Kendrick Lamar moving from Reebok to Nike was a natural because Nike gave him the Cortez, and nary has a combination of sneaker and artist felt more seamless. Kendrick used the opportunity to put out a series of colorways inspired by his music and evolving identity, offering a range of aesthetics. The Cortez Kenny III is the best one yet. Black, white, and red play off classic sneaker colorways, but Lamar injected the sneakers with details like Chinese characters embroidered into the toe and "BET IT BACK" printed on the tongue ribbon. It's a brilliant pairing.
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.
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.
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Adidas's Handball Top is a real throwback and a true example of how great shoes were in the 1980s. Once basketball and running took over sneaker trends, soles got pretty boring. If a company wasn't trying to inject as much air as possible into the sneaker, they were just creating waves of EVA and rubber. The sole on these relatively understated kicks have vertical ridges that would be unexpected in 2018, while the upper is old school without feeling tired. The Oyster Holdings collaboration utilized muted tones for sneakers that make a statement but don't scream.
Outdoor, adventurous types can pick up a pair of weatherproof hiking boots, perfect for taming nature’s unexpected weather events. If you’re more of a concrete adventurer, slip into some rubber rain boots and keep your socks dry just as well. For a more ideal day when the sun is shining, zip up your fashionable booties, riding boots or motorcycle boots and connect with your inner fashionista. Match up your interests or hobbies to your style of footwear and find the ideal pair of boots for your one-of-a-kind lifestyle. Whether you’re treading on soil or pavement, your feet and your wallet will thank you.

A sleeper hit, the LeBron 10 made in collaboration with John Elliott is pitch-perfect to Elliott’s aesthetic. The JE brand is known for taking daily staples and elevating them, and rather than purely elevating the LeBron 10, Elliott distilled the sneaker to its constituent parts, taking the shoe from an earlier era and bringing it into the present. After that work was done, he went about utilizing the panels and pieces in black and white to create depth and implicit texture. At a quick glance it may not appear that there’s much to these kicks, but there are layers to them and they deserve recognition.
DSW is your local destination for great values on designer shoes, boots, sandals, accessories, and more. At DSW Downtown Crossing, you’ll find favorite brands for men, women, and kids, including Nike, Adidas, New Balance, UGG, Converse, Timberland, Guess, TOMS, Steve Madden, Aldo, and SO many more. Shop the latest in designer shoe trends, and make sure to browse through our clearance rack of marked-down shoes to discover incredible values that can't be found anywhere else. You'll always find a huge selection of dress shoes, boots, sandals, athletic shoes, handbags, and accessories waiting just for you at DSW!
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