Stadium Goods has seen literally thousands of outstanding new sneakers come through our doors since we opened in October of 2015. And to say trends in the sneaker world have changed and evolved over those five years should be quite obvious. We’ve enjoyed them all, from zip-ties to translucent uppers to double-layered midsoles. Hype comes and goes, but a few releases rise above to become something truly iconic and influential for years to come.
With this in mind, we looked back on all the sneakers released during our first five years and picked out the five most important designs that have and will continue to stand the test of time. These are the top five sneakers of the Stadium Goods era.
Stadium Goods and the adidas Yeezy line both debuted in 2015, so Kanye West’s footwear will always hold a special place in our hearts for more reason than that its many models have constantly been among our top sellers since we opened our doors. The adidas Yeezy Boost 350 “Turtledove” set the precedent for all Yeezy hype to follow when it launched in June of 2015. Then the design was perfected in 2016 to become the Yeezy Boost 350 V2, and it’s been on fire ever since—no matter how many new colorways drop. Our pick for the most significant iteration of the 350 is the first release of Version 2, the coveted “Beluga” colorway, which in our opinion is the archetypal edition of the historic design.
To include only one adidas Yeezy in a list of the most influential sneakers since 2015 would just be foolish. Along with the 350, the 700 is one of the most popular shoes on Earth. It’s also widely to thank (or blame, depending on how you look at it) for the “dad shoe” movement of chunky, thick-soled sneakers. No colorway of the large and in charge design is more iconic than the first, the “Wave Runner” edition from 2017.
Duh. Arguably the most hyped sneaker of all time is Virgil Abloh’s radical remodel of the Air Jordan 1 that released as part of his monumental “The Ten” collection in late 2017. If there was ever a unanimous decision for "sneaker of the year" throughout sneaker culture for any given year, it was the Off-White x Air Jordan 1 in 2017. Everybody wanted it. Few got it. And today, its status as one of the biggest grails in the game is safe for years to come.
If there is any sneaker collaborator that has come close to inducing the level of hype garnered by Virgil Abloh in recent years, it’s Travis Scott. Beginning with his Air Force 1 Low in 2017, Scott’s hot streak with Nike and Jordan Brand has been consistent thanks to solid releases like his Air Jordan 4, Nike SB Dunk Low, and Air Max 270 React just to name three. Most would agree that Scott’s most “lit” sneaker of all is the Air Jordan 1 High, complete with its backwards Swooshes and earth-toned color palette.
We’re cheating a bit with this last entry, and using one shoe to represent an entire model, the Nike Dunk. 2020 has undoubtedly been the year of the Dunk, and it’s hard to pick just one of the many releases to call the best. But we think most will agree that the Grateful Dead collaboration with Nike SB is the one that was hyped into the stratosphere more than any other. Nobody could have guessed that there would ever be something that sent Dead heads and sneaker heads into an equal level of frenzy. Releases like this and the Ben & Jerry’s collaboration helped the Dunk become one of the most coveted sneakers of the year in pretty much every colorway that dropped. We expect the Dunk hype to continue well into 2021, as well.