More than anything else, compiling and arguing about lists—especially sneaker lists—is fun as hell. So let’s have some fun.
KICKS 21 is “The List Issue.” These rankings put an end (or beginning) to every hot debate in the world of sneakers.
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Nike Kobe 4
The Nike Kobe 4 was directly inspired by the Nike Hyperdunk. Both sneakers featured the Swoosh’s innovative Flywire technology, which allowed designers to shed weight from silhouettes but still maintain supportive lockdown. The Kobe 4 arrived shortly after the OG Hyperdunk in 2008. As if the inclusion of Flywire wasn’t cutting-edge enough, the 4 was also a low-cut silhouette. It marked a complete shift in how basketball sneakers were created. The prevailing thought was that basketball sneakers had to be high-tops, to protect players from sprained ankles. Bryant didn’t believe it. And he was right. A decade later and the game’s youngest stars hoop in lows every night.
Nike Flyknit Racer
Flyknit was introduced at the beginning of 2012 and the whole game changed. There was a brand-new alternative to the chunky, heavy, unbreathable uppers that had been around forever. The Swoosh had spent more than a decade trying to find a way to make runners get faster and for every-day wearers to feel more comfortable. The Flyknit Racer finally delivered on those goals. They didn’t make this sneaker; they engineered it, created it to sprint towards a future full of high-performance Flyknit silhouettes.
Nike HyperAdapt 1.0
It’s not rare to see vision come to reality. That’s happens every day. It’s unusual when a fantasy becomes realized. No one actually expected Nike to deliver on the auto-lacing sneakers that were created for Back to the Future Part II. But they did. The Nike Air Mag came out in limited quantities twice, once in 2011 and then again in 2016. That sneaker, though, is more of a trophy than a practical piece of footwear. Which is why the HyperAdapt 1.0 is the start of a revolution in the industry. A wearable, auto-lacing sneaker that can be used on the court, the track, the field or in the gym—the first of its kind. And the first in line. It’s only 1.0, which means there should be many more on the way.
Other lists from KICKS 21:
The 10 Most ‘2000s’ Basketball Sneakers
Michael Jordan’s 3 Most Influential Sneakers
The 20 Best Sneaker Commercials 🍿
The 8 Hottest KICKS of 2018 (So Far) 🔥
The 15 Best UA Colorways of 2017-18 👀
The 15 Best LeBron 15 Colorways of 2017-18 👑
The WNBA’s 25 Biggest Sneakerheads 🏀👟
Three Reasons Why Kyrie Irving’s Signature Sneaker Line Is Important 🗣
All 106 Sneakers That PJ Tucker Wore in the 2017-18 Season 😳
Three Reasons Why 🅱️🅱️🅱️ Matters
The 13 Best Jordans of 2017-18 (That PJ Tucker Didn’t Wear)
10 Best Hip-Hop Sneaker Brand Collaborations 👟🎶