A-Cold-Wall*’s Air Force 1 from 2016 is this writer’s favorite sneaker of the last decade, so any related follow-up is going to land squarely on this list. What made the original such an incredible pair was how it took fresh out-of-the-box lacing and turned that into the default for a pair of Forces—it formalized a counter-culture aesthetic into the only option. The Low version released at the end of this year continues the same lacing pattern with a mostly smooth upper that approximates the panels of the high. We’ve lost some of the textures off the original, but ACW has hit it out of the park again thanks to their grasp on how sneaker culture interacts with the wider world.
2018 can boast some truly innovative steps in sneaker design, and the DMX Fusion 1 from Reebok and Pyer Moss is squarely in the pantheon of that arena. The silhouette itself is like a dozen other sock runners, but the lacing system is almost mind-boggling. The laces start at the very toe and help inform the shape of the vamp as they pull back to the quarter. Once at the quarter they crisscross a few times through loops, which are rigged so low on the shoe, they're almost at the sole. The laces then wrap around the heel before coming back to the tongue for closure with a lacelock. It's a complicated but refreshing system, and it opens the door for a lot of customization.
After Lance Mountain brought a layered customization to the Jordan 1 and Virgil Abloh tore it apart and sewed it back together, Nigel Sylvester took those bold moves and blended them into subtler, personal flourishes on his latest collaboration. Taking inspiration from how his own pairs look after being heavily worn, the result is a sophisticated design with alluring details, and definitely a top pick from the year.

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.

Sandals with heel straps are necessary for a good walking stride. But many other walkers want something fashionable or they are unwilling to wear anything but flip flops. If you insist on wearing flip flops, at least get a brand that has good foot support. Orthaheel sandals have motion control elements and arch support. If you overpronate but still want to slide into a pair of flip flops, look into these. Maybe you still won't be walking right to suit my tastes, but you won't be completely ruining your feet and gait. Meanwhile, Vionic also has models with straps.
When Ronnie Fieg and Kith go big, they go big. The latest collaboration with New Balance featured an astounding six different pairs, each one with a third collaborator: United Arrows & Sons or Nonnative, brands that created some of Fieg’s own favorite New Balance collabs. The shoes are well-developed—starting with the originals as inspiration, the shoes use grays and tans as base tones and build on them with purple, pink, bright blue, and brown. The 997 acts as the base for half the shoes, but the other half is a new mashup of retro styling with more contemporary tooling. There’s a ton to choose from in this collection to meet any taste.
The Teva Universal Premier sandal can be your go-to walking sandal throughout the warmer months. It is available in a version with leather uppers and one with quick-drying polyester webbing uppers in a variety of colors. The straps are well-padded, even underneath the rings that connect the straps. This is an important feature to reduce the risk of rubbing, irritation, and blisters that sandal straps can give you, especially on longer walks.

We evaluated shoe stores by simulating the experience of a customer buying shoes online. We did searches for specific types of shoes and priced them across different sites to find good deals. We consulted with people who regularly use online shoe stores and got valuable feedback about who provides the best service and which stores have the best selection for specific types of shoes. We explored the advantages of online buying over buying shoes in a store. We did extensive research online to the best online shoe stores.
When you get to the level of Alexander Wang, there's a confidence of design that seeps through into every piece. That confidence is on full display here. On paper the Puff Trainer shouldn't make any sense: the shoe features a quilted puffer upper with lacing that attaches to the sole and ties behind the heel, a sock entry (usually reserved for speedy, summer-based runners), and a color combination of black, maroon, and neon green. But when expertly balanced with appropriate restraint and flourish, the shoes are an achievement. Not to mention the sole unit is a show-stopper on its own. The sneaker is impressive from toe to heel, and is far and away one of the best offerings from 2018.
Walkers choose walking sandals or trail sandals for both short and long distance walks. As with any walking shoe, it is important to find a good fit and to test the walking sandals at shorter distances and with or without socks. Look for stability, motion control, and cushioning features needed for longer walks. Some designs have a closed toe for more protection against rocks and roots, while others are open-toed as with traditional sandals. Popular brands of walking sandals include Teva, Keen, and Birkenstock. Flip flops are usually a less-recommended choice and you will need to learn how to pick healthier flip flops.

When you get to the level of Alexander Wang, there's a confidence of design that seeps through into every piece. That confidence is on full display here. On paper the Puff Trainer shouldn't make any sense: the shoe features a quilted puffer upper with lacing that attaches to the sole and ties behind the heel, a sock entry (usually reserved for speedy, summer-based runners), and a color combination of black, maroon, and neon green. But when expertly balanced with appropriate restraint and flourish, the shoes are an achievement. Not to mention the sole unit is a show-stopper on its own. The sneaker is impressive from toe to heel, and is far and away one of the best offerings from 2018.
It’s been more than a decade since The Devil Wears Prada, and we’ve traveled more than time since that window opened into the fashion industry. With Jordan’s new women’s brand up and running, Vogue left its mark on this duo of Jordan IIIs. Each has a unique texture that offers real depth, but the achievement is a women’s line that’s strong and expressive, while providing sneakers that are covetable without being desperately "girly." These represent a cultural win on multiple fronts.
FitFlop sandals have a microwobbleboard in the sole that helps relieve pressure points. That can be a welcome feature for the walkers who love this brand. You may want to choose their designs that have a heel strap so you can get a good walking stride. These are sandals that can be worn all day for walking while traveling, as well as at work. For those who like flip flops, many of their designs have a toe post.

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.


As with any walking shoes, you need to go to the experts to get properly fitted. A top quality outdoors store will have a selection of trail sandals, and a top quality running shoe store will have some running sandals. Another option is The Walking Company, which will also provide a digital foot analysis and has sandals available with different footbeds for different needs. Visit, get fitted, and compare prices both online and in the shop.
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For town-to-trail you will enjoy the Rialto 3-Point adventure sandal. The footbed and sole are designed to give your foot the support, traction, and protection it needs for hiking as well as walking on asphalt and pavement. You can adjust the heel strap, ankle strap, and forefoot strap to get the fit and support and you need while walking. The straps are all fully padded so there is less risk of friction blisters.
Designer Exclusions (Certain categories of merchandise are excluded): Akris, Ala�a, Balenciaga, Birkenstock, Brunello Cucinelli, Céline, Chanel, Chloé, Christian Dior, Christian Louboutin, Comme des Garcons, Dior Homme, Dries Van Noten, Ermenegildo Zegna, Fendi, Filson, Givenchy, Gucci, Kate Spade New York handbags, Lanvin, Loro Piana, Maison Margiela, Miu Miu, Off-White, Prada, Private Label, Sacai, Ugg, Valentino, Versace.
FitFlop sandals have a microwobbleboard in the sole that helps relieve pressure points. That can be a welcome feature for the walkers who love this brand. You may want to choose their designs that have a heel strap so you can get a good walking stride. These are sandals that can be worn all day for walking while traveling, as well as at work. For those who like flip flops, many of their designs have a toe post.
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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