The best sneakers of 2022 have it tougher than ever. We’d be lying if we didn’t admit that the world of sneakers isn’t as alluring as it once was, with loafers, boots, and even—gasp—the occasional dress shoe all piquing our interest with more regularity than they have in years. But something strange happened as a result, perhaps unwittingly: the sneaker release cycle became more focused, and with less trash to sift through week in and week out, the cream is rising to the top faster than before.
On one end of the spectrum are the capital-D designers taking massive, culture-shifting swings, in the form of reality-questioning styles from Balenciaga or collaborations that used to only exist in our dreams (see: Nike x Louis Vuitton). On the other, big hitters like Nike and Jordan are finding new ways to make us fall in love with the silhouettes that turned them into powerhouses, by simply giving the people what they want: retro hues and classic styling. And all the while, new players in the space continue to surprise, whether it’s the gorp gurus at Salomon or the certified lover boy himself, who debuted his first signature shoe with the Swoosh only a few weeks ago.
Which makes our job here that much easier. Below you’ll find all the best sneakers of 2022 so far, definitive proof that this year will be yet another big one for even bigger kicks.
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