Sneaker News Top 30 of 2012

December 28th, 2012 by / 183

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3 | NIKE FLYKNIT

While Nike is recognized as the leading source of athletic gear for nearly every sport across the board, the genesis of this global juggernaut of a brand lies within the running category. It makes plenty of sense that the pulse of Nike’s success is measured by what it does with that particular sport, and there’s no denying that developments like the original Waffle Racer, Air Max, Free, Lunar and others have served as vital points of innovation and creativity in Nike’s timeline. Each of the definitive features of those models has permeated the walls into other categories of sport, enabling its most talented designers to work their magic and create an exponentially broader collection of performance footwear.

In February, Nike Running changed the game once again with the introduction of Flyknit – an incredibly fascinating development that summed up forty years of runner feedback into one single thread. Using precisely engineered yarns and fabrics, Nike developed a featherweight, sock-like construction that targeted only vital areas of the upper to provide a true running shoe advantage without any unnecessary added weight. With one single thread in use, material waste was drastically reduced as Flyknit did not have to employ multiple materials. In addition, Flyknit introduced an impressive contrast with its minimalist structure and the thoroughly crafted knitted shell. It was an inspiring merger of groundbreaking design and exceptional function that required four years of trial and error experimentation to perfect.

Immediately following the introductory launch event in New York City, which brought in major sports media outlets from around the globe, Nike satiated consumer appetites by presenting the first wave of limited-edition releases at the Nike Sportswear retail store at 21 Mercer. This first capsule featured the Lunar-based Flyknit Trainer (limited to 100 individually numbered pairs) and a much rarer Flyknit Racer, all entirely designed by the revered HTM collective of Hiroshi Fujiwara, Tinker Hatfield, and Mark Parker. Three other HTM Flyknit collections followed later in the year, and a wide release of the everyday-runner Trainer model and the slimmer, form-fitting Racer became available in late July in an outstanding variety of colorway options.

Upon the initial release in February, Nike buffs likened Flyknit to the 2000 debut of the Air Woven, and while the similarities are certainly obvious, the comparison reveals one major difference; while both the Air Woven and Flyknit featured an exclusive set of limited HTM

releases at the start and adopted the concept car-like weave of fibers, the Woven was barely promoted by Nike and rather crept up on curious minds, eventually became a cult smash. Flyknit, on the other hand, was showcased on grandest sports stage of the year – the 2012 Olympic Games in London. With bright Volt-colored Flyknit Trainers proudly displayed on the Olympic medal stand by top US athletes like Michael Phelps and LeBron James, it was made certain that Flyknit was not intended to be a sleeper hit. In fact, Nike did all that it could to ensure that its latest design achievement would be a mainstream success, and considering the voluminous response to all the releases throughout the year, it was abundantly clear that Flyknit filled a void that hardcore runners and Nike loyalists alike were desperately looking to fill.

Along with the blockbuster success came some controversy involving Nike’s biggest competitor in the field. Months after the February debut of Flyknit, adidas unveiled PrimeKnit – a new running shoe design with a shockingly similar construction that also honed in on the idea of “less is more.” Much like Nike’s planned schedule of a limited release followed by broader availability, adidas launched 2,012 pairs of the PrimeKnit in London right before the start of the Olympic Games. In September, Nike and adidas took their battle of ‘Knit’ to their respective legal departments, with the most recent publicized update coming in late October (adidas would be allowed to continue production after an initial halt was ordered). While it has always been understood that Nike and adidas have been direct competitors, this ‘Knit’ conflict placed a rather harsh spotlight on this rivalry, giving sneaker enthusiasts a bit of an enticing sub-plot to the already captivating Flyknit story.

By year’s end, it was clear that Flyknit was certainly the undisputed highlight of footwear innovation in 2012 and perhaps over the last several years. With Nike ready to broaden the running core of Flyknit with the Lunar Flyknit One and the Chukka in 2013, we can only imagine what the team of architects and engineers in Beaverton are cooking up at this very moment. If history tells us anything, we can certainly expect this raw and fresh technology to extend beyond the running category and likely eventually see heavy usage in Nike Sportswear, much like how Hyperfuse and Engineered Mesh have been introduced to the classic Air Max silhouettes. But what we do know for sure is that what we’ve seen with Flyknit thus far is just one single thread of a massive intertwining story that will further weave its way throughout the brand in the coming years.


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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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