2018 was an intense year for sneakers. We started the year heavy on the chunky soles and dad shoe trend, and, as the year wraps up, we're getting more into personalized pairs. White sneakers are appearing across every market, acting as canvases for amateur creatives to leave a personal touch on their kicks. Meanwhile, brands have also been focused on blending the past and the future; you’ll find this list is populated with shoes that draw inspiration or elements from the '80s and '90s, but play with them in very contemporary ways. And while technology used to be about running away from the past, the sneakers in 2018 show us that we can use it as a launching pad. This is our list of the best sneakers of 2018.
Walking sandals must have enough adjustment points to keep your heel at the back of the sandal and prevent the foot "traveling" forward and back, rubbing against the straps with each step, which can lead to blisters. You must test sandals at an actual walking distance to see whether foot swelling during walking makes your toes bump against the toe guard, which can lead to black toenail or blisters, or just over the front edge.
Hiking, River, and Surfing Sandals: If you’ll be playing in the mud and muck, look for a sole made of hard rubber compounds. Choose sandals with a deep tread, which will serve you well when you’re going up the face of a steep mountain or balancing precariously on wet river rocks. The upper portion of your sandal, including any straps, should be made of breathable and durable material such as nylon webbing or polyurethane. For the top sole, memory foam allows for supportive cushioning and comfortable wear. Moreover, these materials are water-resistant, whichmeans they won’t become saturated when you stomp through a creek and won’t rot away after a few wet wears.
The Adidas Crazy BYW deserves to be on every list it can get on. The shoe perfectly blends the heritage of Adidas’ Crazy line that launched in the early '90s while incorporating contemporary materials and design. Further, it’s an amazing representation of how Adidas is forming a new identity in the last few years: wild soles, fun texture, and playful lines. One of our earliest introductions to the shoe was the collaboration with Bristol Studio that brought us not just one take on the silhouette but two. The collaboration represented and early apex for the shoe that has been approached since, but never quite met again.
We don’t love the high fashion trend of distressed sneakers: it makes sense on denim, and maybe even a top or two, but aren’t we supposed to keep our sneakers as crispy white as possible? (Yes. The answer is yes.) But there’s something about these Vetements Reeboks that flip the script and make for an amazing pair of kicks. Maybe it’s the retro silhouette, the nostalgic colorway, or the contrast of the distressing, but all together the look is insane (as is the price tag). These have hardly turned into a fan favorite, and even though you’ll probably never find us dropping a stack to get them them, they’re more than deserving of their spot on this list.
Another entry in the reappearing retro runners, the latest collaboration between Supreme and Nike took the surprising form of the Zoom Streak Spectrum Plus. They feature the classic combination of mesh and leather in sharp waves across the upper. Not satisfied enough with the old-school material design, each colorway is covered in flames. The effect is at once respectful of the past, while also giving it a cheeky update. These were by no means Supreme’s most popular collaboration, but they’re fresh and fit squarely into what the industry has been up to this year.
The one that fits. A particular brand or style might be popular right now, but next season, that popular brand or style could change. Your best bet is to try all the brands and styles available in your price range and pick the one that feels best. If you hear great things about a shoe, try it on. If it feels good, wear it. If not, try another style.
For many sneakerheads, the Black Cement 3 is considered the greatest sneaker of all time. A combination of silhouette, colorway, social significance, and basic wearability created a perfect storm. The shoes were made available to the public again for the first time since 2011, introducing a new generation to the GOAT sneaker and letting the rest of us refresh our collection.
Sandals give you the comfort of being barefoot and the confidence of a bit of protection. Once reserved for post-hike fires and lazy days at the beach, sandals have earned a reputation as versatile footwear that are as perfect for burly trails as they are for the office (at least if you work at The Clymb!) and scrambling down bluffs in search of the next break.
It has a sale tab on its site and consistently runs other promotions. For example, it often runs end-of-season sales during which you can get shoes, sandals or boots for as much as 50 percent off. Famous Footwear also has a rewards program that earns you points for each dollar you spend. These points can then be redeemed later. When you sign up for the rewards program, you also get exclusive offers and free shipping on any orders you make online. This may be one of the best perks because standard shipping applies to non-rewards members’ purchases.
Easily one of the most hyped sneakers of the year, the duo of black and white Air Prestos from Nike and Off-White were also one of the best. Virgil Abloh snapped with the original Air Presto from his "The Ten" collection last year, and, while the design was initially overlooked, it has since proven itself to be one of the most progressive from the collection. The complexity of the silhouette lends itself well to the subtleties of black and white to let the textures come through. Fans lapped up both colorways, and many of the white pairs have become canvases for homemade customs to near unanimous positive results.
When Ronnie Fieg and Kith go big, they go big. The latest collaboration with New Balance featured an astounding six different pairs, each one with a third collaborator: United Arrows & Sons or Nonnative, brands that created some of Fieg’s own favorite New Balance collabs. The shoes are well-developed—starting with the originals as inspiration, the shoes use grays and tans as base tones and build on them with purple, pink, bright blue, and brown. The 997 acts as the base for half the shoes, but the other half is a new mashup of retro styling with more contemporary tooling. There’s a ton to choose from in this collection to meet any taste.
When picking the right clothing and shoes for women, sometimes the brand makes a difference. That's why you'll find a great selection of the best names and styles in women's shoes and clothing, whether it's women's slip-ons from Skechers, The North Face jackets, OluKai flip-flops, Levi's jeans, Converse sneakers, Under Armour hoodies, or UGG slippers. Going for a more formal look? Shop Naturalizer pumps, Sam Edelman heels, Vionic slingbacks, and much more.
The other thing to think about is whether you would like to have a thong style sandal or one that simply crosses over the top of the foot. The thong style gives you the comfort of being able to hold the sandal in place simply because of how the thong goes in between your toes. This will require less straps and securing straps in the rest of the shoe. The majority of cheap price sandals are made without a thong as these are more considered to be used in beach shoes rather than in a proper shoe that can be worn in more formal settings. You will need to decide on how casual your look is to decide if the thong is a look that you can support or it is something that you're going to want to save for when you're headed to the beach.
If you know Bape, you know it rips heritage designs from other companies, but that's also sort of their thing. Also sort of why we love them. The Bapesta is a shameless rip-off of the Air Force 1, and while Bape consistently puts Bapestas out year after year, it's far rarer that we see them in Bape's iconic "1st Camo." The 1st Camo is the graphic camouflage that made Bape famous, so the combination of camo and sneaker promised a firestorm of hype. And the shoes made good on that promise. Even if you're not caught in the hype, they have a unique charm to them and will ultimately prove to be one of the best releases of the year.
We have been reviewing online shoe stores since 2016. We did in-depth searches on each website looking at shoes for women, men and children, finding what kind of deals were available and contacting customer support with questions. The best online shoe store we found is Zappos.com. Major benefits include a year-long return policy, 24/7 customer service and a vast inventory of shoes for men, women and children.