We're just past the midyear point of 2016, and it's time to highlight some of our favorite adidas releases of the year so far.
For a time, it seemed like sneakerheads were waiting for adidas to fully arrive. Halfway through 2016, it's safe to say the brand with the three stripes is not slumping behind the wheel. Playing heavily toward the tech footwear market, adidas has been causing consistent mayhem with every NMD release, while the Ultra Boost is remaining in-demand (we even madeour own version). Just last month a third YEEZY Boost 750 colorway finally appeared, while further releases are likely slated for the remainder of the year. Other archival adidas favorites like the Stan Smith and EQT are also being treated to modern updates, rounding out a strong year for the German brand so far.
Check out our 15 favorites below, and then check out our 15 favorite Nike sneakers of 2016 so far.
*Editor's Note: the 2016 YEEZY Boost 350 "Pirate Black" re-stock was excluded from this list.
The SUPPORT 910 was the strongest flip we've seen on adidas' EQT so far this year. A sock-like Dyneema upper coated with Kevlar side panels sits atop a matte black and white outsole finished with powder stripe detailing. EQT branded Dyneema laces, and Kevlar thread seams add further technical dimensions, while EQT ADV 91-16 logos on the tongue and insole provide the exclusive finishing touch.
After sneakerheads took it upon themselves to customise the Ultra Boost by removing its cage, this DIY-inspired, Uncaged Ultra Boost version got an official release from adidas. Fully tonal red and white versions accompanied the first round of releases, which was met with an overwhelmingly positive reaction from the sneaker community.
For the first ever collaboration between adidas Originals and Palace Skateboards, the duo cooked up a black and white Palace Pro Primeknit with a gum sole. For 2016, they brought the silhouette back in new colorways, including an orange and white version alongside a teal makeup. In this author's opinion, this shoe is the best thing to come of adidas and Palace's ongoing partnership.
It's easy to fall into corny territory with weed-themed products or collaborations, but BAIT's 420-friendly Stan Smith was memorable for all the right reasons. Crafted from natural hemp, the upper has been heat-pressed with a stoned-out pattern, which is a nod to the burning of hemp. Hairy suede appears on the heel, reflecting the texture of cannabis buds, while the heel tab and tongue label borrow from prescription labels – a reference to medical marijuana.
The Slam Jam Tubular Nova is a true collage of premium materials. Canvas comes into play via the sneaker’s upper, one that has arrived in an off-white and light grey colorway. A soft leather is used in the midsole and toe of the shoe, while a bold suede panel wraps around the heel, finished off with the Slam Jam logo printed across.
Often, the best ideas are the simplest. Using adidas' iconic Stan Smith as the foundation, adidas added a Primeknit upper to the shoe, then rounded out the release with all-white and all-black colorways. Summer sneakers don't get much better than this.
Still the only collaborative version of adidas' NMD that we’ve seen from adidas, although we have reason to believe that more are on the way. The Nicks Kicks NMD fell under adidas’ Consortium banner, standing out from other NMD drops thanks to its sublimated red and black tie-dye upper, inspired by vintage concert posters and local art from Austin, Texas, the home of Nice Kicks. The collaborative NMD also featured a Nice Kicks-branded heel tab.
As part of the Consortium World Tour, adidas and Berlin’s Solebox came together for an all-German release, cooking up one of the earliest Uncaged Ultra Boost models. The resulting shoe featured a Primeknit upper in several shades of grey, and flashes of red on the outsole and insole. As with most Solebox collaborations, this particular Hikmet Sugoer-designed Ultra Boost was an instant hit, going on to garner noteworthy profits on the resell market.
The Elastic Slip On utilized a molded nubuck heel to support stretch patch-tape uppers, mocked-up in white with a signature green heel tab a la the famous adidas Stan Smith.
Just so you don’t forget what site you’re reading… Highsnobiety’s #HSDecade 10th birthday celebrations continued into 2016 with several key collaborative drops, including this limited issue of one of adidas’ most celebrated models at the moment – the Ultra Boost. Our version came with a soft taupe knitted upper in lavender grey, with a leather cage and branded tab on the sneaker’s tongue.
This year adidas reached back to the early 2000s to revitalise the Climacool 1. At the time, the Climacool was one of the first adidas models to play with a ventilated upper, a feature that was carried over into 2016. The techy new version was released in a series of tonal colorways, and the launch was even celebrated with a special Coca-Cola colorway.
After a considerable amount of rumors and speculation – as has become standard leading up to every YEEZY drop – the third 750 iteration from Kanye West and adidas Originals arrived on June 11. Setting it apart from the previous two 750s, the “Grey/Gum” version featured a luminescent outsole, in addition to a grey upper saddled on top. You already know the bots ate this one up within seconds.
Since being spotted on the feet of Kanye West during several live performances last year, this smash-hit and leader of the Ultra Boost category has actually been treated to three slightly different “Triple White” drops. A steady demand for the whited-out colorway has allowed this sneaker to sell out time after time, helping to make the Ultra Boost one of adidas’ most esteemed silhouettes. This latest 2016 version featured small tweaks like adjustments to the knitted upper, and different shades of grey on the toe box.
Largely eclipsed by adidas’ Boost-equipped sneakers like the Ultra Boost and NMD, the Y-3 Pure BOOST ZG was a bit of a sleeper hit, but certainly a favorite in the Highsnobiety offices. The Prue Boost ZG features a familiar mix of Boost and Primeknit technology, lensed through Yohji Yamamoto’s preference for black and white aesthetics.
Playing off the popularity of adidas’ all-white Ultra Boost, the “Vintage White” NMD release constituted a clean addition to the NMD catalog. Although adidas has unwrapped quite a few likeable NMD colorways, these were among the strongest and most well-received. Featuring a Primeknit upper and Boost outsole completed with the NMD’s signature sole plugs in tonal white, we can picture ourselves rocking these all summer ’16.
To stay posted on all our favorite sneaker releases, head over to Highsnobiety's curated shopping channel What Drops Now.