The Brag Affair Top of 2016

It’s that time of year again. The time to say goodbye to the year that was, and hello to the year that will be. So like every other blog on the interwebs, we had to produce a “best of” list. Waiting as long as we could to try and digest the insanity of drops the fourth quarter brought, we wanted to add our own twist on it; deciding to do a ‘Top of 2016’, including our top picks for various categories. In order to make sure we had a solid view of the year, we enlisted the help of some of our favourite sneaker personalities that call the Great North home: the BragAF squadmates killin the the podcast game; The Sneaker Podcast boys, our extended family repping for the country; the Canada Got Sole boys, three of Canada’s best  and rising sneaker YouTubers. Take a look below and let us know your thoughts on the year that passed, as well as our choices for the top.
Before we get into it, the Brag Family would like to thank everyone who has supported us over the last 365 days; friends & family, brands, boutiques, big box stores, event organizers and last but most definitely not least, YOU, the readers! With the fast pace of life today we truly appreciate you finding the time to spend with the Brag! THANK YOU! Now let’s gooo!

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Kalby Tober
Affiliation: TheBragAffair
IG: @justkalby

• Top 3 Releases of 2016: Pharrell x adidas NMD ‘Human Race’ OG, Ronnie Fieg x Asics Gel Lyte III ‘Super Green’, Air Jordan 1 ‘Banned’
• Top 3 Most Worn Sneakers: adidas Ultra Boost 2.0 ‘Core Black’, Ronnie Fieg x New Balance 998 ‘City Never Sleeps’, Nike Kobe 11 ‘BHM’
• Top 3 Pickups: Jack The Ripper 1/1 Custom Asics Gel Lyte III ‘Leather & Denim’, Reigning Champ x adidas Ultra Boost, Ronnie Fieg x BAPE ‘Fieg sta’
• Top 3 Shops: Kith, Footlocker, Lexington Ave Culture Spot. (S/O Courtside)
• Top 3 Brands: adidas, Asics, New Balance
• Favourite Article of Clothing Pick Up: Kith x Nike Tiger Camo Tshirt
• Favourite Accessory Pick Up: Kith x Power Rangers Pins
• Best Sneaker Moment: This was by far the dopest sneaker related year of my life, so narrowing it down to one moment can’t happen, but real quick in order of appearance; NBA All-Star Weekend with the BragAF team and meeting Ronnie Fieg, Footlocker Canada’s NBA Fantasy Camp, getting married in custom New Balance 574’s.

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Jonathan Kim
Affiliation: TheBragAffair
IG: @iamjonathankim

• Top 3 Releases of 2016: Air Jordan 1 OG High Black/Red, Nike Air Force 1 Linen/Atmosphere, Air Jordan 4 White Cement, Honorable Mention: Nike Air Mag
• Top 3 Most Worn Sneakers: Air Jordan 4 White Cement, Nike Air Force 1 High Wheat, Air Jordan 1 OG Low Metallic Navy
• Top 3 Pickups: Air Jordan 4 White Cement, PUMA x Ronnie Fieg x Dover Street Market XT-2 Achromatic Pack, adidas Consortium x Goodfoot Canada Rod Laver Vintage
• Top 3 Shops: Capsule Toronto, Off The Hook, HAVEN
• Top 3 Brands: Nike, adidas, PUMA
• Favourite Article of Clothing Pickup: John Elliott + Co. The Cast Coated Drake Denim
• Favourite Accessory Pickup: Ray-Ban 4147 Polarized Sunglasses
• Great Sneaker Moments: Walking into House of Hoops Toronto in late August & being able to pick up a pair of personal grails, the Air Jordan 4 “White Cements”, that released in February during All-Star weekend.

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 Christopher Chiu
Affiliation: TheBragAffair, The Sneaker Podcast
IG: @christopher.chiu

• Top 3 Releases of 2016: ACRONYM x NikeLab Air Presto Mid, adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2 Beluga, BAPE x adidas Originals NMD, Honorable Mention: Nike Special Field Air Force 1
• Top 3 Most Worn Sneakers: Air Jordan 1 BRED 2013, Converse Chuck Taylor All Star 1970, adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2 Beluga
• Top 3 Pickups: Ronnie Fieg x New Balance 998 City Never Sleeps, Mastermind Japan x adidas NMD XR1, adidas Consortium x Livestock PureBoost ZG PK
• Top 3 Shops: Foot Locker Canada, Courtside Sneakers, Off The Hook, adidas Originals
• Top 3 Brands: Converse, adidas, New Balance
• Favourite Article of Clothing Pickup: Zara Skinny Trousers 5016305
• Favourite Accessory Pickup: Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G Lens
• Great Sneaker Moment: Being invited by Converse Canada to New York City to cover the launch of the Converse Modern. Surrounded by the biggest sneaker media outlet representatives (including my good friends Sneakertalk and HEAT Ledger), I felt a bit overwhelmed and out classed to the point that I had texted the wifey about being out of place and in over my head. She told me I deserved to be out there. Setting my self-conciousness aside, I focused on prepping, doing work at the launch, and enjoying the moment. Despite being one of the smaller blogs in attendance, I told myself to work through it all and to conduct myself “like a pro”. Fast forward to the closing supper that was held on the rooktop of a swank museum, and the Converse director of global marketing at the time sought me out to tell me, personally, that my work at the launch stood out!… And relief washed over me in an awesome wave… I had earned my place at the table! Mountain top achieved!

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Alexandre Des Roches
Affiliation: The Sneaker Podcast, TheBragAffair
IG: @sugycyphersons

• Top 3 Releases of 2016: adidas Yeezy Boost 350 v2 Beluga, adidas EQT Boost 93/16 OG, Ronnie Fieg Kith x adidas Consortium Ultra BOOST Mid
• Top 3 Most Worn: adidas Yeezy Boost 350 v2 Beluga, Slam Jam x adidas Originals Tubular Nova, adidas Alpha Bounce Aramis
• Top 3 Pickups: White Mountaineering x adidas SeeULater Boot, adidas Ultra Boost 2.0 Olive, adidas ZX Trail MID Extra Butter
• Top 3 Stores: adidas Originals Montreal (duh), Off The Hook, Livestock
• Top 3 Brands: adidas, adidas, adidas
• Favorite Article of Clothing Pickup: Every single piece of apparel I copped from the White Mountainering line is now my standard in quality and fit.
• Favorite Accessory Pickup: 40s and shorties socks
• Great Sneaker Moment: 2016´s top moment for me is when I was able to double up on my personal all time favorite and grail of mine, the OG ZX 8000 in the aqua colorway. It is priceless to own two pairs of your favorite shoe especially when the first cost you a fortune and it was not something i could easily double up on. My face and my heart when I got the shoes as I was wearing my first pair, was unforgettable. The second pair stayed by the door for a couple weeks and Ive worned them so many times after with no shame. Even once stupidly enough at the club where they received a little captain morgan shower. So excited for summer to rock the shit out of them again 🙂

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Clarel “Clo” Chungwing
Affiliation: The Sneaker Podcast, TheBragAffair
IG: @clarel

• Top 3 Releases of 2016: adidas King Push EQT Primeknit Support Ultra, adidas Consortium X Solebox Ultra Boost UNCGD, Ronnie Fieg Kith x adidas Consortium Ultra BOOST Mid
• Top 3 Most Worn Sneakers: adidas Ultra Boost V1 Triple White, Nike FLyknit Racer Multi, Nike Air Max 95 Neon
• Top 3 Pickups: adidas King Push EQT Primeknit Support Ultra, Ronnie Fieg x New Balance 998 City Never Sleeps, adidas NMD R1 Olive (Euro exclusive)
• Top 3 Stores/Shops: adidas Originals, Off The Hook, Foot Locker
• Top 3 Brands: adidas, Asics, New Balance
• Favorite Article of Clothing Pickup: Arc’teryx atom LT hoody, H&M divided long tees, adidas jogger pants
• Favorite Accessory Pickup: dsptch daypack, dsptch heavy camera sling, adidas 5 panel hat

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Mike Dall
Affiliation: The Sneaker Podcast
IG: @onairwithmiked

• Top 3 Releases of 2016: Concepts X adidas EQT Support Boost 93/16, AIr Jordan 1 BRED (Banned), adidas Yeezy Boost 750 Chocolate Brown
• Top 3 Most Worn Sneakers: adidas OG Ultra Boost, Air Jordan Bred 1.5, adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2 Black/Red, Honorable mention Nike KD7 Cave Purple
• Top 3 Pickups: adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2 Black/Red, adidas EQT Support Boost 93/16 (All White), Air Jordan 1 High Letterman
• Top 3 Stores/Shops: adidas Originals, Foot Locker House Of Hoops, H&M
• Top 3 Brands: adidas, 40s and Shorties, Gildan
• Favorite Article of Clothing Pickup: adidas Originals Mens Fallen Future SST Jacket
• Favorite Accessory Pickup: Jason Markk
• Great Sneaker Moment: As I waited outside of my house for the The Sneaker Podcast crew to show up to record, Alex mentioned to me that he would be bringing me a mi adidas ZX Flux that he was going to gift me. As the boys arrived, Alex pulls out the mi adidas box and then slams another black adidas box on top. I asked “What’s this?” as I opened the box, and to my surprise Alex had given me a pair of adidas Alpha Bounce that I have had my eye on for a little while. Good Friends and a Great Crew are hard to come by. When you find them……hold on to them. Thank you, Alex.

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Christian Cantelon
Affiliation: SneakerTalk YouTube
IG: @sneakertalkca

• Top 3 Releases of 2016: Air Jordan 1 Banned, Converse Chuck Taylor 2 Boot (White/Gum), adidas Ultra Boost Uncaged (Triple Black)
• Top 3 Most Worn Sneakers: Converse Chuck Taylor II (Black), Bape Apesta (Black), Nike Air Force 1 Low (White)
• Top 3 Pickups: Air Jordan 1 Banned, Bape Apesta (Black), adidas ZX Flux XENO (OG)
• Top 3 Stores/Shops: Livestock, Adrift, Courtside Sneakers
• Top 3 Brands: Converse, adidas, Guess (if it has to be only sneakers than Converse, Adidas, Air Jordan)
• Favorite Article of Clothing Pickup: Air Jordan 1 Banned
• Favorite Accessory Pickup: Jord Wooden Watch
• Great Sneaker Moment: One of my great sneaker moments of 2016 would have to be the trip Converse brought me on to NEW YORK CITY! I made it a goal this year to travel there and it happened over the summer. I’ve always wanted to go to NYC my whole life and to have it be because of sneakers was a dream come true. I felt like a complete rockstar! It was during those 2.5 days in the “Big Apple” where I had this realization that I could really make it big. This surge of motivation hit me and I just knew I had to make YouTube my full-time gig. (Which I’m living right now while still going to university!)
2016 was the best year of my life and I’m looking forward to hustling my face off in 2017 and go for an even BETTER year!

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Thomas HEAT Ledger
Affiliation: HEAT Ledger Kicks YouTube
IG: @heatledgerkicks

• Top 3 Releases of 2016: Air Jordan 1 Banned, adidas Yeezy Boost V2 Beluga, Nike Air Presto Mid X Acronym Hot Lava
• Top 3 Most Worn Sneakers: Converse All Star Chuck II Low ‘Reflective Camo’ (2016), adidas Ultra Boost 2.0 ‘Triple White’ (2016), Air Jordan 6 ‘Varsity’ (2010)
• Top 3 Pickups: Air Jordan 4 White Cement OG (2016) – $65 CAD, Air Jordan 11 ‘Concord’ OG (1996) – $10 CAD, Air Jordan 12 ‘Cherry’ OG (1997) – $5.66 CAD [editor’s note: WTF!!!]
• Top 3 Stores/Shops: Foot Locker, Champs Sports, Courtside Sneakers
• Top 3 Brands: Jordan Brand, Converse, adidas
• Favorite Article of Clothing Pickup: Cousins Brand Script Logo Hoodie in Peach
• Favorite Accessory Pickup: Supreme Water Bottle (2015)
• Great Sneaker Moment: My favorite sneaker memory happened over the summer with Converse. The Converse Canada team flew a handful of influencers out to NYC to experience the debut of the Converse ‘Modern’ sneaker. We stayed at one of the finest hotels the city had to offer and experienced an incredible two days full of tours, food, and sneakers!

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Sean Go
Affiliation: Sean Go YouTube
IG: @sgo8

• Top 3 Releases of 2016: Air Jordan 1 Banned, adidas x Sneakersnstuff Ultra Boost Tea Time, adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2 Beluga
• Top 3 Most Worn Sneakers: Air Jordan 3 Black Cement, Nike Roshe One Calypso, Nike Flyknit Racer White/Black/Volt
• Top 3 Pickups: Air Jordan 1 Banned, Y3 ZG Knit Pure Boost White, adidas Ultra Boost LTD Cream/Chalk
• Top 3 Stores/Shops: Jordan Store 306 Yonge, Foot Locker House of Hoops Yonge Street, Courtside Sneakers
• Top 3 Brands: Reigning Champ, Muttonhead, October’s Very Own
• Favorite Article of Clothing Pickup: Tune Squad Michael Jordan Space Jam jersey from Nike
• Favorite Accessory Pickup: Toronto Blue Jays Postseason 2016 Cap by New Era
• Great Sneaker Moment: I worked part-time at the Toronto Jordan store during the all-star weekend in February. During those few days, I was able to see a handful of NBA stars in person, such as, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, John Wall, Kawhi Leonard, and shook hands with Russell Westbrook and Jimmy Butler. The top moment by far though was when Michael Jordan paid a visit. It was surreal seeing the GOAT, this man who we’ve immortalized through TV screens and YouTube highlights for all our lives, a mere ten feet away from me. Definitely an experience I’ll definitely never forget.

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Lawrence Hopkins
Affiliation: Canada Got Sole
IG: @ldoggystyles

• Top 3 Releases of 2016: Mags, Mags, Mags
• Top 3 Most Worn Sneakers: Air Jordan 1 BRED DMP (new beaters), NikeFlyknit Free Run 4.0 white/black, Nike Flyknit Trainer Multicolour
• Top 3 Pickups: Air Jordan 1 Banned, Air Jordan 12 OVO, adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2 black/red
• Top 3 Stores/Shops: Capsule, Livestock, Exclucity
• Top 3 Brands: Nike, adidas, Under Armour
• Favorite Article of Clothing Pickup: Nike Tech Work Pant (Nike Outlet pickup; $250 retail, purchased for $60 after tax)
• Favorite Accessory Pickup: A black bandana from the dollar store.
• Great Sneaker Moment: All dem, b.

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Joel Hernandez
Affiliation: Canada Got Sole
IG: @jo_doooney

• Top 3 Releases of 2016: Converse Chuck II FUTURA, Air Jordan 1 Banned, adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2 Beluga
• Top 3 Most Worn Sneakers: Puma Suede, Vans Old School/Authentics, adidas Ultra Boost
• Top 3 Pickups: Nike iD AM1 Stash Colourway, adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2 Beluga, Vans Vault x WTAPS Bones OG Authentic
• Top 3 Stores/Shops: Exclucity, Livestock, Capsule
• Top 3 Brands: Nike, adidas Boost, Converse
• Favorite Article of Clothing Pickup: Caps (fitteds, 5 panels to Snapbacks)
• Great Sneaker Moment: I had obtained a pair of 2002 Supreme Nike SB Lows sometime last year that was in dire need of a sole swap. The soles had hardened from aging to a point where it felt as if I was walking on ice on the pavement. After watching various YouTube DIY vids I finally set my mind -IM DOING THIS MYSELF!!
Amazon and my Local Michael’s Store helped obtained several tools such as the sewing awl, poly/cotton string, and wax… A friend that’s into Restorations connected me with the Barge Infinity cement to get the Soles Locked down. The Midsoles now, took a while but Lil Cuzzo hooked up a pair of Bazooka Joe SBs… so Game on.
Took me a about a week to finally finish the swap.. All in all, I’m extremely stoked to have done these myself and to finally enjoy wearing them out.

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Alvin Quincy Martinez
Affiliation: Canada Got Sole
IG: @misterqmart

• Top 3 Releases of 2016: Saucony Pumpkin Spice Latte, Nike Air Max 1 Safari, adidas Ultra Boost
• Top 3 Most Worn Sneakers: Air Jordan 1s (they were my go-to), Nike Air Max 1 The 6ix, Capsule x New Balance MT580 Canadian Tuxedo
• Top 3 Pickups: Saucony Pumpkin Spice, Puma x Highsnobiety x RIF R698, Converse x Fragment Chuck Taylor Ox
• Top 3 Stores/Shops: SVP, Livestock, Laced
• Top 3 Brands: Nike/JB, adidas, New Balance
• Favorite Article of Clothing Pickup: Club Monaco Tan Top Coat
• Favorite Accessory Pickup: Legends League Fitted (Yankee Blue)
• Great Sneaker Moment: Funny enough this was for the Saucony Pumpkim Spice Latté Grid SDs… when I first saw the news of them dropping. It was a must copp for me. From the beautiful silhouette, the dope colorway, the color blocking, to what it represented in my life. I had recently began a new life adventure and changed careers to start working at Starbucks. This specific shoe represents the two things I am passionate about my job, and sneakers.
Long story short I missed the Canadian Drop and wasnt able able to get a pair. A couple of weeks later I am on a facebook sneaker group called TSX. As I scroll I see them pop up. The only pair. I left a “OMG Need” comment and the seller sends me a DM and says he would do them for retail plus shipping. The Sneaker Karma has caught up and has given me a blessing. Insta Copp!!!!! Shoutout to Corey for holding me down, helping a brother out, and showing that the real sneaker culture is not dead.

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Cherry Grewal
IG: @cherry.grewal

• Top 3 Releases of 2016: adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2 Beluga, Air Jordan Retro 11 Space Jam, Nike Special Field AF1
• Top 3 Most Worn Sneakers: Nike Air Max 90 leather ID white/black, Nike Flyknit Lunar Black/White, adidas Yeezy Boost 350 Pirate Black
• Top 3 Pickups: Nike Air More Uptempo White/Gum, adidas NMD Primeknit White, adidas Yeezy Boost 750 Chocolate
• Top 3 Stores/Shops: Foot Locker/ House of Hoops Montreal is the best shop period
• Top 3 Brands: Nike, adidas
• Favorite Article of Clothing Pickup: Puma Velours Tracksuit, Tune Squad Jersey
• Favorite Accessory Pickup: 40’s and Shorites Tribe Called Quest Socks and Lil Kim Air Freshener
• Great Sneaker Moment: I organized a “Pay It Forward” charity fundraiser and raised $2000. Two kids from the neighborhood of Little Burgundy in Montreal received $1000 shopping sprees at Foot Locker.
I was also able to get enough donations to give 60 gifts of sneakers and clothing for the teenage kids from the Little Burgundy community centre for Christmas!!!!

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