Top 10 Must-Own Kicks for Summer 2016

Giancarlo Ferrari-King@@GiancarloKingFeatured ColumnistMay 8, 2016

Top 10 Must-Own Kicks for Summer 2016

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    Credit: Nike

    Sneaker fashion, like the garment industry, changes with the seasons. Even those stationed out in year-round, sun utopias like California or Florida have to adapt and arm their collections accordingly.

    Don't look now, but summer 2016 is fast approaching. Brands are hedging their bets, plotting out release days for fresh styles and diverse colorways to take center stage.

    Exploring all those upcoming releases and what's currently situated in the market today, it's time to check out 10 must-own kicks for summer 2016.

Adidas EQT 'Oddity Luxe Pack'

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    Credit: Adidas

    Adidas has done a tremendous job of rebranding the EQT Running Support '93 model over the last few years. The sneaker—which has remained a staple of the company's footwear efforts—was properly reintroduced with more of a streetwear vibe thanks to a collaborative effort with Pusha T.

    The G.O.O.D Music MC united with Adidas, putting a fresh spin on the runner. After two successful drops of EQT goodness, Adidas continues to push out luxurious efforts like the "Oddity Luxe Pack"—though this one has nothing to do with Pusha T.

    What's special about the "Luxe Pack" is that it gives off a minimalistic quality despite being enriched with multiple textures and feels.

    Available to both men and women—it should be noted the women's version is actually an EQT racing sneaker—this "Oddity Luxe Pack" is a perfect early addition for summer collections missing that ever-important tan pair of go-to kicks.

Nike Air More Uptempo 'Gum'

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    The first reiteration of the Nike Air More Uptempo in its traditional black and white dressing was perfection for dreary fall and winter days.

    Switching gears and taking on summer, Nike realized there had to be an equally fitting follow-up model. Enter the white and gum version of the Air More Uptempo.

    Everything about the first drop is now brought into the light—literally—with this summer release. Set to hit retailers July 20—per Sneaker Bar Detroit—commanders of the sneaker galaxy should prep for a month of emaciated bank accounts and ramen to hold them over.

    There's far too much heat hitting the streets in July to be overlooked. The Nike Air More Uptempo treated with a gum sole and white frame headlines that list.

Nike Free Train Force Flyknit

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    Credit: Nike

    Nike has always pushed the envelope when it comes to running. So when news broke that the Nike Free Train Force Flyknit was coming out, one could only expect great things.

    The Nike Free movement has been predicated on building sneakers that conform to one's foot. By doing that, the sneaker becomes amalgamated with an athlete, allowing maximum performance and comfort to set in.

    Style is in the eye of the beholder. However, for those searching for a creative footwear choice outside of basketball kicks or more traditional runners, the Free Train Force Flyknit is an easy cop.

    What we love most about this shoe is that it's been allocated over to the "NIKEiD platform." Handing consumers the key to the kicks castle is what Nike does best.

    You can log on today and create your own version of this runner, putting a nice exclusive spin on an already- fantastic sneaker.

Air Jordan I 'Swooshless'

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    There hasn't been a release date set, however, something significant is brewing over at Camp Jordan.

    A swoosh-free Air Jordan I low has made the rounds on Instagram—courtesy of Jacob Keller—and the sheer imagery of a classic Air Jordan being stripped of its identity is enough to make sneakerheads tremble with anticipation.

    The Air Jordan 1 as a low-top cut has served as a welcome take on a classic shoe. Removing the swoosh from the side of the mid-sole somehow makes it a totally fresh approach that moves the line forward.

    As of this writing, there's no release date. Understanding Jordan Brand and how it works, that could change at any given time. The result of which will create chaos.

    Assuming this in fact becomes a summer drop, Air Jordan fans and consumers who appreciate simplistic designs should be looking to add this "Swooshless" Jordan I to their collections.

Adidas NMD_R1

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    Credit: Adidas

    It's crazy to think Adidas outdid itself with the release of the NMD and NMD_R1 runners. After the Ultra Boost took over in 2015, the thought of Adidas unleashing something that would rival it was out of sight, out of mind.

    Then, the NMD came chugging along, and all of us were taken back once again.

    Adidas has already enjoyed the fruits of its labor when it comes to this model. According to T.S. Fox of Hypebeast, the Three Stripe Empire sold over 400,000 pairs on March 17 alone—the day the brand released a handful of additional colorways.

    Getting your hands on a pair of NMDs has proven to be a challenge. But keeping your eyes peeled tends to pay off. It's a sneaker that often gets restocked—like other popular Ultra Boost colorways. This gives buyers a chance to lay claim to a genuine sneaker treasure.

    The NMD is a pivotal sneaker. Between its Boost sole, Primeknit upper and feathery construction, this shoe has ventured off into must-own territory.

Nike Air Presto Ultra Flyknit

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    Credit: Nike

    Nike's Air Presto model has managed to gain significant traction across social media. What's fascinating about the Air Presto and this recent movement is the shoe originally hit retailers in 2000.

    That's 16 years ago. But, somehow, this sneaker looks like it was conceived behind closed doors, in a laboratory merely a week back—to be fair, the Air Presto was recently updated with Flyknit materials.

    Part of the reason why the Presto has gained in popularity is the industry has caught up to its design. Models like Adidas' Ultra Boost have arrived, giving way for sleek runners and minimal designs to veer into trend-worthy waters.

    This Air Presto adaptation is a special one. The shoe challenges Adidas' Ultra Boost in terms of comfort and style. It's Nike's first real contender that has a puncher's chance to dethrone Adidas' crown jewel.

Air Jordan XII OVO 'White'

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    Drake's partnership with Jordan Brand has helped breathe new life into timeless silhouettes. After attacking the Air Jordan X, Drake's OVO moniker returns with an all-white version of the XII.

    Based off the last series of drops, expectations for the OVO Air Jordan XII should be set sky-high.

    The quality of these OVO collaborations tends to lend itself to more of a premium feel. It's always a welcome addition to endure primo materials when you're scooping sneakers, considering most brand-name kicks are equipped with dense price tags anyway.

    Securing a pair of the OVO XIIs is not in any way, shape or form going to be easy. Behind Drake's hype machine and Jordan Brand's involvement, this shoe presents itself as a harder cop than your average Air Jordan.

    Still, keep your eyes peeled. According to Sneaker Bar Detroit, these OVO jumps are headed our way on July 30. Adding these summer stompers would cement one's collection.

Nike Kyrie 2 'Kyrache'

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    Credit: Nike

    The topic of buying great shoes without hype isn't anything new. Hype sells. But greatness isn't guaranteed simply because sneakerheads flock to a certain shoe.

    Nike's Kyrie 2 is an ideal example of that. This sneaker was released without people throwing themselves at it.

    After countless wear tests and a flood of unique colorways, we can officially call Nike's Kyrie 2 an excellent shoe. The design was a contrasting difference from the point guard's initial offering. It's now more of a supportive and technologically advanced sneaker—as made obvious by the curved midsole that was introduced.

    People who haven't yet laid claim to a pair should be thrilled. The "Kyrache" colorway is on its way. Paying homage to Nike's Air Flight Huarache, this design is the sharpest-looking to date.

    We don't have a set timetable yet, but as Brandon Richard of Sole Collector points out, the fact stock images have surfaced usually means the show is well on its way.

    The Kyrie 2 Kyrache is an awesome colorway that further enhances the legacy of one of the top basketball sneakers around.

Air Jordan I 'Bred'

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    The holy grail of Air Jordans is ready to make its long-awaited return, according to a report by Ashleigh Kim of Hypebeast. 

    Universally recognized for its importance to the game of basketball, the Air Jordan I "Bred" is a historical shoe that helped launch Michael Jordan's personal brand.

    Time has turned these shoes into must-cop grails. Besides the effortless charisma and sheer beauty of the Air Jordan I, the black and red treatment remains a perfect ode to Jordan's time with the Bulls.

    An official release date hasn't been booked, but judging by Baltimore Sneaker Show's Dino Hatfield (h/t Andres Carrillo of Kicks on Fire), September 3 seems to be what Jordan Brand is aiming for.

    Judging by its history, prowess and the fact Jordan rocked these to start his NBA career, there's only one question left to ask: Is there any sneaker out there you'd rather have in your collection?

Under Armour Curry 2.5

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    Credit: Under Armour

    Stephen Curry and Under Armour have formed this diabolic partnership, changing Under Armour's perception as a sneaker company and Curry as a top shoe salesman.

    Curry's rampant success has fueled something most of us never thought we'd ever see: LeBron James' unseating as leader of the sneaker kingdom.

    According to Morgan Stanley (h/t Marc Bain of Quartz), Curry is expected to top James as the biggest seller of sneakers in the United States for 2016. Even if that projection falls short, the fact Curry and Under Armour have pulled that close is staggering.

    Enter the Curry 2.5. This shoe is essentially an upgraded version of the coveted Curry 2, using materials like a molded synthetic upper to provide the product with a facelift.

    At this juncture, securing yourself a pair of Curry 2.5s is almost required. It's become a basketball essential.

    Releasing May 28 in two distinct colorways—the blue tonal featured above and a black version—the Under Armour Curry 2.5 completes our list of 10 must-own summer kicks.

    All Nike/Jordan product information via unless noted otherwise. All Adidas information via unless noted otherwise.