With 2015 behind us we wanted to take the time and reflect on the top sneakers that came out this year. Dominated by collaboration, anniversary releases, and new technology we have compiled a list of the most influential shoes to be released in 2015.
10. Concepts x Nike SB “Holy Grail” Collection
Sneaker collaborations are a tricky thing: Go overboard and you lose your devotees; do too little, and you will be viewed as inconsequential. Very few stores have been able to successfully strike this balance point as well as Boston retailer, Concepts, considered the best in the world when it comes to sneaker collaborations. While there are many shoes Concepts worked on in 2015 that could have made this list, we have to give it to the Concepts collaboration with Nike SB on the “Holy Grail” collection. Using Indiana Jones and Catholic mythology as their inspiration, Concepts created three great new shoes. It didn’t stop there, however: To celebrate the release, they also created a truly immersive consumer experience by transforming their retail store into an Indiana Jones-style adventure set. With unique build-outs for a number of their rotating New York storefronts, they created some of the most interesting experiences in sneaker culture that we have seen.
Photo: Concepts, Complex
9. Nike Flyknit Lunar 3
One of the great challenges in creating a sneaker is figuring out how to make a shoe both functional and fashionable. If one brand has mastered this concept, it is Nike - and they clearly display their genius with the Nike Flyknit Lunar 3. Creating primarily as a running shoe, this shoe includes the popular combination of Flyknit and Lunarlon cushioning in a revamped design that sets a anew standard for the ultimate in functionality and sporty style. If you like to run, (or even if you just like to look good in your street-wear,) these shoes are made for you.
8. Converse Chuck Taylor 2
How do you set out to create the sequel to arguably the most important shoe of all time? When the legendary brand Converse, decided to create the next iteration of the Chuck Taylor, the illustrious shoe that has been wildly popular for nearly a century, many thought it was an impossible task. Against those odds, however, Converse wowed its loyal customers by taking the challenge by the horns and creating what is now decidedly an even better shoe. The result is the Chuck Taylor 2, a revamped version of the classic Chuck Taylor. Borrowing Nike technologies like Lunarlon and a memory-foam padding, the Chuck 2 kept things simple in terms of design. They kept the classic look that die-hards love exactly the same, focusing instead on revitalizing the interior. The result is a new classic for the new age.
7. Supreme x Jordan 5
In the world of sneakers, the streetwear brand Supreme remains light-years ahead of its competitors in the Collaboration Category, continually turning out some of the most sought-after shoes of all time. After having worked with Nike for many years now, it was always the hope of sneaker lovers that Supreme would eventually get the chance to work with the legendary Jordan Brand. After years of waiting and plenty of rumors, Supreme finally got first chance to collaborate with Jordan - and they went all out. Utilizing the classic Jordan 5 as their silhouette, Supreme created not one, but three shoes for this collection. These shoes sold out in less than a minute upon official release, creating such consumer hysteria that Supreme was forced to sell them online after the NYPD and LAPD voiced concerns about the potential for rioting. If that doesn’t scream success, I don’t know what does!
6. Adidas Ultra Boost
In recent years, there has been a sizable push in fashion away from the lifestyle looks of the early 2000’s, toward a sportier look that isn’t about just looking good, but about being highly functional and activity-ready. One must be able to go for a run, a hike, or participate in some athletic activity, at the drop of hat. While this might seem like a natural category to make a shoe for, most brands have failed in their efforts to make a truly crossover fashionable running shoe. Enter the Adidas Ultra Boost, or, as Adidas calls it, “The Greatest Running Shoe Ever”. Combining Adidas’ Primeknit technology, a woven material that makes the fit feel more sock than shoe, and the Boost cushioning system, this shoe is consistently rated as the most comfortable cushioning system out there. This is a shoe that works for athletes, fashionistas, and street wear. Add to that a host of celebrity endorsements from Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, and the rest of the Adidas celebrity line-up, and you have one of the few running shoes that continues to sell out each time it’s released in stores.
5. Nike Flyease
What do you do when someone comes to you with a problem that seems beyond your scope of expertise? Do you ignore it, or set about trying to find a solution? For Nike, when Matthew Waltzer, a student with cerebral palsy, approached the company about making a shoe for him and others with disabilities, Nike decided to take on the challenge. Created with the input and help of Matthew, Nike designer Tobie Hatfield took one of Nike’s best basketball shoes from the year before, the Nike LeBron Zoom Soldier 8 and set out figuring out a way to help people like Matthew. The result was the creation of a shoe that gives disabled people the ability to autonomously strap on their own shoes. Using a velcro-strap combined with a zipper, the shoe has revolutionized lace-less footwear and transforming the ugly “grandma-shoes look” into trendy athletic footwear. The Nike Flyease is a shoe that gives more people access to the best in athletic footwear than ever before.
Photos and Source: http://solecollector.com/news/nike-flyease-tobie-hatfield-matthew-walzer/
4. Adidas Futurecraft
When new technology arrives to the world, it is always exciting to see how our favorite brands will embrace and utilize it. That was certainly true for shoe lovers and designers with the appearance of 3D printing. As 3D printing became increasingly affordable and commonplace, sneakerheads wondered how and when this new technology would make its way into shoe design. Finally, after a few years of testing and numerous leaked pictures of various test prototypes, the public has their first glimpse with the introduction of the Adidas Futurecraft. While not yet released to the public, the Futurecraft uses the brand new Primeknit technology, Adidas’ take on Flyknit, with a 3D-printed midsole and outsole to create “the running shoe of the future.” While this is the first shoe made with 3D printing technology, expect many other shoe brands to follow suit and make their own versions soon.
3. Nike Air Mag
Twenty-five years ago, the entire world became captivated by an imaginary movie prop-shoe, the likes of which had not been seen before. The movie was Back to the Future II, and the shoe was the futuristic Nike Air Mag. According to the movie, the shoe would be released in the year 2015. This sneaker would light up and were marked by their futuristic self-lacing capability. Called “power-laces,” these laces tied themselves when the wearer put his foot into the shoe. Until now this kind of innovation in footwear was considered only mythical. In recent years, Nike has released a version of these beloved shoes via auction, but they lacked the futuristic power-lacing feature. It seemed that power-lacing was destined to be condemned to sneakerhead fantasy, a piece of science fiction that would never materialize. That was all before Michael J. Fox, on the very day in 2015 that his character in Back to the Future II traveled to, revealed to the world that a Nike Air Mag with power-lacing indeed now existed and would hit the market soon. Even though the’ll officially be released next year, after waiting twenty-five years to see the real thing, the Nike Air Mag deserves a spot on this list due to hype alone.
2. Under Armour Curry 1&2
In 1985, Nike was just a small-time player in the basketball shoe market, behind both Reebok and Adidas in terms of sales and popularity. That year, however, Nike began its 30-year reign of performance footwear dominance with their release of the Nike Air Jordan 1. Fast-forward to today, and history may be repeating itself. This time it is not Nike, but Under Armour, that is making the jump from small-time player to powerhouse with the introduction of their Curry 1. With the endorsement of NBA MVP Stephen Curry, a former Nike athlete, Under Armour has created one of the best performance basketball shoes on the market, a shoe that has gone toe-to-toe with Nike and held its own. Look for the newly released Curry 2, expected to possibly out-compete any of the Nike Basketball shoes released this year.
Photo Credit- Under Armour/Kenlu
1. Yeezy Boost 350/750
It’s official: Yeezy has jumped over the Jumpman. As if it could be any other shoe at top of the list this year, Kanye West’s collaboration with Adidas has clearly cemented itself as an instant classic and a top-shelf competitor for any shoe or brand out there. Utilizing Kanye West’s eye for style, and a build very similar to the Adidas Ultra Boost, the low-top Yeezy Boost 350 wowed the public. With its semi-affordable price and wide availability this shoe is set up for great success. However, the true crown jewel of the collaboration has to be the Yeezy 750, a sneakerboot that has expanded the tastes of most sneakerheads, and changed how the public sees the sneaker world. With the promise to get the Yeezy 350 in the hands of every desiring customer, and rumors of a fashion collection to follow, we may be witnessing the birth of a new style icon in the shoe world.
Photo Credit- Adidas