20 Recent Sneakers That Will End Up Being Iconic


In concentrating on just the last few years, we highlight 20 recent sneaker releases we feel will end up being considered iconic as time passes on. From new silhouette’s being introduced to instant colorway hits on established models, this list is packed with both options that you could get your hands, as well as those that you may still have on the ol’ wanted list. Only time will tell if any of these selections truly reach iconic status, but there’s no doubt all of these have their fair share of fans in the sneaker world and were sought after when they debuted. Take a look and please let us know in the comments section below what recent release we didn’t highlight you think will end up being iconic years from now.

Nike HTM Flyknit Chukka

Release Year: 2013

If you know, you know. Not only is the Nike Lunar Flyknit Chukka one of the most comfortable sneakers on the market today, the design pedigree behind this HTM colorway pack is going to be one for the record books. The HTM Flyknit Chukka is simply beautiful, and not only did we get one classic colorway, there were actually two in the pack.

LeBron X 'Cork'

Release Year: 2013

Oh, you already know what these are. And one could certainly argue that they are already iconic in their own right. But the LeBron X ‘Cork’ is going to go down in history for being something we’ve never seen before. A flagship basketball sneaker employing such an unorthodox material on the upper may not make the greatest on-court shoe of all time, but the LeBron X ‘Cork’ is special and will go down as one of the best LeBrons ever.

Nike Roshe Run

Release Year: 2012

The Nike Roshe Run really changed the game. Combining high levels of comfort and style, with a low profile and (perhaps, most importantly) low retail cost, the Roshe Run is poised to be a sneaker we look back on as a classic. Calypso, Iguana or even the simple black/sail-grey iteration, you really can’t go wrong with any number of the releases these past couple of years.

Nike Zoom KD IV "Nerf"

Release Year: 2011

Hands down the best KD colorway Durant’s signature line ever saw, the Nike Zoom KD IV “Nerf” is one for the record books. Rarely does a sneaker come along that so perfectly captures the spirit of it’s inspiration. The “Nerf” KDs, though insanely expensive now on the resale market, are a beautiful shoe.

Nike Kobe 9 Elite Low HTM

Release Year: 2014

The Kobe IX probably could have made this list for the unorthodox aesthetic and high-performance tech alone. But, once we saw this quartet of HTM Lows, we were floored. Look, unless you have the crazy-international hookups, it’s extremely difficult to lock down one pair of HTMs let alone 4. But if you went broke trying, we couldn’t blame you one bit. These are the definition of future icons.

adidas ZX Flux "Prism"

Release Year: 2014

A shot across the Nike bow, the adidas ZX Flux is on pace to give the Roshe Run some serious competition for the sub-$100 casual-runner market. And, if adidas keeps pumping out colorways like the fantastic “Prism” makeup, it’s going to be a dogfight. We’re deeming this one a future classic because of what this means for us sneakerheads. This could be the start of something good.

Nike Free Inneva Woven NRG

Release Year: 2012

The Nike Free Inneva Woven silhouette may not be for everyone, but the initial colorway, the black/wolf grey NRG model, set a really high bar. Black hand-woven uppers paired with simple grey-speckled Free midsoles on an wildly unconventional silhouette, make these an ideal candidate for future iconic status.

Nike Air Python "Dover Street Market" Black

Release Year: 2014

So, technically the Nike Air Python dropped back in 1987, but it wasn’t until this year’s “Dover Street Market” retro did they really perfect it. Not only is the colorway perfect, matching classic with luxury, the snakeskin-textured limited release meant this was little more than a pipe dream for many of us, making it all the more legendary.

Nike Air Tech Challenge II "Wimbledon"

Release Year: 2013

The Nike Air Tech Challenge II is certainly nothing new, having retro’ed a few times since it’s original debut in 1989, and as recently as 2008. But, whether you chalk it up to the hype surrounding the similarly-soled Air Yeezy II, or simply the cyclical pattern of fashion and sneakers itself, the climate of the sneaker market has never been more accepting of retro Agassi’s. Our favorites (so far), the “Wimbledon” edition, are surely going down as an iconic sneaker. Not only are they well designed, using high quality materials, but the no-hype release pattern, particularly nowadays, is notable and refreshing. These were mad tough to get your hands on and they’re oh-so crispy clean…and reflective!

Air Jordan "Fear Pack"

Release Year: 2013

Perhaps more than any “new” Air Jordan colorways, the Air Jordan “Fear” Pack has really grown on us over time. And they only released back in 2013! Three of our favorite JB silhouettes hit up with subtle, dark colorways makes us wish we’d have double-up’ed. Regret is one of the staple qualities of the future iconic sneaker.

BAPE x UNDFTD x adidas Originals ZX 5000

Release Year: 2013

You know when three sneaker legends like BAPE, Undefeated and adidas team up, the result is going to be memorable. But 2013s ZX 5000 exceeded even our ridiculously high expectations. Getting ahold of the standout ZX 5000s from the gorgeous triple pack may have been difficult and even costly, but the effort (and money) was probably worth it.

Pendleton x Vans Vault Taka Hayashi Hi

Release Year: 2010

Taka Hayashi’s work with Vans’ Vault line has been nothing short of groundbreaking. And, back in 2011, when they called in the help of outerwear staple Pendleton, the result was a work of art, plain and simple. Rumors of production issues meant that this limited sneaker was even more scarce at retail. But, if you caught a pair, count yourself lucky…these are definitely future classics, and may be the greatest Vans ever made.

Air Jordan IV "Toro Bravo"

Release Year: 2013

The Air Jordan IV is the definition of an iconic sneaker. And, because of how beloved the silo is, the bar is set really high for JB when it comes to introducing new colorways on it. But hitting the IV up with this fantastic red and black makeup was a no-brainer. You can guarantee we’ll be seeing retros of these in future years.

Supreme x Nike SB Dunk Low

Release Year: 2012

Whether you’re a fan or not, I think we can all agree that, when given the opportunity, Supreme absolutely murders it’s collaborative efforts with Nike. Everyone knows about their infamous 2002 takes on the SB Dunk Low, but the recent 2012 effort was just fantastic. If the 2002 versions are icons already, there’s no doubt in our mind that the red 2012 versions are well on their way.

CNCPTS x New Balance 999 "Kennedy"

Release Year: 2011

Oh the New Balance 999 “Kennedy”, the grail of even the most devout sneakerhead. Often referred to as the greatest New Balance sneaker of all time, Concepts truly cemented their legacy as a sneaker heavyweight when they released these beauties spearheaded by the design mastery of Frank the Butcher. Just look at ’em…awww yeah. No-brainers.

Ronnie Fieg x Asics Gel Lyte III "Salmon Toe"

Release Year: 2011

The Ronnie Fieg x Asics Gel Lyte III “Salmon Toe” will go down as an iconic sneaker for a number of reasons. Not only did it mark the opening of the now legendary Kith shop, but it’s a fantastically beautiful sneaker…perhaps one of the greatest Asics ever. As always with RF releases, these were produced in extremely limited numbers and a super tough release to cop. But these GLIIIs are just amazing.

Supreme x Nike Foamposite One

Release Year: 2014

The Supreme x Nike Foampostie One will go down as an iconic sneaker almost on the hype it generated alone. Fortunately, it’s not all hype, as the shoe itself is pretty dope. If you were one of the lucky ones to get hold of a pair, black or red, you really couldn’t go wrong. We just hope you copped them to you know, actually wear them.

Nike Flyknit Racer & Trainer 'Multicolor'

Release Year: 2013

Nike’s always pushing the envelope on innovation. Not only are the Flyknit Racer and Trainer models groundbreaking from a performance and comfort standpoint, but they really knocked it out of the park with the loud, but uniquely versatile ‘Multicolor’ colorways. Unfortunately for many of us still on the hunt for the Racers, the resale already lets us know that these are going to be future classics. And while the ‘Multicolor’ Flyknit Trainers may have held up a bit longer at retail, heads are likely going to regret not picking up a pair as the years pass by.

Nonnative x New Balance 997

Release Year: 2012

The Nonnative x New Balance 997 sat near the top of almost everyone’s ‘best of’ list for the year 2012. Nicknamed “The Dune” in respect to its color scheme of tonal tan shades, what really set off this makeup is the contrasting bright blue found on the inside of the midsole. What also makes this a future classic is the use of the 997 model, which has been quite absent from retail shelves in recent years. If you were lucky enought to get your hands on a pair, we’re sure they are treasured.

Nike Air Max 90 Hyperfuse "Infrared"

Release Year: 2011 (Crooked Tongues Exclusive)

While the “Infrared” Nike Air Max 90 Hyperfuse was more widely available in 2012, the world got its first glimpse of the iteration via Crooked Tongues’ annual BBQ event back in 2011. Produced in very limited numbers at the time, these were gifted at the event as Nike Sportswear served as the headliner and they also featured the date of the event stamped on the insoles. Even when the general public had the chance to get their hands on these jewels in 2012, they were still gobbled up quite quickly. While almost any “Infrared” Air Max 90 is held in high regard, these are especially dope coming at a time when Nike was re-inventing their classic trainer models with the use of modern tech materials on the uppers.


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