It’s been a year of staying in and staying put. Aside from fuzzy lounge slippers, shoes were probably not a top-of-mind purchase in 2020. There weren’t any event to put our best foot forward at! But resilient as we Hongkongers are, we’ve found refuge in outdoorsy adventures, be it beach-side camping or braving the hardest hiking trails in the city. Sneakers, naturally, found its way back into our rotation.
As we edge our way towards 2021, here’s a throwback round-up to all the sneakers we loved through 2020.
January 2020. It feels like a lifetime ago now. These Nike Air Max 90 ‘Tokyo Olympics’ were planned to release alongside the Tokyo Olympics which, of course, didn’t happen. Also notable this month was the Beyonce x Adidas collaboration.
The month of love, of course, inspired sneakers that drew inspiration from love-hearts and palettes of pink and red. Strangelove Skateboards x Nike SB Dunk Low and Adidas’s Valentine’s Day Pack were obviously feeling the loved-up vibes.
We were in the thick of COVID-19 lockdowns in March; sneakers, understandably, may not have been top-of-mind this month. We loved the Rokh x Asics Gel-1090 sneakers, which covered its upper with laces that hinted at hiking origins. Prophetic, considering we’re all escaping lockdown for hiking trails a few months later.
Guilty pleasures, anyone? April’s top pick from Nike wears its Swoosh a little bit melted in honour of its collaboration partner: Ben & Jerry’s.
Sustainability — the buzzword in fashion. Having launched this June, Nike’s Space Hippies were said to have been made from the remnants of the sportswear giant’s factory floors; truly one man’s trash, another man’s sweet new kicks. Also released this month was the Yeezy 700 MNVN, crafted from 100 percent sustainable cotton.
A full roster of sneakers with Japan-inspired motifs — see: Air Jordan 12’s Japanese indigo colourway; Nike SB Dunk Low’s sashiko stitching — marked the end of what was supposed to be the Tokyo Olympics’ closing ceremony. Must-cop, too, were the Converse x Feng Chen Wang & Jack Purcell collaboration, which featured a tonal caged profile.
With a reboot of ‘Fresh Prince of Bel Air’ slated to be in the works, Nike’s Air Jordan 5 ‘Alternate Bel-Air’ pays homage to the Air Jordans Will Smith favoured throughout the tenure of the original series. A clear mood towards DIY aesthetics turned this month’s releases into colourful works of art; Sean Wotherspoon x Adidas ‘Super Earth’ Superstar’s 3-D embroidery, Converse x Fear of God Skidgrip’s luminescent colourway and Civilist x Nike SB Dunk Low’s heat-map inspired pattern stole the show.
As lines between ultra-luxury and streetwear continue to blur, we’ve taken a wander into an upper echelon this October with retro-inspired Chanel kicks and the Prada x Adidas ‘Superstar’ collaboration. The Off-White ‘Out of Office’ collection was on-the-nose and of-the-times, as usual with the Virgil Abloh-led brand.
We first met baby Yoda a year ago; instant virality and a host of adorable memes ensued. Coinciding with the release of the second season of The Mandalorian, this Adidas collaboration was a must-cop for the Stars Wars fanatic. Its muted light green colourway — or, neo-mint — also rode big waves this year.
Finally, December. The end to an unforgettable year, for all the wrong reasons. A veritable disco ball, the Cactus Plant Flea Market x Nike Dunk Low collaboration in ‘Pure Platinum’ dusted Swarovski-laced sparkle onto its entire upper — one for New Year’s Eve parties for those who’ve sworn off stilettos this year.