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Highlights of the top sneakers of 2011 from Oklahoma forward Kevin Durant's signature shoe to the door busting release of the Air Jordan XI Concord sneaker.
Before we look ahead to what may be in store for us in 2012, it is important to look back at the world of sneakers and all that 2011 had to offer. Here is a list of my top ten sneakers of the past year and why each shoe deserves its spot.
10. Frank the Butcher x Adidas Forum Crest Hi – This shoe is a collaborative effort between Frank the Butcher and Adidas. The Forum Hi hasn’t hit shelves in years and this version of the shoe captured the original essence of the Forum and was brought out in excellent material available in three great colors, my personal favorite being cardinal. The gold crest was just the touch needed to make these a top ten sneaker.
9. Air Jordan VII “Bordeaux” – The fact that we haven’t seen this sneaker since 1992 is enough to land it on most top ten lists, but when taking the details of the shoe into consideration, it’s nearly impossible to leave out. The suede used for the Bordeaux’s is some of the best we have seen on a Jordan in a while and that is why it comes in at number nine.
8. Nike Hyperdunk 2011 Blake Griffin PE – The colorway of this shoe says it all. A mango shoe like this is rather difficult to ignore — a true neck-breaker. With the black design accents and subtle silver inserts, this shoe is great for both the court and the streets.
7. Ronnie Fieg x ASICS GT-II “Ultra Marine” – Ronnie Fieg and ASICS have hooked up for a number of great shoes over the past few years and the Ultra Marines are no exception. Fieg is notorious for using only the finest of materials and that is what he brings with this shoe. One of the best summer shoes that 2011 saw.
6. Nike Foamposite One “Royal” – With a plethora of Foamposites dropping in the last couple years, one reigns supreme: the original. This has always been and will forever be the best colorway of the Foamposite One, so it easily sneaks its way onto the list at number six.
5. Nike Zoom KD IV “Weatherman” – Finally, Kevin Durant’s signature shoe gets the treatment it deserves. The result is a shoe that looks great in the streets and performs on the court. Inspired by KD’s childhood dreams of becoming a weatherman, the kelly green shoe has warm colored weather pattern accents.
4. Concepts x New Balance 999 “Kennedy” – This was by far the best summer shoe of 2011. Concepts teamed up with New Balance for the best collaboration sneaker of the year in the Kennedy. A handful of different materials are represented on this shoe, including nylon accents. The nautical flags on the inside of the shoe help complete the summer/sail theme.
3. Air Jordan III black/cement – The black/cement IIIs are a very coveted sneaker with great detail, yet so simple that they work well with a number of styles. The materials used in the 2011 black/cement IIIs are of high quality, especially for Jordan standards. It’s obvious why this was such a monster release.
2. Air Jordan XI “Concord” – Whenever local and nation news stations do stories about a sneaker and the violence surrounding the release, you know it’s a rare or highly desired pair. That’s exactly what happened with the Concord. A shoe that MJ wore in the Bulls’ record 72-10 season, the Concords are near the top of anyone’s top Jordans of all time.
1. Nike Mag – Not only was this the sneaker of the year — it was the sneaker of the decade. People have been waiting on the Mag’s release since it first appeared on Marty McFly’s feet in Back To The Future Part II. Although this version doesn’t have automatic laces (hold your breath until 2015 for that), they are everything that sneakerheads have been waiting for. With only 1,500 pairs made and transactions on eBay warranting thousands of dollars per sale, it became difficult to get your hands on these epic shoes. The profits from the eBay auctions went to the Michael J. Fox Foundation, so it was all for a great cause and a good look for Nike.
photographs from theshoegame.com
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