The Best Sneakers of 2020

It’s time for you to relive all the moments you signed up for a raffle, waited penitently with hope in your heart just to be crushed when you didn’t get the shoe

By: Christopher Claxton

4 highly coveted sneakers that released this year, Nike Air Max 270 React “Cactus Trails”, Air Jordan 1 CO.JP “Neutral Grey”, Jordan 4 Off-White “Sail” and Nike Dunk High “Michigan”. Credit: carikho_

Now more than ever, everyone wants to be a sneakerhead, once a culture for a small group of people with a love for sneakers is now a billion-dollar industry. The buying, collecting and, reselling of sneakers is now a mainstream past time making it a battle for sneakerheads to get their hands-on sneakers they actually want to wear. Not only do sneakerheads have to fight off their peers for the latest releases but now resellers and people who claim to be sneakerheads as well. The sneakers on this list were even more difficult to acquire due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, releases were pushed back, canceled and everything was forced online where people who didn’t know what the shoe was had a chance. 

This list was very hard to write, there was so many amazing sneakers released this year, choosing just 10 was difficult. This list will be of attainable sneakers only, if the shoe was almost impossible to get I’m not writing about it, so that includes the Nike SB x Ben & Jerry’s Dunk Low “Chunky Dunky”, Dior x Air Jordan 1 Retro High and, the Grateful Dead Bears Nike SB Dunk Low’s. Yes, rarity of sneakers plays a large role in sneakers collecting, the more exclusive the shoe the better but when you only see celebrities with the sneakers then what’s the point? Don’t get me wrong these sneakers were great but the average consumer could not get their hands on them. 

Every pair below has been chosen because they are standout sneakers, they made waves in the sneaker community and in the mainstream. These sneakers look great and will have longevity in the sneaker community. The resell prices will come from StockX for a US size 12, keep in mind sneaker resell prices fluctuate so at the time your reading this article the resell prices might be completely different. Like always this list is my opinion and is in no particular order. Just be aware you probably struck out on some or all of the sneakers on this list, keep some tissues close and the SNKRS App closer, you never know when a shock drop is approaching. 

Jordan 4 Off-White “Sail”

Credit: b_smart30

Resale price: $1,547

Retail price: $200

Release date: 7/25/20

This is the first women exclusive sneaker made by Virgil Abloh for Jordan Brand. They were first seen on display at his “Figures of Speech” exhibit at MCA Chicago and to no surprise the sneaker community had to have them. These Off-White 4’s was one of the most anticipated releases of the year and sold out at the blink of an eye. I really wanted a pair and was unable to get them. I considered paying resale but $1,500 is ridiculous. The demand is high, and the prices are only going up.

Nike Sacai vaporwaffle ‘Sport Fuchsia’

Credit: swn1028

Resale price: $410

Retail price: $180

Release date: 11/13/20

The 2019 Nike Sacai LDV Waffle was notably the sneaker of the year, they’re back with the Nike Sacai Vapor Waffle. The Japanese high fashion men’s and womenswear label is at it again with a fusion of the Nike VaporFly and Nike Pegasus. This shoe is definitely out of the box and of course I paid resell for my pair. The most eye catching part of the shoe is the 3 midsoles combined to make one. At the back they all separate for a more outlandish look.  Double the laces and tongue, premium materials, see-through mesh, these sneakers go crazy and I’m glad I have them in my collection.


Jordan 4 Union guava ice 

Credit: flight0105

Resale price: $1,137

Retail price: $250

Release date: 8/29/20

When Images of this sneaker first dropped, I honestly liked them, it was a different take on the classic Air Jordan 4 but the sneaker community was disgusted. The folded tongue was a turn off and people were against buying the pair. Once photos dropped, illustrating how you could cut the thread and unfold the tongue the Union 4’s became an instant hit. 

Countless hours were put in by many with the goal of getting their hands on the shoe and surprisingly most people did get a pair, unfortunately I wasn’t one of them. When the pair shock dropped on Union LA’s website I was one of the first people on there, added the shoe to cart and was on my way to checking out, there was no queue since there was no site traffic and all I needed to do was complete the captcha that I could not see because I was on mobile. Once I realized, it was too late, I got thrown into queue that lead me to zero sneakers.    

Air Jordan 5 Off-White “Muslin”

Credit: amdijkstra1403

Resale price: $1,048

Retail price: $225

Release date: 2/15/20

Virgil Abloh took the classic “Black Metallic” Jordan 5 silhouette, removed all the padding, added holes, and aged the sneaker significantly. He remixed this classic shoe and the results were very polarizing. People grew to love them as you can see from the resale price. This was the sneaker of the Chicago NBA All-Star Weekend and I struck out.

Adidas Yeezy Foam RNNR 

Credit: Monsieurbanana

Resale price: $785

Retail price: $75

Release date: 06/26/20

This slip on made from foam that came from algae begs the question is this a sneaker? The sneaker community says “yes” but was against the shoe before the release. It was hard to hear any positive comments until the runner dropped and people went crazy for it. Someone paid $900 for a pair on StockX and the community is patiently waiting for another colorway.

Nike Fear of God 1 Triple Black 

Credit: kicks on fire

Resale price: $430

Retail price: $350

Release date: 4/25/20

The Nike Fear of God 1 released in 2018 and was considered one of the sneakers of that year. The sneaker was a mix of high fashion and basketball, debuted by P.J. Tucker that actually did well on court. Since then Jerry Lorenzo has released countless colors and this all black pair was one of the best I’ve seen. I was surprised when I got the “Got ‘Em” on the Nike SNKRS app and I have yet to wear my pair

Space hippie 03, This is Trash 

Credit: Kasey_swooshlife

Resale price: $436

Retail price: $180

Release date: 07/03/20

Nike’s attempt at sustainability started with the Space Hippie pack, a collection inspired by life on Mars. The Space Hippie yarn on the shoe is made from 85% of recycled materials but this sneaker is not trash and is reselling for around $250 over its retail price. I wasn’t fortunate enough to get either of the two color ways on the SNKRS app but I did pay resell for the volt pair. 

Adidas Yeezy QNTM “Quantum”

Credit: Kendal Kauffman

Resale price: $270

Retail price: $250

Release date: 02/16/20

The Adidas Yeezy QNTM upstaged many Jordan and Nike releases during NBA All-Star Weekend. Adidas & Kanye gave out free pairs from secret Sherp ATVs stationed all over Chicago, there’s even videos of people trading in their Nike Fear of God 1’s for a pair. 

Air Jordan 1 “Bio Hack”

Credit: whysamarai

Resale price: $274

Retail price: $170

Release date: 09/04/20

This sneaker resembles the 2005 Nike Undefeated Dunk High and is the first Jordan 1 in a long time to actually have colors. It’s a crazy color way and that’s why it’s one of the best sneakers to release this year. The sneaker features outside the box color blocking, different from what we normally expect. I took another L on the SNKRS app and had to lay resell for this sneaker as well.

New balance x Aime Leon Dore 550

Credit: Aime Leon Dore

Resale price: $345-650 depending on the color way 

Retail price: $130

Release date: 10/09/20

New York fashion and lifestyle brand Aime Leon Dore brought back this model for the first time since 1989. The vintage twist the brand added to the sneaker fit right in with the 2020 sneaker aesthetic. People are all about vintage and aged sneakers so these were a must for many sneakerheads. As usual I took an L on release and had to pay resell on GOAT for a pair. I purchased the red pair in the set and the only thing that disappointed me was the cheap and thin box New Balance put them in.


Categories: Lifestyles

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