Sam Bernstein managing editor
These sneakers, while polarizing, are some of the hottest releases of the year. The following are reviews of sneakers that were released in 2018.
Off-White x Nike Blazer Mid “All Hallows’ Eve”
These shoes are the best Off-White x Nike collaboration of the year. It is very hard to change a classic design like the Blazer, but somehow founder and CEO of Off-White Virgil Abloh has taken something good and made it better. From the enlarged Swoosh to Off-White’s signature zip tie and tag, to the bold colorway selected for this shoe, everything Abloh did to alter the classic Nike Blazers is excellent. This shoe is beautiful. Highlights gives the Nike Blazer Mid “All Hallows’ Eve” a 10/10.
Puma Clyde Court Disrupt
Puma has made quite a bit of noise in its return to the basketball world, signing first and second overall picks in the 2018 NBA Draft DeAndre Ayton and Marvin Bagley III (respectively), as well as four-time all-star DeMarcus Cousins to shoe deals. After months of speculation, Puma dropped these mid-top basketball shoes, shocking many sports fans The colorway, while loud, is really fitting to Puma’s new direction, as the brand has come out with a lot of more expressive colorways as of recent. Puma’s incorporation of their signature Formstrip into the shoe is very sleek and it fits in well with the rest of the sneaker. The lace design is modern and clean, and the shoe reportedly performs well on the court. The only knock on the sneaker is that the orange fade into the milky sole is a bit awkward looking, and the sole itself doesn’t match well with the rest of the shoe. Because of that, Highlights gives the Puma Clyde Court Disrupt an 8/10, but it is a great first effort from Puma.
Nike React Element 87 “Blue Chill/Solar Red”
These are terrible. Nike has had an incredible year, but these are downright awful. From the sole design to the awkward tongue, these are the worst sneakers of the year. Nike tried too hard to be modern, and failed. It is hard to understand how Nike messed up a simple blue, red and black colorway, but they did it. “Blue Chill” is the worst blue on the color pallette, it’s truly an ugly color. Another major flaw is the sole design. It is unnecessary, as the sole is very simple on nearly all of Nike’s other popular shoes. The shoe is the opposite of clean. Nike tried to do far too much with these, and the React Element ended up being clunky and clustered. The only highlight of the shoe is the clean Swoosh, Nike has done a great job modernizing their classic logo. However, this shoe has far too many flaws to be wearable. Highlights gives the Nike React Element 87 a 1/10.
Adidas Yeezy Boost 700 “Mauve”
These are the least likable shoes of the year, but they are just so clean and the design is so different, it isn’t difficult to come around to them. The colorway is unique; mauve isn’t a color that is normally prominently featured on sneakers in 2018. Kanye West, who is the face of the Adidas Yeezy line of products, killed it. The grays, the greens and the purples in this shoe go together incredibly well, which is a testament to West’s brilliance in design. The dad shoe trend has been largely awful, but these are different. The shape of the shoe makes this shoe different from dad shoes of hypebeasts’ past. The green detailing works well with the gray and mauve, somehow. The biggest knock on the shoe is the gum sole, however that is more of a personal preference. The gum sole doesn’t work with the shoe as well as a gray sole would. Highlights gives the Adidas Yeezy Boost 700 “Mauve” a 9/10.
Photos are courtesy of Nike, Puma and Adidas.