Similar to how fashion trends are always cyclical and change from time to time, sneaker trends are constantly evolving as well. It is evident that for the past year or so, there has been a drastic change in the popularity of specific sneakers, and what both the avid sneaker-head and average consumer consider to be hype and trendy.

For reference, the beginning of the pandemic saw the resurgence of longtime iconic silhouettes such as the Jordan 1 and the Nike Dunk. There are many reasons for their rise in popularity, including but not limited to The Last Dance documentary on Netflix, as well as the constant marketing and exposure from both Nike and social media influencers.

However, in more recent times, there has been a shift in the sneaker world. While Nikes and Jordans remain extremely popular among consumers, there has been a newfound appreciation for other sneaker brands and sneaker styles. This is definitely good for the overall sneaker scene, as it promotes creativity, originality, and diversity—a complete change from the once monotonous approach that has existed for the past several years.


There are different reasons as to why there has been a change in the popularity of certain sneakers, and why there is now a greater variety in the world of footwear.

To start things off, the lower resale and secondary market value of sneakers might have had a factor in the emergence of other sneaker brands and models. For the early part of the pandemic, we witnessed a rise in resellers and the overall hype for sneakers and streetwear; and similar to the stock and crypto markets, the value of sneakers rose to an all time high.

During this time, it is fair to say that a big factor in deciding what sneakers to buy would be its popularity and resale value. Therefore, consumers often gravitated towards whatever was limited and hot on secondary platformssuch as StockX and GOAT. Models like the Jordan 1 and the Nike Dunk rose to prominence as a result. However, since the resale value of these silhouettes had fallen in recent times, consumers began exploring other sneaker models and brands.

On the other hand, another reason for the shift from Nikes and Jordans to other sneaker brands could be attributed to the oversaturation of releases and colorways, which eventually led to consumer fatigue. Similar to what happened with the Adidas NMD many years ago, Nike began to push too many releases of the popular models such as the Nike Dunk and Jordan 1.

For instance, looking at the Nike Dunk, the company would eventually flood the market with many different releases—sometimes there would be several colorways dropping in consecutive weeks. The same can be said about Jordan models, as you would see too many releases of the popular silhouettes such as the Jordan 1, Jordan 3, and Jordan 4.

As a result, the average consumer and sneakerhead would grow tired of the once trending models, and in the process, turn their attention to other brands.


With the shift in sneaker trends, the sneaker scene has seen an emergence in new styles and the popularity of different sneaker brands and models.

First off, the athleisure trend has really taken off within the past year. While the past few years were dominated by athletic, basketball type shoes like the Nike Dunk and Jordan 1, more recent times sees the rise of traditional running shoes transformed into lifestyle sneakers. Looking at the rising popularity of brands such as New Balance, Asics, and Hoka, it is evident that the consumer is placing more of an emphasis on comfort and functionality. Without a doubt, while hyped models such as the Jordan 4 were the talk of the town, they are often difficult to wear the entire day without hurting your feet.

With the athleisure trend, consumers are able to wear a visually appealing pair of sneakers, while staying comfortable while doing so. Moreover, one can even argue that these newer popular models such as the New Balance 2002R and Asics Gel-Kayano 14 are better complements to most outfits. Unlike the once popular basketball shoes, these running shoes provide greater synergy to the fit, as they give a more neutral, premium and mature feel as opposed to the loud, colorful and arguably younger vibes of some Nikes and Jordans.

Another popular trend right now would be the return of classic and retro looking sneakers. Common examples would be the Adidas Samba, Adidas Campus, and New Balance 550. Modern takes of sneakers from decades ago, these now trending models provide a classic, timeless feel, and even celebrities can be seen sporting them.

One more great aspect of retro sneakers is that they are a great everyday lifestyle shoe, since you can beat them up without having to worry about their durability, longevity, and overall appearance. These types of sneakers are a must have for any sneaker rotation.

Finally, the last major trend to be discussed would be the rise of other top tier collaborations between sneaker and fashion labels. For the past half decade or so, the dominant collaborative projects in the sneaker world largely revolved around Nike and Jordan, as they continuously worked with brands and artists such as Off-White, Union LA, and Travis Scott.

Nevertheless, we are seeing a rise in the popularity of collaborations between other sneaker brands such as New Balance and Asics, with other fashion labels like JJJJound, Aimé Leon Dore, and Kith. Instead of seeing the same two brands collab all the time and oversaturating the market, there has been a rise in the creativity and originality of sneaker releases.


All in all, it can be said that the sneaker scene is in a much better place recently in comparison to the past few years.

There is a greater diversity in the most popular sneaker brands and models, and both the average consumer and sneakerhead are getting more creative in building their sneaker rotation. In addition, there is less of an emphasis on resale values, and instead, people are just generally buying and wearing what they like—arguably the most important part of fashion, streetwear, and sneaker culture.

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