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There is no hype on this list, and I’ve only picked sneakers I’ve worn in 2017.
As the editor at WearTesters, I see lots of sneakers and write about many more. 2017 was a good year; people that wanted hype got more of it than ever before, and customers who wanted value got great sneakers at good prices.
Here are a set of opinions that wrap up 2017 for me:
- The VaporMax is way too uncomfortable and expensive without a midsole (so I’m waiting for the Air VaporMax Utility to hit outlets).
- I started off 2017 all #BoostIsLife but after experiencing Bounce in adidas’ running line I have to pick Bounce — Boost just gets too mushy after a while.
- The Air Jordan 1 Flyknit is way more comfortable than any other Air Jordan 1.
- Watching the return of Stash has been dope.
- Customizers went HAM this year, and sneaker art has exploded into all kinds of genres/formats/mediums.
- Ewing Athletics had an awesome year of collabs that were all about the community — it did not go overlooked.
- Nike and Jordan stay taking tech out of retro releases and adding Zoom to skate shoes.
- The Way of Wade line is finally awesome.
- Knit costs a ton — who knew? The designers.
- When Yeezy makes a Reebok I question “the vision.”
My Top 5 Sneakers of 2017 list is in no particular order although I am (obviously) partial to one of these releases — it’s ours.
Arc Originals The Outset Vol. 1
When a new company — the first sneaker brand from Scotland — offers this level of fantastic materials, craftsmanship, and quality for $130 it makes me feel like all the other brands are ripping us off.
The sneaker also comes in what I can only describe as the best presentation and box I have ever experienced. Watch for what comes from the Scottish Highlands in 2018.
UBIQ x Brandblack DJX Trainer
When I first saw the Ubiq x Brandblack DJX Trainer for DeSean Jackson I knew I had to have it. It was sleek, looked unlike anything I’d seen yet, and was one of my favorite colors (maroon).
The sneaker dropped at the top of 2017 and it is still in my rotation — it’s hard to keep it out of it. Pairs of the DJX Trainer are on sale at a couple places, so do yourself a favor.
Reebok Floatride Run
The Ultra Boost killer. The Reebok Floatride Run is the one I go for every time when I have a choice between it and the Ultra Boost. If you think that’s crazy peep this:
It’s so light, a couple ounces lighter than the UltraBoost. It’s $30 cheaper than the UB, Floatride foam is so much bouncier than Boost, and the shoe is great to run in because it inspires confidence — unlike the UB.
Finally, with eyes closed I don’t think many people could tell the difference between Reebok’s Ultraknit and adidas’ Primeknit. I couldn’t! And who owns Reebok? Right…I’m really excited for what Reebok does with Floatride in 2018.
adidas AlphaBounce 5.8 Zip
By far my most-worn sneaker in 2017. This AlphaBounce build is a super sleeper zipped up, has the ultimate all-day comfort Bounce offers, and offers grip for days. It isn’t quite as weather resistant as adidas claims and ventilation is minimal but I love this sneaker — it is exactly what I wanted from the AlphaBounce platform.
WearTesters x Brandblack Rare Metal
I have to salute the WearTesters captain Nightwing2303 and BRandblack for this one. I love the Rare Metal — it’s light, comfortable all day, and the pattern on our collab rocks. Plus, that black to metallic blue fade? Ridiculous.
UAS Forge 1 Mid
I didn’t expect footwear like this from Under Armour Sportswear. The mix of a contemporary knit and premium leathers is unique and refreshing, as is the shape, and once broken in it’s more comfortable than I thought it would be.
As you can tell, the sneaker is called the Forge 1 Mid, so let’s see what UAS does with the second iteration.
NEW.LINE HALO x BRANDBLACK BLADERUNNER BOOT
The future of boots will probably look a lot like this here. The BladeRunner is a mixture of an interior knit construction and water-resistant nubuck/suede. The upper is super light and the only real weight comes from that Vibram RGS system hiker outsole (which has done very well on the slushy streets of New York these past couple days).
The tooling could use some additional shock absorption — the genuine leather insole is a great touch, just not enough for me — but a modern boot like this makes me put my Timbs deep in the closet, and I’m a New Yorker.
What do you think about my list? Share your top 5 or top 10 lists with me in the comments or on socials (@NoahGoldowitz).
Happy new year to all of the readers and watchers that rock with us — we’ve got big things coming for you all in 2018.