January 15, 2019
This article was written by Barry Ooi, Omnilytics’ Head of Fashion. He shares his views on sneaker trends, as well as a list of the top sneakers of 2018 in Malaysia.
The sneaker industry was extremely competitive in 2018 – you wouldn’t have missed the heavy debates on which were the top sneakers of the year.
Almost every ‘year-end’ list featured some variation of the ‘ugly shoes’ trend, the big, chunky style that saw a resurgence thanks to the Balenciaga Triple S. It would take something special to dethrone it, and the UNDERCOVER x Nike React Element 87, which topped both Highsnobiety’s and Hypebeast’s lists, proved to be one of the year’s biggest drops.
The UNDERCOVER x Nike React Element 87. Image Credit: Nike Malaysia
Sneakers weren’t just popular amongst luxury and sportswear brands. The Salomon Bamba 2 and Bamba 3 from cult label Boris Bidjan Saberi were the latest and best iteration of a series of designer collaborations from Salomon. The technical brand is poised to break out in 2019.
11 By Boris Bidjan Saberi x Salomon Bamba 2 and Bamba 3 High-Top. Image Credit: Farfetch Malaysia
However, the thing with ‘year-end’ lists is that they’re usually based on different sets of guidelines. Some looked at the designs and trending styles, while others focused on rarity or functionality.
Omnilytics’ Top Sneakers Index 2018
Rather than subjective evaluation, the Omnilytics’ top sneakers index used hard data and actual facts. How did the most hyped sneakers fare in terms of actual sales? What was the fastest-selling sneaker of the year? Did retail figures actually match Instagram likes?
Several variables were taken to build a popularity score of the top kicks, including:
- The number of retailers selling a particular sneaker (How many retailers carried it?)
- Speed to sellout (How fast did it sell-out?)
- Replenishment levels (How often was it re-stocked?)
- Discounting strategies (How soon was it discounted, and by how much?)
To keep the list focused, data was limited to the major retailers in Malaysia, such as Zalora, JD Sports, and Sole What.
An infographic of the top sneakers of Malaysia 2018. Some names were shortened for clarity.
To no one’s surprise, sportswear giants Nike and Adidas dominated the list.
The Vapormax Flyknit, which first debuted in 2017, held the top spot among sneakerheads in Malaysia. Perennial Nike favourite, the Air Force 1, came in second. By and large, the list then skewed down to the practicals and the classics: the Cortez ranked highly, as did the Stan Smith. The Ultraboost has moved significant volumes for years now but dropped slightly in this year’s ranking due to a slower sellout speed.
The Nike Zoom Structure made a surprising debut towards the end of the list, despite being a strictly utilitarian running shoe.
With that said…
You don’t have to agree with what the public actually bought.
Rock a pair of Sambas – if it’s good enough for your dad, it’s good enough for you. You don’t have to succumb to the hype that’s washed through the entire sneaker market, and not everyone can afford the latest Off White and Balenciaga. Even the sneaker resale market has hit an estimated $1 billion!
At the end of the day, they’re shoes, plain and simple. You walk in them, and they protect your feet. If they look good, that’s a bonus. If you like them, that’s all that matters.
You do you.