The Best Sneakers of 2022 (So Far)

We all hoped that 2022 would take us out of the doldrums. The past two years have been a doozy, to say the least, and judging by all the headlines inundating our news feeds daily, there is still a lot more misery to go around—and plenty to complain about. Where is the light at the end of this dark, dismal tunnel? Well, here to offer a glimmer are the best sneakers of 2022.

Yes, 2022 has only just begun, but in this short period, sneakers brands have already released, or announced, styles that’ll definitely brighten up a shoe rack—and hopefully your disposition along with it. You don’t even have to be a full-fledged sneakerhead to appreciate the quality design and the feeling that a new pair of kicks could elicit. Because the best sneakers have the knack for spreading joy, and in these uncertain times, we could all use a whole lot of that.

The roster below, of course, is still developing, and we’ll be adding to it as the year progresses, but check out what’s available now, all of which, we promise you, will add a much-needed pep to your step.

Air Force 1 Sneaker Created by Virgil Abloh

LOUIS VUITTON X NIKE

Shop at Sotheby’s.com

Virgil Abloh shall forever have a fixed place in the firmament of fashion. The designer and artistic director of Louis Vuitton men’s, who passed in late 2021, brought edge to luxury fashion and elevated streetwear. And to honor his legacy, the French label posthumously released one of his last designs, a Nike Air Force 1 made of calf leather that features LV’s Monogram and Damier patterns. Two hundred pairs were exclusively sold at a Sotheby’s auction, and a percentage of the proceeds are being donated to The Virgil Abloh “Post-Modern” Scholarship Fund, which supports the education of students of Black, African American, or African descent.

Release: January 26, 2022

Hot Step Air TerraDrake NOCTA Sneaker

NIKE

$1,500 at Stock X

When Drake calls on the cellphone, it’s best to answer quickly. In late January, Drake and Nike released the NOCTA x Hot Step Air Terra, a sneaker that sold out rather quickly. Those that managed to get their hands on ’em were treated to a retro-inspired design that features perforations throughout the upper and chrome detailing on the tongue and toebox at a retail price of $150. Now, it’s available at resale for ten times that. If that figure is too steep, all is not lost: the rapper posted an upcoming black colorway on his Instagram. Details of the release have yet to surface, but make sure to pounce when it drops.

Release: January 27, 2022

Why Not? Zer0.5 Sneaker


AIR JORDAN

$150 at Nike

Russell Westbrook has the reputation of not only being the fastest man in the NBA, but also the most stylish one. Merging these two characteristics is the Why Not? Zer0.5, a soon-to-be released sneaker from his partnership with Jordan that features data-informed traction and updated cushioning. And like all his designs under the Jordan banner, the latest features a bold mixture of colors—this one in beige with red, yellow, ginger, and seafoam blue details.

Release: February 2022

XII Retro Playoffs (2022)


AIR JORDAN

$376 AT STOCKX

It’s been 25 years since the infamous “Flu Game,” a legendary basketball moment that saw Michael Jordan scoring 38 points in Game 5 of the finals, all while supposedly being sick. And the shoes on his feet just so happened to be the then new Jordan XII. To celebrate the anniversary of its release, Jordan, the brand, is reissuing the iconic sneaker, which features a carbon fiber shank plate and sunburst quilting throughout the upper that was inspired by the rising sun on the Japanese flag.

Release: February 2022

Kobe Bryant Crazy 97 EQT Sneaker

ADIDAS

$530 AT STOCKX

In other anniversary news, Adidas is re-releasing the Crazy 97 (née EQT Elevation), a sneaker that skyrocketed to fame when Kobe Bryant won his first and only NBA Dunk Contest in 1997. Then, Black Mamba signed with Adidas, before switching over to The Swoosh in 2003. And despite the loss of the late, great basketball player, The Three Stripes is primed to celebrate 25 years since a legend took one of the highest honors in the sport. But if you can’t wait, StockX has some originals available now.

Release: February 2022

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