As 2009 comes to a close, Complex will be releasing a series of lists recapping the year's best, from albums to girls. To kick things off, we put together a celebrity panel of sneaker heads to help us determine the best kicks of 2009. We recruited Matt Halfhill (Nicekicks.com), DJ Clark Kent (God's favorite DJ and sneaker connoisseur), Mayor (AF1 king), Wil Whitney (Founder of Nom de Guerre and Nike 21 Mercer Head Coach), and Chris Vidal (ALIFE manager), along with Complex sneaker experts Bradley Carbone and Joe La Puma. Nothing's getting by this team.
Before we drop the panel's official top 10, we're giving each of our trusted contributors the chance to tell you about their personal favorites. Today we're taking a look at NYC sneaker kingpin, Mayor's Top Ten Sneakers of 2009...
#10: Nike Hypermax NFW "Tennis Ball"
MAYOR SAYS: "The buzz that was created around the shoe was phenomenal. The tennis ball aspect was great. The fact that everybody went crazy for that colorway and the other ones stood on the shelves is what made me pick this one. You can get the other ones in outlets now, but the use of the tennis ball was unique, and it created a nice little hype. It's one of the few times I chose a shoe over hype."
CLICK NEXT TO SEE MAYOR'S #9 SNEAKER!
#9: Nike Foamposite "Pearl"
MAYOR SAYS: "A lot of people didn't see the frenzy that this shoe caused at the House of Hoops. There was like 700 pairs, and people were still on line at the House of Hoops. Everybody that got this shoe got it because that's the shoe that Ray Allen wore. If I'm not mistaken, it's the one he wore in He Got Game. That was pretty much it right there. I was able to see hands-on the frenzy that this sneaker caused on drop day, and the shoe is dope."
CLICK NEXT TO SEE MAYOR'S #8 SNEAKER!
#8: Nike Foamposite Lite "Kryptonate"
MAYOR SAYS: "You know, to be able to take the Foamposite Lite, a cheaper shoe than the Foamposite, and to do something like this made that sneaker so fresh. Even when it sold out in stores, everybody kept hearing days when it was coming back and coming back out. Everybody was waiting for it, and the fact that it had a bunch of people from different genres looking for the shoe made it great."
CLICK NEXT TO SEE MAYOR'S #7 SNEAKER!
#7: Black History Month 2009 Air Force 1
MAYOR SAYS: "Black History '09's. Pretty much self explanatory. With everything going on in the world, this is the shoe that's always sought after. Every year, they get better. I don't remember the exact year, but I think it's been 5 shoes so far. But, every year since they started, the shoe gets better and better, and it's always on my personal list."
CLICK NEXT TO SEE MAYOR'S #6 SNEAKER!
#6: Nike x Mr. Cartoon x Livestrong Air Force 1
MAYOR SAYS: "Mr. Cartoon Air Force 1's could never match what the original Cartoon did, but for Nike to come up with the idea and to use this shoe again for the Live Strong pack, was great. The Cartoon Livestrong Air Force was one of the greatest ideas Nike has done in a long time. And it's a really nice shoe. Everybody wants spiderwebs, spiderweb's are sought after, but now they have the spiderwebs available, in a decent amount of distribution. I think it's pretty incredible, and the response is overwhelming."
CLICK NEXT TO SEE MAYOR'S #5 SNEAKER!
#5: Nike x Patta Air Max 1 Purple/White
MAYOR SAYS: "Guys at Patta never do anything wrong. The whole pack could be considered for my top 5. My number five could be the whole pack because what they did with these materials, was incredible. To make a shoe just as hot as the classic, as the original, is an amazing feat. And that's what Patta did with this whole pack, but I'm gonna go with the purple ones."
CLICK NEXT TO SEE MAYOR'S #4 SNEAKER!
#4: Nike Air Max LeBron 7 "More Than a Game"
MAYOR SAYS: "It's been a very long time since a basketball shoe created the buzz that this shoe created. It's a shoe that you can actually wear with denim, with sweatpants, with everything. Also, it's one of the most technically engineered shoes in a very long time. Full Max Air, incredible. Comfortable, amazingly comfortable."
CLICK NEXT TO SEE MAYOR'S #3 SNEAKER!
#3: Air Jordan XI "Space Jam"
MAYOR SAYS: "The reason these didn't get placed higher is because they're going to be so widely available, which is fine. Doesn't make a difference. The Space Jam is one of the most sought after releases, one of the most anticipated releases, since '01. I say I'll wind up with three pairs. Three to four pairs. This is a shoe that I'll triple up on with no hesitation."
CLICK NEXT TO SEE MAYOR'S #2 SNEAKER!
#2: Nike x CLOT Air Force 1
MAYOR SAYS: "Fuck the 1World Pack, because they didn't let me do one!!! [laughs] What Nike did with the Air Force 1 1World was great. The people at CLOT came up with the design, and it's been talked about all year. The fact that they used that silk on the upper, a material that's used in Chinese culture was great. Also, the packaging around it, with the candy box and the waxed laces, made it standout. It was just a great release overall, and the fact that you could actually peel the shoe and design what you want to design and have no two shoes alike, was genius. For a sneaker event I went to I burned off the full silk, so I have a pair of these that's the full lasered under layer. It's great."
CLICK NEXT TO SEE MAYOR'S #1 SNEAKER!
#1: Air Jordan III "True Blue"
MAYOR SAYS: "Number one is the True Blue III. No need for an explanation. The shortest explanation possible, is that there's no need for an explanation."
• Matt Halfhill of NiceKicks.com's Top 10 Sneakers of 2009
• DJ Clark Kent's Top 10 Sneakers of 2009
• Complex's Top 100 Sneakers Of The Decade!