2017 will go down as one of the best years in recent sneaker memory and we’re going to start taking a look back at it all in a series of new editorial. To kick start the fun we’ve selected our picks for the 10 best hype sneakers of the year. The criteria for this list is simple; the shoes had to be in heavy demand (and in turn have high resell) and also have been difficult to acquire but not impossible (F&F pairs, charity raffles, etc are excluded). With that said, take a look at our picks for the best hype releases of 2017 and let us know which ones you were lucky enough to cop!
#10 - adidas x Pharrell NMD Hu Trail
adidas and Pharrell Williams made a huge splash this past November by releasing not one but four colourways of their ever-popular NMD Hu silhouette. The drop brought in a significant amount of BOOST hype to a year that saw a decreasing excitement for adidas drops not named Yeezys.
#9 - Nike x UNDFTD Air Max 97
2017 was a big year for Nike with the resurgence of the original Air Max 97. California’s UNDFTD came in and took the silhouette to a whole new level by adding their own flare of red/green stripes along the upper of the entire shoe with their own branding in white. Aside from the Off-white 97s, the UNDFTD collection goes down as the most coveted 97s to release this year.
#8 - Air Jordan 1 High "Top 3 Gold"
What we all thought was initially an exclusive to ComplexCon 2017 and then rumoured for a February 2018 re-release, Jordan Brand surprised everyone by dropping the full patent leather Air Jordan 1 in the “Top 3 Gold” colourway mimicking 2016’s original “Top 3” release featuring a mismatch of black, white and gold palettes. While you could argue the Aleali May x Air Jordan 1 is just as deserving at this spot, we give the nod to the “Top 3 Gold” due to it being the more coveted release of the two.
#7 - adidas Consortium x HAVEN Ultra Boost Uncaged
We couldn’t make a top 10 list without some 🇨🇦 love. adidas Consortium partnered up with Vancouver’s very own HAVEN to drop an uncaged, all-black Ultra Boost featuring premium leather accents, ATR detailing around the toebox for water-resistance and finished with a blacked-out BOOST midsole. This goes down as our favorite boost release of the year.
#6 - NikeLab x CLOT VaporMax Flyknit
The VaporMax will finish 2017 as one of the top 3 sneakers of 2017 for many people so it’s no surprise one colorway made this list. The special collaboration between NikeLab and Hong Kong celebrity Edison Chen’s CLOT made waves this past Summer with a bright all-red VaporMax Flyknit colourway that was both a head turner and incredibly difficult to obtain.
#5 - Nike x atmos Air Max 1 "Elephant"
Voted as the top Air Max model to re-release on this year’s Air Max Day (3/26), the special Air Max 1 collaboration with Japan’s atmos returned to thunderous applause. Sporting a jade Swoosh, Nike Air branding and a AJ3-inspired elephant print along the mudguard, this re-release was a must cop for Air Max fans and collectors.
#4 - adidas YEEZY 350 BOOST V2
We saw a total of six colourways of the highly coveted YEEZY 350 Boost V2 release this year from Kanye and adidas. Our selection for the best goes to the “Bred” colourway due to its simplicity and now rarity compared to other 2017 releases. While the “Zebra” might be the one that pops more to people, it also saw a much wider release than the Bred.
#3 - Air Jordan 4 Retro "KAWS"
Jordan Brand teamed up with famous street artist KAWS with a landmark collaboration of the iconic Air Jordan 4. Featuring a mix of premium grey suede, hand graphic etched designs by KAWS, and a glow-in-the-dark outsole, this sneaker stole everyone’s attention back in April and will continue to shine as one of the best collaborations ever from Jordan Brand.
#2 - Nike x Off-White "The Ten"
This collection of shoes needs no introduction as it likely populated your Instagram feeds the entire year and especially in November. If we had highlighted individual sneakers it would have likely completely taken over this list so we put the entire collection as our second spot. Nike gave Off-White’s Virgil Abloh not one but TEN shoes to rework as part of “The Ten” collection featuring his iconic deconstructed motif, orange tabs and red zip ties everywhere. Fans went crazy filling in whatever raffles they could find; those who got a W should feel grateful as you got to take home something very special.
#1 - NikeCraft x Tom Sachs Mars Yard 2.0
Rounding out our list is the Mars Yard 2.0 from Nike and Tom Sachs, a shoe inspired by Sachs’ interactions with NASA’s highly specialized scientists. Originally debuting back in 2012, the revamped Mars Yard 2.0 brought everything to the table that we want from a coveted and hyped release: limited availability, an amazing story, next level packaging and experiences that truly made it special (Space Camp). Tom Sachs and Nike’s top designers modelled the sneaker using the same materials used to create airbags for Mars rovers and brought one of the most unique packaging you’ll ever see from a sneaker. Nike even went as far as to make an entire website dedicated to the shoes story and release.
THESE SHOES ARE ONLY VALID IF WORN – Tom Sachs