Over the past decade, sneaker resale transitioned from casual trading between sneaker enthusiasts to a multi-billion-dollar business that shows no signs of stopping—and now Goat has a definitive list of the most sought-after sneakers for each of the past 10 years.
With the advent of resale platforms like StockX and Goat, which recently expanded into luxury streetwear, the barrier for entry into sneaker resale for the average consumer became minimum to nil, creating a marketplace where practically anyone could be a buyer or seller.
“This decade brought new meaning to both the sneaker industry and the secondary market. Ten years ago, sneakers were seen as a subculture, a small group of enthusiasts and collectors, but has since become a global phenomenon,” Eddy Lu, CEO and co-founder of Goat, told Yahoo Finance.
With each passing year, a new style or silhouette catches the eye of the sneaker resale community, gathering the most hype and etching its name into the halls of sneaker legend. Here are the 10 sneakers that defined each year of the 2010s, as defined by Goat according to Yahoo Finance.
(Each shoe on the list was chosen according to the amount of “wants” it received on the Goat resale platform for each given year.)
2010: Air Jordan 11 Retro “Cool Grey”
Nothing defined sneaker resale in the 2010s quite like the retro Jordan silhouette, of which there is no greater example than the Air Jordan 11 Retro—a silhouette that occupies a whopping five spots on the list, half of the entire decade’s most-hyped sneakers.
The original model was created by famed Nike designer, Tinker Hatfield. Nike and Hatfield released the Jordan 11 in 1995 in hopes that NBA legend Michael Jordan, the sneaker and brand’s namesake, might un-retire from basketball and quit his new career in baseball.
2011: Nike Mag
The original Nike Mag could be said to have been created with the release of the 1989 summer blockbuster hit, Back to the Future II. A fictional Nike sneaker that could lace up hands-free seemed sensational then and was mostly unheard-of even when the brand released a version of the previously fictional sneaker in 2011. Nike gave 1,5000 pairs of the sneaker to eBay to be auctioned off for charity, with some bids topping $9,000.
2012: Air Jordan 11 Retro “Bred”
Time can truly be cyclical. Right now, the Air Jordan 11 Retro “Bred” is currently one of the most popular sneakers on the current market after a recent re-release. The same was true for the original “Bred,” featuring Jumpman logos and a translucent red outsole. The style was originally released in 1995 and has already been “retro’d” once in 2001 and subsequently in 2008.
2013: Air Jordan 11 Retro “Gamma Blue”
With the “Bred,” Air Jordan entered into a three-year spell of dominance, nearly ensuring Nike sneakers would be the products that defined the industry in the 2010s. The “Gamma Blue” was all-new in 2013 and featured “varsity maize” accents on the tongue and the heel along with striking “Gamma Blue” Jumpman logos.
2014: Air Jordan 11 Retro “Legend Blue”
Another year, another new style at the top of the Air Jordan 11 hype train. Except the “Legend Blue” was not technically a new entrant in the Air Jordan line. The style was based on the “Columbia” colorway worn by Jordan during the 1996 NBA All-Star game to pay homage to the basketball legend’s alma mater, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
2015: Comme des Garçons x Chuck Taylor All Star Hi ‘Milk’
The 2015 entrant to the all-decade list came as the biggest surprise for Lu, as Comme des Garçons was founded just six years prior.
“I was initially surprised to see that 2015’s most wanted sneaker was the Comme des Garçons x Chuck Taylor All Star Hi ‘Milk,’” Lu told Yahoo Finance. “But, after thinking about it more, this makes a lot of sense. Comme des Garçons has really strong brand affinity within streetwear, and Converse has such an ease of wear, making them a great shoe for a diverse group of people.”
2016: Air Jordan 11 Retro “Space Jam”
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the movie “Space Jam,” a film that pits Michael Jordan in a contest of basketball skill against five suped-up aliens, Nike released the Air Jordan 11 Retro “Space Jam” in 2016. The sneaker ended up being Nike’s “largest and most successful shoe launch ever,” according to Goat.
2017: Yeezy Boost 350 V2 “Cream White/Triple White”
When it comes to massive amounts of hype surrounding a sneaker release, there are not many that can stand up to the first Yeezy release in terms of sheer scale. Unseating Jordan from its spot atop the sneaker resale industry was no easy task but the Yeezy Boost 350 V2 “Cream White/Triple White” was the first to do so since Chuck Taylor—though that’s also a Nike brand.
2018: Air Force 1 ’01 “White”
The more things change, the more they stay the same. In 2018, retro sneakers were arguably the hottest item in fashion and Air Force 1’s were some of the most in-demand styles out there. This take on the Air Force 1 Low was released in 2007 and featured upgraded leather uppers and a matching Nike Air outsole.
2019: Yeezy Boost 350 V2 “Black Non-Reflective”
Once can be an accident; two out of three is a trend. For the second time since 2017, a Yeezy silhouette was the most sought-after shoe on the market in 2019, beating a Nike product for just the second time on the list. While this could be seen as a changing of the guard, it’s possible Adidas has reached market saturation with Yeezy after years of purposeful shortages. The brand, along with its namesake benefactor, Kanye West, is coming up with new directions for the future.