The Best Sneakers of 2020

Which sneakers defined this hectic year? Virgil Abloh's collabs continued to dominate and Yeezy pushed footwear forward. These are the best of the best.

Best Sneakers of 2020
Complex Original

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Best Sneakers of 2020

In a year where almost nothing felt familiar, the sneakers we loved provided some sort of stability. They were disrupted at times, sure, with release dates and the channels they released through shuffled around, but there was something comfortably predictable about the shoes that defined 2020.

There was the renewal of Virgil Abloh's design strategy, an overdue reboot that began with an underappreciated silhouette. There was the revival of Nike SB and Dunks in general, a wave you could see coming and didn't mind washing over you, even if a good number of those pairs were impossible to get. There were totally new and foreign shoes—Kanye West's best Yeezys this year don't even feel native to this universe, let alone current footwear trends—but the most sought-after ones were largely iterations of existing icons and interests. They were exciting, pushing the sneakers we knew to strange new places, but these were still the shoes we knew. In a year totally deficient in certainty of any sort, the familiarity felt just fine. These are the best sneakers of 2020. —Brendan Dunne

11. Nike Air Zoom Alphafly Next%

Best Sneakers 2020 Nike Air Zoom AlphaFly Next Percent

10. J Balvin x Air Jordan 1

Best Sneakers 2020 J Balvin Jordan 1

9. Travis Scott x Nike SB Dunk Low

Best Sneakers 2020 Travis Scott SB Dunk

8. Off-White x Air Jordan 4

Best Sneakers 2020 Off White Jordan 4

7. Yeezy Foam RNNR

Best Sneakers 2020 Yeezy Foam Runner

6. Joe Freshgoods x New Balance 992 'No Emotions Are Emotions'

Best Sneakers 2020 Joe Freshgoods New Balance 992

5. Dior x Air Jordan 1

Best Sneakers 2020 Dior Jordan 1

4. Union x Air Jordan 4

Best Sneakers 2020 Union Jordan 4

3. Ben & Jerry's x Nike SB Dunk Low 'Chunky Dunky'

Best Sneakers 2020 Chunky Dunky Nike SB

2. Off-White x Air Jordan 5

Best Sneakers 2020 Off White Jordan 5