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Best Sneakers of 2021—
Why the Mid is King of the year
Not high, not low, but Mid!
Remember all those times you & your crew rolled your eyes at friends rockin' Mids?
The Mid is the perfect balance of fashion & function, a canvas large enough to make a fulfilling artistic statement while being versatile enough to work with pants of all styles.

We will take a walk through how it became the darling of 2021. ⚡❤️️ ⚡
How sneaker culture has evolved and landed us where we are today
Contributing factors that paved the way for the rise of the Mid.
Sneakers have hit the trifecta in the world of footwear fashion. They are not only the most desirable because of comfort but are now seen as the preferred choice of fashion. Once only worn regularly by sneakerheads are now mainstream.

Workplace culture has had a large impact as sneakers were once seen as taboo and those who wore them were not taken seriously in their profession. With casual dress becoming the norm at most workplaces over the past decade the wearing of sneakers has become more prevalent.

Sneaker sightings have gone from rare to, to casual fridays, to sprinkled into a few outfits per week, to now being the main focus of daily fashion.

Any remaining barriers or objections to wearing sneakers during the workweek were completely wiped out by COVID which has completely changed workplace dynamics.

The demand for casual dress options has never been so high. Consumers and sneakerheads alike need footwear that is flexible and can fit multiple occasions. Fashionable enough to turn heads but classy enough to wear to dinner, a ball game, meetings, and out with friends.
Creative design & quality craftsmanship in Mid sneaker styles have set a new mark for excellence.
Innovation & Authenticity in design aesthetics by sneaker creators have produced great Mids this year.
As published in our Best Sneakers of 2021 - the People's Choice article, 3 of the top 5 most celebrated sneakers of the year are Mids.

A Ma Maniere x Air Jordan 3
widely heralded the sneaker of the year. It was the most celebrated sneaker on Unboxed by a wide margin, receiving 30% more love from members during the course of the year over the runner up.

Social Status x Dunk Mid Chocolate Milk
The creativity and authenticity of this pair of kicks take us all back to our youth and for the first time those nostalgic moments are about US, not about MJ any other sports memories. No matter whether you grew up a fan of sports or not, we can all relate to school lunches and those infamous cartons of milk.

Big ups to James Whitner and the Whitaker Group for a historic year and thank you for these GRAILS.

Blazer Readymade
These Blazers are still a little under the radar but within the sneaker community they have become a must have. Not only was it in top 5 most celebrated but also was top a spend. The Readymade was the only drop in 2021 of which more members paid resale than retail, dropping an average of $280 to cop.
Mids won head-to-head sneaker battle for top choice in this years most coveted styles & colorways

We tallied up all the cops, wears, and likes this year across all Unboxed members. Two head-to-head matchups stood out and caught us by surprise
Sneaker collectors wore and celebrated the Jordan 4 UNCs more than the other styles.
Air Jordan 1 High University Blue vs.
Air Jordan 4 University Blue vs.
Dunk Low University Blue

One of the most historic and beloved color ways of all time, University Blue which represents Michael Jordan's alma mater Carolina Tar Heels dropped in three styles this year.

AJ4 University Blue was nearly even in number of cops with the heavyweight Air Jordan 1 University Blue. But members were feelin the 4s way more, with way more members rockin them this year. The Jordan 4 University Blues were worn 25% more than the Jordan 1s. (see chart above)

WINNER - Air Jordan 4 University Blue
⭐ Most Wears
⭐ Most Likes
Air Jordan 1 A Ma Maniére vs. Air Jordan 3 A Ma Maniére

The A Ma Maniére collab dropped in Jordan 3 (Mid) and Jordan 1 (High).
The Jordan 3 outperformed it's big brother Jordan 1 in all categories amongst Unboxed members.

The AMM AJ3 has been widely heralded as sneaker of the year outside of Unboxed (see top rank on SnkrHud's Sneaker Rater sponsored by ESPN) and our members feel no differently.

WINNER - Air Jordan 3 A Ma Maniére
⭐ Most Cops
⭐ Most Wears
⭐ Most Likes
Jordan 1 Mids are gaining more acceptance in the sneaker community.
Innovation & Authenticity in design aesthetics by sneaker creators have produced great Mids this year.
Sneaker collectors wore and celebrated the Jordan 4 UNCs more than the other styles.
The sentiment for Jordan 1 Mids in the sneaker community has evolved from an emphatic HELL NO to a strong maybe - let's see what you're working with.

What matters most to sneakerheads? Good design!

When colorblocking is attractive and design details are on point, Jordan 1 Mids are welcome with open arms. See examples below.

The AJ1 Mid Hyper Royal & AJ1 Mid White Black have both seen significant increase demand and price.

Prices have doubled over the last year.

This years Jordan 1 Mid designs have been a bit underwhelming however the Heat Reactive - Color Change has been a bright spot receiving the most pickups and lots of love from members.

Written by James
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