The 1st Annual LIKELIHOOD Sneaker Awards
by Maxwell Slade·
We are proud to announce the very first edition of the LIKELIHOOD Awards for 2021. Categories and nominees were carefully handpicked and curated based on our favorite releases that dropped this year, and winners were selected through your votes!
Hype Award: The Hype Award is presented to a sneaker that dominated and controlled the year's trends. Worn by celebrities, designers, and sneakerheads alike, your nominees are:
1. Jordan 1 Retro High 85 Neutral Grey:
A favorite of Air Jordan’s original 1985 Jordan 1 release, the “Neutral Grey” keeps its original shape and only increases in notoriety with its highly anticipated rerelease.
2. Nike Dunk Low Black/White “Panda":
Easily the most frequently spotted Dunk colorway out there, this release was the most classic classic of 2021 by a mile.
3. New Balance 550:
Following its now-iconic Aime Leon Dore collaboration, the New Balance 550 has emerged as the perfect court shoe over the course of 2021. A wide range of simple but effective colorways only grow its popularity as its release lines grow longer and longer.
And the winner is… the Nike Dunk Low Black/White “Panda”!! No surprises with this one, as this one colorway singlehandedly led the charge for the year’s biggest sneaker.
Double-take Award: An award presented to the most shockingly satisfying release this year, each nominee has succeeded in creating what can only be described as a “beautiful monster.”
Following the hugely successful 327 sneaker, New Balance pushed the envelope to the limit with its strange but lovable cousin: the UXC72CB1. Its uppers feature an eye-catching mix of colors, but its most exciting addition is a sole split into two different designs. Just take a look… you gotta see it to believe it.
2. Maison Mihara Yasuhiro Original Sole Peterson Hi Suede Green:
The first of many for emerging Japanese label Maison Mihara Yasuhiro, the Original Sole sneaker idea has yet to be touched by any other brand in existence. Each shoe contains cartoonishly large lacing, distressed canvas uppers, and clay molded outsoles
3. Vans Vault Authentic Vibram LX:
If you were to pick two random footwear brands out of hat to collaborate, you’d have trouble finding a combination stranger than legendary skate brand Vans Vault and Italian sole manufacturer Vibram. Despite the shock this release gave the sneaker world, its strength in quality and clean look made it hugely popular to those that had it on their radar.
And the winner is… the New Balance UXC72CB1!! Believed to be somewhat of an underdog going into this competition, New Balance does it again by a landslide!
Brand of the Year Award: LIKELIHOOD hopes to bring you countless brands each year. Some you may have heard of, and others we may have introduced to you. But comparing them all, only few have what it takes to become the 2021 Brand of the Year. Here are your nominees...
1. New Balance:
Bringing through a wide range of both new silhouettes and collaborations, New Balance managed to turn countless new heads while remaining the king of the ongoing “dad shoe” trend. From the 550 to Jaden Smith’s Vision Racer, this nomination was a no brainer.
Refusing to let up on their surge of highly regarded 2020 releases, a wave of new dunk colorways and entirely new recycled sneakers like the Fontanka–a Breakout Sneaker Award Nominee–made sure Nike’s year was near perfection.
Since their surf-inspired origins, Stussy’s releases since entering the LIKELIHOOD lineup represent nothing short of a renaissance. Collaborations with the likes of Our Legacy, Birkenstock, Nike, and others throughout 2021 have only fired them further up fashion’s star-studded tier list.
And the winner is... New Balance!! In 2021, no brand tempted the hearts of sneakerheads more than New Balance. Their pure consistency brought massive collaborations and brand new designs almost constantly, making them a clear selection for our most prestigious award.
Breakout Award: With countless never-before-seen designs coming into the store this year, only one can become the 2021 "Breakout," a shoe responsible for new trends and excitement throughout all of sneaker culture.
1. Stepney Dellow Shrooms Hands Black & Ecru:
Fit with a vulcanized rubber sole and quality uppers, new LIKELIHOOD addition Stepney Workers Club reinvents everything you thought you knew about sneakers with the Dellow silhouette. Few models ever seem to combine nostalgia with new advancements like SWC, making them an easy selection for the Breakout Award.
Inspired by rave culture and the chunky soles that continue to dominate sneaker trends, Nike’s new Fontanka sneaker quickly became the enemy of most LIKELIHOOD customers–especially those with larger feet–due to how quickly it sold out in practically every size.
A highly anticipated addition to LIKELIHOOD, Salomon’s first collection came with its most popular sneaker out, the XT-6. A dream for lovers of “Gorp Core” and a tactical look, it’s no surprise why the all-terrain trainer flew off the shelves in every available colorway.
And the winner is… the Salomon XT-6! LIKELIHOOD’s biggest addition to our sneaker lineup, its sleek look and ability to conquer all conditions brought the sneaker a narrow victory in a stacked category.
Collection of the Year: Each season brings new developments in the fashion world, fueled by immeasurable old and new inspirations. For 2021, it was these three who surprised and impressed us the most...
For their LIKELIHOOD debut, Stussy’s Fall/Winter collection paired classic workwear looks with eccentric skater pieces. Through its release, the streetwear giant demonstrated how they’ve mastered the art of knitwear and tailoring while never letting go of their roots.
A collection that originally looked to cater to a specific niche, Undercover’s Neon Genesis Evangelion pieces showcased an attention to detail we never knew was possible, adding touches as complex as lighting capabilities within some of its outerwear.
3. Comme Black FW21:
One of the most exciting new brands from us this year, Comme Black’s first collection perfectly epitomized all that they continue to represent. Blending masterful tailoring with playful Nike collaboration tees, each item subtly references all that encompasses Japanese fashion.
And the winner is... Stussy FW21!! Stussy take home a massive accolade in their first year at LIKELIHOOD for their designs, which put in place a perfect balance of classics and advancements.
Collab of the Year: As the sneaker world continues to grow, pairings we never thought could be possible have begun to crop up left and right. From CGI influencers to cartoon characters to food brands, 2021 encompassed this completely. The following are the nominees for the collaboration of the year...
A unique design spearheading the Nike Blazer’s rapid return to glory, READYMADE and designer Yuta Hosokawa use recycled scrap to create exaggerated branding and exposed material uppers.
2. Kim Jones x Converse Utility Wave Hi:
An unmatched combination of pleasing design and upgraded function, artistic director of Dior and Fendi Kim Jones retains his absurd resume for a reason. The Chuck 70’s added caging and bulked sole
3. Dr. Martens x Needles 2976 Snaffle Black:
A collaboration that debuted early this year, Needles and Dr. Martens win their nomination due to their ability to strike a perfect mix of the pair’s aesthetics. Loafer-esque tassels pair Needles’ signature papillon symbol, simple details that give a new life to the classic Dr. Marten Chelsea boot.
And the winner is… the Nike x READYMADE Blazer!! Judging by the voting percentages for this category, one of Nike’s most unique collaborations of all time is a fan favorite.
Brand Consistency Award: The final award for tonight is to be bestowed upon the most consistent brand of the year, never relenting in providing fresh takes on retro models and new designs.
One of sneaker culture’s titans for as long as any of us can remember, Adidas’ continued work with the likes of Sean Wotherspoon and Kanye West made sure their success only continued to blossom
A no brainer among these nominations, Portland-born Nike continued to pump out highly acclaimed dunk colorways while working toward environmentally-conscious production methods
Few brands have managed to create something like Converse’s Chuck 70, a sneaker so simple but so recognizable to all. Knowing this, the brand broadened their approach to the shoe for 2021 with special collaborations and unique detailing work.
And the winner is… Adidas!! Another massive year for the three stripes shows how they are truly the model of consistency in streetwear and sneakers.
Thanks for tuning in to the Likelihood 2021 Awards. We look forward to what's to come in 2022, and wish you all a Happy New Year!