Sneaker News Top 30 of 2012

December 28th, 2012 by / 183

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For better or worse, 2012 was a defining year for the sneaker world and all that it encompasses. It was a year that saw certain shoes throw the laws of supply and demand so out of whack, that brands and retailers had to completely rethink the way they sell shoes to the public just to keep the peace. If you were willing to put in some legwork or, better yet, had the right connections, it was a banner year for sneaker enthusiasts. “Must-have” releases seemed to be at an all-time high and nearly every weekend offered up some sort of temptation for consumers. 2012 saw the release of some of the most eagerly anticipated and passionately sought-after sneakers the game had ever seen and it’s safe to say that things will never be the same again.

In between those, there were plenty of other desirable targets along the way, from the special limited editions and collaborations to beloved Retro returns and promising new designs and innovations. There were even a few certified sleeper hits that organically carved out their place among the year’s best releases. Due to an exponentially expanding consumer base and a heightened level of product awareness, you might not have been able to get your hands on every shoe you hunted for in 2012, but there was certainly no shortage of solid alternatives ripe for the picking in their absence.

As much as some things may have changed in 2012, certain unshakable staples remained steadfast. Air Jordan retros continued to dominate, while Nike maintained its stranglehold on the

performance basketball and running categories. In the retro and lifestyle realm, however, other brands have made great strides in driving a growing parity in the market. Companies like New Balance and Asics continued to pick up substantial steam fueled by solid collaborative efforts that have helped reintroduce and popularize a slew of classic models from their respective back catalogs. Reebok brought it back to their glory days by successfully resurrecting some welcome silhouettes from the past with the promise of more on the way, and the upstart Ewing Athletics brand made some waves of their own with a long awaited and well-received comeback campaign.

This is now the fourth year that Sneaker News has tackled the overwhelming task of narrowing down twelve months of shoe releases into a comprehensive Top 30 list delving into the significance and justification for each chosen selection. By this point, the necessary criteria and general selection process have been boiled down to a science, and while we don’t claim to speak for everyone with our eventual rankings, they are chosen carefully and with love by the Sneaker News team. These are not necessarily our 30 favorite sneakers of the year – they’re the ones we felt to be the 30 most compelling sneaker stories of the year. We’re in the business of bringing you the all the latest news in sneakers and this list serves as a year-end highlight reel for 2012’s biggest headlines. Whether you agree or disagree with our selections and order, we hope you enjoy a thorough look back at the year in sneakers through the lens of the Sneaker News Top 30 of 2012.

Managing Editor: Aaron Kr.
Photography: John Kim/Sneaker News
Production: Yu-Ming Wu
Writers: Aaron Hope, Aaron Kr., Brendan Dunne, John Kim

The Sneaker News Top 30 of 2012 is also available as a printed book.
PURCHASE THE BOOK HERE


NUMBER 30 STARTS ON THE NEXT PAGE…

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Filed under: Adidas Air Jordan Air Yeezy Basketball Collaboration Dunk Featured Kevin Durant Kobe LeBron Nike Air Force 1s Nike Air Penny Nike Flyknit Nike Foamposite Nike Lunar Nike Retro Nike Roshe Nike SB Reebok Skate

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183 comments
VNTG_BMW
VNTG_BMW

i think the paranormans and the what the kobe should have been in the top ten but other than that this is a dog ass list 

DonnieGenaro
DonnieGenaro

Maybe hype but the galaxy made headline news

Theoooooooooo
Theoooooooooo

galaxy foams are hype but so are yeezys. Just popularity

AljosaCikojevic
AljosaCikojevic

man fuck no. no way the yeezy came over the galaxy foams smh yeezy's aint nothing but hype smh 

tiisetso1989
tiisetso1989

THIS SNEAKER IS DOPE!!!!! I WISH I COULD JUST GRAB FROM MY SCREEN RIGHT NOW. LOL!!!

alliyah
alliyah

fresh as fuck my niqha


AJ123
AJ123

蛋疼吧你

spiderpool
spiderpool

It goes Rookie Galexy/ Yeezy/Galexy foaM


AJ123
AJ123

I like zhe AJ4

AJ123
AJ123

can you speak chinese?

astonswaggyp
astonswaggyp

avapkicks speaks blasphemy. Questions, Answers, any of the Pump series. I know this is only your opinion but damn.

SkilledHooper82
SkilledHooper82

Playoffs 11's or the black cement 4's should of been number one!

avapkicks
avapkicks

reebok has never made a good shoe period

xavier987654321
xavier987654321

Anyone know a online website for shoes .. A legit website

kapo_ti
kapo_ti

I also feel some sort of way that the best release of a signature shoe all year wasn't featured by itself. The KD IV! I dislike every other KD except this one, including the KD V. These were incredibly made, had GORGEOUS colorways, and are the only low top basketball shoes I will ever hoop in because the fit and feel is INCREDIBLE. I can't see how the "Aunt Pearls" or "Gold Medals" weren't on this list representing in their own right! Besides ridiculously limited quantities, and thus leading to huge hype; I don't see how these wouldn't have made a top 15 list let alone a top 30. But hey, that's just my opinion.

kapo_ti
kapo_ti

Honestly my #1 release of the year was the "Paranorman" Foam. I have copped every limited release and general release foam since 97, and these are the only ones I haven't retrieved; and honestly, it's the one time I didn't feel cheated by either the company (Nike) or retailers as to why I didn't get a release of a particular shoe. It seemed to be an honest and fair raffle on twitter, that gave that patron an extremely well deserved prize for sharing a picture that directly linked to the theme of the product. I submitted plenty of "weird" childhood pics, but understanding that I might not be 1 of the 800 "weirdest" children captured in the world helped settle my disappointment. I haven't even mentioned the craft and beauty of the shoe itself. Next to the galaxy and metallic red it would be my 3rd favorite foamposite. The release was genuine, the theme and idea was genuine and the shoe was simply AMAZING! My favorite sneaker was the galaxy (My favorite sneakers have been foams since they released so I'm extremely bias), but the amount of BS i had to go through and amount of money I had to pay to purchase one pair to actually rock was ridiculous, even though I was and always am willing to do all sorts of waiting, and hours of lines to purchase releases. The paranormans were all positives about a sneaker and it's release, in a world where the "sneaker game" has taken a turn for the worse. It was a huge breath of fresh air on a very recently SUPER HYPED model of sneaker that ranks #1 all time in my opinion.

Jwill22
Jwill22

the zoom revis should have been in the top 1O in my opinion..they were fire!

SkilledHooper82
SkilledHooper82

I don't agree with this list but hey to each their own

JManSam
JManSam

Where's the wdywt app SN? Lol just curious on the progress.

trey3411
trey3411

Personally i think the foamposite galaxies was the best shoe of 2012 not a huge fan of the yeezys anyway

 

iname
iname

Amazing pictures that showed off of the little nuances that made each shoe special. Overall this was a good list but I would not have included the Lebron X. That shoe still hasn't found its must have colorway. I can't wait until they announce the Black Friday and Christmas Jordan retros.

Tuddy306
Tuddy306

For real here. Not brand new but a lil shiny to sneaker blog, release thing. Is there any place like Hanon shop. On line or in our country? Why they do all those great New Balance colorways?

Tuddy306
Tuddy306

Stussy shoe is diffrent. But just in case they gotta slap New York on the back. No hater here I'm a fan of Supreme but enough New York. U dont rule the shoe world. Maybe it's Orgon?

Tuddy306
Tuddy306

I'm from philly and all but two of Iverson" shoes are crap.

Tuddy306
Tuddy306

Thebeaner. Is right! His shoes are simply done right. On my shoe list for 2013. Geta pair.

dopeman978
dopeman978

i feel the PARANORMANS was a better FOAM than the GALAXY foams. that slime green on the bottom is better than the galaxys. the green slime smoke screen on the side is dope i mean, the galaxy was dope but i feel the PARANORMANS are better

 

Qubayza
Qubayza

The Ewings were trash when they were release in the early 90's. hypebeast have made trash popular

thebeaner
thebeaner

props to ronnie fieg tho... He shouldve had most of all his releases on this list.... 

Tuddy306
Tuddy306

Think some of the things that go into being on that list are shoes that can leave a lasting impact because of material . Or that represent a trend in the shoe game. For example i wouldnt paint in that Ewing shoe but it does say somthn about todays sneaker buyer and trends.

WZRDUPSO
WZRDUPSO

Nike Flyknit over Bred 11s , 4s , etc ... REALLY?

npt
npt

ok so the yeezy got number 1...If we took all the branding of it wouldnt make the list right

npt
npt

how are those lebrons better than playoff 11s LOL

lilroy23
lilroy23

This a nice shoe should have been higher

 

Tuddy306
Tuddy306

I'm not new at shoes. I am new at being able to comment on shoes. Lets just say no iphones where i was. I dont collect. I wear. The list was big. Sneaker News didnt have to cut alot out. New Balance shoe collabs are incredible. As an oldhead where was air max 95 BB and Lunar Air Force 1. Get that Ewing shoe out there. It was a money project from the beginning. The big shoe companies weren't gona give an aging slow center a big shoe deal. Its a crap shoe. In 10 years if my nephew is paying $400 for Shaq's shoe. I'll wear sandals!

Fornastyy
Fornastyy

This list is absolutely horrible. Lebron X's shouldn't have made the list at all much less #5

BigPhrank
BigPhrank

Lets begin:  Wort material used this year:  Fire red retro 4s. The leather was wrinkled out of the box and couldn't hold its own against the cements.

On to the Yeezy's...is Sneakernews serious? It should take the award for the ugliest, thrown together, non-functional shoe of 2012. Hypebeasts; not true sneakerheads or aficionados would spend whatever amount of money on the Frankenstein-esque shoes. Tinker Hatfield must have sh*t himself at the results of this list, especially having to see an eyesore take top spot.

DasWzup
DasWzup

I have a question for the thread..I don't want to know ur sneaker of the year....I want to know of the sneakers you missed out on...WHICH ONE DID YOU WANT MOST? *WHICH DID YOU MISS OUT ON IN 2012, THAT YOU REALLY WISH YOU HAD N THE COLLECTION ?????? For me it's: SUPREME X CAMO AIR FORCE 1 (I have a few others, but I'll follow my own rules)

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