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 DJ Clark Kent's Top Ten Sneakers of 2009...
#10: Reebok Pump 20th Anniversary Bringback
CK SAYS: "The Reebok Bringback collection was the perfect execution of a retro. The white and blue and the black and white are great concepts, great retros, and then the shop collection was done right. There were too many that were good. To me, none of them were whack, which never happens. Some where better than others, but the execution of bringing that back and getting all those guys to do shoes was done right. That shoe was desirable when we were young, and this was the way to pay homage to it."
CLICK HERE TO SEE CLARK'S #9 SNEAKER
#9: Dunk High Supreme Spark "Gucci" (Designed by Clark Kent)
CK SAYS: "This is personal man, and these aren't on here just because I did it. I have to take myself outside of me doing it and look at the materials alone. The materials alone make for one of the best Dunks around! The sneaker has Zoom Air, and it had sticky rubber gum bottoms — the whole shoe was made supremely well. Gum outsole on anything is foolish, it's like turning something up five notches. Not because I did it, these are great. My mission is to make a shoe material-ly proper. A picture doesn't do it justice, if you've seen these you know."
CLICK HERE TO SEE CLARK'S #8 SNEAKER
#8: Nike Air Trainer SC Retro "Auburn"
CK SAYS: "I mean, I don't even think I need to explain how dope these are. The Original Bo Jackson, in his original college colorway, and one of the best shoes around. This is a true bringback, the shoe is really good. The mesh colors didn't match with the midsole then, and they don't match now either. This is a true retro. Great job on this one."
CLICK HERE TO SEE CLARK'S #7 SNEAKER
#7: Nike x CLOT Air Force 1
CK SAYS: "Wow... If anyone has a 13 holler at me. I have a 12 and I'm still mad about that. Email Complex. Matter of fact, even if you have a 12, email these dudes and have them get at me. The box for these was ridiculous, it takes up four spaces in your closet, but it's OK, because the sneakers are fire. I got them directly from Edison Chen and Kevin Poon from CLOT. AND I was an asshole about it, like can I get another pair? Damn, I need another pair so I can rock these shits! Get at me."
CLICK HERE TO SEE CLARK'S #6 SNEAKER
#6: Nike Foamposite "Eggplant"
CK SAYS: "I never liked Foams until these purple ones came out. Once I saw the Eggplants, it made me go back and find the royal blue Foams and then they got me to go ahead and buy the Pearl foams. That one colorway made it for me. I'm from Brooklyn, not DC [Ed. note: where Foamposites are THE basketball sneaker], so I never really cared, but the purple ones made me want them. I think it was because when I first tried on the Foamposites, I tried them on too small, so I had an initial distaste, but I got the Eggplants in a 13 so they fit right. Now I'm sold. Eggplants is Hard. Body."
CLICK HERE TO SEE CLARK'S #5 SNEAKER
#5: Air Jordan XI "Space Jam"
CK SAYS: "What do you say about Space Jams? The Space Jams. That's what it is."
CLICK HERE TO SEE CLARK'S #4 SNEAKER
#4: Air Jordan III "True Blue"
CK SAYS: "I think I was happiest about these re-releasing because I didn't want to wear my originals. I love the True Blues, best off color Jordan ever. I'm a black/white/red Jordan guy, but when I saw these, I had to get them. The weird thing is, in London, you can find these on closeout. Crazy, but that's just the cultural difference I guess. But these shoes are special and you have to treat them with respect. I have a shirt made to rock with these: it reads: 'All night I perform like Mike' in the 'True Blue' colorway. Right under the words it has the whole victory verse."
CLICK HERE TO SEE CLARK'S #3 SNEAKER
#3: Nike x Patta Air Max 1 collection
CK SAYS: "Wow. The Patta guys never ever do wrong when they do sneakers. The AM1 is my second favorite shoe in the whole world, and the Patta series is hard body. Shouts to Edson, Gee, and Milanello for keeping me fresh. These dudes are the shit. They actually have me thinking I should lose weight and get to an XL so I can wear more of their clothes."
CLICK HERE TO SEE CLARK'S #2 SNEAKER
#2: Nike Air Max 2009
CK SAYS: "The Most comfortable Air Max yet, and one of the best looking new silos that Nike has come up with in a while. It's outstanding in the makeup and the construction. All the shoes are regular releases, and this year, besides the Lebron, this is the only shoe that I bought (and buy) every color when it comes out. Every color of the 2009, I got it. The silver with the red, the volt joints, I love these sneakers."
CLICK HERE TO SEE CLARK'S #1 SNEAKER
#1: Nike Air Max LeBron 7
CK SAYS: "Hands down, the LeBron 7 is best new sneaker release of 2009. It is the best basketball sneaker since the Jordan 11, IN MY OPINION. This sneaker is unbelievably comfortable, and it looks great. It's hard to knock a shoe out, but they knocked this out of the Stratosphere. I went the distance to make sure I got every release, every city of the 'More Than a Game' pack. I begged Nike to design one of these, I had to. I called up the designer Jason Petrie like, yo, this is incredible. He's like, "Who is this? The real Clark Kent?" Haha. I was calling everyone like PLEASE send it to me early. PLEASE make me the freshest. When I went to Taiwan this summer with the 'More Than a Game's... damn. Let me tell you, there was some neck breakage. The best looking basketball sneaker, and THAT is Major."
• Matt Halfhill of NiceKicks.com's Top 10 Sneakers of 2009
• Complex's Top 100 Sneakers of the Decade
• DJ Clark Kent's Top 50 Air Force 1s Of All Time