2018 was an intense year for sneakers. We started the year heavy on the chunky soles and dad shoe trend, and, as the year wraps up, we're getting more into personalized pairs. White sneakers are appearing across every market, acting as canvases for amateur creatives to leave a personal touch on their kicks. Meanwhile, brands have also been focused on blending the past and the future; you’ll find this list is populated with shoes that draw inspiration or elements from the '80s and '90s, but play with them in very contemporary ways. And while technology used to be about running away from the past, the sneakers in 2018 show us that we can use it as a launching pad. This is our list of the best sneakers of 2018.
You'll want boots that last all season, keeping your stride comfortable and easy while standing up to the rigors of the pavement and the trail alike. Materials can make a huge difference in everyday wear. Leather is prized for its durability and elegant appearance while suede is soft, comfortable and is also relatively tough. Explore women's boots, plus even more types of fashionable footwear in our shoe department!
Each year in sneaker hierarchy can be measured in technical innovation just as well as hype or style. This year, Jordan Brand applied Flyknit technology to the Air Jordan III, a move that required amazing dexterity and development when it comes to creating new textures from the material. The III is famous for combining smooth and tumbled leathers with the legendary elephant skin print. Jordan was able to get all those textures, and more, in 3D out of the Flyknit, making for a sneaker—and a process—that combines old and new.
Buying shoes online is a pain in the ass. Even if you measure your feet correctly, shoe fits vary widely, so you’ll inevitably have to ship a few pairs back before you find the right one. Try buying several styles in several sizes at once, so you can just make one big return shipment instead of five trips to UPS. Most shoe sites are fine with this, but check site policy before you go wild.
Birkenstocks are highly favored by their many converts for city walking, to the point where some Birkenstock-lovers wear no other shoes. They have have their ups and downs in popularity but always seem to make a comeback. The deep heel cup is the reason. It provides a "barefoot experience" that may take some getting used to, but once converted, few go back to other footwear. If you dare take the first step towards this cult, give Birks a try. You may become part of their longstanding (and long walking) following.
It has a sale tab on its site and consistently runs other promotions. For example, it often runs end-of-season sales during which you can get shoes, sandals or boots for as much as 50 percent off. Famous Footwear also has a rewards program that earns you points for each dollar you spend. These points can then be redeemed later. When you sign up for the rewards program, you also get exclusive offers and free shipping on any orders you make online. This may be one of the best perks because standard shipping applies to non-rewards members’ purchases.
When the weather gets warm and your social calendar starts filling up, it's time to update your summer wardrobe with cute shoes for the occasion. GoJane carries all of the cute, cheap sandals that you could ever want for the summer season, from boho-inspired gladiator sandals to classic slides that will take you from the pool to a night out with the girls.
We don't want to confuse the two very different trends of Dad Shoes and Chunky Shoes, but the Balenciaga Triple-S represents the peak for both of them. Those trends are petering out, but we cannot deny that the Triple-S has had a massive impact, and the reverberation continues. Each chunky sneaker released since the Triple-S seems like a weak knock-off of the sneaker that truly set the tone. The year has also seen the silhouette develop and change in both look and price because the shoes sell out as quickly as Balenciaga can make them. It's truly a phenomenon.
Easily one of the most hyped sneakers of the year, the duo of black and white Air Prestos from Nike and Off-White were also one of the best. Virgil Abloh snapped with the original Air Presto from his "The Ten" collection last year, and, while the design was initially overlooked, it has since proven itself to be one of the most progressive from the collection. The complexity of the silhouette lends itself well to the subtleties of black and white to let the textures come through. Fans lapped up both colorways, and many of the white pairs have become canvases for homemade customs to near unanimous positive results.