15 Best Sneakers of 2023: The Year’s Hottest Kicks From Nike, Adidas, New Balance & More


Much like you, the best sneakers of 2023 are feeling a little nostalgic. If there’s a throughline across the 15 kicks aggregated below, it’s a peculiar loyalty to decades bygone, and the 2000s loom especially large. Even the coolest never-before-seen silhouettes released this year—the Asics Gel-NYC, say, or Nike’s P-6000—look more like collages of styles you already know than groundbreaking new silhouettes. Throwback kicks have always been crowd-pleasers, but our favorite of the bunch these days (with a few crucial exceptions) don’t come from the heyday of Nike’s fledgling basketball division or Adidas’ then-upstart soccer department: they come beamed in from the aughts.

Which kind of makes sense. As the TikTok generation grows up (slightly), and starts earning its own money (slowly), sneaker brands have begun courting them in earnest, churning out shoes destined to remind anyone over 30 of a Hot Topic era they’d rather forget. So if the trip down memory lane conjures images you want to leave in the past, don’t get your laces twisted: there’s no shortage of retro Jordans or cushy New Balances that pull inspiration from a time long before the iPod’s debut.

Below you’ll find all the best sneakers of 2023 so far, definitive proof that this year—despite the onslaught of boots, loafers, mules, and sandals—is shaping up to be another banner one for ultra-covetable kicks.

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  • Adidas x Blondey McCoy AB Gemini sneakers

    As the Adidas Samba enters its anxiety era, the Gazelle has rapidly emerged as a leading alternative for folks looking for the next hit sneaker. The Three Stripes releases plenty of riffs on the silhouette you can nab for a pittance compared to some of its buzzier counterparts, but the limited-edition version it dropped with Blondey McCoy is worth going the extra mile to track down. In place of the typical suede uppers, McCoy swapped in ripstop and a shiny patent leather toe box, both of which help shore up the shoe for folks who land kickflips on the regular—and care a whole lot about looking cool doing it. Even if you can’t skate with an ounce of McCoy’s finesse, it represents a worthy stopgap for the Samba-sized hole in your sneaker rotation.

  • Aime Leon Dore x New Balance 860V2 sneakers

    If 2022 was the year aughts-era running sneakers took menswear by storm, 2023 is the year they asserted themselves as the silhouette du jour in fashion at large. Few brands played a bigger role in their resurgence than Aimé Leon Dore—the downtown label helmed by Queens native Teddy Santis—whose coveted takes on New Balance’s roster of throwback sneakers have become premium cool-guy currency in today’s clout-oriented sneaker market. In this case, though, the 860V2 wears its pedigree quietly, a new hallmark of Santis’ role as creative director of New Balance’s Made in USA sub-line. But quiet doesn’t mean boring; the green-and-gold colorway is just about the most moodboard-friendly sneaker we’ve seen in a minute.

  • Sandy Liang x Salomon RX Moc 3.0 shoes

    Indie darling Sandy Liang spent the last decade growing her range of fluffy fleece jackets into a full-blown fashion label, one that stages runway shows and collaborates with retail juggernauts like Target. Her subtle take on Salomon’s RX Moc, the daintiest silhouette in the French brand’s repertoire, marries her penchant for peppy details with Salomon’s outdoors-y bona fides, kitting out the tongue with a subtle floral print but leaving the rest of the silhouette largely untouched. Sure, the mesh uppers will help your dogs breathe trudging up the trails, but they’re also just a great opportunity to flex your kookiest socks.

  • Kiko Kostadinov x ASICS Gel-Quantum Zientzia sneakers

    If you want to know how Asics’ once-forgotten runners ushered in a craze for Y2K-drenched sneakers, look no further than the Bulgarian-born designer Kiko Kostadinov, who’s been cranking out buzzy collaborations with the Japanese sportswear juggernaut since 2018. The duo’s latest hit is the Gel-Quantum Zienztia, which ups the fashion quotient on the whole enterprise yet again, this time with a sleek black-and-blue upper and a low-slung, oblong shape that feels quintessentially Kiko

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15 Best Sneakers of 2023: The Year’s Hottest Kicks From Nike, Adidas, New Balance & More

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