Stop right there. Hold your complaints, please. Before you become incensed at this list, at least take a moment to understand what it is. You made it past the headline—great job. Now listen for just a second. This is not a list breaking down the best sneakers of the year so far—that’s coming soon. This is a more exclusive list focusing strictly on the best new sneaker designs of 2021 so far, the silhouettes and models that released for the first time this year.
No, your favorite Jordan collaboration isn’t on here—that’s because it’s based on a model from 1988. No, that Nike SB Dunk you really liked is not on here—that’s because Nike SB Dunks have been out for almost 20 years.
As sneaker hobbyists, we are so often focused on the old rather than the new. Rarely do genuinely new models pierce the din of retro hype in an interesting way that creates sustained conversation. And so, the ones that do should be celebrated. Thank you for reading. These are the best new sneaker designs of 2021 so far.