The global sneaker market was valued at approximately $79 billion in 2020, and is expected to grow to an impressive $120 billion by the year 2026. With likely factors driving the shoe style’s popularity including comfort, there’s no question that sneakers are no longer defined as solely athletic wear. From celebrity collaborations to the revival of retro and classic runners — in addition to one of the most popular sneakers on the NBA basketball courts, here are just three popular sneaker trends of 2022.

MSCHF Gobstomper Jimmy Fallon Edition

When looking at recent celebrity shoe collaborations, the MSCHF Gobstomper Jimmy Fallon edition is certainly a unique and innovative one worth noting. The shoe itself is primarily off-white in color, though features touches of bright hues that include blue, yellow, and red (in addition to brown). Highsnobiety.com notes that the name ‘Gobstomper’ is presumably a play on Wonka’s popular candy known as the ‘Gobstopper,’ a multi-layered jawbreaker. However, the uniqueness of the shoe doesn’t stop there, as it’s actually made to be worn down. As the sneaker gets worn down, more layers of bright colors are revealed, giving this shoe a changing look that makes ‘wearing out’ your sneakers a much anticipated and fun activity as opposed to a dreadful one. 

A rise in classic and retro styles

When it comes to the popular sneaker styles of today, retro and classic styles are making a comeback. “Retro [styles] and much-loved silhouettes from years previous will make appearances [in 2022] as outfits take inspiration from decades like the 1990s and early 2000s,” notes Annie Burton, merchandiser at the luxury sneaker retailer GOAT. With the Adidas Sambas and forum styles predicted to be two of the most popular retro styles of the year, Burton further goes on to tell Who What Wear about runners, as well. “Runners experienced a renewed surge of popularity in 2021, with Balenciaga introducing a new silhouette and New Balance gaining popularity to be a must-have brand for sneaker enthusiasts.”

Whether you’re looking to invest in a new classic or retro style of sneakers, reviving your old pair can be a cost-effective solution when looking to emulate the popular styles of today. Thankfully, this can easily be done by throwing your sneakers in the washing machine, which can help get rid of smells that can be caused by frequent wear and sweat. By removing the shoe’s laces and insoles before washing as well as using liquid detergent and cold water, you can ensure you’re taking the steps necessary to protect them during the washing process. Needless to say, shoes will be thoroughly washed in the washing machine, but when it comes to drying, it’s important to keep in mind that the dryer can actually damage your shoes due to the high temperatures, making air drying them in a cool and well-ventilated space best.

The Nike Kobe 6

When it comes to popular sneakers in the athletic world, the Nike Kobe 6 was undoubtedly a favorite on the court. The sneaker statistics site Kixstats noted that the Nike brand topped all categories regarding popularity when it came to successful basketball shoes that were worn during the 2021-22 NBA regular season, with NBA players wearing Nike shoes an impressive 17,635 times. In a further breakdown of the statistics, SneakerFreaker notes that the Kobe 6 logged 43,696 minutes on the court. The neon green Kobe 6 “Grinch” was initially introduced back in 2010 on Christmas day, as part of the Nike Basketball Christmas Day Collection. Moneyinc.com notes that Nike designers have done some rework to the shoe since then, making updates such as the Air Zoom Turbo and making adjustments to the underfoot area and down on the midsole “by increasing the surface area and changing the traction patterns,” further going on to say that “the improved surface area is crucial to athletes,” according to Input Magazine. 

If you’re looking for a new pair of trendy sneakers to add to your collection, there are plenty of popular options. From the Kobe 6 Grinch shoes to the revival of classic and retro styles – or an innovative, candy-like shoe that’s made to improve with wear, there are plenty of styles and options to choose from.


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