LeBron’s sneaker line slowed down over the last few years, bringing us uninspired offerings and fading into the background. But this year, that all changed. Nike and LeBron finally approached the tech sneaker with lifestyle responsibilities. The first few colorways sold out immediately, but the real intro came when LeBron teamed up with Ronnie Fieg and Kith for this “Long Live the King” collection. The shoes dive deep into royal symbology, creating a series of styles that transcend the technical aspects of the sneaker. When the kicks released, there was no way to know that LeBron would lose out on a ring, leave Cleveland, and create a school set to reshape a generation of youth in Ohio, but these remind us that 2018 has been a roller coaster.
The AlphaBounce has been a great sneaker for Adidas, opening the brand up to runners on a tighter budget. But the AlphaBounce Beyond is a whole new level. The one shortcoming of the AlphaBounce was always aesthetics; it was often an overkill combination of textures, materials, and patterns. But the new AlphaBounce Beyond edits and elevates the look to the next level. The sole design fits seamlessly into the upper, each of them playing off the same textural motifs. An arch plug adds a little bit of surprise. The Beyond demands a few dollars more than its predecessor, but it also represents more than a couple extra steps in the right direction.
It has a sale tab on its site and consistently runs other promotions. For example, it often runs end-of-season sales during which you can get shoes, sandals or boots for as much as 50 percent off. Famous Footwear also has a rewards program that earns you points for each dollar you spend. These points can then be redeemed later. When you sign up for the rewards program, you also get exclusive offers and free shipping on any orders you make online. This may be one of the best perks because standard shipping applies to non-rewards members’ purchases.
The addition of shearling is a textural detail that subtly transforms our most popular models into something unexpected. The Amazon Shearling lines its footbed with puffs of fur, and the Daytona takes its criss-cross strap and adorns one side with the same lambskin for the coziest cool weather look. These styles move easily between the transitional months where socks are optional.
Each year in sneaker hierarchy can be measured in technical innovation just as well as hype or style. This year, Jordan Brand applied Flyknit technology to the Air Jordan III, a move that required amazing dexterity and development when it comes to creating new textures from the material. The III is famous for combining smooth and tumbled leathers with the legendary elephant skin print. Jordan was able to get all those textures, and more, in 3D out of the Flyknit, making for a sneaker—and a process—that combines old and new.
When you get to the level of Alexander Wang, there's a confidence of design that seeps through into every piece. That confidence is on full display here. On paper the Puff Trainer shouldn't make any sense: the shoe features a quilted puffer upper with lacing that attaches to the sole and ties behind the heel, a sock entry (usually reserved for speedy, summer-based runners), and a color combination of black, maroon, and neon green. But when expertly balanced with appropriate restraint and flourish, the shoes are an achievement. Not to mention the sole unit is a show-stopper on its own. The sneaker is impressive from toe to heel, and is far and away one of the best offerings from 2018.
For eligible purchases made with the SaksFirst Credit Card in Saks Fifth Avenue stores, catalogs and at saks.com. During this event, SaksFirst members will earn 2 base points plus 4 bonus points per eligible dollar spent from $1 to $4999, 4 base points plus 8 bonus points per eligible dollar spent from $5000 to $9999, and 6 base points plus 12 bonus points per eligible dollar spent thereafter, based on your calendar year-to-date net purchases. Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH stores, saksoff5th.com, corporate gifts and gift card purchases are not eligible for this bonus points event. Certain exclusions including some designer and licensed departments, salon products and services, alterations, restaurants, taxes, gratuities and delivery charges apply. See style advisor for full list of exclusions. Offer valid in Saks Fifth Avenue stores from 3/7/19 to 3/8/19 and on saks.com from 3/7/19 at 12:01 AM (ET) through 3/8/19 at 11:59PM (ET).
It’s been more than a decade since The Devil Wears Prada, and we’ve traveled more than time since that window opened into the fashion industry. With Jordan’s new women’s brand up and running, Vogue left its mark on this duo of Jordan IIIs. Each has a unique texture that offers real depth, but the achievement is a women’s line that’s strong and expressive, while providing sneakers that are covetable without being desperately "girly." These represent a cultural win on multiple fronts.