With so many sneaker releases happening each month, it's easy to forget what's even come out. Often, the everyday enthusiast's Saturday pickup is forgotten for following weekend's crop of sneakers. Reflection at each calendar flip can help cement some of those that are worthy of being remembered. Need a refresher on all the great sneakers that came out this month? Here, the Sole Collector staff share what were their favorite sneakers that launched in the month of January.
Editors' Picks: The Best Sneakers of the Month
The Sole Collector staff breaks down their favorites.
NikeCourt Flare AJ 1
Gerald Flores, Editor-in-Chief
Serena Williams is one of the greatest athletes of this generation. When she was on the verge of yet another Grand Slam victory, it was obvious that Nike was going to do something to capitalize on the achievement. What wasn't expected was tying in the Air Jordan 1. This isn't the first time Jordan Brand stretched into tennis. There was the time that the brands collaborated to release an Air Jordan 3 inspired Nike Zoom Vapor Tour 9 during the U.S. Open. But pegging this Jordan project with Serena's 23rd title was a clever way to execute something that would otherwise seem like a random project—not to mention that the silhouettes were for women only, a rarity in today's current sneaker market.
Stone Island x Nike Sock Dart
Brendan Dunne, News Editor
This month wasn't a particularly exciting one in sports footwear. I found myself combing through the releases from the past couple weeks and settling for Stone Island's Nike Sock Dart set as my favorite from January, 2017. It feels out of step that these didn't release alongside Stone Island x Nike apparel, and the collab would have been a lot hotter a year ago, but it's still a good effort. The branding is low key and the material story makes sense coming from Stone Island. I'm not paying $200 for them, but I still respect the effort.
Nike Air Zoom Generation 'First Game'
Zac Dubasik, Managing Editor
The return of LeBron James’ signature line in retro form is something that’s always been just a matter of time, so it wasn’t exactly a surprise to see the Air Zoom Generation back this month. With James having just brought a championship home to Cleveland, the timing has never been better. And returning in one of its most sought-after colorways? Easy cop. Except that it wasn’t. Many fans who’ve been waiting years for this return were left in the cold thanks to it being kept exclusive. There was more disappointment after images leaked of what fans hoped would be the original “Wheat” AZG. So, while it hasn’t been a totally smooth return so far, at least the Air Zoom Generation is back.
Nike LeBron 14 'Out of Nowhere'
Brennan Hiro Williams, Social Media Editor
Yes, I know you probably hate the LeBron 14. Yes, I know it has limited off-court appeal (so far). I was, however, pleasantly surprised when I first saw the "Out Of Nowhere" LeBron 14 on Christmas Day. The sneaker's appeal is partly nostalgic for me; while the design is as "contemporary" as it comes, it also reminds me of the Nike KD 4 and the Nike Big Flyer—two of my favorite hoops shoes from years past. The "Akron-nym" colorway (as I've been calling it), a nod to one of Nike's best projects of 2016, adds energy to a relatively subtle silhouette, and gives me some hope that we'll see more fashion influence in the LeBron line moving forward, whether it be official (like the John Elliott Soldier 10) or just "inspired by."
Reebok Shaq Attaq
Brandon Richard, Senior Writer
Like certain Air Jordans for others, the Reebok Shaq Attaq is a shoe that I'll always welcome back. This time around, the retro celebrates the model's 25th anniversary—a bit unfathomable for those of us who can remember owning the original. While Reebok continues to search for its identity in today's market, it's important that they still have shoes like this in the archives worthy of bringing back to help keep themselves in the discussion.
Air Jordan 8 'Take Flight'
Rich Lopez, Release Dates Manager
You never forget your first, and the Air Jordan 8 was the first Air Jordan that I ever had. So based off that alone, I will always have a soft spot in my heart for the model. I will admit that there have been some terrible Air Jordan 8 colorways throughout the years that have slightly tainted the model, but the Air Jordan 8 Retro "Take Flight" is not one of them. While many people had dubbed the sneaker the "UNDEFEATED" 8 prior to its release, I wasn't expecting an actual collab, but a reinterpretation of the brand's military-inspired colorway. In my opinion, Jordan nailed it. The combination of sequoia with blacked out graffiti and slight hints of max orange not only fits right in with the palette of the moment but is also a timeless mix.