2017 Shoe of the Year?

There were some interesting shoes launched this year. What do you think are some of the best of 2017 and why?

Injection molded, durable and recyclable one-piece shoes are just a good idea and if it’s about vanity, fashion designers have this year shown that that’s just the surface and surprising things can be achieved:

Uh. Ok.

For me, I was really interested in a lot of the models coming from the brand Filling Pieces. What caught my eye on these is that they all use cupsole construction, a very 1980s but cost effective construction for a low volume brand. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone do this much sculpting with it though. They took the sculpted influence from poorer PU and injected EVA and brought it to a low volume one piece manufacturing technique.

Although I don’t think they’re new this year, they were new to me this year. Allbirds in my opinion is making some of the nicest looking shoes I’ve seen in quite a while.

Good example. I’m not sure when they lanunched but they have definitely caught on more this year. They have come up on several briefs and RFPs that have come our way this year.

Perhaps there is some nostalgia with my pick but I really like the direction of the new Adidas Predator.

It catches your attention and has some great textures/lines. A great example where form follows function in footwear IMO.

I’m not a sneaker kind of person, and i don’t stay up on shoe trends, but I have seen a lot of wool uppers lately, which I like.

I do like what i have seen from the Adidas Wings & Horns. Shoes and clothing.

I’ll bite…

Obviously I’m kinda biased here being in the footwear industry, but I have to say I’m not so happy what I’m seeing.

Less and less innovation and more and more hype multiplied by a factor of x100 on the ugly scale and incestous copying is how I’d mostly define Footwear 2017.

I’m not sure when actual aesthetic design and technical innovation lost the game to being different for the sake of being different but everything is so different now that it all looks the same.

The deconstructionist aesthetic is just one small part of this.

All those Filling Pieces things Yo posted above look to me like a Chinese knockoff of a Presto combined with an Italian Hogan built on the last of a diabetic shoe, at best. The ugly boot is the same as the Kayne collection 100s of things from Aldo ($) to Gusieppe Zanotti ($$$$).

Everyone is literally making the same shoe. Brand Black (once a very innovative and design driven brand by a great designer) is using retro/ugly runner Vibram tooling that is used by everyone with the same sort of random upper pattern on it that is the same as what you could get from a factory for free.

The Air Monach is now a fashion shoe? WTF?

Everything and everyone is making the same sock fit knit upper that if it weren’t for real, would be a joke in how far it’s gone (see Balencianga Sock runner which is just an actual sock stuck to an outsole).

On the flip side, there are some bright spots. Nike Air Max Vapor is a great evolution of the brand and technology.

Adidas has obviously been doing well pumping out the same NMD/Boost silhouette, but nice to see some actual innovation in the Futurecraft product (outsole).

I wish I could say more makes me excited. Bbest I can see if the evolution of some of the core athletic brands finally finding a good balance between performance and aesthetics offering sleeker, more streamlined product.

![nike-off-white-collaboration-gallery-5.jpg|1200x800](upload://7h1UaaRNL9x3WZgaNzNnMRw8EOc.jpeg) ![balenciaga-mens-triple-s_3_grande.jpg|600x450](upload://rOHyRmkzyJrwx2wmGoLViNrLGrT.jpeg) ![yeezy-supply-kanye-west-wave-runner-700-101.jpg|1119x746](upload://stTuMvjY2l7cfbYh046udlTHhPr.jpeg) ![air-monarch-iv-mens-training-shoe.jpg|400x400](upload://urCR0EXV1XnoDsMAmS1AccFrQe5.jpeg) ![Balenciaga-Speed-Trainer-Sock-Race-Runners-Triple-Black.jpg|1200x800](upload://ezbZGw2POB622g7QGT4EWB92RGI.jpeg) ![504880836_1_ShoeSide.jpeg|402x267](upload://mRyeBWbxauAFE38mLGBziOArcJr.jpeg) ![imgrc0075606932.jpg|602x340](upload://oU7PZug9agfxw29rQilq8Uj0UxQ.jpeg) ![adidas-futurecraft-4d-details-00.jpg|960x576](upload://j6B5h8DAGKBhZxcy8QyjymGHBOu.jpeg) ![blue.png|674x364](upload://jn6yMFGljLE3zKUurWWrBxCif5H.png)

PS. Been thinking about this for a while and hoped I’d have more positive to add. Will dig into some of my links to see if I can find any bright spots.


Richard, that is kind of why I brought it up. I don’t feel like I understand all of the off-white/ acronym type collars… but I never understood the Jeff Staple put a bird on it thing either. Throwing a zip tie, writing AIR giant or cutting in an awkward zipper doesn’t seem like design to me, personally. It feels like hype for hypes sake. VS when the Air Max 95 came out in silver in 1995… it was just an awesome shoe. But maybe I’m just getting old? I need to think about it.

I do tink Adidas is doing some really nice stuff between 3D printing, the Bounce stuff, and more tasteful collaborations that iab brought up… other than that Kanye meatball shoe. That is what we used to call stuff like those puffy white leather shoes, meatballs. Certainly trends are cyclical, but I think any extreme looks pretty foolish a couple of years out…

We used to call shoes like the Monarch “BBQ shoes”. It’s the “sport” they are designed for. Super cheap PU coated action leather to make BBQ sauce removal easier :wink:

I have a catalog of price point white training shoes circa 2001 that I’m pretty sure all came off the shelf from some factory in China that doesn’t look too different than the ugly Kayne ones… will scan if I have some time later.


totally… not for the guy that plays the game, for the guy that watches the game. Anti Dorrito dust coatings on the laces :slight_smile:

On a more positive note, maybe it’s just the international playing field opening up, (and my exposure to it) but I’m seeing a lot of really great talent and interest in footwear design lately on IG! Perhaps the next generation of designers can bring something interesting to the table and change things up!


Too me, every shoe in the last few years just look like Yeezy’s. Which I hate. It’s like the whole industry said “Hey guys! Let’s just make socks with soles!!”

Granted, I’m not really into footwear as much as you guys (I’ve worn the same pair of Red Wings for 3 years straight), but I totally agree with Richard on this. Everything is just the same.

And on the Monarch’s… my Father in law (71) and brother in law (35) both wear them, and so do all their friends. When they’re not wearing work boots on the farm. That’s the target demographic for those badboys. Besides, Pete Carroll.

All points are great to hear, that’s why its a forum.

I do like the simple material focused approach NoBull has taken in a sea of loud over the top footwear.

Maybe instead of focusing on best shoe of 2017, it would be interested to dive into the best components.

Best Outsole design?
Best Midsole design?
Best Technology development?
Best Upper?

Food for thought.

Agreed. The Nobull stuff is really nice and restrained with great use of materials and colors.


hadn’t seen those top two Nobull’s Leather wedge on a sneaker? So cool! Probably not comfortable, but awesome.

Wedge is a weight lifting shoe. Actually makes sense for stability.


ah, yes, that makes sense.