It’s important to champion new, well-executed design. Far too often, footwear brands rely too heavily on their past without looking forward. Retros are great, but wouldn’t it be even better if there were plenty of great new designs that could go on to become the coveted retros of the future?
Unfortunately, 2022 might not be a year that’s looked back on as the genesis of many classics. Supply chain disruptions may be partially to blame for the lackluster field, but truth be told, we just weren’t blown away. It’s important to caveat these selections by saying we’re not declaring that they’re the best overall sneakers of 2022—that list is coming later—but that among the brand-new silhouettes, they are the most interesting and impactful.
Still, let’s look at the positives. We finally got Drake’s Nocta shoe, Tom Sachs had a new NikeCraft release, and LeBron James’ signature line bounced back with its most intriguing entry in years. That wasn’t the only performance hoops model to get our attention, either—new models for Luka Dončić, LaMelo Ball, and Kevin Durant also stood out. All in all, it was a mixed bag, but a few still managed to rise above the rest. Check out the full list below for our favorite new sneaker designs of 2022.