2021 was a year of surprises. The New Balance 550 caught everyone off guard and became an instant classic, while unexpected collaborations from Rich Paul and Aimé Leon Dore turned heads and challenged the dominance of the Jordan 1s and Nike Dunks. 2022 looks set to be even bigger, with more collabs and brand-new silhouettes expected from the industry’s biggest names. Jordan Brand has already treated fans to a closer look at its Spring/Summer 2022 release calendar, while Nike and New Balance are keeping their cards close to their chest.

For those who can’t wait, we’re taking a closer look at the releases already announced for 2022. So, make some space in your shoedrobe because these are the sneakers you don’t want to miss this year.

Air Jordan 4 “Zen Master”

Already one of spring’s most highly anticipated releases, the Air Jordan 4 “Zen Master” builds on the success the AJ4 saw in 2021. This year Jordan is stepping it up a notch, dressing the upper in a multi-coloured pastel tie-dye print that’s perfect for Easter. The signature Jumpman branding remains untouched, sitting in its usual place on the heel, while the exposed Air unit underfoot makes these as functional as they are fashionable.

New Balance 550 “Burgundy/Blue”

2021 was a groundbreaking year for New Balance. The new-look 550s were very well received thanks to their retro aesthetic, industry-leading comfort and instantly recognisable branding. Nodding to the original archival design, the upcoming burgundy and blue colourway, set to land in mid-January, utilises premium leather for a more luxurious aesthetic.

Nike Air Force 1 “Hoops”

The Nike Air Force 1 has received more makeovers than any other Nike silhouette, with notable iterations including the Nike Air Force 1 Shadow and the Air Force 1 Pixel. This year, the Air Force 1 “Hoops” will replace the OG AF1 as favourite. This latest iteration pays homage to the sneaker’s roots with nods to the original such as breathable perforations on the toe box, a mesh tongue for enhanced ventilation and a “Hoops” emblazoned patch on the heel. 

Prada x adidas Forum 

High-end collaborations will remain a hot topic in 2022, with Prada and adidas taking the lead. These two fashion icons have history in the Superstar collab and now Prada is putting its stamp on the Forum. First teased with a campaign from A$AP Rocky, this collab puts a huge focus on the retro aesthetic that’ll take off in 2022. The teaser campaign surrounds the triple-white Prada x adidas Forum Low with nostalgic toys – like UNO cards, original GameBoys and hamburger phones. Landing alongside the white offering is a triple-black Forum High. Both sneakers are fitted with Prada’s signature detachable pouch on the laces. Landing early in January, start your year right with a pair of these premium sneakers.

adidas Yeezy 1050

One of the newest silhouettes to come out of the adidas x Yeezy partnership, the Yeezy 1050 embodies everything we know and love about Ye’s brand. It’s functional, innovative and bold, offering fans something different to spice up their new-season collection. A boot-sneaker hybrid, the 1050 features a wavy, padded upper with a full-zip fastening. The water-resistant sole is fitted with a newly designed textured tread, delivering traction on most terrains. First to land is the orange-and-beige colourway, with a wider range of combinations likely to drop throughout the year. 

Drake x NOCTA x Nike Hot Step Terra 

A long-awaited sneaker, the NOCTA x Nike High Step Terra was first teased by Drake in the music video for “Laugh Now, Cry Later” in 2021. The new Swoosh-brand silhouette takes its cues from earlier Air Max designs; the upper features distinctive perforations, silver-tone logo embellishments and detailed panelling on the heel, while the textured midsole provides a modern twist to this retro-inspired sneaker.

JJJJound x New Balance 990v3

One of the stand-out NB silhouettes in 2021 was the JJJJound x New Balance 990v4, which put a premium spin on the performance shoe with luxurious fabrics and meticulous craftsmanship. Taking that same approach this time round, JJJJound is introducing the 990v3 in an every-season, earthy green hue. Set to follow in the footsteps of the collaboration’s previous success, this is one of those sneakers you’ll want to keep an eye out for. No official release date has been announced yet, but rumour has it that the JJJJound x New Balance 990v3 Green will land in the latter part of 2022.

Louis Vuitton x Off-White x Nike Air Force 1

An extra-special collaboration rumoured to release this year, the Louis Vuitton x Off-White x Nike Air Force 1 is the last collaborative kick Virgil Abloh designed before his passing in 2021. This extensive collection features eight colourways and each pair combines LV’s iconic monogrammed logo or repeat check pattern, Off-White’s instantly recognisable text and Nike’s world-famous Swoosh. If this capsule does land, it’ll be one of the biggest releases since the Dior x Air Jordan 1. However, little is known about when or if this game-changing collaboration will be available to shop in 2022.

Feature Image: @theimedsoussi