconds, the label gave him his own shoe. The Golf le Fleur dropped in November.
Ronnie Fieg’s Nike Collaborations
Late in the year, FN’s Collaborator of the Year delivered stellar silhouettes with Nike, including reimagined classic looks worn by NBA legend Scottie Pippen. But he didn’t stop there. In December, he unveiled shoes designed for basketball star LeBron James.
Jeff Staple Releases a New “Pigeon” Dunk with Nike
The first Nike “Pigeon” Dunk SB was a classic. And legendary designer Jeff Staple followed up the look 12 years later with the release of the “Black Pigeon.” The style had lines wrapped around the New York City streets on release day.
LaVar Ball Ships Big Baller Brand Sneakers
The eldest Ball said his oldest son, Lonzo, would play basketball in his own signature shoe when he entered the NBA, and he fulfilled that promise. The ZO2: Prime Remix is out now, available via bigballerbrand.com. He also introduced a shoe for his youngest son, LaMelo, the Melo Ball 1, which ships in February 2018. And a shoe for his middle son, LiAngelo, is also on the way.