The summer of 2012 was a very special one for the sneaker world. With the Summer Olympics this year, sneakerheads knew there was a lot of heat to look forward to. The Summer of 2012 would bring the launch of the Air Yeezy 2, which alone is enough to make this summer one of the better summers for sneaker releases in a long time.
The summer of 2012 brought back many of my old favorites, from the Answer IVs to the classic Air More Uptempos, and also brought us some of the best and most anticipated new releases. Overall, it was a great summer for sneakerheads. If you were able to pick up any of the shoes on this list, you did well. If you weren’t able to grab any of these, then I feel sorry for you.
Recently, we unveiled the 10 best sneakers of the century, and while that was dope, here are my personal 10 best sneaker releases from the summer of 2012.
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10. AIR JORDAN VII “OLYMPIC”
Release date: July 21, 2012
Both the Olympic VI and VII made their return this summer in celebration of the Olympics, and it was great to see them both back. However, it felt particularly good to see the Olympic VIIs back in their original form. The Olympic VIIs were released back in 2010 during the inaugural World Basketball Festival, however they were stamped with the “For the Love of the Game” Jordan logo, and as a result didn’t have that same classic, original feel that the old 2004 retros had. It was only right for Jordan Brand to release the shoe again in celebration of the 20-year anniversary of the Dream Team. Thankfully this time, they looked exactly like the ones Mike wore in Barcelona.
9. NIKE AIR MORE UPTEMPO “OLYMPIC”
Release Date: July 1, 2012
The Air More Uptempos were maybe the best Olympic shoe to release this summer. If you don’t think so, there’s no question that they stand out the most. The giant “AIR” on the side panels changed the game as far as branding on a sneaker goes. The shoe is certainly a classic, and is instantly distinguishable by any sneaker fan, or any real fan of basketball in general. Scottie made them famous, and if you’ve ever hooped in these bad boys, I can guarantee you probably felt like you were him for a second or two. These were, without a doubt, one of Nike Basketball’s most iconic shoes thanks to Air Scottie and the iconic unforgettable design.
8. NIKE VOLT FLYKNIT TRAINER+
Release Date: July 27, 2012
The first time I saw the Volt Flyknit Trainers was at the Nike Olympic Innovation Summit back in February. The shoes were set up at a hovering display and people just couldn’t get enough of them. The Nike Running design team was there to go over the specifics of the Flyknit technology and it’s truly one of a kind. The shoe itself is very innovative and the colorway makes them even more eye-catching. As much as KD, ‘Melo and LeBron were seen wearing these around London during the Olympics, it’s hard to imagine they’re as comfortable as they look, but they are.
7. REEBOK ANSWER IV
Release Date: August 2, 2012
Swizz Beatz and the Reebok design team knew the streets needed these. The Allen Iverson collection always had the potential to be a retro goldmine, however it wasn’t until this summer that the Reebok folks finally took full advantage. After being surprised by the success of the red Question release, they followed up with these. The Answer IVs are a particular favorite of most Iverson fans because AI made his deepest playoff run wearing them. The quality of the shoe is just as good as it was back in ’01. Any lover of classic basketball footwear can appreciate a clean pair of these, so it was great to see them back on the shelf.
6. NIKE ZOOM KD IV “Scoring Title”
Release Date: July 21, 2012
The detail on this particular pair of KDs is insane. Everything from his points per game average for the past three years to his “Fam 1st” motto and the 3m reflective laser-etched graphics makes the shoe unique. These were pretty tough to get, and were, without a doubt, one of the most anticipated shoes to release this summer. Being that all KD IVs retail for just $95, resellers drool at the mouth for just about any pair anyway, so that makes the KD IV a special shoe in it’s own right. Nike definitely did the “Scoring Title” edition of the shoe justice, and as a result made it one of the best sneaker releases of the summer.