The sneaker world is doing its best to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic as responsibly as possible. Whether it’s New Balance converting one of their factories into a mask production unit or Adidas sending shipments of new sneakers to hospital workers in New York, every brand is stepping up to the challenge presented by these difficult times. The retail world isn’t far behind, either. StockX has decided to prioritize employee safety over speed and adjusted their verification and shipping processes accordingly. DICK’s Sporting Goods and a number of other chain retailers have created curbside pickup services as well as traditional shipping. All of this is to say that there’s nothing stopping you from busting out a pair of fire sneakers while working from home.
Even with some sporadic delays in release (one of these days the Air Jordan Dior pack will finally drop, I guess …) and shipping taking place over the last month, 2020 has been a great year for sneakers so far. While there’s no sign of that changing any time soon, it feels like a good time to step back and take a look at some of the best sneakers the year has had to offer so far. The best part? Most of these are still available in a wide array of sizes at retail price, so you won’t have to break the bank to get your sneaker situation in good shape for the rest of the year.
Air Jordan 3 ‘Fire Red’ | $200
Look, I’m not going to pretend every single Jordan 3 colorway is a must-cop but it’s such a perfect shoe that it’s kinda hard to screw up, especially when the colorway is a play on one of the greatest sneakers of all time. The Air Jordan 3 ‘Fire Red’ is a standout release from this year’s NBA All-Star Weekend, one that’ll make a killer addition to any sneaker rotation.
Any time Pharrell designs a shoe it’s worth taking notice and his latest drop with Adidas is no different. While the capsule contains a number of eye-catching designs thanks to a tie-dye theme throughout the line, the standout is this rendition of the Crazy BYW 2.0. Finding the right outfit to pair such a weird sneaker with may be tough but it’s worth the effort.
Adidas Copa Nationale | $90
Adidas’s skateboarding line has been making big moves over the last year or so, with this sneaker being a particular standout of their 2020 lineup. It’s a play on the classic Adidas Copa soccer cleat but reimagined with a beautiful gum sole and vibrant blue upper, taking it from one performance sport to another. It’s perfect for a run at the skate park or for a summer afternoon with friends, and with warmer weather right around the corner you’ll need something that can work with the whole no-sock look. Consider this your best bet.
Nike’s Air Zoom Pegasus line is pretty top of the line as it is when it comes to running shoes thanks to its revolutionary Zoom foam in the sole, but this particular colorway is a real standout among standouts. Inspired by the sneaker culture of Tokyo, it makes for a crazy cool and vibrant sneaker that’s as stylish as it is functional. You won’t want to take them off after your run.
New Balance OMN1S ‘Sunrise’ | $140
Kawhi Leonard made waves in 2019 from the moment he debuted the New Balance OMN1S at NBA All-Star Weekend. Leonard went on to go on a tear of a playoffs run with the Toronto Raptors, including an NBA Championship, Finals MVP, and bonafide all-time great basketball moment in the form of a Game 7 buzzer-beater against Philadelphia. He did it all while wearing the OMN1S. While he’s taken his talents (and his sneakers) to Los Angeles to play with the Clippers, the shoe remains one of the best basketball sneakers on the market today. The latest ‘Sunrise’ colorway is a beautiful design on an unbeatable shoe.
Adidas Dame 6 ‘DAME 3:16' | $120
As far as pop culture sneaker collaborations go, this one is pretty hard to top. Portland Trailblazers icon Damian Lillard is a loud and proud fan of pro wrestling, holding a particular soft spot for the Attitude Era icon Stone Cold Steve Austin. He finally got the chance to pay homage to his hero in this sick rendition of his latest signature sneaker. The ‘Dame 3:16’ colorway of the Dame 6 draws inspiration from the black tee and blue jean shorts Stone Cold so often wrestled in and even comes with DAME 3:16 emblazoned on the sole.
Nike Wildhorse 6 | $130
These days some of the only outdoor activities generally taken as kosher are running and hiking. Whether you’re hitting the trail for a run or enjoying solitude on a trek through the mountains, the Nike Wildhorse 6 has you covered. It’s great for off-road running or hiking in uneven terrain. It doesn’t hurt that the sneaker’s first colorway is a really lovely light blue that pops with a bright yellow heel.
- Buy it now for $130
Air Jordan 7 ‘Hare’ | $250
To a certain generation, Michael Jordan’s accomplishments on the court will always be second to his accomplishments as an actor in the film Space Jam. His association with the Looney Tunes, his co-stars in the film, goes well beyond their blockbuster cinematic endeavor. There have been a number of Air Jordans inspired by the Looney Tunes, the latest of which is a strong addition to the lineup. The Air Jordan 7 ‘Hare’ 2020 is a play on the original ‘Hare’ colorway from 1992, this time paying slightly more direct homage to the Looney Tunes leader Bugs Bunny. The shoe features faux-rabbit fur and pink accents, making for a super eye-catching number totally worth the money for any fan of Jordan or just classic cartoons.