5 Retros We Need to See in 2020
2020 is going to be a big year. The Summer Olympics will be held in Tokyo, February will last 29 days, and maybe Kanye will redeem himself with the release of a better album. Meanwhile, the big brands will bring back a whole bunch of retro sneakers.
Some retros are going to be great, while others will be retros we definitely didn’t ask for. To make life easier for you, we’ve tried to manifest our feet-first desires by composing a list of five retros that we need to see in 2020. For the sake of diversity, it’ll be one choice per brand, rather than just everything in the Spring 1993 Nike catalogue…
adidas Race Walk SD
It’s time to herald the return of an obscure walking shoe from 1989. To gauge how old this design is, its label reads ‘Made In West Germany’. The team over at Herzogenaurach brought back the suede-heavy LD (Long Distance) edition back in 2008 – but perhaps that was 10 years too early. The UK’s Offspring then transferred the LD’s bright blue and yellow colourway onto the ZX 710 as a further homage in 2014. Now, it’s time to resurrect the SD – Short Distance – version. That nylon upper will be perfect for Summer 2020. The wedge of yellow in the midsole, matched to the Three Stripes and lining is too nice to leave sitting in a dusty archive. Bring back bright colours!
Converse Chuck Taylor All Star (Made In USA)
Chucks have been around for over 100 years, and while production now takes place elsewhere, Converse used to make them all in the USA. Vintage collectors, thrifters and old-timers all covet the iconic sneaker’s heritage spec, and the older build is objectively better quality. It’s unfortunate that production stopped when the company filed for bankruptcy in 2001 but, since they’re now part of Nike, there are now 2 billion reasons for All Star factories to return to American soil. The pilgrimage-worthy Made In Japan line is a positive step, but Made In USA is the endgame. Other footwear companies have been able to keep a portion of their output domestic – so can Converse.
New Balance 992
It doesn’t get much more ‘dad’ than the New Balance 992. The behemoth grey flagship was introduced in 2006 for the company’s 100th anniversary, and instantly had rapport on Apple co-founder Steve Jobs’ feet. Suede, mesh and ABZORB SBS likely still make for a formidable combination for both jogs and keynote presentations. Origin stories of the OG dad shoe remain hotly debated despite the trend’s dying embers, but given it’s numerically sandwiched between the still-in-production 991 and 993, it begs the question: where’s the 992 retro? Don’t just take our word for it – there’s even an online petition out to bring it back!
UPDATE: Rejoice! The 992 has started hitting retailers and will see a wide variety of colourways on the market, thanks to its inclusion in the NB1 program.
Nike Air Zoom Citizen
The Air Zoom Citizen was born out of the legendary (and short-lived) Alpha Project in 1999, launched with a hilariously memorable ‘Long Run’ ad. Latest-gen performance sneakers like the new Zoom LeBron 17 owe their design to the Citizen’s visible Zoom Air midsole. The OG white/blue/black colourway is a masterclass in colour-blocking, but the ‘Pimento’ and ‘Gold Post’ editions that released alongside it are also great. Other Alpha Project spawn, including the Presto and Shox lines, are routinely retroed, so the Air Zoom Citizen is long overdue. Nike, please do it properly.
Reebok Pump Wrapshear
Let’s look beyond mythology-building silhouettes from the 80s and 90s like the Court Victory, Twilight Zone and Instapump Fury. There are plenty of post-2000 models that channelled the provocative ‘Pump Up, and Air Out’ motto, especially the Pump Wrapshear. An oddity from 2006, the Wrapshear took Pump tech to the next level with its Smart Valve, which automatically inflated the internal bladders to 5 PSI, then the pressure would adjust as the wearer walked, for a truly hands-free custom fit. Reebok were so confident in the new tech that they took the laces off completely. This kind of tech will be right at home in 2020, so hopefully the ‘Bok can get it done.