The AlphaBounce has been a great sneaker for Adidas, opening the brand up to runners on a tighter budget. But the AlphaBounce Beyond is a whole new level. The one shortcoming of the AlphaBounce was always aesthetics; it was often an overkill combination of textures, materials, and patterns. But the new AlphaBounce Beyond edits and elevates the look to the next level. The sole design fits seamlessly into the upper, each of them playing off the same textural motifs. An arch plug adds a little bit of surprise. The Beyond demands a few dollars more than its predecessor, but it also represents more than a couple extra steps in the right direction.
If 2018 represented the transition from bold design to subtlety, few projects straddle that change as well as the Paris Saint-Germain collaboration with Air Jordan. The partnership resulted in two pairs: a Jordan V and a Jordan 1, but we're only including the V on this list because it's the one that did the most. At first blush, the shoe doesn't look so different from the classic Black/Metallic colorway, just rendered even darker. The tongue and quarter have been transitioned from grey to black, and an inclusion of "75" is embroidered at the heel. The shifts are subtle enough that the shoes catch the attention of older sneaker heads, but have the added hype details to make the younger generation take notice. This is what we're looking forward to in the future of sneaker collaborations.
Huaraches: A recent arrival to the mainstream market but tried-and-true for centuries is the huarache sandal. A mix between a flip and a hiking sandal, these ultra-light sandals are composed of a simple rubber sole (typically Vibram) and narrow webbing that splits the big toe like a flip and hugs the heel and cinches like a hiker. The simplicity of these sandals, with the omission of top and midsoles, makes huaraches the closest option to going barefoot. Some folks run 100-mile endurance races in these, but the weight and design also makes them great as a packable and versatile sandal.
After Lance Mountain brought a layered customization to the Jordan 1 and Virgil Abloh tore it apart and sewed it back together, Nigel Sylvester took those bold moves and blended them into subtler, personal flourishes on his latest collaboration. Taking inspiration from how his own pairs look after being heavily worn, the result is a sophisticated design with alluring details, and definitely a top pick from the year.
The first thing you should be looking for when you want to purchase cute sandals is what kinds of materials they are made from. The most common ones are made from leather. This includes not only the straps, but the sole of the sandals as well. The leather is perfect to absorb sweat from your feet as well as endure a lot of wear and tear throughout the hottest months of the year. Leather also stretches as you're wearing it. This means that you're going to be able to have shoes that will mold to your exact shape and size of foot. You will not be locked into the mold that the manufacturer made for the shoe. Instead, you will create the mold using your foot.