2015 will go down as a year to remember in the sneaker community. The heightened competition only led to elevated products, emergence of new superstar athletes shifted the power from one brand to another, and levels of creativity and ingenuity were reached that were once unfathomable. There were several themes that dictated the sneaker pulse and although 2016 won’t be much different, we’re a bit more sensitive to major changes simply because the shoe game isn’t a one-brand game any more. As mentioned before, this is great news for the consumer because with better product in greater quantity, the opportunity to buy and wear what you like is helping us enjoy it all at the very core.
The new year is here and for the third straight year, Sneaker News has laid out a group of important headlines and predictions that may very well shape the next twelve months. For those who are on top of their news and industry happenings, most of these points should be agreeable, but for those just getting into the game, consider this as a proper outline of what’s to come. There are, of course, a few outlandish predictions here and there, but it’s all in the realm of possibility. Read our 14 Sneaker Headlines And Predictions For 2016 below and stay tuned to see how all this unfolds.
First Look At The Air Jordan XXX
In less than two weeks, Jordan Brand will officially unveil the Air Jordan XXX at an exclusive launch event in Chicago. Sneaker News will be in attendance, bringing you first looks and all the release details that you need to know. Stay tuned.
Return Of Space Jam
The greatest non-OG Air Jordan release of all-time should most likely return in 2016. The Space Jam film will celebrate twenty years this November, so there’s a good chance that the black/blue masterpiece will be given the heavy remaster treatment like the “72-10” joints got just a couple of weeks ago.
Jordan Brand collaborates with Supreme again
How do you follow such a ground-breaking act like the Supreme x Air Jordan 5? It’s tough to one-up, but the possibilities are endless considering all the great sneaker models the brand has to work with. We’re all waiting for the skate brand to color up the Air Jordan 1 in a few ways (and it’s pretty inevitable at this point), so if Jordan Brand and Supreme are tag-teaming again in 2016, don’t be surprised if this skate-friendly silhouette is the shoe of choice.
The Yeezy Boost Will Again Be The Most Talked About Shoe
We get it – Kanye West’s adidas Yeezy footwear was all the rage in 2015. It was the most talked-about item, the most coveted item, and the most inflated item on the re-sell market. That right there is enough to deem the shoe one of the best of the year and certainly adidas’ best offering in quite a while and although Mr. West has a lot more ground to cover before he can definitely jump over the Jumpman on a financial and legacy standpoint, it’s no question that he’ll dominate the headlines once again. That said, expect a number of the Yeezy 350/750/950 releases as well as some new models, like the upcoming Yeezy 550 silhouette.
Nike Mag Sells For An Average Of $12,000
In 2011, the average Nike Mag auction ended at around $3,500. Currently, re-sale value is more than double that figure, so given the fact that the upcoming auctions will feature the all-praised power-lacing and most certainly a refreshed packaging and quality, $12,000 is a reasonable number to expect if you’re trying to save up for a pair of these grails.
There Will Be A Curry Two “MVP” and “Championship Pack”
This is more a prediction on the current NBA season than shoes, but it directly affects what will go down this June. Steph Curry is somehow having a better season than he did last year, and right now there is no team that appears strong enough to stop the defending league MVP and league Champions from repeating their success.
Nike Unveils Paul George As Its Next Signature Athlete
We’ve been pushing this idea for a few years now and it looks like PG is finally due. He’s having a monster season for Indiana and garnering some legitimate MVP votes, so it’s time for the wing player to get the sig-shoe love he deserves. That terrible leg injury is a thing of the past and James Harden moved on to greener pastures, so we foresee Paul George sneakers on retail shelves this year (especially since Kobe is heading to retirement).
Reebok Revives The Question And The Legend Of Allen Iverson
The current era of retro sneakers focuses on about story-telling and history, and there’s no other athlete of the past generation as polarizing and influential as Allen Iverson. The man garnered respected from the entire NBA, and his retirement from the game, albeit far from happening at the top of his game, was incredibly ceremonious. The Question celebrates a key 20th Anniversary in 2016, so expect a number of new colorways of collaborations to surface over the next twelve months.
John Wall Signs With A Chinese Brand
John Wall is probably the most talented “sneaker free agent” worth talking about right now. Ever since leaving adidas (and reportedly turning down a contract offer of $7.5 million per year), he’s likely looking for a big pay bump that Nike and Jordan Brand won’t ever offer (not that an offer is or ever will be on the table). Joining forces with the brands of the Far East was once a move reserved for the aging stars, but with guys like Klay Thompson joining the ANTA fold, the business move should be embraced on a larger scale by young talents who won’t be getting the cash nor the notoriety in the US market.
Jordan Brand Ditches The “23rd Anniversary” Themes
A few years ago, Jordan Brand would focus on one particular Air Jordan model throughout the calendar a year as a way of celebrating the shoe’s 23rd Anniversary. For 2016, that would be the Air Jordan 8, but we already saw the Aquas and Chromes hit stores, while the “Nothing But Net” version provided something new. No Air Jordan 8 Retros are confirmed for the first three months of 2016, so it looks like the “23rd Anniversary” will be put on pause.
The Kobe Retro Era Begins
The “Prelude Pack” of 2013/2014 was just a taste of what a Kobe Retro era would feel like. Now that the Black Mamba has officially called it quits, Nike should go the predictable route and bring out the Nike Zoom Kobe 1 back in stores. It’ll need a bit of Prelude-like flair though, or else the Kobe Retros will be sitting on shelves alongside its contemporary counterparts much like the Air Penny line has over the last two years.
James Harden Gets His First-Ever Signature Shoe
Adidas spent $200 million to lure James Harden from Beaverton to Germany, and the brand’s first step in making back some money is to release product with the Beard’s branding. Sources confirm that a Harden signature shoe will have to wait until summer or the next season, but he will be wearing some PE versions of the CrazyLight Boost 2.5 Low throughout the remainder of the season. It’s clear that the Rockets star prefers the low-cut style, so you can bank on the J Harden 1 (not the confirmed name of his signature shoe) to be a low-top model.
The Air Penny Signature Line Stops At 6
It’s not easy to admit that a lifeline is nearing its end, but for the Air Penny, it’s time to shut it down for good. Nike revived the Air Penny signature line in 2012 with the Air Penny V, and despite the shoe’s penchant for high sales, the Air Penny 6 was an absolute flop despite its decent design. Penny Hardaway isn’t moving the needle like he used, especially since there aren’t any stories of championship glory or double-nickel games under his belt, and the current generation is more interested in what Steph Curry or Kyrie Irving is doing rather than what Penny almost did twenty years ago.
Nike Retros The Air Yeezy
This prediction is outlandish and without merit. But how else will Nike stick it to their former colleague, who spent as much time berating Mark Parker as he did promote his own product? Nike could very well re-issue the Air Yeezy 1 and call it something outlandish and a bit insulting (we like Nike Flystepper 2 Lifestyle) and make a ton of money on it. It probably won’t happen, but Yeezy Retros might jump over Yeezy Boost if it goes down.