A breakdown of the hottest sneaker trends in 2022
These days, you don’t have to be part of the exclusive sneakerhead clique to understand the style value that a good pair of sneakers can bring to your wardrobe. Driven by celebrities swapping high heels for stylish runners, the latest sneaker trends have found their way into the mainstream.
Some silhouettes have fleeting moments of glory while others become classic style staples. One thing is for sure, the days when sneakers were strictly worn in a practical way are long gone. Today, a pair of stylish sneakers can be worn on all occasions.
From famous basketball shoes to Balenciaga hype, here’s a monthly breakdown of the hottest sneaker trends we’ve seen so far in 2022.
January – Nike Blazer Mid ’77 Vintage
Launched in January, the Nike Blazer Mid made a strong comeback on the trend list this year after gracing the feet of famous style icons like Bella Hadid and Zendaya. First released in 1973, the basketball shoe was pioneered by NBA star George “The Ice Man” Gervin, who enjoyed a second life as a skater favorite in the ’90s.
In 2006, a collaboration with Supreme elevated the classic silhouette to one of the most sought-after sneakers on the market. From there, other high profile collaborations include Off-White, Comme des Garçons and Stussy.
February – New Balance 990v5
First released in 1982, the New Balance 990v1, designed as a high-performance running shoe, immediately changed the sneaker landscape by offering innovative craftsmanship and cushioning technology. It wasn’t long before the style began to blend the line between performance and lifestyle, becoming a notable favorite of tech maestro Steve Jobs.
In 2016, the 990v4 featured a larger “N” logo evolving into the silhouette synonymous with the popular “dad sneaker” trend. Marketed for “models in London and dads in Ohio”, 2019’s 990v5 continued the 990’s forward-thinking ethos, capturing celebrity fans such as Kaia Gerber and the Kardashians.
Last year, New Balance creative director Teddy Santis teased the sixth iteration of the 990 by saying the design is expected to release in 2022.
March – Nike Dunk Low
The Nike Dunk Low is proof that a simplistic design and versatile shape will take you anywhere. Although originally designed for basketball players and skateboarders in the early 1990s, the silhouette has seen a powerful revival among the wider fashion community in 2020 and 2021, cementing itself as a street style staple. . Everyone from Bella Hadid to Hailey Beiber is known to be a fan of the Nike Dunk Low, seen sporting the on-trend sneaker in its variety of colorways.
And where there’s popularity, there’s demand, with a study by retailer website StockX showing the shoe’s value increased by 300% in 2020. Nike is also known for its collaborations and Dunk Low has featured alongside brands like Ben & Jerry’s, Off White and Dior.
April – New Balance 550s (Aimé Léon Doré)
A classic case of flop-turned-hit, released in 1989, the New Balance 550 is often considered an initial failure. The low-top basketball shoe designed by legendary sneaker architect Steven Smith suffered against similar ’90s styles from Converse, Avia and Reebok that were boosted by endorsements from top athlete sponsorships.
Retired into a later forgotten relic, the sleek, low-rise silhouette got its modern revival at the hands of Teddy Santis and his New York-based label, Aimé Leon Dore. In 2020, the brand set a new direction for New Balance and Aimé Leon Dore by unveiling four colorways of the 550. A favorite of celebrities and sneakerheads, the green and cream colorways are proving to be the biggest needle movers in 2022.
May – Adidas Samba
One of the most iconic adidas sneakers of all time, the Adidas Samba was designed in 1949 by none other than brand founder Adi Dassler. Originally designed for footballers to improve their game on icy surfaces, this style is now the German brand’s second best-selling model behind the Stan Smith. From football fans to musicians, the silhouette began to rise to prominence in the British music scene of the 90s carried by famous faces such as Freddie Mercury and the group Oasis.
While today the shoe remains popular on the indoor soccer field, its simple, clean design and retro vibes have made it an iconic sneaker in street style fashion. Most notably, the silhouette made trending lists this year thanks to Bella Hadid’s “strange girl aesthetic” fashion trend.
June – Nike Shox
As with many iconic Nike silhouettes, the Nike Shox was born on the basketball court designed by Eric Avar in 1984. Improbably inspired by the space suits and equipment of astronauts, the shoe pioneered a new form of cushioning called energy return technology.
Transcending from sports to subcultures, the style has been championed by the underground grime music scene in the UK, recently adopted more widely by famous artists such as Canadian rapper Drake. This year, the oddly unique design emerged as the leader of the “ugly sneaker trend” worn by one of its figureheads, Bella Hadid.
July – Balenciaga Runner sneakers
If there’s one brand known for its high-end, headline-grabbing releases, it’s French fashion house Balenciaga. Joining the well-known ‘dad sneaker’ trend led by Asics and New Balance designs, Balenciaga’s Runner sneakers follow the brand’s previous chunky style releases under creative director Demna Gvasalia.
Reminiscent of the running shoes that ruled throughout the ’90s, the vintage look and chunky look of the Runner Trainers are favorites of celebrities like Dua Lipa. The silhouette looks set to become the brand’s new status-symbol sneaker behind 2017’s Triple S due to its popularity among A-listers, sneakerheads and mainstream consumers alike.
August – Nike Air Humara
Launched in 1998, the Nike Air Humara was once discontinued as an old and long-forgotten trail shoe. In 2017, Supreme put its signature on the classic trail shoe when it launched the Air Humara into the mainstream sneaker catalog.
In this year of clunky and eye-catching sneaker trends, the Air Humara is a perfect fit for 2022. Constructed in a mix of smooth leather and suede, its recent collab with Jacquemus is a celebrity favorite. Redesigned and released this year in two colorways, the most sought after is the sandalwood redesign adorned by A-listers and sneakerheads everywhere.