As 2013 slowly winds down, there is a lot to look forward to for next year and we highlight 20 ways we think 2014 is going to be awesome for sneakers! From new Nike models to re-issues of old classics to more retro Jordan releases, the love for sneakers is at an all-time high currently and there are a lot of reasons to be excited for what’s to come in the next 12 months. Take a look and let us know in the comments section below what you think will make 2014 awesome for sneakers!
The Re-Emergence Of Asics
Over the past few years, Ronnie Fieg and the Kith Set team have almost single-handedly brought a number of Asics silhouettes back into public consciousness. But in 2013, Asics showed that they were taking notes, dropping a number of GR colorways that were selling out nearly as quick as those uber-limited collabs. With the likes of the “Urban Camo” and “Christmas” packs selling like they have, we’re stoked to see what Asics has in store for us in 2014.
Kanye To adidas
We all heard the recent news that Kanye felt shorted with his Nike deal on a couple different fronts and decided to jump ship over to adidas for a reported $10 Mil. But what can we expect to see? Yes, in the last few years, the Yeezy has jumped over the Jumpman in terms of hype. But can Kanye keep the Midas touch? Many people often forget, he’s also had some underwhelming ventures in the fashion world. Regardless of his past ups and downs, we feel like the three stripes is a perfect fit for Yeezus. Adidas, with their Jeremy Scott and Y3 lines, have always been known for pushing the boundaries of streetwear, so we’re pumped to see what Kanye’s got in store in 2014. Whatever it is, you can be sure he’ll keep it interesting.
The Random Restocks
Ah, the random restock. They keep those bot hackers on their toes and sneakerheads with their Twitter notifications chirping. Nike recently took many by surprise, dropping a sweet, unannounced restock that included the likes of Grape, Laney and Doernbecher Vs, Fire Red IIIs and other similar highly-desirables. We can’t get enough of the random restock, and hope JB (and Nike) keep the trend going…especially for those black/royal Is we missed out on this year!
Drake To Jordan Brand
Following the huge announcement that Kanye shook Nike and headed to adidas, Jordan Brand dropped an interesting announcement themselves. Not to be outdone by adidas’ huge coup, Jordan made a splash of its own in the sneaker world by signing rapper Drake to it’s roster. What will become of this? Drake recently tweeted photos of some “PEs” JB spun up for them, but will those ever make it to retail? Drake’s had an interesting past with Js, sharing pics from his vault and flossing some dope retros, but he’s also been caught slipping by wearing fake (or -ahem – “customized”) Jordans. Consider us intrigued.
Puma On The Up-And-Up
Another brand moving back up in the battle for the disposable income of sneakerheads is Puma. With instant sell-out collabs from some big names like Ronnie Fieg (the Cove Disc!), Sneaker Freaker (the Blaze of Glory series) and BWGH (R698 “Bluefield”), Puma has shown that they haven’t left the public consciousness. An especially strong end of the year in 2013 has us amped about what 2014 will entail.
With the recently announced Prelude series finishing up in early January, and the high-profile debut of the Kobe 9 on the way, we’re very intrigued with what Nike has in-store for the Black Mamba in 2014. The Kobe 8 had more colorways than almost any other Nike signature we can remember, so what will 2014 bring for the 9? Even though designer Eric Avar has claimed the Kobe 9 wasn’t designed to compensate for KB24’s Achilles injury, we can’t help but feel that’s the case with what we’ve seen so far. And word is already out that there will be a low-top version too in 2014. With the interesting high-top silhouette already announced, and the comeback of one of the most prolific players the game has ever seen at stake, Nike and the Kobe 9 have our attention in 2014.
Revised LeBron XI?
When the LeBron XI, and the subsequent colorways were announced, sneakerheads were pumped to get their hands on the latest iteration of Nike’s flagship basketball signature. But when the NBA season actually started, many were confused as to why King James continued lacing up his previous signature rather than the XI which was supposedly “Fit for a King”. After only wearing the XI for a handful of quarters, LeBron finally publicly addressed the questions surrounding his footwear flip-flop, saying he has issues with the fit (ouch), and particularly the Foamposite on the toe box. Considering who the athlete is, can we expect to see Nike change things up and issue a half-step release in 2014? We’ve seen it with other signatures like the DRose and Jordan lines (Jordan 18.5 anyone?), why not LeBron? Nike has to consider some sort of reprieve for a rather high-profile misstep. This will be an interesting one to watch throughout the course of the next year.
More Gems From The Nike Vault
With the popularity surrounding the reemergence of “The Glove” and Huarache silhouettes, what else can we expect Nike to bring back out? Jason Kidds? More Vince Carter Shox? We know some others, like the Tech Challenge have made some noise as of late, but what else do the minds at the Swoosh have up their sleeves? We definitely bet the retro trend will continue in 2014 for both trainers and plenty of basketball models.
Nike and Agassi Are Back Together
Speaking of bringing back some gems from the old Nike vault, the Swoosh and Andre Agassi are back at it, bringing back the Air Tech Challenge II “Hot Lava” in early 2014. That alone would be noteworthy, but Nike stays digging through that vault and will also bring back the Tech Challenge Huarache in several colorways, including the OGs. Next year is shaping up to be the year of the REAL tennis shoe.
Air Jordan Xs
The 20-year anniversary of the debut of the Air Jordan X (1994 – 2014) is bringing with it plenty of retros and new colorways in the coming year. Already announced are the retros of OG colorways like “Powder Blue” and new colorways like the ‘Venom Green’ and cool grey/infrared, but what else can we expect? We know the X is one of Jordan’s most slept-on silhouettes, so this one has us very interested.
Melo M10 and Melo Retros
Carmelo Anthony is now in his final year of his Jordan Brand deal and though many do expect him to remain with the brand, the fact JB is already retro’ing his signatures points to the notion that the Jumpman is sweating the competition. Melo’s M10 is set to make it’s debut in a few weeks, and it’s commercial reception will likely shed some light on what will become of the situation. But with the competition from the likes of PEAK, Li-Ning and even ANT, as well as the well-known heavies like adidas and Reebok, we could have a bit of a bidding war on our hands.
The Return Of Infrared
We know the white/infrared Air Jordan VIs are set to make their way back in 2014 (2/15/2014) already. But anytime JB brings one of the most popular colorways back, we have to ask about it’s counterpart: what about the black/infrared VI? They released as a retro pack back in 2010. How bout again in 2014? This one has us praying to the sneaker gods. Plus, Infrared was back in a big was this year on plenty of Nike Air Max 90 iterations, as well as the Air Trainer 1 Mid. Hopefully for trainer fans, that trend will continue next year as well at least to some degree.
Retros: Most Wanted
Speaking of some dope retros, already confirmed for a 2014 comeback is the Air Jordan VI “Carmine”. Retro’ed only once in 2008’s Countdown pack, it’s been 23 years since it released solo, so we’re pumped for this one. Also, rumors have been swirling around the interweb that some other highly-requested VI retros will come back too. Sport Royal or Maroon VIs anyone? We’re already saving up!
New Rumored Air Jordan III Colorways
We’re always watching what Jordan Brand does…who isn’t?! But, we’re particularly intrigued when they bring out new colorways on some of their most iconic silhouettes like the rumored “New Slate” and “Powder Blue” makeups of the Air Jordan III. Are they real or just samples? Not everything you read on the internet is true. Will they be a big hit like the FEAR pack? Or a bit of a let down (hello Joker IIIs)? Guess we’ll just have to wait and see…
What Is The Nike Kiashi?
Speaking of hot new Nike silhouettes, a new one from the Swoosh is reportedly on it’s way, and it has many claiming it’s “the next Roshe.” Though no one’s seen it yet, that’s a promise with some big shoes to fill. Consider our interest piqued.
The Bidding War For Future NBA Prospects
With players like Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins, Julius Randle and Aaron Gordon theoretically entering the NBA Draft in 2014, there is sure to be an intriguing bidding war on the horizon. It’ll be interesting to see how the likes of Nike, Reebok and adidas pay out for these “sure fire” prospects, and particularly WHO they place those bets on. With a wealth of talent eligible to enter the draft, this one will be one to watch come summertime.
What Else Does size? Have Up It's Sleeve?
Though they’ve got some stiff competition from a few stateside shops like Kith, Concepts and Saint Alfred just to name a few, size? has made a solid case for shop of the year in 2013. With more dope collabs in 2013 than most shops EVER get, they’ve cemented themselves as one of the premier footwear boutiques in the world. But, the sneaker game is always like Janet Jackson; “what have you done for me lately.” What does the UK-based shop have in store for sneakerheads in 2014? Well, we don’t exactly know. But, considering what they did in 2013 with a bevy on Nike exclusives, we can’t wait to find out.
Jordan Brand Stores
With Jordan Brand looking to branch out beyond retros, and even (commercially) the sport of basketball itself, JB has announced plans to open up their own stand-alone shops. The first of which recently opened it’s doors as a shop-in-shop within the walls of Shiekh Shoes’ flagship store in San Fran. With more scheduled to open throughout 2014, we’re keeping our eye open in the hopes we’ll get some sort of special edition releases or, at the very least, a tangible solution to the crazy release/RSVP process.
Flyknit + Air Max = Awesomeness
Flyknit is an amazing and innovative technology on it’s own. But the past twelve months has seen Nike combining that tech with various cushioning and support systems, and in the process, creating hit after hit (Free Flyknit or Lunar Flyknit anyone?). That tradition looks to continue strongly in 2014 with the announcement of the Flyknit Air Max. Though a proper release is set for January 3rd, Finish Line will have them available a week early on 12/27. This one should be a banger, and we can’t wait to see what other colorways the chefs at Nike will cook up for us.
Smoother Online Releases
Lately, a strange thing has been happening: a shop releases a hyped-up sneaker and the site doesn’t crash! We know it’s an obvious one, but overloading the servers of a single sneaker boutique is still fresh in the bitter memory of many sneakerheads. As you’ve seen with Kith and even the recent Saint Alfred drop, shops are taking notice of better eCommerce platforms like Shopify, who’ve seemingly got things figured out. It doesn’t necessarily make the limited sneakers any EASIER to get, but at least we’re not shutout by a server crashing under the weight of the hypebeasts and resellers. Now, we can only hope some of the heavyweights figure out a solution to curb the unfair advantage some are taking to pickup new releases with the use of bots. While figuring out that issue will go a long way in creating an equal opportunity for everybody, it still won’t change the fact that you can’t get everything you always want.