Millenial sneaker lovers will remember when a collaboration came around once in a blue moon and was reserved for only the most dedicated collectors. For the Gen-Z contingent, this concept has been flipped on its head. Nowadays, collaborations form the foundation of most silhouettes’ rise to popularity. But the rapid increase in the number of collaborations just means that the good ones stand out even more. At the forefront of this group is Nike. Nike collaborations have been — as always — some of the best of the year.
Several returning Nike collaborations really stood out for us this year. Whether that’s the Jordan 4 made with Union, Matthew Williams’ futuristic takes on Nike runners, or the universally popular Nike x Sacai partnership, Nike’s regular partners have really turned up the heat in 2021.
Elsewhere, unexpected smash hits came in the form of collaborations with luxury streetwear boutique A Ma Maniere, and skate shop FTC to prove that Nike still has its finger on the beating pulse of the culture.
With the help of Hype Clothinga, we’ve rounded up our top 10 Nike collaborations of 2021 which you can start shopping below.
Shop our top Nike collaborations from 2021 below.
Nike’s long-term partnership with Amsterdam sneaker hub Patta had been quiet for a few years until The Wave. Releasing in four colorways, this uniquely detailed Air Max 1 silhouette will be a classic in years to come, especially in its most popular Monarch colorway.
A Ma Maniere
The Air Jordan 3 is a stone-cold classic by itself, but A Ma Maniere managed to assert the shoe’s timeless appeal even more strongly with this neutral masterpiece.
Made in collaboration with Social Status, this Nike Dunk Mid celebrates the release of the short film FREE LUNCH. Drawing on the milk cartons that come with free lunches, the design is a central aspect of the short film when the main character OG Hustle gives the pair to a group of kids looking for free lunches.
Union’s Jordan 4 commemorates the 30th anniversary of iconic LA retailer Union. Dropping alongside the Desert Moss colorway, this Taupe Haze iteration didn’t steal headlines but now that we’ve had more time to appreciate it, we think it might be our favorite colorway.
Released in time for the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, the Nike SB Dunk Low FTC Lagoon Pulse is a solid memory of the year. The textures on this pair are some of its strongest assets.
2021 will be remembered as a sad one for fashion which lost one of its great visionaries in Virgil Abloh. One of the designer’s last big drops was this Nike Dunk Low which landed with 49 other colorways but worked its way to the very top.
Sacai & KAWS
Now focusing on the Blazer Low, the Nike x Sacai partnership continues its deconstructed, doubled-up style, this time with the help of KAWS, too.
Nike x MMW is defined by its futuristic, almost dystopian updates of sportswear. The Nike Zoom MMW 004 is a distillation of this style with an unorthodox raised sole unit and beautiful Baroque Brown palette.
Trophy Room — if you didn’t already know — is a sneaker boutique opened by none other than Michael Jordan’s son, Marcus. The Nike Air Jordan 1 Retro High Trophy Room Chicago stands as a deeply meaningful connection of generations, modeled on MJ’s most loved design.
Virgil always knew how to surprise us. Inspired by the dreaded cracked sole units of old-time collector’s pairs, Off-White™’s take on the underrated Jordan 2 silhouette is an unforgettable tongue-in-cheek moment.
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