It’s been a pretty wild year for sneakers, and as we all sat idly at home, we could do nothing but pine over them. But, while there was a wealth of worthy releases from the sportswear saints that we expect, what really caught our eyes this year were the offerings from luxury labels. It feels as though 2020 has been the year where luxury sneakers really came into their own as the labels found their feet (excuse the pun) and their footwear identity.
The only problem? Dropping $700 on every pair of sneakers is a hard pill to swallow, so you can imagine our joy when some of our favorite luxury sneakers of the year hit the SSENSE sale. We’re talking the big dogs, too, from Raf Simons to bright new stars in the luxury sneakers game like Li-Ning and GMBH. So, waste no time in rounding out a less-than-luxurious year with a pair of luxury sneakers without the eye-watering price tag.
We love an exciting collaboration as much as the next mag, so we were more than interested when we saw Li-Ning was working with Stefano Pilati’s Random Identities. Our interests peaked when we saw the dystopian-style luxury sneakers for less than $150.
Raf Simons has a history of putting his name to very successful luxury sneakers. Having paved the way for many luxury brands with his Ozweego collection with adidas, it’s no surprise that the Antei Sneakers are set to spark an exciting conversation, too.
Maison Margiela’s Replica Sneakers have outlived the regular shelf life of luxury sneakers. While other labels look to new style every few seasons, the German army trainer-inspired Replica stands strong, updated only by a host of new colorways like this painted iteration.
GR-Uniforma and adidas teamed up earlier this year and the outcome played into the hands of all of us obsessing over trail styles right now — there’s a lot of us. A rugged outsole combines with a hard-wearing upper while touches of premium suede offer a style-centric edge.
GMBH’s collaboration with Asics revolves around futuristic colorways that rely on the usage of multiple materials. This pair epitomizes the project with a patent leather, mesh, and rubber upper.
Salomon has had a year to remember as 2020 saw the wild explosion in popularity of the label’s trail silhouettes. The Salomon XT-Wings 2 Advanced Sneakers led the way, appealing to high-fashion crowds and sneakerheads alike.
Samuel Ross’ industrial, futuristic vision has earned him awards, commendations, and a permanent place in Britain’s luxury scene and this pair of Dirt Mock Sneakers carries the unpolished take on luxury that we’ve come to know and love from A-COLD-WALL*.
Reebok taps Juun.J for this wildly futuristic sneaker. With pearlescent paneling to the uppers and a press-stud fastening system across the vamp, we can see these being worn in the NBA 2030 finals.
On the other end of the spectrum, Rhude looks back in the archives for inspiration for the Rhecess Hi Sneakers. A yellowed sole unit enforces the retro style that’s epitomized by distressed leather to the upper.
Look, Salomon has just had such a massive year that we had to give them two spots in the roundup. It would be verging on blasphemous to do a roundup of 2020’s best sneaker moments without the Salomon XT-6 Advanced, especially when they’re on sale.
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