The Biggest Sneaker Trends Of 2022

As we edge cautiously towards 2021 there are some big questions on everyone’s lips: Are we about to be dragged into World War III? How can we stop the entire planet from burning to a cinder? And, much less importantly, what’s the next big thing going to be in the world of sneaker trends?

Unfortunately, we’re not really equipped to answer the first two; such matters are far beyond our menswear-focused realm of expertise. However, gazing into the FashionBeans crystal ball for the first time this year, we can have a damn good go at answering the third.

From haute-couture collabs to revisiting the year 2000, these are the sneaker trends to know over the next 12 months.

High-Fashion Hookups

This time ten years ago, you’d have been laughed out of Paris by tall, thin, good-looking people smoking tiny menthol cigarettes for suggesting an Air Jordan x Christian Dior collab, and yet here we are. In 2019, the Sacai x Nike LDWaffle was arguably the biggest release of the year, and with the aforementioned Air Dior sneaker, plus another from Adidas and Prada set to land later this year, the trend for high-fashion collaborations is only going to get bigger.

Haute-couture houses hooking up with sneaker brands is symptomatic of a larger, overarching sneaker trend. It’s yet another step towards streetwear becoming fashion’s new normal – something which has been taking place for several years now.

Still, for anyone convinced it was just a flash in the pan, this should serve as further proof of streetwear’s staying power in the fashion arena.

Jordan 1 Retro High Dior - click to buyNike Dunk Low Off-White University Gold Midnight Navy - click to buyNike LD Waffle sacai Black - click to buyadidas Superstar Prada - click to buy

More Gore

Function going fashion was one of the major menswear moments of 2019 and 2020. Models were paraded down runways in technical outerwear, pockets were everywhere and Gore-Tex surpassed fleece and corduroy as the hottest fabric around. Dressing for an ice climb in the Karakoram had never looked so good.

But the performance fabrics didn’t end at our ankles. AW19 brought with it an influx of Gore-Tex sneakers, some of which were shockingly wearable. Waterproof versions of classic styles like the Adidas Stan Smith, the Superstar and the Nike Air Force One all flew off shelves, solving that age-old sneakerhead winter dilemma of what to rock when the weather turns sour.

Expect to see more of the same of this practical sneaker trend as we settle into the new year.

GORE-TEX Rubber Chuck 70 High Top - click to buyadidas Stan Smith Gore-tex - click to buyNike Air Force 1 GORE-TEX - click to buyNike React-Type GTX - click to buy

Simple, Yet Timeless

Minimalist trainers are without a doubt the only sneaker trend that’ll never go out of style. While the chunky silhouettes and eye grabbing colors are unquestionably in at the moment, there’s still nothing quite as sharp as a man with a simple pair of crisp kicks.

That said, minimalist trainers are anything but simple, especially in today’s sneaker climate. On offer you’ll find the highest quality Italian leather, hand stitched details, an array of easy-to-match hues and timeless designs to dress up or down (cue: East London brand Uniform Standard). Each season without fail, independent brands and massive powerhouses alike churn out their own take on this timeless sneaker trend, so only expect more of this in the coming months (and years).

Uniform Standard Minimalist Sneaker
Uniform Standard Minimalist Sneaker
Uniform Standard Minimalist Sneaker
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Textured Trainers

We’re always banging on about the merits of adding some texture to your wardrobe, but why stop at your feet? Textured trainers are already making inroads into mainstream menswear, but in 2021 they’re on track to really blow up.

From cord plimsolls to hairy suede runners, tactile fabrics are taking over the sneaker world and we’re all for it. It’s tricky to pinpoint when this all started but if we had to put money on it we’d say it began around the launch of the corduroy Sean Wotherspoon Air Max 1/97 in 2018. Ever since then, texture and trainers have been having a steamy love affair that has resulted in some of the most beautiful little sneaker babies we’ve ever laid eyes on.

And with a new Wotherspoon collab set to drop in 2020, things are only going to heat up.

STEPNEY WORKERS CLUB DELLOW PONY HAIR SNEAKER - click to buySoftball 2 Red Check Low - click to buynoah APR005 CORDUROY LOW - click to buysuperga 2750 SUEDE GREEN LAUREL - click to buy

Performance Runners

Hot on the heels of the trail-runners that have been peppering the front row of Fashion Week for several seasons now, performance running shoes are the latest functional footwear to have been picked up by the cooler-than-thou fashion crowd.

Brands like Hoka One One and Nike and Undercover’s Gyakusou imprint have boosted your local running club’s street cred to unprecedented new heights, with colourful, high-performance kicks that bite as hard as they bark. Granted, you’re probably not going to run a 150-mile ultramarathon in them, but it’s nice to know the option’s there.

salomon X-MISSION 3 - click to buyhoka MAFATE SPEED 3 - click to buyadidas ALPHAEDGE 4D SHOES - click to buyNIKE X GYAKUSOU TRAIL SP - click to buy

Mesh And Metallic

A bit like the infinite monkeys/infinite typewriters thought exercise, wait long enough and anything you can possibly think of will become fashionable. Wraparound shades? Check. Sketchers? Check. Those heavily detailed mesh and metallic silver trainers your high-school PE teacher used to wear? In 2021, that’d be another big fat check.

They’re running shoes done ’00s style and thanks to the likes of New Balance, Saucony and Asics, they’re back in force for the new year. We like to think of it as Dad Shoe 2.0. The natural evolution of one of last year’s biggest sneaker trends and something we’re going to be seeing a lot more of over the coming 12 months.

NEW BALANCE MR530SC - click to buysaucony Omni ISO 2 - click to buyasics GEL-CUMULUS™ 21 - click to buyNIKE Air Monarch Trainers - click to buy

Noughties Revival

Speaking of stuff done ’00s style, in 2020 we’re all set for a timely reminder that the 20-year trend-cycle clock is still ticking with pinpoint accuracy. The last decade has been very heavy on the ’90s nostalgia, but as we enter the ’20s, attention is shifting to the millennium. We thought this day would never come but with the revival of baggy jeans and dangly canvas belts last year, the signs were already right in front of us.

For further proof of what’s coming our way footwear wise, look to the recent resurgence of early ’00s styles like Nike‘s Shox and the aforementioned shiny, shiny gym shoes made of mesh. Feeling old yet?

dc shoes MASWELL - click to buyNike Shox R4 - click to buyNike Air Max Plus - click to buyNike Shox TL - click to buy

The Sneaker Trend We Can See Right Through

Here at FashionBeans, we spend every single day writing about menswear, but this latest sneaker-related development surprised even us. The first hint of see-through sneakers came courtesy of Virgil Abloh’s take on the Converse All Star and Nike‘s React Element 87 back in 2018; two semi-transparent kicks that revealed the wearer’s taste in socks to the world.

You’d have been forgiven at the time for dismissing it as a gimmick, but two years on, here we are, faced with a plethora of fully see-through sneakers and more popping up every month.

Artist/model/skateboarder Blondey McCoy’s new Adidas Superstar collab has been the latest transparent shoe to set tongues wagging but we’ve also seen (or seen through) transparent Fila Disruptors, Nike Air Force 1s and many more.

For better or worse, this sneaker trend is only getting bigger, and if you must get involved, for the love of God, put some socks on.

adidas Superstar 80 Blondey McCoy - click to buyReebok classic leather translucent trainers - click to buycoach C143 Runner - click to buyNike React Element 87 - click to buy

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