Nike’s Air Max 1 “Ugly Duckling” Pack Waddles Into This Week’s Best Footwear Drops

It’s not too late to pick up a last-minute Christmas present for your favorite sneakerhead (or yourself). Industry leaders Nike and adidas are joined by New Balance and Reebok as we break down what to look forward to in this week’s lineup of sneaker releases. Before we dig into that, let’s kick things off with a news recap of the past week.

Our latest entry in the Sole Mates series featured footwear savant Michael Mack and his adoration for the Air Jordan 13. The SCAD professor also discussed his design inspirations, how to succeed in the footwear industry and more. The Hypebeast team also sat down to rank the best Christmas sneakers of all time. As for Jordan Brand, its Wings Scholars program officially launched in the Philippines, offering six Filipino undergraduate students scholarships at Ateneo de Manila University. Pivoting to the division’s upcoming releases, we were offered official looks at the Air Jordan 5 “Aqua,” Air Jordan 6 “Cool Grey” and Air Jordan 5 “Mars for Her.” Previews of an A Ma Maniére x Air Jordan 12 in white, the Air Jordan 1 “Washed Black,” UNION x Air Jordan 1 KO Low and Air Jordan 1 High “Lucky Green” also surfaced.

Looking at the latest from Nike, artificial intelligence provided concepts for Nike sneakers that looked as if they were pulled straight from the runway. News of Nike SB Dunk restocks via SNKRS Exclusive Access this week also popped up for those who might’ve missed out on a pair earlier this year. In addition, the CO.JP line is returning, beginning with a Dunk Low colorway that blends snakeskin with worn out leather overlays. “Panda” fanatics can celebrate another Dunk release on the way, this time landing on the mid-top version of the sneaker.

Elsewhere, adidas made headlines with key collaborative news led by Gucci’s latest project with the Three Stripes, technical Après-Ski boots. A blast from the past joined in on the fun with the announced return of the Y-3 Qasa High “Triple Black”. Jeremy Scott – another longtime adidas collaborator – found yet another way to blend his eccentric style with the brand, covering a collaborative Superstar in money. Rounding out adidas’ latest release info, Sean Wotherspoon provided a closer look at his upcoming Orketro collaboration.

New Balance launched its latest pack of 550s while leaks of an upcoming monochromatic 1906R “Protection Pack” hit the net as well. Vans and Timberland shook up the industry with collaborative silhouettes that blended skate elements with Timberland’s Premium 6-Inch Waterproof Boots and hiking boot flavors on Vans’ Half Cab.

Now that you’re all caught up on what’s been going on in footwear, peep the ten best sneaker releases launching this week below. Afterwards, slide on over to HBX to browse styles that are available now.

Air Jordan 1 “Gorge Green”

Release Date: December 20
Release Price: $180 USD
Where to Buy: SNKRS
Why You Should Cop: Decade after decade has passed and one thing remains true, you can’t go wrong with an original pair of Air Jordan 1s. While “Gorge Green” arrives as a new colorway, it is presented in the classic AJ1’s high-top shape. Revisiting the “Bordeaux” colorway’s silver branding elements and premium white leather base, its titular green hue lands on the overlays, laces, lining and rubber outsole, offering a versatile look that helps round out yet another exciting year for the iconic silhouette.

A-COLD-WALL* x Converse Geo Forma Boot

Release Date: December 20
Release Price: $150 USD
Where to Buy: SNKRS
Why You Should Cop: Since first connecting in 2020, A-COLD-WALL* has reimagined Converse’s footwear range by blending the duo’s design languages. With the Geo Forma Boot, the duo taps into the trend of laceless footwear as a stretch bootie upper is tightened with a single zipper. Supporting this, a lug sole offers elevation in both height and style. Its two colorways serve as opposites, the first carries off-white and gray shades with monochromatic branding aside from A-COLD-WALL*’s logo at the midsole in black. As for its wild counterpart, a neon green bootie is joined by all-over branding that reads “ACW” at the upper’s lateral and “CNVS” at its medial. Its speckled black sole also carries co-branded text that is chaotically stacked.

adidas COS Supernova “Legend Ink” and “Craft Ochre”

Release Date: December 20
Release Price: $140 USD
Where to Buy: adidas
Why You Should Cop: adidas imagines how a running shoe would look on another planet with its newest COS Supernova colorways. Arriving in a new collection from adidas that also includes the COS fomQUAKE, methane and iron oxide formulas appear at the toe of each respective colorway, pointing to additional inspiration. Hand-dyed upper treatments combine with stone washing to mimic intergalactic wear. Underneath the otherworldly surface, EVA foam teams up with FORMOTION technology to offer uncompromising support.

Nike Air Max 1 “Ugly Duckling” Pack

Release Date: December 20
Release Price: $160 USD
Where to Buy: SNKRS
Why You Should Cop: Anything but ugly, these Nike Air Max 1s quack their way into this week’s lineup with embroidered ducks replacing the typical Nike Air branding at the heel. Revisiting the theme that first graced the Dunk in 2001, a modern approach sees tasteful colorways collide with premium detailing. Pigskin nubuck uppers land on both pairs with the first opting for various browns throughout while the second combines orange, a dusty green, gray and black, offering a greater splash of color.

Off-White™️ x Nike Air Terra Forma

Release Date: December 21
Release Price: $210 USD
Where to Buy: SNKRS
Why You Should Cop: Fans of the late Virgil Abloh are treated to another posthumous collaboration with Nike as the two introduce the eye-catching Air Terra Forma. Launching in two bold colorways, the new silhouette has been equipped with plenty of details. Taking it from the top, elongated tongues carry a collaborative pattern while its layered upper notably features textured rope laces, a tongue zipper, the classic Off-White™ x Nike label with unique “TERRA FORMA” text and an abstract graphic at the heel. As for its sizable sole unit, its Air technology is visible at the colorful heel’s midsole while a rugged outsole completes the look with rubber spikes and “TREAD LIGHTLY” text.

Concepts x Nike SB Dunk Low “Orange Lobster”

Release Date: December 22
Release Price: $120 USD
Where to Buy: SNKRS
Why You Should Cop: To no one’s surprise, Concepts’ release of its collaborative “Orange Lobster” was eaten up swiftly. Now, it’s time for Nike to serve up another chance at the coveted kicks. This orange entry in the “Lobster” line comes packed with the duo’s typical appetizing details found in the series, including a white outline at its Swooshes, plaid lining, a black midsole with contrast stitching and the iconic rubber band for its toe.

Salehe Bembury x New Balance 990v2 “Sand Be the Time”

Release Date: December 22
Release Price: $200 USD
Where to Buy: New Balance
Why You Should Cop: One of several notable restocks taking place this week, Salehe Bembury’s latest project with New Balance demands attention with its striking color scheme. Titled “Sand Be the Time” and accompanied by a promotional video featuring Thundercat, sand dunes arrive in the form of a sunset pink. The soft hue is spread throughout the sneaker’s intricate upper that revisits Bembury’s wide-gauge athletic mesh that has been utilized in previous launches with New Balance. Purple, silver, gray and a pinkish orange provide elements of contrast to further emphasize its appearance.

Air Jordan 1 “Twist 2.0”

Release Date: December 22
Release Price: $180 USD
Where to Buy: SNKRS
Why You Should Cop: Saddle up for one last Air Jordan 1 release before the new year. Refreshing 2019’s “Twist” colorway that celebrated the year’s Kentucky Derby, pony hair overlays and Swooshes make their return. Prepared with a gray leather base, its signature hairy segments appear in a straight black hue. Silver hardware chimes in at the collar’s Wings logo while the AJ1’s standard sole unit combines a white midsole with a black rubber outsole.

Maharishi x Reebok Classic Leather “Ripstop”

Release Date: December 23
Release Price: $150 USD
Where to Buy: Reebok
Why You Should Cop: London-based label Maharishi continues to pave the way as a leader in blending militaristic elements with modern design. Teaming up with Reebok throughout 2022, the duo has maintained a steady flow of footwear releases that effortlessly blend each brand’s respective style. In their latest project, ripstop serves as the focal point with the Classic Leather appearing in the durable material. For those who may have struck out on Maharishi’s initial launch, Reebok is now providing a second opportunity to purchase the stealthy sneakers.

UNDEFEATED x Air Jordan 37

Release Date: December 23
Release Price: $200 USD
Where to Buy: UNDEFEATED
Why You Should Cop: Nike has a strong pool of retailers that it continues to lean on for events, exclusive releases and collaborations. One such boutique that has connected with the Swoosh throughout the 2000s is Los Angeles-based UNDEFEATED. Celebrating its twenty years of operation, the brand now follows up on its Nike Air Force 1 Low pack with a classic take on the Air Jordan 37. Utilizing the duo’s commonly featured military green and bright orange, Jordan Brand’s latest entry in the Air Jordan series is outfitted with a co-branded look that will conquer the court in style.

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