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The sneakers that will dominate 2020

By Danielle Wightman-Stone


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2019 was a big year for sneakers, according to Statista, with a billion pairs of athletic sneakers sold, and the global sneaker resale market hit an estimated 6 billion US dollars, and Detroit-based StockX, the world’s first ‘stock market of things’, has shared the big winners of last year, as well as what is going to big in 2020, including the highly anticipated Dior x Air Jordan partnership.

StockX claims 2019 was the year of “sneakerheads” and if 2018 was the year that Virgil Abloh eclipsed Kanye West, then 2019 was the year that Travis Scott surpassed them both, as the rap star’s Jordan 1 High was the sneaker with the highest market share.

Nike and Adidas continued to dominate the secondary market, but other sneaker brands like New Balance and Fila increased their StockX market share by more than 200 percent in 2019, and boutique streetwear brands like Cactus Plant Flea Market, Off-White and FTP also started to gain some real traction with the mainstream, while Supreme resales drop.

Other highlights from last year also included the New Balance x Bodega ‘No Bad Days’, which hit the StockX Top 100 sneakers of 2019, as well as the popularity and resale value of women’s exclusive sneakers saw “impressive growth”, as brands stepped up their game for previously neglected demographics.

For 2020, sneaker fans can expect the year to be dominated by major releases as well as smaller brands entering the mainstream, adds StockX, with the most anticipated release set to be Dior’s collaboration with Air Jordan, which Kim Jones, Dior Men artistic director unveiled during Art Basel Miami Beach, as well as the growth of smaller brands like New Balance and Cactus Plant Flea Market.

Dior x Air Jordan

The Dior x Air Jordan sneakers, which are set to hit stores in April and are rumoured to be the most expensive Air Jordans to date, and are already at 19,000 pounds on StockX.

The design of the collaboration takes the silhouette of the classic Nike Air Jordan 1s with Dior Gray colour detailing, while the iconic swoosh features Dior’s Oblique jacquard, and the same Dior motif is scaled-down and laser-etched into the insoles at a 50 percent scale.

Commenting on the collaboration, Kim Jones explained: “I love mixing together different worlds, different ideas — and Jordan Brand and Maison Dior are both emblematic of absolute excellence in their fields.

"To bring them together in this special collaboration is to propose something exciting and truly new.”

Martin Lotti, Jordan brand VP of design, added: "Our partnership with Maison Dior will offer a new look into the style of basketball and blend high-end streetwear with luxury fashion. We will pay homage to both brands' rich iconography and draw inspiration from our heritage.”

Travis Scott

Continuing on from his dominance of the secondary sneaker market in 2019, Travis Scott is expected to be among the top-selling sneakers of 2020 as his next round of Nike and Jordan Brand’s silhouettes hit stores.

In 2019, he released the popular Jordan I High OG, featuring a brown upper with white accents, a backward Nike Swoosh, a hidden heel pocket and subtle Cactus Jack branding, alongside his debut apparel collection with Jordan Brand reimagining Jumpman essentials including a fleece hoodie, fleece shorts, a tracksuit and tees with Cactus Jack colours and imagery.

One style creating a lot of hype for 2020 is a pair of Nike SB Dunk Lows, which appeared in a recent video released by Scott for his collective, Jackboys, which has a rumoured February release. Another is the Air Max 270 React complete with Cactus Jack branding.

New Balance

StockX predicts that New Balance will continue to grow in relevance and market share in the coming year, as it now has an "insane roll call of endorsers”, including Kawhi Leonard, Coco Gauff, and Jaden Smith, which should mean that 2020 is a “big year for the brand”.

In 2019, one of its biggest wins was the Bodega 997S No Bad Days collaboration, where each pair of sneaker came with interchangeable laces and colourful branding, and the sportswear company ended the year with a new ‘Money Stacks’ colourway of basketball star Kawhi Leonard‘s popular OMN1S sneaker.

For 2020, the Boston-based brand are expected to continue with its collaborations, as well as continue to revive their classics, with the first being the New Balance 992, one if its most popular running shoes. Releasing later this month, the retro styling of the 992 will be in new and old colourways including tonal tan and grey, alongside bolder designing sporting a mix of navy blue, ocean green, and pink.

It is also expected that New Balance will showcase breakaway tennis star Coco Gauff, building on her successful 2019 with her impressive Wimbledon run, as well as tapping into the increased popularity of women’s sneakers.

Yeezy celebrates 5th anniversary

2020 is a milestone year for Kanye West’s Yeezy brand as it marks the 5th year anniversary of his first sneaker release since signing with Adidas, and it is expected that the brand will be a “one to watch” with new models and colourways launching.

Some key styles already announced includes new neutral tone colourways for the Yeezy Boost 350, with its primeknit upper, distinct centre stitching, and sole detailing, as well as a fashion-forward clog-like Yeezy Foam Runner sneaker in a white colourway with holes throughout its upper set for a spring release, and a new edition to the Yeezy 700 family will be the Yeezy Boost 700 MNVN featuring a nylon-based, electric yellow upper with a large ‘700’ adorned on both sides of the sneaker with an all-black sole.

Virgil Abloh continues his partnership with Nike/Jordan Brand

To celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the Air Jordan 5, Virgil Abloh will continue his partnership with Nike/Jordan Brand into 2020 with an upcoming Off-White x Air Jordan 5 colourway, inspired by the OG ‘Metallic’ Air Jordan 5.

Expected to be released during the All-Star Weekend in February, the sneakers feature Off-White’s signature ‘Shoelaces’ branding on the laces along with reflective tongues with a red jumpman logo, and an aged translucent outsole. The designs are also expected to come with three different coloured laces - white, red, and black, along with a black zip-tie.

Images: courtesy of StockX and Nike/Dior

Jordan Brand
New Balance
Off White
Travis Scott