Sneaker News Top 30 Sneakers of 2011

December 29th, 2011 by / 40

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#22 – NIKE AIR GRIFFEY MAX 1 ‘EMERALD’

This month has been filled with hundred-million dollar contracts signed by elite baseball stars including Albert Pujols’ $254MM defection to Los Angeles. The number in that deal is close enough to remind fans of America’s pastime of the game’s first quarter-billion dollar man, Alex Rodriguez, who left Seattle for $252 million a decade earlier. Pujols’ legacy will forever outpace Rodriguez’ asterisk’d output irrespective of how many home runs they hit or World Series each wins, and it’s that kind of reverence for doing things the “right way” in baseball that makes Ken Griffey Jr. one of the game’s true super-elite.

Junior personified youthful exuberance with his backwards caps and gazelle-like grace between the gaps, and he’ll be forever remembered for a swing so sweet, it held off all but the most notorious ’90s names. Griffey spent his most productive days guiding the Seattle Mariners to heights the franchise had never before reached, including an epic run to the 1995 playoffs including a game-winning run in a sudden-death tiebreaker versus the soon-to-be-dominant New York Yankees that northwesterners still fondly recall as ‘The Double’. It was coming off that surge of momentum, along with the success of his ’95 Air Diamond Fury signature, that the Nike Air Griffey Max 1 was originally released in time for the following season’s first pitch.

We got our first run of Air Griffey Max 1 re-releases from Nike Sportswear in 2009, including a new ‘Fresh Water’ edition that offered a look quite close to the original Deep Emerald colorway. They were an instant sellout and made it to number 12 in the ’09 Top 30, but sneakerheads old enough to remember that season when The Kid played Batman to a 21 year-old A-Rod’s Robin were aware that they weren’t an exact replica of the OGs. That’s where this August’s ‘Emerald’ AGM1 comes in – a design true to the debut version whose only miniscule change was the use of the contemporary Fresh Water teal shade instead of the namesake original.

The fact that all of these Griffey retros have been greeted so warmly so as to spawn a series of hybrid mashups, proves that Junior’s contributions to baseball, as well as the sneaker game, not only stand up to the test of time, but transcend the game in a way we haven’t seen since guys like Babe Ruth and Joe Dimaggio were the nation’s biggest celebrities. Meanwhile, it’d take a Ken Jennings-like mind to recall what kind of cleats Big Mac wore while he was socking all those dingers, while those who remember Barry Bonds’ Filas continue to chuckle at the fact that only a foreign company would sign the surly slugger. It’s almost like we got it right all those years ago without even knowing it, and it’s a fitting tribute to Ken Griffey Jr.’s untouched excellence that sneakerhead demand still clears the Air Griffey Max 1 from shelves anytime they’re released – with 2011′s ‘Emerald’ edition proudly standing as a bonafide classic and the godfather of them all.

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40 comments
gump
gump

yall niqqas hella wack imma have to go wit da pewter foamposites or the electric blue foams very nice shoes bitches haha

Freshh
Freshh

Come on, banned one was crazy honestly a AJ 1 retro with nike tag and premium leather! thats always a good shoe in my book

fps167
fps167

the Pine pros imo...

GERM$
GERM$

Jeremy scott adidas should not have ever made this list!

SMH
SMH

MJ don't need your p*ssy b!tch he on his own d!ck

Da Kang
Da Kang

pretty proud of my self this yr as a rookie sneakerhead... i allways had freash kicks but not this many.. my list goes 1.concords 2.bordeauxs 3.white cement,true blue,black cement,black history month (bhm),black flip retro 3s 4.space jam dunk lows 5.wolf grey,black metalic retro 5s 6.retro blue foamposite pro 7.air jordan 2011 black /black "the sleeper of the yr" many more cops but they didnt make the list tell me if i need to up my game or am i holdin us sneakerheads down...

Dribblezthagod
Dribblezthagod

I was the firsy person on youtube to review lebron 9 chinas miami night and the concords!

DWadeMVP
DWadeMVP

electric blue foams, cannon 9s, KD weatherman, pine greens, black cement

csole
csole

NIKE AIR MAG #1

truth
truth

sb's shit on all of these. thats gonna be the shoe of the decade

SoCalFresh619
SoCalFresh619

My number 1 sneaker would have to be the wolf grey 5's fuck all that concord hype

Yeah
Yeah

Please don't put Concords as number 1, Concords deserve to be in the list but I feel as though they shouldn't even make the top 5, and remember Jordan Brand isn't the only brand that makes sneakers.

Kenny
Kenny

it was a great year, tooo bad it hurt money wise

@JayFresh704
@JayFresh704

i got Pewters, Pines, Black Cements, CONCORDS (OF COURSE)

Reggie
Reggie

Awesome pics and a great list. Nice job!!

@DCoffey23
@DCoffey23

Best list I've seen so far... Number 1 and 2 is a toss up tho. Let's do 1a, 1b.

Nick Nvz
Nick Nvz

well i cant choose so im just going to choose the Nike Air MAGS , jordans retro 1 banned , lebron miami nights .

Ant
Ant

Concords

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