2018 was an interesting year when it came to the world of sneakers.
It feels like this is said every passing year but the sneaker industry is constantly evolving and there is no stop in sight. 2018 was the epitome of a sneakerhead’s dream as it was filled with countless retro models, new silhouettes, new technologies, and collaborative projects.
In anticipation of 2019, we have put together a list of the sneaker trends that you should keep your eyes on to stay ahead of the game.
More Luxury Designer Sneakers
As the sneaker industry evolved, so did its surrounding industries and consumers. There has been a drastic rise in the popularity of designer sneakers over the past few years and there is no stopping it now. Luxury fashion houses such as Balenciaga, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Versace, and others have expanded their footwear catalogue to include highly sought after sneakers, and the brands’ presence in the sneaker market is no joke.
When a streetwear designer who grew up wearing Air Jordans becomes the Men’s Artistic Director of Louis Vuitton, it’s no surprise to see a pair of Louis Vuitton sneakers with a glowing resemblance to Air Jordan models on the horizon.
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We may have said it at the beginning of 2018 when it was declared that 2017 was the year of the collaboration, but 2018 may have exceeded its predecessor. Footwear brands are realizing that their consumers are best connecting with their products when it is associated with a brand, athlete, or celebrity they love. Not only does it strengthen the brand’s relationship with its target audience, but it also creates a sense of exclusivity around the shoes and it is often released in limited quantities.
Whether it was Jerry Lorenzo’s collaboration with Nike for the Air Fear of God, or Kendall and Kylie Jenner’s partnership with adidas, these brands are continuing to find ways to collaborate with different entities throughout the world.
When the first Nike x Off-White collection launched, a big deal was made about the “deconstruction” of original silhouettes to create “new” silhouettes. Off-White has been continuing to push out countless colourways of their “deconstructed” Nike models but other brands also began to follow suit, with numerous brands creating their own “inside-out” shoes to follow to the popular trend.
More Women in Sneakers
2018 was a celebratory year for women’s footwear. Footwear brands saw the demand for smaller sizing on exclusive and limited sneakers, and it was evident as numerous notable brands aligned its strategies to ensure there was a strong push behind this women’s movement.
We saw individuals such as Aleali May get her own Air Jordan collaboration and also saw Serena Williams release a highly sought after collection with Nike and Off-White. What used to be a predominantly male industry began to see a shift. And don’t expect it to change this year — expect to see an even stronger female presence in the world of sneakers.
Split Sole Sneakers
With the advancements in sneaker technology in today’s market, there had to be a way to highlight the different types of technology while maintaining the traditional look of sneakers. Many brands are incorporating new technologies to the uppers and soles of the designs to maintain the classic look while offering consumers a new ride and feel.
There were countless sneaker designs featuring a sole which split into two portions, such as the Reebok Sole Fury and the adidas POD-S3.1. Expect to continue seeing split sole sneakers throughout 2019.
Nike recently released the Adapt BB which is a self-lacing basketball performance sneaker which features the advanced power-lacing system that worked in conjunction with a Nike app on your smartphone. It also comes at a much more reasonable price point, allowing more general consumers to try the technology and feel like Marty McFly themselves.
Featured image: Instagram/@fabioferreirajr
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