Nostalgia is a wonderful thing. And a very lucrative thing. Which is why, faced with a creative block, trainer brands default to their archives.
After all, a reissue builds upon the romantic notions old-school sneaker collectors love – of the days before these whippersnappers came along and stole all that was sacred about Reebok Classics.
But at the same time, said ‘snappers get something new, with a reissue stamp that only validates the model as Hall of Fame material. No wonder the queues for the year’s biggest trainer reissues have been so long.
You can keep your Stan Smiths. The Puma Clyde is a trainer for only the most learned of sneakerheads.
Launched in 1973, the silhouette was made famous by Walt ‘Clyde’ Frazier’s endorsement (psst, star player of the New York Knicks) and then became a skate punk and hip-hop staple, slotted on the feet of heroes like Chad Muska and Mike Carroll.
Granted, not mainstream names. But the underground rep is what makes the Clyde so legendary.
Nike Classic Cortez
The Nike Classic Cortez is much more than a running shoe.
Designed by Olympic track coach Bill Bower, this hi-spec tread was designed for podium-chasing athletes of the 1970s, but the styling means that even if running tech has outpaced them, they still deserve a spot in your off-track squad.
Adidas Originals Gazelle
Originally released in 1968, this year’s one-to-one reissue of the 1991 model features all the same materials, colours and textures – proof that the Gazelle still is one of Adidas’ most iconic shapes.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
New Balance M1500
England is better known for tweeds and tailoring than sportswear, which is what makes the New Balance M1500 reissue all the more special.
The company’s northwestern Flimby team have produced the mesh, leather and suede fusion trainers in two new colourways – navy and orange, and black, white and red – and set hypebeasts hyperventilating. It seems not every great reissue comes from stateside basketball courts.
Reebok Alien Stomper
Not only did Sigourney Weaver’s Ellen Ripley destroy a vicious alien colony hell-bent on consuming Earth, she immortalised the Reebok Alien Stomper as celluloid’s sickest trainer.
Which is why both sneakerheads and film nerds rejoiced when Reebok released a limited edition reissue; you might not be booting Xenomorphs into an airlock anytime soon, but you will look like a complete and utter don.
Adidas Originals Samoa
Born in the 1980s, Adidas Originals’ 2016 reissue of the Samoa recreates the low profile silhouette in premium pigskin suede and archival colourways.
With a rubber outsole and cushioned EVA midsole, it might just be the most comfortable trainer you’ll ever wear.
Adidas Climacool 1
The early 2000s will likely go down as humanity’s worst-dressed era. So imagine our surprise when Adidas proved it wasn’t all sartorial misfires, with a new take on 2002’s Climacool 1, wrapping that signature ventilation system in a techy outer lattice.
Nike Air More Uptempo
Designed by Wilson Smith and worn by Scottie Pippen, 1996’s outlandish Air More Uptempo gets a modern reissue. Same colourway, same design, same statement.
The only point of difference being they’re better for street style snaps than hardwood alley-oop.
Nike Air Jordan 12 Retro Flu Game
Even if you couldn’t give a flying three-pointer about basketball, you’d still recognise Michael Jordan as a legend. Which makes any sneakers he wore during his sporting tenure just as iconic.
Especially this red-and-black colourway, worn by MJ on 11 June 1997, when he scored 38 points in a decisive Finals game despite being wracked with flu. Jump to 2016, and the world’s biggest sports brand has honoured Jordan once more with a one-to-one reissue. Skills not included.