Sneaker News Top 30 of 2012
For better or worse, 2012 was a defining year for the sneaker world and all that it encompasses. It was a year that saw certain shoes throw the laws of supply and demand so out of whack, that brands and retailers had to completely rethink the way they sell shoes to the public just to keep the peace. If you were willing to put in some legwork or, better yet, had the right connections, it was a banner year for sneaker enthusiasts. “Must-have” releases seemed to be at an all-time high and nearly every weekend offered up some sort of temptation for consumers. 2012 saw the release of some of the most eagerly anticipated and passionately sought-after sneakers the game had ever seen and it’s safe to say that things will never be the same again.
In between those, there were plenty of other desirable targets along the way, from the special limited editions and collaborations to beloved Retro returns and promising new designs and innovations. There were even a few certified sleeper hits that organically carved out their place among the year’s best releases. Due to an exponentially expanding consumer base and a heightened level of product awareness, you might not have been able to get your hands on every shoe you hunted for in 2012, but there was certainly no shortage of solid alternatives ripe for the picking in their absence.
As much as some things may have changed in 2012, certain unshakable staples remained steadfast. Air Jordan retros continued to dominate, while Nike maintained its stranglehold on the
performance basketball and running categories. In the retro and lifestyle realm, however, other brands have made great strides in driving a growing parity in the market. Companies like New Balance and Asics continued to pick up substantial steam fueled by solid collaborative efforts that have helped reintroduce and popularize a slew of classic models from their respective back catalogs. Reebok brought it back to their glory days by successfully resurrecting some welcome silhouettes from the past with the promise of more on the way, and the upstart Ewing Athletics brand made some waves of their own with a long awaited and well-received comeback campaign.
This is now the fourth year that Sneaker News has tackled the overwhelming task of narrowing down twelve months of shoe releases into a comprehensive Top 30 list delving into the significance and justification for each chosen selection. By this point, the necessary criteria and general selection process have been boiled down to a science, and while we don’t claim to speak for everyone with our eventual rankings, they are chosen carefully and with love by the Sneaker News team. These are not necessarily our 30 favorite sneakers of the year – they’re the ones we felt to be the 30 most compelling sneaker stories of the year. We’re in the business of bringing you the all the latest news in sneakers and this list serves as a year-end highlight reel for 2012′s biggest headlines. Whether you agree or disagree with our selections and order, we hope you enjoy a thorough look back at the year in sneakers through the lens of the Sneaker News Top 30 of 2012.
Managing Editor: Aaron Kr.
Photography: John Kim/Sneaker News
Production: Yu-Ming Wu
Writers: Aaron Hope, Aaron Kr., Brendan Dunne, John Kim
The Sneaker News Top 30 of 2012 is also available as a printed book.
PURCHASE THE BOOK HERE
NUMBER 30 STARTS ON THE NEXT PAGE…
i think the paranormans and the what the kobe should have been in the top ten but other than that this is a dog ass list
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avapkicks speaks blasphemy. Questions, Answers, any of the Pump series. I know this is only your opinion but damn.
I also feel some sort of way that the best release of a signature shoe all year wasn't featured by itself. The KD IV! I dislike every other KD except this one, including the KD V. These were incredibly made, had GORGEOUS colorways, and are the only low top basketball shoes I will ever hoop in because the fit and feel is INCREDIBLE. I can't see how the "Aunt Pearls" or "Gold Medals" weren't on this list representing in their own right! Besides ridiculously limited quantities, and thus leading to huge hype; I don't see how these wouldn't have made a top 15 list let alone a top 30. But hey, that's just my opinion.
Honestly my #1 release of the year was the "Paranorman" Foam. I have copped every limited release and general release foam since 97, and these are the only ones I haven't retrieved; and honestly, it's the one time I didn't feel cheated by either the company (Nike) or retailers as to why I didn't get a release of a particular shoe. It seemed to be an honest and fair raffle on twitter, that gave that patron an extremely well deserved prize for sharing a picture that directly linked to the theme of the product. I submitted plenty of "weird" childhood pics, but understanding that I might not be 1 of the 800 "weirdest" children captured in the world helped settle my disappointment. I haven't even mentioned the craft and beauty of the shoe itself. Next to the galaxy and metallic red it would be my 3rd favorite foamposite. The release was genuine, the theme and idea was genuine and the shoe was simply AMAZING! My favorite sneaker was the galaxy (My favorite sneakers have been foams since they released so I'm extremely bias), but the amount of BS i had to go through and amount of money I had to pay to purchase one pair to actually rock was ridiculous, even though I was and always am willing to do all sorts of waiting, and hours of lines to purchase releases. The paranormans were all positives about a sneaker and it's release, in a world where the "sneaker game" has taken a turn for the worse. It was a huge breath of fresh air on a very recently SUPER HYPED model of sneaker that ranks #1 all time in my opinion.
Personally i think the foamposite galaxies was the best shoe of 2012 not a huge fan of the yeezys anyway
Amazing pictures that showed off of the little nuances that made each shoe special. Overall this was a good list but I would not have included the Lebron X. That shoe still hasn't found its must have colorway. I can't wait until they announce the Black Friday and Christmas Jordan retros.
For real here. Not brand new but a lil shiny to sneaker blog, release thing. Is there any place like Hanon shop. On line or in our country? Why they do all those great New Balance colorways?
Stussy shoe is diffrent. But just in case they gotta slap New York on the back. No hater here I'm a fan of Supreme but enough New York. U dont rule the shoe world. Maybe it's Orgon?
i feel the PARANORMANS was a better FOAM than the GALAXY foams. that slime green on the bottom is better than the galaxys. the green slime smoke screen on the side is dope i mean, the galaxy was dope but i feel the PARANORMANS are better
@AljosaCikojevic galaxy foams are just as hyped homie
and too simple minded to grasp anything of good quality. Award for retros goes to Reebok for 2013, as of quality
u prob only buy retro jordans, soooo coooool. be like everybody else, nike is mind fucking u
You crazy, you not a real sneaker head if you think reebok dont make good shoes@avapkicks
@xavier987654321 its a few out there but their stock wont b that vast and the price will b super high
@Tuddy306 You should go back and start over (Kindergarten, first grade, etc.).
@Qubayza ur so right. Slap in the face. These company's think they can re-release crap and cause a craze. They're prob right. I'm sitn in a little row home w/ 18 yrs left til I own it. Has nuthn to do wit bein a knick fan, when I was a young buck I laughed that shoe. Rember bobo's.well they're back in blue and orange
@Qubayza Your entitled to your own opinion, but must not be from NY or if you did you must have lived under a rock back then. When the Ewings dropped EVERYONE under 25 had them back in the 90's. No internet ,no hype machine... just hard core Knickerbocker fans.
@IgotthatFIRE @Qubayza you are correct about that! i had the ewings back in the day and they was the joints to have in NYC! and that buzz came off of seeing people with them, not like how sneaks now a days are constantly pushed by the companies themselves! but to say ewings are trash you are seriously a rookie in this game