Setting the tone

Not only have we just entered a new year. We have also entered a new decade. This of course, has varying degrees of significance depending on who you ask. For us in the trainer game, it might not necessarily seem like very much has changed. You wouldn’t be wrong for assuming that, but as 2019 turns to 2020. As we enter a new decade the tables reset, and the scores return to zero. Giving every player in the competitive world of footwear equal opportunity once again to define their own success. With some of the games most prominent players having wasted no time in putting their best foot forward, and setting a tone for 2020.

Not to mention that not only have the products begun to populate this new decade but so have the opinions surrounding them. Just like any other year there are as many questions as there are answers in such a divisive industry. Is the gap closing between Adidas and Nike? Is over saturation plaguing some of the markets strongest designs? What will emerge or re-emerge in 2020 as the most coveted trainers around? These are all questions that we will struggle to answer only days into 2020, but already we can begin to ponder based on what we already know. So, without further ado these are my top picks going into 2020.


One of the most notable designers already dropping heat as we enter 2020 is Chitose Abe. Her now established collaborative partnership between her brand Sacai and Nike is entering another year and the progress they made in 2019 is evident. Keen to expand on this success Nike x Sacai are dropping two monochromatic colourways for their LDV Waffle in March. The silhouette in question gained a huge following in 2019, captivating fans with its original design, that included a double swoosh, and a now signature extended heel counter. There is no immediate indication that the two newest iterations are going to be anything less than a roaring success as their predecessors have been. Only a cautionary warning however, this isn’t the first monochromatic addition to the Nike x Sacai portfolio. So don’t expect something entirely unseen. Instead take this duo as a refinement on popular ideas.


Dropping in the final days of 2019 just in time for the turn of the decade. LA based trainer and apparel boutique UNDEFEATED has rekindled their relationship with Nike for a fresh collaborative effort, and it is one hell of a good one. The UNDEFEATED x NIKE Air Max 90 has been much talked about leading into 2020 with several drops in the final months of 2019. Continuing their impressive momentum going into 2020 they are bringing us three brand new colourways. All of which are adopting a black base with vary coloured accents. Delay to this release has only intensified its popularity. With fans of the classic Air Max 90 silhouette heralding the release giving a fresh take on an unquestionable Nike icon that has definitely needed some much needed love of late.

Air Jordan 1 Mid’s High expectations

Every year for one reason or another a silhouette re-emerges and once again comes back into favour after a hiatus from the spotlight. The reasons for this differ from case to case. Whether it is due to an uptake in nostalgia, a creative campaign or an exciting collaborative project. In the case of the Air Jordan 1 Mid, it is more for its practical application that is is once part of the cool crew. The Air Jordan 1 Mid can pretty much be styled with anything. Meaning it has been identified as having the potential to become a staple in 2020. In anticipation of this Air Jordan haven’t wasted any time, beginning to flood the market with colourways that evoke their companies classic heritage, with a fair sprinkling of new and unique ideas. The pick of the bunch so far, being the Air Jordan 1 Mid Bred Toe, an iconic colourway re-imagined.

Fresh Off-White closing the gap on Yeezy?

If we are taking score, well then Kanye West and his Yeezy brand was the run away winner in 2019. The entire calendar was littered with excellent additions to his already expansive portfolio. That is exactly why this next release makes perfect sense for Nike going forward. They need to close the gap on Adidas and make 2020 competitive. Reintroducing one of their most high profile collaborators is the Ace up their sleeve. One they have decided to play incredibly early in the hope of getting a head start on the year ahead. The Ace of course I am referring to is design ace and founder of Off-White, Virgil Abloh.

His fabled “The 10” Collection might seem like a lifetime ago but its impact remains to this day. So the release of a brand new Off-White adaptation on a classic silhouette is almost certain to repeat previous successes. The release in question the Off-White x Air Jordan 5 will drop equipped with all the expected Off-White trimmings and is almost certain to usher in an entirely new wave of products looking to challenge the Adidas powered Yeezy dominance of the previous year.

On the horizon

Of course this is only an appetiser for what is in store for us in 2020. I have no doubt we will be seeing a lot more from all of the above, plus a whole lot extra. Kanye West’s Yeezy product line isn’t looking like it is slowing down anytime soon, and the re-emergence of his friend Virgil Abloh into prominence in the show game no doubt will only spur him on. While we can only ponder what we are yet to see from the rest of the trainer games biggest collaborators. What silhouettes, if any, are going to reinstate themselves on shelves across the globe, and what shoes are going to fall fowl of their own success and dilute their appeal with over saturation. It is too early to tell, but it is definitely going to be very interesting to find out.

Check in regularly with Laced for online trainers news and releases throughout 2020.