In any given calendar year, Nike produces a lot of quality sneakers. With so many beloved silhouettes on their roster, they rarely seem to miss. For the year that was, it was no different. With so many new and returning icons – looking at you, Nike Panda Dunk – we had choices aplenty. And as usual, Nike did not disappoint. Let’s look at five of my top Nike sneakers in 2022.
I have to preface this by saying this is a subjective list and totally based on MY top drops of the year.
Related: Top 5 New Balance Sneakers of 2022
Nike Dunk Low Panda
While the Nike Dunk Low Panda was quite possibly the most popular Nike release of 2022. It may even have been the most popular Nike sneaker overall. (I’m sure someone has the stats on that.).
The year 2022 was definitely not short of Dunk drops and there were quite a few notable mentions and contenders for this entry. Still, the Panda variant was just head and shoulders above everything else in terms of popularity and desirability on a Nike Low Dunk front.
Having been absent from the sneaker conversation for around a decade, the Nike Dunk Low has been slowly gaining a head of steam. As such, it has been cementing itself as one of the most desirable sneakers on the market. 2022 was no exception with this fan favourite. Furthermore, it is much loved for its super simplistic colourway and wearability to match almost any outfit. It dropped to much fanfare and the longest in-store queues. But, ask anyone who managed to grab a pair and they’ll tell you it was all 100% worth it.
Louis Vuitton x Nike Air Force 1
What do you get when you cross one of the most iconic Nike silhouettes with one of the most iconic fashion brands out there? Quite literally the most luxurious Nike Air Force 1 ever made.
Handcrafted in Italy and is the brainchild of the late, great artistic director, Virgil Abloh. It is a calling back to his SS22 Louis Vuitton collection. This collection features nine versions released to the general public. It also contains some throwback and bold new colourways branded with the unmissable Louis Vuitton logo design.
However, the price point is definitely not for everyone.
Union x Nike Dunk Low
As alluded to earlier, 2022 was in my opinion, the unofficial year of the Nike Dunk and especially the low variation. We also saw plenty of buzz around the Nike Dunk Low releases, an almost weekly feature on the Archive Weekly roster.
Union’s passport-inspired Dunks were an inspired release. It came right in the midst of the relaxation of covid restrictions and, in a way speaking, hope to all who had been confined to lockdowns and virus-enforced isolations. The colourway drew inspiration from passport visa stamps. This was a nod to Union founder, Chris Gibbs’ Japan visits in the early 2000s. A notable entry that is well worth its spot in my top 5.
Related: Archive Weekly (26 September 2022) – A Bit of Everything
Malume Drippy x Nike Air Force 1 High
Now go with me on this one. The Nike By You option is my favourite feature on the Nike website. The ability to custom design colourways and tags, and make your own imprint on such an iconic brand just speaks and calls out to my inner dreamer. The aptly named “Air Drippy II” was conceptualised in the beautiful city of Cape Town. It is as an ode to the Spring time and beachside lifestyle.
If you have not yet tried out Nike By You, why not take this as your cue and try your hand at perhaps the most fulfilling sneaker exercise you can find?
Related: Nike Air Force 1 Custom/Air Drippy II: Hello Spring
Nike SC Trainer Auburn
The mid-80s SC Trainer was, and still is, an icon. The Air Trainer SC is bold and simple all at once. It was the signature shoe of Bo Jackson, perhaps the greatest athlete of his time.
It combines some beautiful neutral colours along with some bold and in-your-face tones. As such, it is a beauty that turns heads in comfortable streetwear as much as it did in the gym in its heyday.