Oh boy.  If you made it out of 2014 with your wallet and bank account still in-tact consider yourself lucky.  Brands really stepped up there game and OG colorway’s of shoes we haven’t seen in years were released in what felt like droves.  While this list could have easily gone 100 and beyond DeFY. New York counts down the top 50 sneaker releases in 2014.

 

#50 Buscemi 100mm

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Receiving its name from its height, the 100mm is the new kid on the block. Jon Buscemi did something every shoe head in the world wish they could and that is to make a super high quality shoe with his name on it that regularly sells out. Full-grain Italian calf leather with hand painted edges on a clean classy design kept this a shoe on the feet of Hollywoods elite and on the wish list of shoe heads with a craving for all things luxe.

#49 Saucony x Packer Shoes x Just Blaze Grid 9000 “Snow Beach”

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It ain’t Ralph but it didn’t matter. Saucony, Packer Shoes and Just Blaze paid tribute to the famous RL Snow Beach pull over in the way of a special edition Grid 9000.  Complete in the same eye catching colors this Grid sold out quick with fans looking for more.  Lo head approved (kinda).

#48 Adidas ZX Flux “Lightning”

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It was a big year for the ZX Flux and the lightning version led the pack. Some touted it as Adidas’s take on the Nike Presto but whatever way you look at it the shoe is dope and shoe heads agreed.

#47 Reebok Blast

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Reebok did their thing this year and its why many of their retro’s wound up in the top 50 for 2014, including the Blast. Complete in their OG colorway, solid materials and good comfort it officially erased bad memories of that weak updated version they released a few years ago.

#46 Ewing Center Hi Blue/White/Orange & White/Orange/Blue

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Nike won’t release a solo flight retro or flight 90 retro?  Cool, Ewing Athletics retro’d the Center Hi.  Originally released in 1991. the Center Hi took design cues from Nikes 1990 Flight line.  Complete in both Knicks colorway’s they were a breath of fresh air.  Thank you Ewing Athletics.

#45 Adidas Crazy 1 “Kobe”

adidas-kobe-crazy-1-white-7-2This one was a retro you couldn’t ignore.  Big, bulky (but light), Adidas brought back one of Kobe’s best sig shoes for 2014.  Fingers crossed for the second installment in 2015.

#44 Nike Air Rift

Nike-Air-Rift-Forest-Black-Atomic-Red-1Inspired by barefoot runners from Kenya, the Air Rift has always had a cult like following and so when news broke that they would be part of of the Genealogy pack dudes got amped.   Throw these on and pretend you’re are really about that running life.

 

#43 New Balance James Worthy white Carolina Blue

New-Balance-740-Carolina-2James worthy’s sig shoe with New Balance got worked over in his collegiate colors.  DOPE.

#42 Nike Air Trainer 1 PRM Super Bowl Silver Speed

Nike Air Trainer 1 PRM Super Bowl Silver SpeedWhile I’m not one for super radical materials on classic retro shoes this was the exception.  Throw these on and tell everyone you won the sneakerbowl.

#41 Nike Air Max Penny 1

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Anytime, anywhere a Penny 1 retro is always welcome.  This year was no different.

#40 Asics Gel Spotlyte Black

asics-gel-spotlyte-2Another retro shoe that really flew under the radar of many in 2014, the Gel-Spotlyte had early 90’s goodness written all over them.

#39 Etonic Akeem Dream

etonic-akeem-the-dreamEtonic’s retro product returned for 2014 and we couldn’t be happier.  The Akeem lead the way and while sales weren’t as good as some may have predicted (probably the 120 price point) quality was good and they filled in the void of some die hard shoe heads collection.

#38 Nike Free Orbit II Sp

nike-free-orbit-2-sp-1Described as a shoe that “features an innovative, one-piece upper that acts as a protective sleeve for your foot. Pyramid-shaped points combine with a polka-dot print in a slip-on design for style of extreme proportions, and deep flex grooves help give your every step natural flexibility.”  In other words their a dope, interesting looking shoe that was very comfy. Nuff said.

#37 FILA FX 100 OG Packer Shoes

packer-shoes-x-fila-fx-100-o-g-1Why FILA continues to release that terrible slimmed down version of the FX-100 is BEYOND comprehension.  Luckily someone at Packer Shoes convinced them to bring them back in OG form.  Complete in a Gucci color combo, the FX 100 OG was a breath of fresh air from the brand.

#36 Nike Air Structure 18

nike structure 18Outside of the early 90’s, the Structure line has been pretty bland.  Not this year.  No this year Nike decided to bring a youthful vibe back into the structure line.  Its the first time in nearly 20 years someone in their 20’s would actually want a structure shoe.  Hat tip.

#35 Ewing 33 Hi x Atmos

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I’ll be honest.  When it comes to a brand like Ewing Athletics I didn’t really get hot and heavy for a collab shoe.  This shoe changed all that.  Small hits of glow in the dark print, coupled with subtle speckles and a bright blue upper make this one of the best collab shoes of the year.

#34 Nike Air Jordan 1 White Black

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An OG colorway of the Jordan I in a good cut that can match with pretty much everything.  What do you think happened?

#33 Nike Air Max 93 white menthol, white blue orange, white red

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The Air Max 93 is one of those plain early 90’s running shoes that just pure dopeness.  They remind us of a time when dudes still rocked mullets, bumped K7 and wore baggy nylon swishy track suits.  While the colorway’s were a little off from the original they were still good enough to get us all emotional and ish.

#32 Nike Lebron XI Kings Crown

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Aside from the fact that these look amazing, many said they fit better than other XI’s.  A Lebron XI that actually fits good?  Sign me up.

#31 Nike Air Kamikaze I White/Black/Green

FL_Unlocked_Reebok_Kamikaze_I_01Ok, so the shoe hit discount racks in droves.  Better for us.  Reebok did an amazing job with these leading many to want to grab a basketball and dunk on some lightning.

#30 New Balance 530 OG “Running White”

new-balance-530-og-bumper-navy-5This was a release that was really a no brainer but one that no one saw coming.  Although the New Balance 530   is no longer made in the USA and the shape was a little off from the original, the colors, fit and material were solid leading this shoe to number 30.

#29 Nike Air Trainer III Medicine Ball

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Whats there to say except that I know, somewhere out there is a small secret society of individuals hoarding this shoe in this colorway.  It seems as though every time they release they quietly sell out, never to be seen again.  This year was no different.

#28 Nike Air Trainer Huarache Premium White/Dark Emerald-Black-Medium Berry

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Cross trainers are a huge part of Nike heritage, so when they retro a legendary shoe like this they usually do it right, and right they did. While not as popular as the black/grey trainer huarache, this colorway hasn’t seen a release since the early 90’s.  The shape and quality was on point as was comfort leading to pairs doing disappearing acts and these to land at number 28.

#27 Ewing Wrap Black/Teal/Orange & White/Biscay/Bay/Holly Hock

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Another in the arsenal of the Ewing Athletics back catalogs, the Ewing Wrap made a surprise return for 2014. Its always been one of those shoes you never thought would return and outside of like one or two photo’s on the internet, the Wrap was a very rare shoe seldom seen.  Since the brands return fans suggested the brand bring the shoe back and for 2014  Ewing Athletics did just that.  Complete in two OG color’s the Wrap lands at number 27.

#26 Reebok Battleground Pump III White/Black/Beacon Canvas

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During its initial early 90’s release, the Battleground III wasn’t what I would call the most popular shoe of the time nor was it the most popular model in the series.  Still, Reebok did an awesome job with the retro giving us a quality retro in close to OG form with the beacon canvas colorway leading the pack.  Now, lets talk about those Battleground Pump I’s.

#25 Nike Lebron XII Hyper Turquoise/Metallic Cool Grey/Hyper

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The Lebron XI was surrounded by controversy.  Not only did Lebron himself ditch the shoe but messages boards were lit up by complaints of a painful fit.  The 12th installment in the Lebron line fixed all that.  Not only is this one of the best fitting and most comfortable Lebron shoes of all time, but they just look oh so good.

#24  Nike Sock Racer Genealogy Yellow/Black

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Originally released in 1987, the sock racer is the grandfather to shoes like the Nike Air Flow and Nike Air Presto.  They retro’d in 2004 and haven’t been since since until this most recent release.  Complete in the OG yellow and black colorway, these are a must have that is of course unless you live in an area that is surrounded by bees.  Then maybe, not so much.

#23 Reebok Pump Fury x Bape & Pump Fury

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You would think that Bape would have long since been forgotten.  Somehow though they keep pumping out dope gear and once again have come up with a shoe that has the internet going nuts.  The Bape camo surprisingly lingered on some sites for a couple of weeks before selling out and commanding crazy prices on eBay.  Hype aside these are dope.

#22 Nike Trainer Max 91 Grey Yellow & Black/white

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The Trainer Max 91 returned again this year and with open arms.  This years release was much closer to the 2004/2005 release in terms of shape and comfort and the 2010 release in terms of color.  Although this was the third retro release for both colorway’s it didn’t keep fans from scooping and these from making the top 50 of 2014.

#21 Nike Tech Challenge II 3/4 French Open

Nike-Air-Tech-Challenge-II-French-Open-2This tier zero release was at the top of the non OG release list for Tech Challenge fans.  The shoe paid homage to Agassi’s outfit at the 1990 French Open.  Now, if they could retro the gear already………………

#20 Nike Air Huarache Light “Ultramarine” Concord/Team Orange/Blacknike-air-huarache-light-og-ultramarine-1This was a shoe that the online retro running shoe community devoured.  If you were fortunate enough to score a pair this year (especially in a larger size) consider yourself a winner.

#19 Nike x Diamond Supply Tiffany Dunk SB High

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The first Tiffany Dunk released in 2005 and sold out reasonably fast.  Keep in mind the culture hadn’t quite reached the level of today but even then the shoe sold well.  Prices would eventually climb to the 600-1200 range and Nike and Diamond Supply could only hold back so long.  For 2014, the duo teamed up again to bring a high top version of the Tiffany Dunk.  Although they sold out instantly, the community has yet to embrace them as anything close to an equal of the original SB Dunk low version (give it a few years).

#18 Nike Tech Challenge II 3/4 Re-Retro White/Clay/Tart & White/Black/Lava

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Many complained that the shape and materials of the 2008 retro were terrible.  For 2014 Nike killed all that noise.  While the colors weren’t as bright as some would have hoped for, the fit and finish of Nike’s legendary tennis shoe (and my personal all time favorite shoe) led many to flock to them.  Couple that with a bunch of limited releases and Andre Agassi’s return to the brand and it was one heck of a year for the Tech II.

#17 Nike Air Presto Geneology Black/Yellow Streak-Natural Grey

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For many, when they first laid eyes on the Presto this was the colorway they saw.  It was the featured colorway of the Presto in the Nike spring Catalog for 2000 and one that over the years, has become nearly impossible to find.  The fact that they returned this year in OG form (as part of the Genealogy pack) and in limited quantities led to a surprisingly disappearance and a hunt for those that missed out.

#16 Reebok Pump Fury x Packer Shoes x Stash

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Collab shoes are a dime a dozen these days but every once in a while a store release will surprise you. This was one of them.  Packer Shoes and Stash teamed up for a Pump Fury gem. While Stash’s signature mix of blue and greys have graced historic sneaker silhouettes in the past, this was one if not his best work yet.

#15 Jordan VIII Caden Lampers “Doernbecher” Hyper Blue / Electro Orange-Black

 

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The Doernbecher series saw quite possibly its most popular release this year with the Caden Lampers Jordan VIII.  Aside from the fact that the purchase of this release was going to a good cause, they were a footwear masterpiece.  Well done.

#14 Nike Air Max 90 “Moon Landing”

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To celebrate the 45th anniversary of man walking on the moon,  Nike released a special moon landing version of the Lunar Air Max 90. A full 3m reflective upper coupled with a life like surface of the moon print on a lunar version of the Air Max 90? Two purrr to go please.

#13 Reebok x Alife Court Victory Pump “Ball Out”

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Nike did it in the 80’s, Airwalk did it in the 90’s and Reebok and Alife owned it in the new millenium.  All tennis ball material uppers.  Originally released in 1991 as Reebok’s flagship tennis shoe and endorsed by legend Michael Chang, Alife birthed new life into the shoe when in 2006, they teamed up with Reebok and hit the shoe with an all tennis ball upper.  Numbers were extremely low and of course resale prices extremely high.  For 2014 they returned and gave  fans of the shoe that missed out on the first release, a chance to own sneaker history at a more affordable price.

 

#12 Reebok Pump Fury OG Black/Green/Red/White

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A year of firsts.  Reebok kicked off their 25 year celebration of their pump technology starting with the first version of the Pump Fury.  Over the year’s Steven Smith’s Pump Fury has been retro’d in its updated form, but for the first time fans of the shoe were able to buy the initial 1994 release. Complete in the Citron colorway it had you ready to back flip kick someone like Jackie Chan while listening to Bjork and Aerosmith.

 #11 Reebok Pump “OG” Bring Back Black/Grey/Orange/White & Whit/Royal/Sheer/Orange

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First retro’d in 2004 (not in the black white colorway) and again in 2009 (in very limited numbers) Reebok celebrated 25 years of Pump with the Pump shoe that started it all.  Quality was on point, numbers were low and deals were available on these.  If you’re a fan of the pump and didn’t pick up a set then I feel sorry for your mother.

#10 Nike Air Jordan VI White/Black/Carmine Re-retro & Jordan VI Black/Infrared

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This year was the year of the VI, the Jordan VI that is. We were blessed with four of the original five OG Colorway’s and coming in at number 10  are both the Carmine’s and Black/Infrared colorway’s. Now, when you see number 8 you’ll probably say something a long the lines of ummmmm NO!  But here’s the reasoning.   One, this release of the carmine VI (while good) wasn’t as good as the 2008 retro and STILL didn’t feature Nike Air on the heel (so you have choices if you want to own a set of carmines).  Second, while the black Infrared colorway is much improved over the last release, they still don’t feature Nike Air on the heel and play second fiddle to the 2000 release (which, in many cases is still wearable).  Options bumped these down a notch for 2014.

#9 Ewing 33 Hi White/Etheral Blue leather & Black/White Suede

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The legacy of the 33 Hi carries on in two OG releases that fans of the brand (including myself) have been yearning for forever.  Truth be told, the Etheral blue colorway was (until the retro) so rare that not many people on earth outside of individuals that worked at the brand back in the day (and a very few die hard enthusiasts) knew of its existence.  This is the first time the black white suede has released since around 1990/91 and while relatively simple, takes the legendary silhouette and shines a light on how dope this shoe really is. Outside of the original Etheral blue’s rarity its just a flat out gorgeous colorway. Add to the fact that quality of the 33 Hi is now near perfect and well these were must in 2014.

#8 Nike Air Jordan VI White/Sport Blue & Jordan VI White/Infrared

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Yes, the white “infrapink” as  the uninformed call it and the white/Sport Blue have jumped the carmines and black/Infrared’s and here is why.  The 3014 white infrared is the closest to the original 1991 release to date and the sport blue hasn’t seen shelves since its initial 1991 release.  Add to the fact that the shape of the VI is still bearable and lack of options if you want to wear either colorway and well, lack of options bring these two iconic colorway’s of the VI to number 8.

#7 Nike Air Flight Huarache White/Black/Lyon Blue/Bold BerryQS

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This year was filled with models that we’ve seen over the years, in high demand OG colorway’s that were previously skipped.  The Flight Huarache was one of them. Fans of the Flight Huarache were able to fill in a major gap in their collection with the OG Berry Blue and had dudes ready to break out their Wolverines jersey and hit the court Fab Five style (don’t hurt yourself).

#6 Nike Air Jordan 1 x Fragment

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Gone in the blink of an eye. The Jordan 1 “Fragment” release was declared by Hiroshi Fujiwara as “close to original quality”. A bold statement for a retro especially a retro of a shoe that birthed a shoe lineage of masterpieces and has seen some pretty good quality over the years. Ultimately though, they lived up to the hype and dare I say may even be better quality than the original.  A cut that’s closer to the original than quite possibly any other retro release of this shoe ever, coupled with materials that will hold up longer, in a colorway that looks like it could have been an original, made these a shoe that everyone wanted to add to their collection.

#5 Nike Air Huarache LE Scream Green

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I scream you scream we all scream for scream greens (scream green Huarache’s that is).  First released in 1991 and last released in 2000, the Scream Green colorway of the Huarache returned for 2014 and with tumbled leather that had you going oooooo weeeeeeeee! With re-sale prices in the 300+ range before this release, shoe heads wasted no time doubling up.  This colorway would also set up a frenzy for  a slew of other dope colorway’s leading this release to number 5 for 2014.

#4 Nike Air Yeezy 2 Red October

nike-air-yeezy-2-red-october1Some times reliable sources on forums get flamed by trolls and 15 year old with nothing better to do when for some reason, a release date doesn’t match up or a shoe never drops.  In 2014 the Red October 2 exposed just how “informationally challenged” even a corporate blog could be.  Their cancelled, their rescheduled, they aren’t releasing, oh wait maybe they are.  No one knew what was going on, and the fact that Kanye left Nike for Adidas further added to the confusion behind this release.  Regardless, they sold out and prices are now that of a used car.

#3 Nike Tech Challenge II 3/4 “Pixel Court” White/Blue/Infrared

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When the Tech Challenge II 3/4 retro’d for the first time in 2008 it was two and done.  For 2014 Nike did right by the Tech II, not only in the way of improved materials and shape but also in the way of colorway’s chosen.  Aside from the limited releases and new colorway’s Nike blessed us with the OG white/blue/ infrared colorway complete with the Pixel’s that made us fall in love with the original.  Seeing as this colorway hadn’t seen store shelves since the initial 1990 release, they were a mandatory pick up.

#2 Nike Air Jordan XI Legend Blue “Columbia”

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For some odd reason Brand Jordan went with legend blue instead of Columbia blue but ultimately they look pretty much the same.  Its for this reason that shoe heads around the world went crazy for this release (it certainly wasn’t because of limited availability).  Add to the fact that the Columbia Blue XI last released in 2001 and pretty much every OG and retro now looks cream colored and these were a must.

 

 

#1 Nike Command Force Pump

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Individuals not in the know may only see a shoe that retailed at $200 and was greatly discounted.  Those in the know however, know that not only was the Nike Command Force retro the biggest release of the year but quite possibly of the past ten. Originally released in 1990, it took a petition on this site, Niketalk, and a Facebook page to finally get Nike to wise up and re-release this shoe.  Not only did Nike give us a near exact re-issue of the original (which no one saw coming) but they also included a functional pump (which was mind blowing).  Hats off to Nike and the number one release of 2014.