It’s been a busy start to the new decade. Despite a global pandemic bringing regular life to a halt, there has been a lot to get excited about over the past six months. Thankfully, we have seen a number of high profile sneaker releases, giving us all a chance to pick up some heat in quarantine. Countless collaborations, exclusive drops and a whole host of reissues have made 2020 one of the best starts to the sneaker calendar.
With that in mind, we thought it was about time to round up some of the best sneakers to drop so far this year. We’ll be taking a look at everything from Off-White™ to Kith and Jordan to Yeezy, cataloguing our favourites so far. Whilst we may only be halfway, there’s been a tonne of heat for us to pick from. As you’d expect, we’ve not covered every single sneaker. However, we have picked a list that we think you’ll agree with.
Without further delay, let’s take a look at the best sneakers to release in 2020 so far.
Off-White™ x Air Jordan 5 “Muslin”
Virgil Abloh continued his collaboration with Jordan Brand earlier this year, with the introduction of the Off-White™ x Air Jordan 5 “Muslin.” The Chicago native referenced his first-ever Jordan, the “Black Metallic”, putting his signature twist on the silhouette. Dropping in full family sizing, this was the first Off-White™ Jordan that the whole fam could cop. Strong rumours suggest that a white iteration is on the way, though that is to be confirmed.
Travis Scott x Nike SB Dunk Low “JackBoys”
In December, Travis Scott unveiled his Nike SB Dunk Low collaboration. The never before seen sneaker immediately made waves in the sneaker community, sparking a huge level of hype. In January, select skate shops were carrying the Travis Scott Dunks, making it tougher to cop. These have been one of the best SB Dunk Low releases, let alone best sneakers of the new year.
WTAPS x New Balance 992
Japanese streetwear label WTAPS kickstarted its year off with a powerful New Balance collaboration. Bringing back the chunky 992 silhouette, WTAPS draped the sneaker in premium suede, leather and mesh overlays. Contrasting shades of khaki and olive worked against 3M reflective accents, with a split ENCAP midsole. These New Balance 992s quickly sold out on release day and prices have continued to climb ever since.
Nike Dunk Low SP “Syracuse”
Nike Dunks have come back with a bang in the new year, partly thanks to celebrities like Travis Scott and Virgil Abloh. Taking reference from the 1985 “Be True To Your School” campaign, Nike released a “Syracuse” Dunk Low. A white leather base featured orange panelling, complete with a contrasting white midsole and orange sole. These are a classic.
Fear of God x Converse Chuck 70
Jerry Lorenzo’s influence in the sneaker community is not new. His high-end grunge chic fashion label Fear of God Essential worked with Converse to launch a Chuck 70. The simple take on the iconic silhouette featured black canvas, a cream leather tongue and very minimal branding on the heel. These Converse are ideal for any sneakerheads rotation.
adidas Yeezy Boost 700 MNVN “Triple Black”
Kanye West and adidas have continued to reign supreme throughout 2020 with several slick releases. The introduction of the stripped-back adidas Yeezy Boost 700 MNVN was well-received in the sneaker community, with the “Triple Black” being the best so far. A simple black nylon upper features a large 3M reflective “700” branding on the side panel.
Stüssy x Nike Air Zoom Spiridon Caged 2
One of the year’s best collaborations so far has undoubtedly been between Stüssy x Nike. The reintroduction of the Air Zoom Spiridon Caged 2 saw the early 2000s silhouette in new colours and updated materials. Since then, a third colourway has dropped, but it’s safe to say that the OGs are the best.
Casablanca x New Balance 327 “Idéaliste”
Unveiled at Paris Fashion Week, the Casablanca x New Balance 327 was one of the standout moments of the show. White perforated leather was contrasted by orange or green suede, with a large “N” motif on the side. Since then, the New Balance 327 has become a staple for many, but these are the OGs.
Air Jordan 4 “Black Cat”
Jordan Brand has been bringing back some of its best sneakers this year, with the “Black Cat” Air Jordan 4 being one of the best so far. Originally released in 2006, the Black Cat 4s features an entirely black construction. The 2020 version stayed true to the OG, using black nubuck and mesh throughout. If you didn’t cop these, what were you doing?
Air Jordan 1 “Varsity Red”
Earlier this year, Jordan Brand gave sneakerheads the chance to cop an extremely limited Air Jordan 1 called the “Varsity Red.” Taking the classic black and red colour scheme, the Air Jordan 1 “Varsity Red” featured materials close to OG. Limited to just 23,000 pairs, the Jordan 1 came complete with a dustbag and were individually numbered. This is a serious pair for any sneakerhead to get their hands on.
Kith x New Balance 1700 “The Colorist”
Ronnie Fieg’s Kith label is one of the most recognisable in streetwear. The native New Yorker has worked with New Balance on a number of occasions, but this year’s 1700 collaboration was arguably the brightest so far dubbed “The Colorist.” Two colourful New Balance 1700s were draped in premium suede overlays. The campaign also featured several artists which defined the “colorist” truly was.
Nike Dunk Low SP “Plum”
Just a few short weeks into the new decade, Nike brought back one of the most elusive Dunk Low colourways of all time. Released as a Japanese exclusive in 2001, the “Plum” was part of the famous “Ugly Duckling” pack. Deep shades of purple suede were contrasted with a plum Swoosh, white midsole and plum outsole. Selling out quickly on release day, the Plum Dunk has remained one of this year’s best drops.
Air Jordan 5 “Fire Red”
With the Air Jordan 5 turning 30 this year, it made sense for Jordan Brand to bring back the OG “Fire Red” colourway in full force. The classic silhouette features white leather throughout and is contrasted by black and red detail. In keeping with the original feel, “Nike Air” decorated the heel, just as it did back in 1990. Three decades later and the “Fire Red” 5s are just as good now as they were back then.
Nike Dunk Low SP “Brazil”
Nike has not stopped bringing back classic Dunk colourways this year. Originally debuting in 2001, the Nike Dunk Low SP “Brazil” features yellow and green leather with white accents. The patriotic pair returned after a 19-year hiatus, selling out instantly on release date and making its way, deservedly, onto this list.
424 x adidas Superstar
With adidas celebrating the Superstar this year, it teamed up with Los Angeles label and boutique, 424. Keeping things relatively simple on this collaboration, 424 used a white leather base and off white accents. A simple 424 tongue tag is the only hint of branding, whilst a simple gold “SHELL TOE” replaces the traditional “SUPERSTAR.”
Strangelove Skateboards x Nike SB Dunk Low
A select group of skate shops have had their chance to put their on the Nike SB Dunk Low this year, but Strangelove Skateboards has had one of the best so far. Pink crushed velvet was contrasted with pink suede and bright colours. Love hearts on the sole, a crazy emblem on the heel and the bright colours made these Dunks an instant winner for many.
Aimé Leon Dore x New Balance 827
Kickstarting 2020, Aimé Leon Dore introduced a brand new New Balance silhouette dubbed the 827. The stripped-back sneaker was a nostalgic look back at early 90s running sneakers which featured lightweight and colourful materials. Launched alongside the “Runners aren’t normal” text, the sneaker was quickly snapped up by many around the world, creating one of the best New Balance drops so far.
Nike Air Max 1 “City Pack”
Nike is no stranger to creating city exclusive sneakers, but this year’s Air Max 1 “City Pack” was one of the best so far. Taking both Amsterdam and London as the chosen muses, Nike used premium suede, leather and corduroy in varying shades. Unique details included the River Thames on the London heel and the “XXX” symbol of the City of Amsterdam on its counterpart.
Ben & Jerry’s x Nike SB Dunk Low “Chunky Dunky”
I bet you thought we’d forgotten this, didn’t you? In terms of hype, no shoe has even come close to the Nike SB Dunk Low “Chunky Dunky” this year. The playful collaboration, which launched as a skate shop exclusive, has become one of the most discussed sneakers of the year. Bright colours, contrasting materials and a melting Swoosh make this arguably the most important sneaker drop of the year so far.
Well, there you have it, that’s the first half of 2020’s sneakers all wrapped up! With a further six months to go, and with the Air Dior still on the way, we are sure that this list is going to continue to grow. As always, if you’re looking to cop a new pair of sneakers then head over to KLEKT where we have all of this year’s releases and more. Check it out!