2021 has seen plenty of expected trailblazers release this year, alongside underdogs and re-emerging brands and silhouettes. Before the year began, the Jordan Brand dropped their preview of what sneakers we would expect. Meanwhile, other brands kept their sneakers under wraps until closer to their release dates. Neither of which left many disappointed.
In no particular order, these are our top releases of 2021.
One word to describe this sneaker is: clean. The Hyper Royal colourway was a glimpse at distressed suede overlays, most recently seen on the AJ1 Turbo Green. The buzz around this sneaker started in October 2020 and, it certainly lived up to the hype.
Release: 17 April
The Converse Run Star Hike was released last year, but they snuck into the Top 10 regardless. Converse reworked and reimagined a classic silhouette. The addition of a chunky outsole saw improved comfort and increased durability. All while keeping the roots of the Chuck Taylor at its core.
Release: 17 November 2020
The Air Jordan 4 is a timeless silhouette from the Jordan Brand, in fierce competition for the top spot alongside the Air Jordan 1 and Air Jordan 11. A crisp white upper with cement accents was guaranteed to send the sneaker community into overdrive.
Release: 3 July 2021
The New Balance comeback is one for the books, the resurgence of this brand, especially the 550 model as a streetwear classic, wasn't predicted by many, let alone anyone. The 80s inspired basketball silhouette combines a classic style with bold and vibrant colours to keep up with the times.
Release: 27 December 2021
Virgil Abloh's creativity knew no bounds. Whatever you expected, he always left you surprised. The legacy he leaves behind is cemented in the sneaker and streetwear communities forever. Every Lot in "The 50" was one of a kind, with plenty of thought and innovative genius behind it. Rest in eternal peace, Virgil Abloh.
Release: 9 August 2021
If there's one thing we've learned over the years, it's that Kanye West is inevitable. Whether you like the new designs West brings to the YEEZY brand, it's hyped. The extraterrestrial look of the Yeezy Foam Runner sets it apart from any sneaker ever seen before, but its use of sustainable materials is heavily appreciated.
Release: 11 December
Top two & they're not two. The Air Jordan 4 University Blue is our sneaker of the year. The UNC inspired colourway with the infamous cement accents was a moment of designer genius: essentially a match made in heaven.
Release: 29 April 2021
A distressed dad shoe. The New Balance 2002R Protection Pack combines two consistent trends; a distressed look and the Dad shoe. The two elements balance each other out. The chunky silhouette can stand alone, but the distressed details across the sneaker lift it to another level altogether.
Release: 1 July 2021
The Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG 'University Blue' was the one to cop. The colourway is a nod to Jordans time spent at UNC. Black and white panels paired with a university blue upper completed the retro look. It stands as another strong contender for sneaker of the year.
Release: 6 March 2021
The Air Max 1 is a classic, but the Patta x Nike Air Max 1 caused a stir. A wavy water-like mudguard replaces the usual one you'd see on the model. Four colourways dropped; Monarch, Aqua Noise, Night Maroon and Black White. But, some colourways did better than others.
Release: October - December 2021
What sneaker releases made it into your Top 10, and which ones missed out?
Happy New Year from everyone at Crep Check Mondays; we hope all of your dreams manifest in 2022! We appreciate and thank you for your continued support throughout the years.
A song for you to listen to: Mahalia - Roadside +234 Remix ft. Rema & Ayra Starr