2019 has been a hectic year for footwear, with hyped releases dropping on a seemingly weekly or daily basis. Of course there are the standout projects like Travis Scott’s work with Nike, the litany of new Yeezys we’ve seen this year, and shoe’s like Bodega’s ‘No Days Off” 997 that pushed the silhouette into the mainstream. However, for all the sneakers that drew the internet’s attention this year, there are just as many that had an excellent 2019 while staying below the radar. Here are a few of our favorites: 

Reebok Club C  

Reebok’s classic ’80s trainer has been riding high on a surge of popularity this year. With vintage workout shoes heavily in style, Reebok dove headfirst into their projects with the Club C, handing the reigns to the likes of JJJJound, Nanamica, Jazzy Rae, Pleasures, and many more. Some of the releases were colorful and eye-catching, while many stuck to variations on the silhouette’s mostly-white makeup, but you were just as likely to see either in the skatepark or on casual Friday in the office. 

Nike Blazer Mid VNTG
The Nike Blazer had a new look this year, transforming one of the original basketball sneakers into the ultimate lifestyle model, thanks to a crisp leather upper, new suede accents, and minimal color detailing. This refined version of the Blazer fits in perfectly to the ‘vintage’ trend running rampant right now, and Nike played right into it. Mixing it up with snakeskin Swooshes, Slam Jam’s upside-down Swoosh version, and the Stranger Things’ customizable iteration, the Blazer has been knocking it out of the park all year long.

ASICS Gel Kayano 5 (360)2019 saw the return of one of ASICS’ most popular running silhouettes ever, the Gel Kayano 5. Additionally, we also received a modern update to the shoe, taking the titular Gel technology in the heel and extending it to run all the way from heel to toe in a new version called the Gel Kayano 5 360. Both models were a hit, thanks to ASICS’ excellent rollout, allowing collaborators like Ronnie Fieg, AWAKE NYC (pictured), Chemist Creations, and Billy’s the chance to come up with their own color schemes, before dropping a littany of standard-issue colorway. 

New Balance 990v3
New Balance’s 99x series made a triumphant return this year, partly due to the brand’s popularity among the high fashion scene. However, the Boston-based brand stuck to their roots, teaming up with both past and new collaborators to keep things fresh on the retro silhouettes. The clear standout from the lineup is the 990v3. Originally released in 2012, the 3rd iteration has become a fan favorite thanks to its sleek upper and enticing midsole tooling, and now, a few special projects from Stray Rats, Todd Snyder (pictured), No Vacancy Inn, and Kith’s re-release of OG colorways.  

Nike Air Force 1 The Nike Air Force 1 could probably wind up on every year-end list with the right argument. While the silhouette, which is heading into its 38th year of production, is not always hyped, it is certainly always popular. However, 2019 saw a little of both. Plain black and white colorways will always be a hit, but it was the collaborations this year that really drove the AF1 home. Just in the past few months, we’ve seen multiple projects from CLOT, A Ma Maniere, Travis Scott, and Colin Kaepernick, with a few already scheduled for early 2020. 


SEE MORE: Top Hyped Sneakers of 2019

Words by Ben Serleth

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