Christmas is just around the corner, which means it’s time to pay homage to Odin, the Wild Hunt, Modraniht, and the birth of Jesus Christ by giving gifts to our loved ones and being forced into awkward office Secret Santa exchanges. Sometimes, the ones we care about can be hard to shop for. Your boyfriend might want some niche Japanese edition of an old NES game, your girlfriend might want a specific brand of concealer, but we all have that one hypebeast sneakerhead friend that rocks brands you don’t understand how they afford (or think they look good in). For this friend, only the finest will do, and to ensure your Christmas gift shopping goes smoothly, AMP has your back with the latest in shoe trends. This winter’s shoes can be split into four categories: The Dad Shoe, The Retro, The Futuristic HiTop, and The Novelty Shoe.
The Dad Shoe
Dad shoes seem to be all that the Instagram models and K-Pop stars are into these days. The large chunky heel once adorned the feet of out-of-touch dads and made us embarrassed to be seen with them in public, but now grace the fashion wish lists of everyone from icons like Jeff Goldblum to the Insta-famous whom I can’t actually name. For the guys, we have a favorite of Watch the Throne-era Kanye West: Margiela. The Margiela Fusion sneakers are the epitome of modern fashion. They have the textile and leather look of the late ‘90s budget Payless shoe that every selfrespecting dad once owned. Take that shoe, add the wear and tear of that same shoe being owned for thirty years, and you have the Margiela Fusion. This shoe is a must have for your sneakerhead friend who gets his trend knowledge from Instagram hypebeasts.
For your hypebeast lady friends, you have the what I affectionately call the clout-god shoe, and what Gucci calls the Flashtrek Leather Hiker Sneaker with Chain Strap. The catchy name explicitly describes the $1600 shoe. This shoe is a menagerie of colors, jewels, and heel. The thick rubber sole would put any ‘90s dad to absolute, emasculating shame, and the jewel encrusted chains would outshine any kindergarten Mother’s Day craft project. This piece by Gucci is what every Instagram model pictures in their head when they wake up and say: “Let’s get this bread.” This is the ultimate sneakerhead dad shoe for women, and your friend would definitely be grateful for the $1600 addition to their vast sneaker collection.
The Old School
The retro never really goes out of style. Nintendo makes bank on re-releasing their oldest games on emulators that look just like their old systems and capitalizing on mascots from the 1980s, Cartoon Network finally brought back Samurai Jack and Powerpuff Girls, and whoever makes Call of Duty has been releasing the same game for the last 20 years. The success of nostalgia capitalization is far-reaching and applies to every market — even shoes. The absolute bangers we are about to show you drip with nostalgic style, reminding you of a simpler time that you’ve spent oh-so-many years romanticizing. When normal people see the Whataburger orange and white on these retro-styled Air Jordans, they may recoil with confusion, but any loyal Texan would wear these proudly to distinguish themselves from out-of-state heathens. The classic HiTop Air Jordan make of Nike shoe is a classic that never goes out of style, and you and your hypebeast friend can each get a pair to rep your Texan pride for the winter season. At the steep price of $2000 a pair, it is one of the more expensive pairs of Jordans, even for the high-end shoe brands. Despite this, it is a needed edition for the sneakerhead in your life.
I want to personally thank the Instagram model that wore the Fila Disruptor 2s enough to turn Fila into a hypebeast brand. This shoe was the bane of the existence of every first-generation American growing up in the late ‘90s and early 2000s. Our immigrant parents saw the $15 price tag on these clunky kicks and sent us to school with them and a homemade bowl cut to be bullied. Whichever model took a break from selling protein powder online and convinced the internet that Fila was a boutique brand, and indirectly raised the selling price from $15 to $60, has done every child of a thrifty immigrant parent a mighty favor. While $60 is crumbs compared to the other shoes on this list, this price raise has disqualified little brown children everywhere from having an atrocious first-grade shoe game. While first-grade shoe game means light-up Hulk Sketchers, adult shoe game means that Instagram models’ whims determine how your peers judge you, so if your sneakerhead friend needs a respectable retro addition to their collection, this is the move.
Every self-respecting sneakerhead knows the cherry on top of every collection is the latest pair of hi-tops, the shoe built for playing basketball and used as a house ware. Hi-tops are the pinnacle of sports technology, and continually lie on the cutting edge of fashion. We have for you hi-tops that are so futuristic that they might as well be a part of your cyberpunk cosplay.
Balenciaga seems to be a household name among hypebeasts and kids who go to private schools, and they’ve produced possibly the world’s first $800 pair of mid length socks. Sounds expensive, but for $800 you get socks that don’t tear because they have soles (also because your friend will place them on a pedestal, not actually wear them). The future of hi-tops is here and it is the sock-sneaker combo. Balenciaga has created the most comfortable, breathable shoe meant for basketball that will never be worn, and if you want to truly treat your sneakerhead friend this Christmas, then this is the move.
A moment of silence is in order for the poor Gundam Mobile Suit that lost its feet for Maison Margiela to turn them into socksneakers. Yes, like our last entry, this another sock sneaker, but for the ladies, they’ve added the edition of Gundam foot armor. This winter, you can give the gift of futuristic mobile warrior tech to your dearest friend to add their collection. With the addition of the sock you have the best of both sports and military technology, that will allow your sneakerhead friend to flex on LeBron and Raytheon alike.
Novelty This season, novelty shoes have been all the rage. Print designs, pop culture special edition, and celebrity endorsed lines have dominated the shoe market all year long, and any novelty pair will make a worthy addition to your favorite sneakerhead’s shoe collection. Here are what we think will impress your friends.
With Michael B. Jordan’s revelation that he enjoys anime, it is safe to say anime is officially mainstream. For the first time ever, you can proudly wear your love of anime on your sleeve (or feet, I guess) without being completely ashamed. Adidas took full advantage of this new trend and paired up with Toei Animation to create a line of Dragon Ball Z themed sneakers that are the most anticipated fashion release among fashion YouTubers, rappers, and anyone who watched Cartoon Network in the late ‘90s and early 2000s. The DBZ x Adidas Yung 1, aka the Freiza shoe, combines the best of multiple sneaker trends. Its retro dad shoe make has been blowing up amongst fashion Instagrammers all year long, and the Dragon Ball Z theme drips with nostalgia and fanfare. This shoe is an absolute must on every sneakerhead’s list, and would make an excellent gift this Christmas.
Yeezys. The ultimate hypebeast brand, and the ultimate sneakerhead sneaker. Yeezy has been a household name in the shoe game for as long as it’s been around, and this winter, that’s no different. The Yeezy Boost 350 is the latest piece from Kanye West’s peculiar fashion line, and it’s on the top of every hypebeast’s list (if they don’t already have it). Kanye’s theme for this year seems to be footwear that doesn’t look right, from his slippers that are either too small or too big, to the 350 that looks like it’s supposed to be worn by someone with that has toes on the back of their feet. While someone who’s not nearly as smart or artistically inspired as Kanye West can’t understand his style, millions of his fans do, and are ready to pay the $1300 price tag to get in on these shoes. If your beloved sneakerhead listened to Ye, then you should definitely get them these shoes.