1. Adidas Original - Stan Smith Leather Sneaker
Among the shoes in the cathedral of legendary Three Stripes silhouettes, the classic Adidas Stan Smith, a silhouette originally designed for a tennis legend, may very well have the most exalted seat of them all. The best-selling shoe in the brand’s illustrious history, the Stan Smith has remained largely unchanged since first arriving to market in the early ’70s, relying upon its crisp, clean, and understated aesthetic to become a favourite of everyone from preppy teenagers to street-style conscious 20-somethings and gracefully aging tennis lovers. After receiving its very own retrospective book earlier this year, the Stan Smith is now arriving in a special “Stan Forever” edition, complete with special touches from its namesake. The instantly recognisable white and green colour combo is left intact, but there are a few noticeable differences: Stan’s name is stamped in gold foil on the lateral side, and a small hand-scribbled “#stansmithforever” hit — in Stan’s handwriting, nonetheless — appears on the medial heel.
2. Nike Metcon 4 Training Shoe
Meet the Nike Metcon 4, the fourth in a line of top-quality training sneakers, and a shoe that’s guaranteed to have plenty of CrossFit plans. Just in time for the New Year, Nike launches its new pair of Metcons, bent on high-intensity interval training domination. And these Metcons are a good shoe, even if they aren’t exactly new or revolutionary. The Nike Metcon 4s have a lot in common with the Metcon 3s in terms of overall design and feel. But that doesn’t diminish just how good these Metcon 4s are for a workout, or just how well-rounded these Metcons are.
The Metcon 4s continue to look like a marriage between a Nike running shoe and a Kobe 6. These are low tops that hug your foot and feature a slim profile. The outsole continues to wrap around the shoe just a tad, providing extra grip for such things as rope climbing.
3. Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Classics
The high-top sneaker has never really fell out of style since the late 1950s, when timeless icons such as Elvis Presley and Steve McQueen cemented their place within the menswear pantheon. Although the high-top comes in many forms, the most famous and iconic design is Converse’s Chuck Taylor All-Star. Though initially created as a basketball shoe for its namesake, Charles Hollis “Chuck” Taylor, it quickly went mainstream thanks to its perfect mix of comfort, simplicity and style. Now over 100 years old, it’s claimed that Converse still sells over 200,000 pairs of “Chucks” a day, making it one of the most successful sneaker designs in history.
4. Vans Old Skool
Vans are a staple in skate culture and street style, and this skate sneaker is no exception. Introduced in 1977, the Vans Old Skool sneaker is a classic in the Vans collection. Full of attitude, the Old Skool is durable and lightweight, and can give the other boys in the collection a run for its money. The Old Skool, Vans classic skate shoe and the first to bare the iconic side stripe, has a low-top lace-up silhouette with a durable suede and canvas upper with padded tongue and lining and Vans signature Waffle Outsole.
5. Nike Air Force 1 Low
The white Air Force 1 Low is one of the bestselling shoes of all time. A decade ago, sporting-goods analyst Matt Powell told the New York Times that the shoe sold an estimated 12 million pairs in 2005 alone, more than two decades after its debut; the sneaker is still Nike’s second bestseller a decade later, according to Powell. The hyped-up collaborations and limited-run collectibles may have given the AF1 a covetable level of prestige and helped spread its gospel to new generations, but the monotone makeups, particularly the white-on-white, have been the ones keeping the lights on at most sneaker shops over the years.