Nike's Kobe 6 Protro "Grinch" Brings Holiday Spirit to This Week's Best Footwear Drops

Bryant’s beloved Christmas Day sneaker is accompanied by the adidas YEEZY QNTM and BSKTBL “Frozen Blue,” Bodega’s new Nike Dunk High and much more.

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Happy holidays, HYPEBEAST footwear family. With 2020 less than two weeks away from its closure, Nike, adidas, New Balance, PUMA and more are attempting to sneak in a few final drops before 2021 begins — and this week sees the return of beloved Nike Basketball sneakers, a new Kanye West collaboration, and much more. However, before we bring you the 10 best drops from this festive period, let’s take a look back at everything that went down last week.

There’s a strong case to be made that this was our biggest footwear feature week of the year. First up was the year-end Best Sneakers of 2020 list, followed by a deep dive into how New Balance won 2020. The latest installment of Sole Mates saw us chat with Luka Sabbat about two new CELINE sneakers, and we also talked to Blondey McCoy about his most recent adidas Superstar collaboration. 2020’s Footwear Designer of the Year Salehe Bembury officially (and exclusively) revealed to HYPEBEAST that he’d be leaving his role at Versace to pursue new opportunities in 2021 as well.

Day-to-day news calmed down a touch ahead of the impending holidays, but there was still plenty to be seen. Jordan Brand stayed busy during the lull by formally announcing the release of TITAN’s Air Jordan 23s and 35s — shoes that are dropping in the Philippines this week and seeing a global release in forthcoming weeks, when you’ll surely find them on this list — showing official images of the power-lacing Air Jordan 11 Adapt and giving us early looks at the Air Jordan 4 “Taupe Haze” and the CLOT x Air Jordan 14 Low.

On the collaborative front, we were given a detailed look at the KITH x Nike Air Force 1 NYC, received release details for UNDEFEATED’s duo of new Air Max 97s, and got an early peek at Baltimore-based brand Carpet Company’s SB Dunk High. Retailers got in on the action as well, with Stadium Goods revealing its 10 best-selling shoes of 2020 and Concepts opening its new NYC flagship location.

All caught up? Good. Let’s go ahead and dive into this week’s 10 best releases. As always, note that any pairs listed below may be pushed back due to the continued effects of the coronavirus and head over to HBX to check out even more new footwear styles.

adidas YEEZY BSKTBL and QNTM “Frozen Blue”

Release Date: December 22 (BSKTBL)/December 23 (QNTM)
Release Price: $250 USD (Men’s), $180 USD (Kids), $160 USD (Infants)
Where to Buy: adidas and YEEZY Supply
Why You Should Cop: Kanye West’s YEEZY QNTM and YEEZY BSKTBL are set to close 2020 out by releasing in “Frozen Blue.” Teased and anticipated for months, the “Frozen Blue” is the most colorful makeup of the BSKTBL or QNTM yet thanks to the chilly blue detailing on its overlays. The BSKTBL is a men’s only style, but the QNTM will be available in full family sizes so even the smallest sneakerheads can get their YEEZY fill this holiday season.

Todd Snyder x New Balance 997 “Triborough” Collection

Release Date: December 22
Release Price: $230 USD
Where to Buy: Todd Snyder
Why You Should Cop: New York-based menswear designer Todd Snyder is certainly no stranger to a wide variety of New Balance collaborations, but his special fondness for the 997 shows through on the “Triborough” collection. The made in the USA sneakers boast navy, burgundy or gray color schemes — all equipped with a special “Flying NB” detail for a nod to the shoe’s original branding from its 1990 debut.

Michael Lau x PUMA Suede “Sample”

Release Date: December 22
Release Price: TBC
Where to Buy: PUMA
Why You Should Cop: Legendary vinyl toy creator, esteemed artist and longtime footwear collaborator Michael Lau has reunited with PUMA for a third collaborative Suede. Dubbed the “Sample,” the two’s two’s two-tone red sneaker boasts mismatched detailing plus special seams — and some will even arrive with a PUMA-inspired iteration of Lau’s famed WORTH CAT figurine.

Pharrell x adidas NMD Hu “Green”

Release Date: December 23
Release Price: $220 USD
Where to Buy: adidas and Foot Locker
Why You Should Cop: Kanye’s adidas compatriot and musical co-conspirator Pharrell makes the list as well this week with his own signature style: the NMD Hu in “Green.” Offering up two-tone detailing and a Vietnamese hit that translates to “Human Race” in English, the fresh-yet-familiar style is ensuring that Skateboard P and the Three Stripes end their 2020 with a bang.

Nike Kobe 6 Protro “Grinch”

Release Date: December 24
Release Price: $180 USD
Where to Buy: Nike SNKRS, Foot Locker and Oneness
Why You Should Cop: 2020 may have been the year of the Kobe 5 Protro for Nike Basketball, but the Kobe 6 Protro is looking to get its 2021 run started a little early with the release of its legendary “Grinch” colorway. A bittersweet moment for hoops fans as the “Grinch” was debuted by the late Kobe during a 2010 Christmas Day duel with LeBron James and the Miami Heat, this beloved sneaker boasts a familiar scaly green build and an upgraded Air Zoom Turbo cushioning setup.

size? x adidas Training PT “Cream”

Release Date: December 24
Release Price: TBC
Where to Buy: size?
Why You Should Cop: A tribute to nightclub-turned-clothing-brand Cream, size? and adidas’ new Training PT is an example in masterful colorblocking. Rich shades from green to red and yellow are splashed across the Three Stripe graphic and the midsole’s cut-out detailing, popping off a rich white base to make a bold statement. If you’re planning on hitting the clubs when the world is past the pandemic, this would be an apt footwear choice.

Medicom Toy x Nike SB Blazer Low

Release Date: December 26
Release Price: $80 USD
Where to Buy: Nike SNKRS and The Berrics Canteen
Why You Should Cop: Medicom Toy and Nike SB’s Blazer Low caps off an eventful collaborative year between Japanese toy maker and Beaverton-based footwear titan. The two have been working on models like the SB Dunk and Air Force 1 for nearly two decades, but this is their first go-around with the Blazer — and it boasts shaggy pony hair construction, special BE@RBRICK details and a price point well under $100, all the makings of a sleeper hit.

Air Jordan 12 “Varsity Red”

Release Date: December 26
Release Price: $190 USD
Where to Buy: Nike SNKRS and Foot Locker
Why You Should Cop: Let’s be real: altered takes on classic sneakers don’t always land. However, Jordan Brand’s Air Jordan 12 “Varsity Red” offers a masterclass in the art of inversion. Swapping the placement of the black and red tones on the beloved Air Jordan 12 “Flu Game,” the “Varsity Red” also differentiates itself from its OG predecessor by replacing tumbled leather with supple suede, making for a look that turns “Flu Game” to new flame.

Nike Adapt Auto Max “Jetstream”

Release Date: December 26
Release Price: $400 USD
Where to Buy: Nike SNKRS
Why You Should Cop: The latest colorway of what’s arguably Nike’s most striking power lacing sneaker to date — besides the MAG, of course — the Adapt Auto Max “Jetstream” uses a crisp green midsole to contrast with its space age gray upper. This makes for a sneaker that nods to the Swoosh’s past while striding boldly into its future, and you can step with it too if you’re willing to plunk down the $400 USD retail price.

Bodega x Nike Dunk High “Legend”

Release Date: December 28 (Bodega)/December 30 (Nike SNKRS)
Release Price: $120 USD
Where to Buy: Bodega and Nike SNKRS
Why You Should Cop: Drawing from the legend of sandlot baseball games and childhood adoration of sports heroes, the Bodega x Nike Dunk High “Legend” translates its mythical ethos into physical form with a build that looks like a baseball glove. There’s multiple leather panels, exposed rawhide stitching and even a tortoiseshell jewel Swoosh, making for a look that’s essentially a mitt for the feet. It’s decidedly a lot to take in, but for those who can get behind the inspiration it’s one of December’s most unique releases.

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