But are they all heat? Image: Liftknits
But are they all heat? Image: Liftknits

As more sneakerheads join this little community of ours, the concept of “heat” becomes more and more vague. For years, decades even, we used “heat” to describe a pair of kicks that was universally regarded as dope. This is different from the kicks that you yourself like and wear with pride; “heat” is a totally superficial thing that relies on the approval of others. Your shoes might be awesome and have a fantastic colorway, but it didn’t always mean that it was “heat”.

It wasn’t always OG Air Jordans that were considered “heat”, but they were commonly referred to as such. It could be a rare colorway that was limited in number or just something that was hot for a minute and was brought back from the depths of storage years later. The rule of thumb was if all eyes were on you when you walked into a room and you got more than a few sneakerhead nods of approval, you got “heat”.

Nowadays, that notion has been challenged. Between the constant re-releases and restocks the way that social media makes your grails look like general release drops, it has become hard to stand out from the crowd, which is what the sneaker game used to stand for before we all got sensitive when somebody called our Js “trash” just because 500,000 other people had them.

So what we have here is a list of 10 kicks that were considered “heat” in their time but has also experienced a backlash of sorts. We just want to get a feel for the how the sneakerhead community feels about these kicks after they’ve been on the market for a few months or in the case of some of the kicks here, a few years. Has time faded away their uh, heatiness or are they still kicks uh, on fire? Lets find out.

Air Jordan 11 “Playoffs”Heat or Hype 1 - 1


Nike Zoom KD 4 “Nerf”

Heat or Hype 1 - 2


Reebok Shaq Attaq “White/Azure”

Heat or Hype 1 - 3


Nike LeBron 8 “South Beach”

Heat or Hype 1 - 4


Nike Air Foamposite One “Fighter Jet”

Heat or Hype 1 - 5


Air Jordan 4 “Black/Red”

Heat or Hype 1 - 6


Big Sean x adidas Originals Pro Model II “Detroit Player”

Heat or Hype 1 - 7


Air Jordan 3 Retro 88

Heat or Hype 1 - 8


Nike Air Yeezy 2 “Pure Platinum”

Heat or Hype 1 - 9


Nike SB Stefan Janoski “Digi-Floral Camo”

Heat or Hype 1 - 10