Remember when people predicted that the sneaker resale market would crash when COVID-19 hit? Remember when brand release calendars were in such disarray that it was questionable that we'd ever see a shoe drop on time again? Remember when people thought nobody would be too interested in buying sneakers this year because they'd instead be focused on hoarding precious resources as the world ground to a halt? Those looming threats didn't exactly pan out.
In general, life on Earth looks drastically different now than it did at the end of 2019, but the world of sneakers has not shifted greatly. There have been setbacks—a load of shoes suffered delays, high-profile ones were canceled, and Nike lost $790 million in a quarter—but the way we consume shoes has not fundamentally changed. If nothing else, it shows that people who dedicate the lion's share of their free time and disposable income to sneakers are a resilient (and maybe oblivious) bunch. Through the global pandemic, the economic collapse, and the civil rights protests, this tribe did not waver in its dedication. Its members, us among them, continued to desperately attempt to buy limited stock while battling bots. They still debated the merits of various retros and collabs. They said certain rappers or partners didn't "deserve" the recognition of a brand. This is our version of those arguments. These are the best sneakers of 2020 (so far).