2015 was in no certain terms one of the most hyped years for sneaker releases in recent memory. Several milestones were achieved, including Jordan Brand reaching its 30th anniversary, Kanye West debuting his YEEZY line and Nike coming through with the first real Air MAGs.
Collaborations were plentiful and retro models were revitalized and although Highsnobiety‘s Pete Williams certainly enjoyed a few of those releases, overall he opted to go with a number of more traditional silhouettes, both in their stock configurations and as presented by some of the top brands out today.
Check out Pete Williams’s top 10 sneakers of 2015 below and stay tuned for more favorite lists from the team in the coming days.
10. Converse Chuck II
I got these at the Converse launch event in NYC where they sprayed green paint all over everyone, so these were extra worked from day 1. Regardless, Chucks look great beat up and the Lunarlon insole upgrade made the Chuck II an easy go-to for daily wear.
9. WTAPS x Vans Style 36 Navy
The Vans / WTAPS project is hands down my favorite on-going footwear collab, and this navy pair was the best one they put out in 2015. The Style 36 is a nice subtle change-up from the standard Old Skools (that showed-up everywhere this year) and you simply can’t mess with Tet’s (WTAPS) eye for detail. This is monochrome done proper.
8. BAPE x Undefeated x adidas Superstar
As much of this list attests, I clearly still get hyped on a solid collab. Which is to say I thoroughly and shamelessly enjoyed this triple-label BAPE and Undefeated offering. They did a few renditions, but the white with blue camo was the best of the bunch in my opinion.
7. Supreme x Jordan V Camo
One that I wanted to be mad at… though as soon as I had them on my feet I ending up loving the ridiculousness of it all. In a year where everyone was going monochrome, Supreme stayed true to their “fuck em” ethos with an over-the-top piece that’s fun to wear. The Desert Storm take embodies that outlook best.
6. wings + horns x New Balance 580
wings + horns has been a favorite brand of mine for many years and they celebrated their 10th anniversary with a number of strong collaborations. Technically not a 2015 release (they dropped December 20, 2014) but I didn’t wear them until this year and they remained a staple through many travels. You really can’t go wrong with NB for comfort and the black material play worked well.
5. Dime x Vans Slip On
The Slip On has been a long time favorite of mine and seemed to really take hold with a larger audience in 2015. Though the Murakami collab made the most noise, the Dime project was the best one in my view. One, as it was put together by some Montreal homies, but two, as it’s simply a perfect sneaker for daily wear; and banana stomping, of course.
4. Yeezy Boost 350 “Pirate Black”
In all honestly I was on the fence about the Kanye adidas collection from day 1, but after trying these out late in the year I’m a believer. The comfort of Boost is unmatched today, while the colors, fit and materials on the 350 make for a sneaker that works for daily wear – which is not always something that can be said about a shoe that drives hype through the roof.
3. Air Jordan 1 “Chicago”
The Air Jordan 1 is a shoe that has consistently made my top 10 lists year after year. I love the model, so the OG 30th anniversary version was simply a must. Plus the red made for a nice injection of color in a footwear rotation that’s otherwise almost entirely black, white and blue.
2. Gosha Rubchinskiy x Vans Sk8-Hi
The Vans Sk8-Hi is probably my all-time favorite sneaker, period, so when rising Russian designer Gosha Rubchinskiy had a go at it I was pretty hyped. Nothing too flashy, but that low key status makes them one of the more exciting shoes of 2015 for me personally. I wore them a lot.
1. adidas Ultra Boost
I have to admit, when I first received these in January, I wasn’t immediately impressed. At the time, the Pure was still the Boost model that stood out most in my view – though the comfort of the Ultra was undeniable. Fast forward to December, I’ve worn them a ton and the world in general has gone Ultra Boost crazy. Looking back on everything that dropped in 2015, it’s a clear stand out as the best all-new sneaker, period.