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Top Ten Sneaker Releases of the Year 2022

December 29, 2022 10:23 AM
Top Ten Sneaker Releases of the Year 2022

It’s that time of year again; Sneakerjagers’ Sneaker of the Year 2022. We’ve compiled our top 10, and hopefully you’ve already cast your vote for your top three for the chance to win the Sneaker of the Year, as voted by you, in your size from our partner StockX.

There were a plethora of high calibre releases throughout the year, but somehow, we’ve narrowed it down. Nike, Jordan Brand and New Balance reigned supreme in 2022, and here’s who made the cut, and why…

Jordan 1 Retro High OG Lost and Found

Not to get ahead of ourselves… but talk to any Jordan-head and they’ll say the sneaker of the year came late in the game for 2022; the Jordan 1 Retro High OG Lost and Found. Donning the classic ‘Chicago’ colorway, these came with a few extras that, for a lot of consumers, place it ahead of the pack. This release hits the spot, right between classic retro and manufactured ageing. Not only did it come with cracked leather and a yellowed midsole, it was packaged in a mis-matched box with the kind of receipt you’d receive from mom and pop shops in 1985, back when the shoe first released. It has all the makings of a true classic, reimagined.

JJJJound x New Balance 990v3 'Olive'

New Balance have a knack for consistently facilitating collaborations that bring attention to classic models, and the JJJJound x New Balance 990v3 'Olive' is no exception. With the original 990 V1 releasing in 1982, JJJJound have teamed up once again with New Balance to bring us a gem of a collab in the V3, arguably the best of the 990 line. With the subtle JJJJound branding, smooth olive tones, and quality materials that you’d expect of any New Balance sneaker, they’ve hit the mark once again.

Patta x Nike Air Max 1 'White' - The Second Wave

Coming from Dutch stalwart sneakerheads Patta, the Patta x Nike Air Max 1 'White' - The Second Wave hits hard. After releasing multiple colorways of the Air Max 1, it was the White that created the greatest buzz. To the untrained eye, some may just see a white Air Max 1, but take a closer look, and you’ll see a sneaker that will stand the test of time. Something so pure, yet groundbreaking in its simplicity. The Air Max 1 first released in 1987, and with this latest iteration in 2022, Patta have raised the bar by taking this iconic model to the next level, while still respecting its heritage. Such consistency has to be applauded.

Air Jordan 3 Retro 'Fire Red'

An original colorway; the Air Jordan 3 Retro 'Fire Red' returned with a bang, with many saying the silhouette is closer to the original than previous retros. That’s no mean feat, considering the original released all the way back in 1988. Returning in 2022, the latest iteration brings back the Nike Air branding on the heel, with careful attention given to the height of the elephant print and leather coverage on the tongue. It's this level of detail that excites us for future retro Jordan releases for 2023 and beyond.

Travis Scott x Nike Air Max 1 'Baroque Brown’

When it comes to Air Max 1 collabs, very few can match the silhouette tweaks of the Travis Scott x Nike Air Max 1 'Baroque Brown'. There’s the reverse Swoosh, the brown and yellow hues, the juxtaposition of the materials, the understated patterned straps, the Nike/Cactus Jack heel branding, the red rope laces, and finally, the blocking of the air unit. That’s a lot to take in, but somehow, it all works. Nike place a lot of trust in Travis Scott’s vision for his collabs, and who can blame them?

New Balance 2002R 'Purple' - Protection Pack

Like no New Balance before it, the New Balance 2002R 'Purple' - Protection Pack stands out from the crowd with the most unusual of uppers. You’d be forgiven for thinking Daniel Arsham was behind this pair, with the high quality suede overlays stripped back and jagged, producing an updated look for the classic model, which originally released in 2002. The two-tone purple rides well alongside the greys and off-white we know and love from New Balance. And of course, this all comes on the sturdy and comfortable footbed New Balance are well known for. This pair was a real hit for those wanting a quality, comfortable, reliable pair of New Balance, but with something different.

A Ma Maniere x Air Jordan 4 'Violet Ore'

Can A Ma Maniere do any wrong? That’s the question. They’ve supplied us with another banger in the A Ma Maniere x Air Jordan 4 'Violet Ore'. With the quilted lining we all loved in their Jordan 3, they’ve selected an understated but unmistakably A Ma Maniere colour in the violet ore. Known for their subtlety, there’s just a hint of A Ma Maniere branding, making the classic their own, with the ‘A’ branded rivet pressed into the rear lateral collar, as well as the classic ‘A’ on the left tongue tag. Inside each heel tab reads ‘It’s not about the shoes … it’s about where you’re going', inspired by the opening line of the 2008 Jordan Brand commercial. James Whitner knows what he’s doing here, and we want more.

Concepts x Nike Dunk SB Low 'Orange Lobster'

The luxury crustacean pack receives the cooked treatment in 2022 with the Concepts x Nike Dunk SB Low 'Orange Lobster'. Already held by many as a grail, the SB Dunk Low continues to outshine other releases with innovative collabs like this one from Concepts. This pair brings you rich tones of orange which hit hard off the bright white; and there’s a lobster bib patterned interior that peeks out when on foot. A navy blue midsole sits underfoot, and matches the rubber claw bands that of course come as standard.

Travis Scott x Air Jordan 1 OG Low 'Reverse Mocha'

The second Travis Scott release to reach our coveted top ten, the Travis Scott x Air Jordan 1 OG Low 'Reverse Mocha' is one of the most versatile of his collection. The white, off-white and mocha work well together on an altogether neutral colorway. Neutral that is, until you notice the Cactus Jack tongue tags and bright red heel branding, which includes the Cactus Jack on the left sneaker, as well as subtly stitched red Cactus Jack branding on the medial side too. It’s a beautiful looking sneaker with the reds gently bouncing off the muted tones. A winner again from Travis Scott.

Concepts X Nike Air Max 1 'Heavy'

Concepts enter our list again with the Concepts X Nike Air Max 1 'Heavy'. There’s a lot going on here, but somehow, Concepts make it work. For the 60s/70s inspired sneaker, Concepts pulls inspiration from all things Woodstock. They feature tiger camo print, tie-dye denim, striped and flower stitched swooshes, cowhide, brown corduroy, bandana prints and mud splatter on the sail midsole. If you hadn’t seen the sneaker and had only read the description, you would never think that something that sounds so disjointed and eclectic could look so harmonious, but here we are.

And there you have it, the Top Ten for 2022. A mouth-watering mix of colorways, collabs and retros, in highs, mids and lows. Something for everyone. Be sure to cast your vote on the Sneakerjagers App to get a chance to win the Sneaker of the Year 2022 in your size.