words // Luis Sanchez
Looking back on the Sole Decade, 2010 was easily one of the greatest years of the decade for sneakers.
Nike Basketball made it a memorable year with several historic releases sharing great stories, and innovative signature shoes that helped certain lines reach new heights. 2010 also marked the arrival of a number of game changers in the sneaker industry, with the introduction of the Rose signature line by adidas, and the development of Hyperfuse construction by Nike. And as noted in the rest of our Sole Decade rankings, Ronnie Fieg continued to impress with his retro running collaborations, while the Doernbecher Charity program by Nike continued to introduce impressive shoes for a great cause.
Check the list below for a look at the Top 10 shoes of 2010 as part of our on-going Sole Decade celebration.
10. Burn Rubber x New Balance MT580
2010 saw New Balance release number of impressive collaborations, but none were better than Burn Rubber's take on the MT580. The classic model was done up by the Detroit-based boutique in an appealing gray-based color scheme, utilizing an argyle patterned collar covered in the same colors synonymous with Burn Rubber branding. 3M hits and patent leather were also added to the mix, finishing off the shoe that helped Detroit's Burn Rubber sneaker boutique gain national recognition in 2010.
9. Nike Zoom Hyperfuse
Not only changing the way basketball shoes are constructed, the arrival of the Zoom Hyperfuse in 2010 changed sneakers as a whole forever. The innovative construction process by Nike helped dramatically reduce weight in shoes, and helped create some of the most durable basketball shoes ever. And with outdoor play on the rise over the past few years, Hyperfuse construction couldn't have been introduced at a better time.
8. Ronnie Fieg x Asics Gel-Lyte III - The Cove
2010 was no different for Ronnie Fieg with once again properly executed collaborations alongside Asics earning him tons of praise. Fieg's most impressive piece of work for 2010 was the iconic Gel-Lyte III in a blue-heavy 'Cove' inspired theme. The combination of blue tones took over a premium suede and pigskin Gel-Lyte III. Nearly four years later, the 2010 cove-inspired GL-III still remains as one of Fieg's most coveted collaborations.
7. adidas adiZero Rose 1
Adding to the magic we saw during the 2010-2011 season with a young DRose winning the NBA's MVP Award, 2010 also blessed us with the Rose 1 by adidas Basketball. The debut of the Rose signature line proved to be just as memorable as we'd expected it to be with the Rose 1 impressing both on and off the court with their sleek design and performance driven features geared toward DRose's game such as their Geofit collar and PureMotion midsole.
6. Air Jordan 9 Retro Premio BIN23 Collection
One of the biggest highlights of 2010 for the Jordan Brand was the introduction of the BIN 23 Premio Collection. The well received collection consisted of classic Air Jordan sig styles recreated in the highest of quality materials to celebrate memorable moments in MJ's career. The Air Jordan 9 Retro Premio sported some of the most impressive materials we saw in all of 2010, with a full premium leather upper, rope-like laces and luxurious gold overlays for what's arguably the best shoe we saw released as part of the limited collection.
5. Air Jordan 6 Retro - Infrared Pack
The early months of 2010 saw the Jordan Brand introduce two OG-inspired takes on the Air Jordan VI. Both pairs were obviously not enough for Jordan fans, who wished for the return of both original 'Infrared' colorways. The Jordan Brand fulfilled the wishes of many just a few months later, introducing a two shoe pack which included both original 'Infrared' AJ VI colorways. The pack was released in limited numbers by the Jordan Brand and included each shoe packaged in matching plastic bags for one of the most properly executed retro releases of the year from any brand.
4. Parra x Patta x Nike Air Max 1
2009 and 2010 had Patta running things when it came to Nike collaborations. Working with the Swoosh on one of the most iconic runners of all time, Patta brought Dutch artist Parra into the mix and killed the game in 2010 with their burgundy covered AM1. The classic Parra color palette coupled with Patta and Nike's exceptional choice of premium materials had people incredibly excited from the moment they were unveiled in 2009, and their eventual release in 2010 proved they were worthy of all the hype and more.
3. Nike Zoom Kobe VI - Grinch
The introduction of the Zoom Kobe VI by Nike Basketball couldn't have been done in a better fashion. Following a year of Joker-inspired kicks for Kobe to rock on Christmas Day, Nike Basketball went with a fitting Grinch-inspired theme over the Kobe VI for their Christmas Day debut. The extremely vibrant Kobe VI immediately captured the hearts of sneaker heads, and introduced to the world what would go on to become one of the many Nike Basketball themes we'd see emulated in the years following.
2. Air Jordan 3 Retro - Doernbecher Charity
2010 was no different for Nike's Doernbecher Charity Program. The charity-driven annual collection once again featured several impressive styles, but none more appealing or as impactful as the Air Jordan 3 Retro done up by Cole Johanson. The shoe was easily the best in the collection, and definitely one of the best shoes of 2010, but it was also the first-ever Doernbecher Charity shoe to be reissued by Nike.
1. Nike LeBron 8 - South Beach
More than just the biggest shoe of 2010, the 'South Beach' LeBron 8 could also be considered one of the most popular 'Moment' shoes of all time. With LeBron taking his talents to South Beach, Nike Basketball celebrated the monumental move down south with the introduction of the LeBron 8 in the perfect Miami-esque Art Deco colorway. Their aqua-driven look with pink accents instantly became an all-time classic color scheme, and has been seen over a number of other popular shoes over the past few years, with even competiting brands such as adidas borrowing the 'South Beach' color scheme. When its all said and done, the "South Beach" LeBron 8 will have a great chance at being considered the greatest LeBron shoe of all time.