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2020 in review: The year in feature content

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Here at The Fresh Press, we decided to try something different this year.

Alongside our regularly scheduled content informing you of upcoming sneaker releases and highlighting the best in apparel and accessories, we wanted to expand our repertoire.

We’ve collaborated with a diverse roster of writers to bring you more stories from the intersection of sneaker culture, sports and entertainment that our consumers, social followers and readers are interested in.

Below are some of our best pieces of work for 2020, organized by category. We hope you enjoy them!

Sneakers

This one’s a given. Of course we’re gonna write about sneakers, even when they’re not necessarily kicks dropping at Finish Line.

Sneakerheads 101: How To Start Collecting Sneakers & Get Into The Kicks Game

Back in April, we set up a panel of industry experts and kicks enthusiasts to chat about how aspiring sneakerheads can get into the game. And to answer all those commenters on social media: no, the answer isn’t “just buy sneakers.”

Refreshing your rotation: A beginner’s guide to selling your old kicks (and making room for new ones)

Sticking with the newbie theme, freelancer Nicola Davies broke down the best way to cycle out some old pairs on the secondary market.

#AirMaxDay: Our photographers in the field pick their favorite Air Max

For March 26, Air Max Day, we shone a spotlight on some of Finish Line’s key photographers, all longtime participants in sneaker culture, about their fondest memories of Air Max.

Rarefied Air: How Nike took Michael Jordan from college hooper to sneaker deity

While this was technically written for our sister publication over at the JD Sports blog, freelancer Mike Taddow‘s look at the evolution of Jordan Brand is unmissable.

Shoutout to Jumpman: Our personal Air Jordan histories

To celebrate the anniversary of the first on-court appearance of the Air Jordan 1 on October 17, we asked some staff, some influencers and some industry heads what Jordan Brand means to them.

Upcycling sneaker boxes powered by The Colorways and Kevin Bui

Whether you’re getting crafty for gift giving or looking to bring new and refreshed energy into your home in 2021, these upcycling hacks by @KevinConcepts brought to you by @TheColorways are sure to be a hit for a hype home.

Merry Kicksmas! A countdown of our favorite holiday-themed sneakers

How could we finish the year without paying tribute to our favorite Christmas kicks? Jimmy Donofrio and I ranked our favorites in a series of posts last week, although we ran into a little bit of trouble in the middle.

Sports

Sneakers and sports have always gone hand-in-hand. How could we not cover some of the year’s big moments?

“Mamba, out.” Remembering Kobe Bryant’s iconic moments

We started the year in tragic fashion with the January death of Kobe Bryant. For his birthday on 8/23, we put together a list of memorable moments from his life and career.

The power of the player: College football will inevitably return, but not as we knew it

The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way sports leagues in the United States have operated this year. Jason Kirk gave us his thoughts on how college football might play out, between the coronavirus and talk of player unionization.

Ann Meyers Drysdale’s impact on basketball extends beyond history-making NBA contract

On September 5, 1979, Ann Meyers Drysdale became the first woman in history to sign an NBA contract. This is her story, as told by Alexis Mansanarez.

The Weekly Kickoff with Geoff Schwartz

The NFL forged on despite everything going on in the world. To keep a finger on the pulse, we recruited former NFL offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz to write a regular column for us.

Happy birthday Kevin Durant, a true Hall of Fame tweeter

This one’s more tongue-in-cheek. To celebrate Kevin Durant’s birthday, I compiled some of his greatest tweets of all time. They’re all bangers.

Celtics legend Bill Russell broke records on the NBA court, and broke down barriers off it

On October 15, 1966, Bill Russell lined up across from the San Francisco Warriors’ Nate Thurmond to open the Boston Celtics’ 1967 season and tipped off history as the first Black head coach in NBA history. James Holas examined the importance of that moment and its legacy in the Association.

‘He’s much better than you think he is’: Remembering LeBron James’ NBA debut

Speaking of NBA legends, we marked the anniversary of LeBron James’ professional debut with a trip down memory lane with SLAM editor emeritus and preeminent Bron biographer Ryan Jones.

Four underrated teams ready to take the league by storm

With another NBA season looming less than 100 days after the last one ended, we tapped Nuggets beat writer TJ McBride to give us a look at four underrated teams going into season 2020-21.

Social Responsibility

One cannot recap 2020 without acknowledging the social uprising that took hold of our country over the summer.

This wasn’t just about the words. This was our obligation to act. Our commitment to support our customers, employees and the communities we live in. Together, we formed our plan for action and invited our readers, followers and consumers to be a vital part of it.

Louder than Words: Our Commitment to Act

We confirmed our stance against racism, bigotry, hate and violence. We also shared our obligation and commitment to act. Then we were pleased to share the first short term step in our action planning.

Louder Than Words: Our Continued Support

With the next step in our commitment/responsibility to being a better ally, we chose to highlight and amplify Black voices within our community. Each week since June 19, we have hosted an IG Live conversation with a guest who has helped us dive into important topics about the #BlackLivesMatter movement. You can watch every episode at the link above.

Join the Finish Line Youth Foundation in support of Special Olympics champions this holiday season

In November we kicked off our ninth annual holiday giving campaign. Through our program, Fit Forward, we provide Special Olympics athletes with thousands of pairs of properly fitted sneakers.

Entertainment

Since we all spent a lot more time at home this year than we had expected to, we had plenty of incentive to dive into TV, movies, music and video games.

Flicks With Kicks: Six films with iconic sneaker cameos

Back in April, I put together a list of a dozen movies featuring iconic sneaker scenes. Part 2 is here for your viewing pleasure.

Keep your kids busy with Finish Line’s ‘Just For Kicks’ coloring book

Maybe the kids in your life needed some extra activities to keep them busy while they were stuck indoors. Jimmy Donofrio helped us put together a cool coloring book and ran a coloring competition with 10 young Picassos winning $100 gift cards.

Yo! MTV Raps brought hip-hop into America’s living rooms on this day in 1988

August saw us celebrate the anniversary of pioneering cable TV hip-hop video show Yo! MTV Raps hitting the airwaves. What a time to be alive.

Bird’s the word: A nostalgic look back at the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series

Later that month, I waxed nostalgic and threw it back to my early teenage years when the demo for the remastered Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 dropped for consoles. Spoiler alert: the game is good as hell.

Sneakerhead Book Club

We kicked off a semi-regular series called Sneakerhead Book Club for, you guessed it, books about sneakers. Sometimes you gotta take your eyes off a screen and look at printed words instead, y’know?

August 27 marked the 24th birthday of a legendary hip-hop record. Bronx-based writer Jayson Buford took us back in time to look at ATLiens.

Recommended for you: 23 facts about Netflix for the company’s 23rd anniversary

It’s a staple in homes all over the globe, on televisions and computers and tablets and phones. It redefined the word “binge,” it changed the way we watch TV and movies, it even became a euphemism for casual, uh, dating. Netflix turned 23, so we dug up 23 fun facts about the streaming platform.

Another anniversary of a classic album, Late Registration turned 15 the same year Kanye West ran for president (try explaining that to someone in 2005). New York Daily News NBA writer Kristian Winfield gave us a retrospective review.

Throwin’ it back with ’90s Nostalgia on TV

Remarkably, September was a big month in TV history for some of your all-time favorite shows. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Captain Planet and Full House all got their starts during the ninth month of the year. Our very own Kim Nguyen went back in time for some heavy nostalgia.

From Marcy to mansions: Jay-Z’s rise from ‘Reasonable Doubt’ to ‘The Blueprint’

This one’s an absolute epic, a magnum opus if you will. We got Jayson Buford back on deck to chronicle fellow New Yorker Jay Z’s meteoric late-90s/early-00s career rise. It’s worth your time.

You did amazing, sweetie: It’s a wrap for ‘Keeping Up With The Kardashians’

Much like this post, you probably thought KUWTK was never going to end. Sadly you were proven wrong on both accounts. Kim and the gang announced that the final season would air in 2021. Savor those moments while you can.

Flipping channels: A review of ‘Sneakerheads’ on Netflix

You know the sneaker industry has hit the mainstream when Netflix drops a limited series revolving around it. I was wary about the concept but was curious when it was released, so I sat down and watched it. The link above contains my review.

A universe of stuff: A look at some unlikely ‘Space Jam’ memorabilia

The 90s were a wild time. This list of some of the wacky merchandise that came along with the release of the cult classic movie Space Jam is testament to that.

Food

This one’s a fledgling category, but deserves representation nonetheless. We all gotta eat, right?

Great Taste in Shoes: An Incomplete History of Sneaker Food Collaborations

This one made me hungry to write. From coffee to chicken and waffles, there’s no shortage of food-centric sneaker collabs.

Sole Food: How ‘shoeshi’ became flavor of the month

Sneakers can be art. Food can be art. Why not combine the two? That’s what these two sushi artists with a passion for streetwear do. Anna Prendergast has the scoop.

Seriously nacho business: America’s best stadium options on National Nachos Day

While we couldn’t really get to the ballpark or the arena this year, we still celebrated National Nachos Day with Amanda Zwirn from Nacho Scout.

Finger-lickin’ kicks: Comparing sneakers and sandwiches for National Fried Chicken Sandwich Day

Your boy here had fun with this one. Sneakers and fried chicken sandwiches are my two favorite things in life, so how could I resist the opportunity to put them together?

Sole Food: Turning sneaker heat into sweet treats with EatGoodNYC

What good is a meal without dessert? To cleanse our palate we headed to New York (via email, at least) to talk baked goods with the sneakerhead creators behind EatGoodNYC.


We’ll be continuing to bring you stories that live at the intersection of sneaker culture, sports and entertainment in 2021. If you’re an experienced writer and would like to contribute, here’s how you can pitch us.

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