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Boardroom’s 2021 Holiday Sneaker Guide

Last Updated: December 1, 2021
With drops coming from Nike, Adidas, Puma, and beyond, we recommend what sneakerheads should have on their radar as we head into the holiday season.

If you’re going to find yourself walking in a winter wonderland, your shoe game had better be impeccable.

And although the end of 2021 is in sight, there are still several silhouettes to look forward to across the sneaker landscape, as a slate of everything — including designer and boutique collaborations, athlete-headlined executions and remakes of past player exclusives are all expected to release in the coming weeks. 

From Cyber Monday to the end of the holiday season, each of the key brand sites across the board has offered up its own series of sales, with the launch calendar heading into December only picking up from there. 

That’s a lot to sort through, so Boardroom has done all the necessary curating for you, scouring the worlds of Nike, Adidas, Jordan Brand, New Balance, Puma, and Reebok.

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Holiday Sneaker Deal Overview

Adidas: 50% off select items. Use code ‘CYBERDEAL’ on Cyber Monday for an additional 30% off
New Balance: 20% off select items 
Nike: Up to 50% off select items. An additional 20% off with promo code ‘BLACKFRIDAY’
Puma: Up to 50% off select items
Reebok: Use code ‘BF40’ for 40% off sitewide and 50% off sale items. 

Boardroom’s Favorite New Sneakers of the Holiday Season

Check out our 16 favorite pairs slated to drop before the new year:

Air Jordan 11 Cool Grey (Dec. 11)

20 years ago, the world was blessed with an all-new iteration of the Air Jordan 11. Following the retro return of famed OGs and a cinematic sample seen only in the ’96 NBA Playoffs, the Air Jordan 11 “Cool Grey” ushered in a new era for the recently reborn Jordan Brand.

Inspired by the grey gradient of the instant classic Nike Air Max 95, this retro+ release mesmerized fans of all ages. Day 1 MJ fans couldn’t deny the clean look on the old favorite, while young kids clamored to get a pair for hallway stunting. Brought out of the vault in 2010 and back again for 2021, the third time’s the charm on this remastered retro release.

Adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2 CMPCT Slate Blue (Dec. 6)

After a seemingly endless flow of Yeezy 350 iterations, the new CMPCT knit edition brings both a different upper pattern and read to the most produced silhouette of Ye’s billion-dollar footwear empire. With a lower height sock collar and a sleek-end heel radius, we’re expecting the new CMPCT look to be the brand’s latest volume play heading into 2022. 

Adidas Yeezy BSKTBL KNIT Slate (Dec. 18)

This year, Kanye West isn’t just listening to the kids — he’s outfitting them, too.

Case in point? The Adidas Yeezy BSKTBL KNIT. 

Debuted by his Donda Academy Doves, the best prep prospects enrolled at Ye’s entry into education and amateur sports have been granted first access to the mastermind’s new lens on basketball footwear. Lucky for those not on the roster, this knit-based b-ball shoe is releasing at retail for all to chase.

Adidas Yeezy 450 Dark Slate (Dec. 17)

Kanye West is a boundary pusher in every way imaginable and in some ways we still can’t comprehend. On the footwear front, the creative now known as Ye continues to draw outside the lines with the release of the Adidas Yeezy 450 in its second color code.

Dressed in “Dark Slate” after a “Resin” arrival, this new model from Yeezy has been a standout since debuting in the Spring of 2021. Following numerous sketches and sample leaks, the low top look with a protruding outsole that appears almost as a claw is set to be released in a muted, winter-ready colorway. 

Reebok Question Mid Pink Toe (Nov. 29)

Allen Iverson isn’t shy about his admiration of Michael Jordan, and neither was Reebok when they signed him. Secretly drafting the Reebok Question during his sophomore season at Georgetown, the fluid design of Iverson’s first signature shoe was acutely inspired by the Air Jordan 11 model he wore as a Hoya.

Debuting in 1996 and a fixture of the market since, the Reebok Question has taken to collaborations, new material plays and almost every color combination imaginable. This “Pink Toe” pair is as soft a sentiment as the Bubba Chuck model has ever seen, adding new depth to one of the most important Reebok models ever made.

Salehe Bembury x Crocs Pollex Clog (Dec. 14)

After breakthrough silhouettes and sleeper hits with the likes of Versace, New Balance and Anta, longtime creative director and designer Salehe Bembury is bringing his namesake touch to one of the hottest footwear brands of the year (yes), Crocs. Rather than splatter paint or a few color updates atop the longtime known Clog style, the LA-based designer known for his cozy attire lent a new look to the slip-on mule format. With fingerprint-inspired grooves throughout and a dual-inset of rubber along the outsole, the Pollex Clog’s much-awaited drop finally arrives in four colorways in mid-December. 

Nike GO Fly Ease (December)

After making its mark earlier in the spring as a completely hands-free sneaker, the GO Fly Ease was initially tough to track down, released in only three colorways in limited quantities. To close the year out, Nike has plans to release this upcoming blue edition of the accessibility-minded model, along with a black, white, and gum pair that offers up more versatility than some of the more contrasting early executions. 

Nike LeBron 9 Watch the Throne (Dec. 21 )

A decade after being made initially for just LeBron James, Jay-Z, and Kanye West in tandem with the artists’ “Watch the Throne Tour” for their joint album of the same name, one of the most exclusive and coveted LeBron PEs of his line is actually coming to retail.

While collectors have long shelled out thousands for a few of the pairs that made their way outside of Beaverton, those promo pairs rarely included the Damien Hurst-designed golden lace jewel. The original Givenchy-esque floral print, Hurst lace jewel, and metallic gold accents are all returning on this true-to-form remake of one of Bron’s greatest pairs. 

PUMA MB.01 (December)

After living up to the hype during a Rookie of the Year debut season, LaMelo Ball is set to become the first NBA signature athlete for Puma Basketball in nearly two decades. Joining the likes of Clyde Frazier, Ralph Sampson and Vince Carter, LaMelo’s first Sig leans less on heritage and more on storytelling around his own journey from teen phenom to budding NBA star.

With collar lines drafting off of his “Sky’s the Limit” rocket tattoo, and seemingly each and every mantra of his — like “Rare,” “Not from here” and “1 of 1” — splashed on elements of the upper and outsole, the MB.01 is expected to make its way to retailers this December for $125. 

Beyonce IVY PARK x Adidas UltraBoost (Dec. 10)

After seasonal shades of maroon and gold, and deep green and neon graced past IVY PARK iterations of the UltraBoost, an even more vivid pair is set to drop in early December as part of Beyonce’s latest collection with the Three Stripes. The loud look also features an added heel tab and fastening toggle clip atop the laces, with the signature IVY PARK ribbon patch dangling off the heel. 

Air Jordan 3 Camo (Nov. 29)

In 1988, Michael Jordan put on a show at All-Star Weekend in his working home of Chicago.

Jumping from the free-throw line in his newest sneaker, the Tinker Hatfield-designed Air Jordan 3, MJ took home Slam Dunk Contest and All-Star Game accolades before sweeping all top-tier individual categories that spring. His new sneakers cemented his status, popping with Jumpman branding, animal accents, and visible Air.

In 2021, the Air Jordan 3 is back, but a far cry from the first Dumbo drop. Leaning into lifestyle by way of camouflage patchwork, this all-new colorway for the holiday season stands out through a menswear lens perfect to pair with selvedge Japanese denim or an Americana workwear aesthetic. 

KAWS x sacai x Nike Blazer Low “Neptune Blue” (Nov. 27)

Building on the success of the prior Sacai Blazer Mid and Lows, the Swoosh and Sacai are at it again, this time tapping artist KAWS for one of the industry’s oft-beloved moves: the triple collab. With KAWS’ trademark “Double X” mark along the midsole, four iterations of the Lows will release this winter, tying back to shades often seen in his iconic artwork. 

Fernando Tatis Jr. x Adidas UltraBoost 2.0 DNA (Nov. 24)

We’ve seen Adidas release player-edition looks on its classic models like the Forum, Superstar, and NMD in the past, and now MLB superstar Fernando Tatis Jr. of the San Diego Padres is joining the mix with his very own UltraBoost colorway.

Straying from his team colors for a more unique combination of navy fading into a gradient light salmon midsole, the yellow accents and personalized wordmark and logos bring this well-executed look home for the 22-year-old’s off-field release. 

A Ma Maniere x Air Jordan 1 High (Dec. 3)

Another hit from James Whitner’s series of collaborations with Jordan, the latest A Ma Maniere execution bridges an off-white sail suede upper alongside rich burgundy accents in reptilian textures. Designed to celebrate the Black community’s “pride, power, and influence,” a quote from Michael Jordan is also included along the ankle tab: “You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them.”

Many are already slotting the high-end boutique, French for “My Way,” as having one of the best collabs of the year. 

Air Jordan 1 High Atmosphere (Dec. 22)

The Air Jordan 1 is ubiquitous in the sportswear and fashion worlds, far out-leaping its original onset as a statement shoe for the hardwood. Adored by adults and youth alike, the model continues to cross over through colorways as seen by this December’s “Atmosphere” makeup.

Presented in high-top construction with navy paneling and pops of pink, this ladies exclusive is full of bubblegum flavor and lifestyle appeal. Patent leather detailing and left-of-center tone pairing make this Air Jordan 1 High a unique offering that many will pursue.

Air Jordan 1 Patent Black/Red (Dec. 30)

In 1985, the Air Jordan 1 released at retail and caught on like absolute wildfire. From its daring color combos to rising rookie endorsement, the first signature sneaker from Mike and Co. rewrote the rules of athlete endorsements and completely changed Nike as a brand. 

Fast forward 10 years and the brand caught lightning in a bottle once again with the Air Jordan 11. Quite literally the one twice over, the comeback kicks from the recently retired Bull brought a new narrative to the line and a marquee material to carry it: patent leather.

Just like the original Air Jordan, pairs flew at retail and revitalized the line.

Fully retired from the game of basketball by the spring of 2003, the back-half of that year provided the platform for the titans to collide by way of a range of patent leather Air Jordan 1 Mids. In 2021, they’re keeping that same energy. Revised in high-top form for the posh purist, the iconic Black/Red or “Banned” colorway comes out for the first time with a candy-coated aesthetic.

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