The year is 2021, and we are still facing a lengthy lockdown before things get back to normal. Hopefully, you are all keeping your sneakers box-fresh ready for when the lockdown is lifted, and you can finally flex on your family and friends as much as you want. Until then, though, we think we must introduce you to the mule. Now don’t get me wrong, the humble mule will never replace the sneaker when putting your fit together. However, whilst we are mostly working from home, we have decided to give you all a break down of your favourite sneaker silhouettes’ cosy counterpart.
We picked five of our favourite sneakers to release over the last year and the mule that we think compliments it best, take a look and let us know what you think.
NIKE AIR FORCE 1 LOW STUSSY FOSSIL (2020)
In a year where Stussy could do no wrong, its Air Force 1 collaboration with Nike may have been the best we saw. The iconic silhouette came crafted from a hemp material giving the shoe some serious texture. Two legendary colourways would drop, a triple black rendition and a fossil version, a hue that has become a staple for Stussy drops.
The sneaker is dripping head to toe in Stussy branding; the toebox and heel of the shoe feature the legendary SS Stussy logo. You will also find the Stussy tag on the shoe’s tongue.
Releasing in minimal numbers with the fossil only releasing at the Stussy London Chapter Store initially, this iconic silhouette should be on all sneakerheads hit lists to add to their collection.
Want to cop the Stussy x Nike Air Force 1? Follow the links below to find your size.
BIRKENSTOCK BOSTON STUSSY (2020)
What is the perfect mule to compliment your Stussy x Nike Air Force 1’s? It has to be Stussy’s collaborative effort with German brand Birkenstock. They took over one of Birkenstock’s most beloved models, the Boston. A clog-type piece of footwear that divides opinion amongst sneakerheads, the Stussy x Birkenstock Boston is the perfect way the ensure you can still flex whilst working from home.
Stussy released two versions, an anthracite colourway and a bone colourway that looks similar to the fossil hues Stussy know and love. Both come covered in a corduroy look debossed suede and suede linings. You will find the Stussy branding on the clog’s lateral side, whilst on the medial, you will discover the Birkenstock branding. A perfect crossover between streetwear and practicality, the Stussy Boston is the perfect step into a mule life.
DIOR X AIR JORDAN 1 LOW
A sneaker that needs no introduction, the Air Dior put the entire sneaker industry on notice last year. This collaboration indicated the first time Jordan Brand had joined forces with a luxury label, knocking the collab out the park with this effort with Dior. Jordan Brand only ever produced 4,700 of the Low, making this one seriously limited sneaker.
The duo made the model in Italy and featured premium materials throughout the silhouette. You will also find co-branding everywhere, with Air Dior featuring the tongue and the custom Air Dior wings logo on the heel rather than the side panel this time. The iconic swoosh even features the Dior monogram pattern.
An exceptionally luxurious take on a sneaker, the Air Jordan is a must-cop for any sneakerheads looking to seriously elevate their rotation.
DIOR SNOW SLIPPER
If you are looking to remain as luxurious as possible whilst transitioning into some cosy WFH fits, the Dior Snow Slipper is the perfect remedy. The hybrid slipper/shoe design is as versatile as it is practical, featuring a nylon upper and a rubber sole. The tonal silhouette comes covered in a Dior Oblique pattern, whilst you can find classic DIOR print on the calfskin heel.
The Dior Snow Slipper is perfect for anybody looking to wear them indoors and outside, with the premium slip-on perfect for all conditions.
YEEZY BOOST 350 V2
The Yeezy Boost 350 V2 had a massive year in 2020, releasing many hugely successful colourways to fans’ masses. We know ‘Ye loves to use earthy, neutral tones for his releases. This colour palette produced some of last year’s best 350 V2 colourways. Three particular standouts for us was the Neutral, Earth and Cinder versions.
Ye and Adidas covered all three versions in the minimal tone selected for the shoe. The primeknit uppers completely wrapped in their respective colour hues.
The Yeezy Boost 350 V2 is one of the most comfortable sneakers money can buy. These will most definitely do the trick when wearing them whilst being locked down. However, if you want to step into something a little more casual, we have the answer.
Okay, perhaps not classed as a mule due to the Yeezy Slide’s open toe, but still a perfect option for when you are indoors. The slides look as if they were sculpted from clay. Although coming under some scrutiny when first released, the slide has since made a massive impact on the sneaker industry once people found out just how comfortable they were.
The natural hues ensure they are instantly recognisable as a Yeezy release and will work with any fit you are trying to get off. Crafted entirely from one rubber piece giving the slide a futuristic look. This is something Kanye has strived for across many of his releases. The deep ridged sole which features is a nod towards the soles we are used to with the sneakers Yeezy releases. Branding is minimalistic, only featuring on the insole.
An ideal replacement if you aren’t ready to step directly into a mule, the Yeezy Slide will most definitely tick the boxes for you.
AIR JORDAN 4 BLACK CAT
The Air Jordan 4 had one of the best years of its illustrious career in 2020 with many of its versions selling out instantly. Outside of the Off-White x Air Jordan 4 however, the Black Cat may have been the most popular of all.
The sneaker was murdered out in a completely black colourway, composed of suede and nubuck throughout the design. Every aspect of this shoe was black, giving us a compelling look. Being dubbed the Black Cat could not be more fitting with the shoe’s appearance fitting that exact moniker. A classic silhouette elevated by a simplistic yet powerful colourway, there really is nothing better.
THE NORTH FACE THERMOBALL
So, you are hoping to move into the mule game, but the AJ4 Black Cat is your favourite sneaker, and you just can’t take them off. Well, we have the perfect substitute for when you are indoors, The North Face Thermoball.
Despite coming in many colourways, our favourite has to be the all-black version. The Black Cat Thermoball if you will. The waterproof upper is filled with Thermoball insulation to ensure your feet stay warm. The hard rubber sole ensures these are fit for indoors or outdoors. They are even lined with faux fur to ensure you can’t get any more comfortable. A great pick up for anybody wanting to try a pair before jumping into the Dior Snow Slipper.
YEEZY BOOST 700 V3 SAFFLOWER
One of Yeezy’s most daring yet creative designs yet, the 700 V3 Safflower was one of the best releases we saw in 2020. A natural progression from the highly-coveted Wave Runner silhouette, the 700 pushes every boundary there is. The vibrant yellow primeknit material is complimented perfectly by the white cage we see surrounding the upper. A black sock houses the lacing system and ensures the sneaker fits snug to your foot.
Down under, an off-white sole houses plenty of cushioning to guarantee comfort whenever you decide to rock this impressive sneaker.
To find a counterpart worthy, we had to look to Adidas sister company Reebok and its unbelievable Beatnik silhouette. After tremendous success in the Asian market, Reebok decided to bring the mule across the pond and was met with a mix of reviews. Fortunately, though, everybody eventually embraced the Beatnik. It has become one of the best pick-ups for anybody looking to stay at home.
We have seen many releases over the past 12 months, some gore-tex versions and some corduroy versions. All of which have guaranteed to turn heads. We even saw streetwear legends Brain Dead collaborate on a version of the iconic slip-on. The Beatnik was initially debuted in 1993 as a hiking sandal. Thankfully Reebok kept that same hiking sole meaning the Beatnik is still ready to be worn whenever wherever.
So, there you have it, five of our favourite releases from 2020 and a mule to compliment them. Mules will never replace my sneaker collection, I know that much, but I am glad to have them as an option until all of this madness blows over.