According to Sneakerheads, These Pairs Are the Only Ones Worth Buying in 2023

Laura Harrier Wearing New Balance 550 Sneakers

The sneaker world and the fashion world, though tightly intertwined, involve two very different types of expertise. As a fashion editor, I may know every last detail about the next breakthrough designers coming out of Paris and Milan, the trends making headway on Instagram and TikTok, and the latest arrivals dropping at Zara and Mango, and at the same time be out of the loop on what sneaker models are booming on the secondhand market. So when I tasked myself recently with upping my knowledge in the sneaker world, starting with 2023's most anticipated trends, I knew I had to call in a real expert. 

To find out which pairs I should be buying now for 2023 rather than later (aka, when the prices have skyrocketed so high I can't possibly obtain them), I called on the merchandising director of sneakers and collectibles at StockX, Drew Haines, who kindly shared everything from macro trends and specific models to watch out for next year to hard-hitting footwear data. Of course, my first thought—after quickly picking up one of each of his predicted styles, that is—was to share the wealth. Below, see which sneakers StockX's top sneakerhead is betting big on for 2023. 

Kendall Jenner Wearing Adidas Sambas

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Rachpoot/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images/Getty Images

On Kendall Jenner: Adidas Samba Classic Shoes ($75)

"Classic soccer silhouettes are back in style, a trend we began to see pick up midyear as sales of Adidas Sambas shot up on StockX," says Haines. "The revival of the 73-year-old sneaker is not all that surprising given the success of recent collaborations and new attention from high-profile celebrities like Bella Hadid, Kendall Jenner, and Hailey Bieber, who were spotted in different Sambas this summer." According to the director, especially popular colorways include both the brand's classic white and black versions, as well as a green-and-cream pair from its sought-after collaboration with British menswear designer Wales Bonner. "With the World Cup kicking off later this month, we're expecting that this is only the beginning of what will be a bigger focus on soccer in 2023," says Haines.

Bella Hadid Wearing Salomon Sneakers

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Raymond Hall/GC Images/Getty Images

On Bella Hadid: Nike top; Dior Your Dior 2 Sunglasses ($174); Mondo Mondo Lover Earrings ($245); Salomon S/Lab XT-4 Advanced ($765)

"StockX's midyear report revealed that Hoka—known for running and trail-ready styles—was the fastest-growing sneaker brand on StockX year over year," Haines shares. Among the brand's most-wanted styles are its Anacapa Low Gore-Tex styles in both black and tan, as well as its Kaha GTX high-tops

But Hokas aren't the only brand performing well in the outdoor category. "Between the rise in popularity of their S/LAB line and collaborations with Palace, Dover Street Market, and Hidden NY, Salomon is a must-watch brand in the sneaker space," Haines says. "Following a strong week in demand, the Salomon XT-6 White Lunar Rock became the third most-traded Salomon shoe in StockX history."

Laura Harrier Wearing New Balance 550 Sneakers

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On Laura Harrier: New Balance 550 Sneakers ($490); New Era x Saint Laurent Monogram Cap ($275); Velvet Canyon The Poet Sunglasses ($239)

According to Haines, StockX is seeing a major shift toward chunky, basketball-inspired sneakers as of late. "Silhouettes like the New Balance 550, the Jordan 2, and the Adidas Forum were born on the basketball court, but brands have revamped the silhouettes to appeal to a lifestyle aesthetic, and the shoes are performing very well as a result," he notes, adding that the 550 was a major contributor to New Balance achieving 200% trade growth on StockX in 2022. "Seven of the 10 best-selling New Balance sneakers on StockX in H1 2022 were 550s." For 2023, Haines says that the high-top version of the popular basketball sneaker, the 650, is next, followed closely by the Adidas Forum and the Jordan 2."

Emily Ratajkowski Wearing Nike Cortez Sneakers

Photo:

Gotham/GC Images/Getty Images

On Emily Ratajkowski: Nike Classic Cortez ($99); Bottega Veneta The Chain Pouch Leather Clutch ($3800)

"Certain physical products can trade like traditional commodities, and that's leading more people to consider investment potential as a factor when shopping for sneakers," Haines explains. "Some of the styles we've seen appreciate in value this year include Jordan 4s, the collection from JJJJound x New Balance, and, believe it or not, the Nike Cortez line." According to Haines, the Jordan 4s are sought-after mainly because of how infrequently they're released, meaning there's limited supply of them and more demand on the secondhand market. "We've seen releases like the Jordan 4 Retro White Oreo (2021) appreciate 56% in price year over year," he adds. New Balance's collaboration with independent shoe designer JJJJound, for which the designer worked with the sneaker brand's 992 silhouette, was equally sought after, with one gray style appreciating nearly 50% year on year. "As for the Cortez, it has been around since the 1970s, but in the last year, prices on the secondary market have been climbing," says Haines. "Classic colorways like the Nike Cortez Basic Leather White Black (2017) (+93% YoY), the Nike Cortez Basic Nylon Obsidian White-Metallic Silver (+83% YoY), and the Nike Cortez Basic Forrest Gump (2019) (+70% YoY) have all made major price gains on StockX in 2022."

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