The 10 best sneakers of 2018

Paul Lintag on Dec 29, 2018 06:16 AM
The 10 best sneakers of 2018
The Kobe 1 Protro, or performance retro, is easily the best performer of 2018. Somehow, someway, Nike and Kobe found a way to make the 1s 2018 ready without altering the original look of the shoe.

Good luck trying to save money in 2018 if you were into sneakers.

Across the board, there were a ton of great releases this year.

In particular, the Swoosh came out firing and mostly dominated 2018, taking back some of the ground it lost to some rivals a couple of years back.

In this list, do note that it's personal (as with all sneaker lists at this time of the year) and since there are a ton of great shoes, we'll be dividing them into several categories in order to make up the 10 shoes.

If you don't see your favorite shoe here, it doesn't mean that it was a bad release. If you're still mad about it, well too bad. Make your own list and let's compare.



Nike Kobe 1 Protro

The best basketball shoe of 2018 was originally released in 2005.

Oh yes.

The Kobe 1 Protro, or performance retro, is easily the best performer of 2018. Somehow, someway, Nike and Kobe found a way to make the 1s 2018 ready without altering the original look of the shoe.

What we got is a premium shoe with premium materials plus full-length Zoom. It's a shoe you can take anywhere so if you only have one shoe to buy to play basketball for the year, you pick this one up.

The playoff PE in the Lakers colorway and LeBron James' Undefeated version stood out from a healthy does of Protro 1s in 2018. Kobe stays winning even in footwear.


Nike LeBron 16

The LeBron 15 was nice but some of the issues found in that shoe were fixed with the King's latest performer.

The 16s feature stronger battle knit and retains the max zoom air set up, which might as well be the best cushion system in all of basketball.

However, with a modified design, the 16s improve on fit and stability, making the latest LeBrons good enough to cater a wider range of players. And that's what you want from an expensive signature shoe.

We've run through the initial set of the colorways and 2019 should be a strong one for the King's first shoe as a Laker.

The recently-released SuperBrons from the LeBron watch are fire while the I Promise and the I'm King versions have some great meaning behind them.




adidas Dragon Ball Z collection

This pack needs no introduction.

A series close to all of our hearts, the DBZ collection from adidas was an instant win.

Featuring all three major arcs from the anime, fans were able to choose which characters they wanted to go after. Whether it was one, two, or all eight, there was something for everyone from the Dragon Ball Z pack.

The Son Goku ZX 500 easily stands out but there are sleepers in there like Cell's Prophere and Frieza's Yung-1.

If you didn't get at least one from the DBZ pack and you like shoes and the anime, what are you doing?


Nike Epic React Flyknit

The Swoosh finally answered.

Unlike Boost, Nike developed the in-house React as its latest entry to the ever-competitive world of cushioning in footwear.

The first and flagship runner was the Epic React Flyknit and it was a winner.

The only downside from the Epic React was its supposed lack of solid rubber from the outsole but everything else, the shoe was pretty much on point from the comfort of the React midsole to the fit of Nike's Flyknit upper.

The Swoosh has since added budget models of the React runner as well as the hyped Element React models.

However, the first Epic React Flyknit easily takes the title and the original run of colorways are the most memorable.


Yeezy 350 Static

Yeezy's were abundant in 2018, if you really wanted one, you could get one.

From a number of releases with the 500, the 700, and the 350, the 350 Static is a cut above the rest.

The Yeezy 350 remains as the most balanced Yeezy out there, you don't have to worry about it going out of trend. And out of all the 350s that released, the Static, both reflective and non-reflective, was the strongest of the bunch.

Yeezy saved its best for (almost) last.


Nike Air Max 270

Air Max maintains its strong following and for 2018, the Swoosh unleashed the air bubble specifically designed for casual use.

Enter the Air Max 270, featuring an exaggerated air unit at the heel. The futuristic model may not exactly wow you with comfort, but for fans of the Air Max line, this was a natural progession in innovation.

For the casual fans, this was literally made for you.

With a horde of colorways released, there's bound to be one Air Max 270 for you. One can't leave without air and if you can only have one, this is it (The Black and Dusty Cactus).


Nike Air Max 1/97 Sean Wotherspoon

The highlight of this year's Air Max day is this 1/97 hybrid by Sean Wotherspoon.

Voted by fans into production, this multicolor Air Max is the hypebeast's dream.

There's really not much more to say about this collaboration except that everyone involved knocked it out of the park. 
Instant classic.



Air Jordan 3 Black Cement

This might as well be the most important Air Jordan of all-time and despite its early 2018 release, it has maintained its status as a strong contender for shoe of the year.

In a straightforward release, everything was near perfect with the Air Jordan 3 Black Cement, including the coveted Nike Air branding.

It's amazing how hype has died down on these, but that's good since everyone that wants a pair can have one.

And that's what the sneaker game should be about.


Air Jordan 11 Concord

A contender for the title as the most important Air Jordan of all time, the Concord 11s also returned late in 2018.

The simple black and white shoe is a classic. Despite being a general release, numbers moved with this shoe, making it the most successful launch ever.

People want the Concord 11s and that's really the only thing you need to know about the "Grail."


adidas Ultra Boost OG

It's amazing how hype works.

When the Ultra Boost first released, almost no one paid attention, most especially to the original black and purple colorway.

Fast forward to 2018 and the "OG" sold out almost instantly.

With the Ultra Boost holding on to its title as the king of runners, adidas bringing back the first colorway is great move before the brand moves on to a new era of the Ultra Boost with the 2019 rendition.

Still, no one paid attention to these a couple of years back. Everyone go thank Kanye West.



Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8

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