2015: a year when sneakers flooded the footwear market, overpowering the big hitters such as Vans and Converse, rapidly becoming the shoe that everyone must have on their feet.
As hard as it has been to sift through the multitude of sneakers that I could only dream about owning one day, I have come up with my personal top 10 favourite collaborations of 2015, starting with the amazing pair of Zeniths by great guys at Laced in Brisbane.
10. Banana Benders
The Banana Benders are Laced‘s first shot at the collaboration game and they have hit it out of the park with the Queensland themed sneakers. Excellent colours and concepts paired with the ungodly number of 666 pairs worldwide makes this shoe a must have for all Australian sneakerheads worthy of turning heads.
9. Da Vinci
Next up is one of the most sophisticated releases to have launched last year. Commonwealth‘s second take at the Gel Lyte V named the Da Vinci, which takes conceptual elements straight from the big inventor himself. Coming bundled with a notepad and a selection of goodies this shoe is one of the cleanest, well constructed and limited shoes this year.
8. R698 Low
From the king of collaborations comes his latest project, taking inspiration from his new stores that opened in Japan, Ronnie Fieg’s fresh take on Puma’s R698 model, blossomed into one of last year’s hottest releases. This collaboration was released as a pack, and while both shoes are extremely nice, the low was a home run. The colours work extremely well together and, in my opinion, is the nicest R698 on the market right now!
7. The High Roller Pack
For number 7, I’ve bundled three shoes into one spot on the list as they work as a trio, and that’s Las Vegas based boutique Feature and their take on the G9 Shadow 5. Taking inspiration from the neon city’s gambling culture, the High Roller Pack (The High Roller, The Barney and The Pumpkin) is extremely well thought out and executed so that you won’t have to take a gamble on whether you will look good with these on your feet.
Hailling from the UK is the Reebok Ventilator Husky by END. This sneaker is one of the most visually beautiful Ventilators to come out. The use of great teture with the pastel colours works so well it sends a chill down your spine. The shoes are housed in fancy frosted class packaging and is one a sure fire hit for all Reebok fans.
5. Luxury Goods
class=”s1″> CONCEPTS released their luxurious take on the 997 silhouette by New Balance called the Luxury Goods. This sneaker, along with most of CONCEPTS’ other collabs, sports some of the nicest materials on a shoe that we saw last year, and this is combined this with the bright orange pigskin suede that is extremely reminiscent of the luxury brand, Hermés. This shoe brings class to any event with the Made in USA model giving you the height of sneaker quality that is almost unmatched.
4. 8 Ball
CONCEPTS are on the list for a second time after smashing out another supreme collaboration last year, and with this instalment they’ve stayed with Asics but have used a different silhouette, the Gel Lyte 5. CONCEPTS are no strangers to this shoe and they always find new ways to create a design that has both a strong, interesting backstory and also nail the execution. The 8-Ball is based off the movie Blow and takes cues from a culture that has a dark side. An off white or ‘cocaine’ upper with hints of red really blow away the competition this year.
3. The Righteous One
Starting the prime position rankings is another Saucony, this time by the boutique Epitome who designed The Righteous One. What else can we say about this shoe, from its insane quality materials to the small features and hints of Atlantan and Middle Eastern vibes. This shoe could not get any fresher if it tried and will be one to add to any collection if you can spare an arm and a leg.
Taking the number two spot is the collaboration of the Gel Lyte 3 by Asics and Japanese retailer MITA to create the Trico. It has a simple yet effective mix of colour blocking and an innovative take on the silhouette by adding a heel tab, and piping along the toe box, standing out from the rest of the competition. The materials on this shoe are by far some of the best suede that can be found on a pair of Asics, and having a shoe based off the Japanese store with its use of metal fences somehow worked itself well into the shoe in the subtlest of ways.
Taking the number one spot was a shoe that hits extremely close to home, Melbourne to be exact, and is one of the best Saucony collaborations to date. Sneaker Freaker’s ‘Kushwacker’ is the sequel to their insanely popular ‘Bushwacker’ collaboration that debuted in 2012. The Kushwacker obviously takes its inspiration from an illegal substance, as noted by the name and the stunning purple tones on the shoe. The Kushwacker uses the finest materials throughout the shoe and
getting your hands on this extremely limited sneaker may prove to be quite a challenge now as these shoes fetch ungodly prices on the market, along with every other pair on this list.