Another year another 50. Before I begin just remember that these lists aren’t based off hype a lone but also on looks, (for retro’s) whether or not there are other or better retro versions available and of course execution. This year was especially hard as all brands have been pumping out a lot of really great stuff but I’ve narrowed it down to these 50. Enjoy and feel free to drop a comment!
#50 Ewing Kross
A cross training shoe from 1994, its been 21 long years since the shoes initial release. With OG’s no longer wearable fingers were crossed that they would eventually make their return and thats what happened for 2015. Complete in two OG colorways the Kross comes in at number 50 for 2015.
#49 Nike Air Force 1 High ’07 LV8 Flax Wheat
This year Nike gave AF1 heads a few releases to be very happy about including these wheat AF1 High’s. A Fall/Winter staple, wheat AF1’s have a cult like following and demand for this quality made AF1 was strong.
#48 Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 32 Flash
The Pegasus line can be hit or miss but this year was definitely a hit. With a special reflective upper in combination with a modern look and all the comfort and support you’ve come to expect from the Pegasus line, these are a no brainer at number 48.
#47 Under Armour Curry One Black/Gold “MVP”
For many this shoe should be way higher on the list and I can respect that. Its good looking, performance oriented and built well. They were also one of the first Under Armour shoes to sell out on release day and are the ultimate release for Curry fans. Still, with the amount of heat that released this year these came in at number 47.
#46 Nike KD7 ‘Road Camo’
The KD line rarely disappoints and these were no different. A fine balance between art and tech the KD7 Road Camo comes in at number 46.
#45 FILA Bubbles
It was said at one time that FILA couldn’t bring this shoe back due to some difficulty recreating the bubbles. Guess they worked it out because one of the most significant basketball shoes from FILA’s back catalog returned for 2015.
#44 Nike Air Oscillate Retro
Tennis retro has finally received the attention it deserves. With the return of many of Agassi’s top releases Nike surprised us with a shoe that was worn by Pete Sampras. There was a safari print release as well but it was OG or bust for this release.
#43 Ewing 33 Hi Winter Edition
During their last years, Next Sports (one of the brands original manufacturers) took the Ewing name off the shoe, Pats 33 on the strap was left on and they swapped “Ewing” for “Next” on the heel (you can imagine this didn’t sit well with Patrick). The return of the Ewing name on the back of a boot-esq 33 Hi is Triumphant. While there are differences between the OG and this recent release the reality is this is a legit winterized shoe that looked good, real good.
#42 Nike Air Max Sensation CW Retro
Chris Webber was a force to be reckoned with and his shoe was no different. Make no mistake, there are some differences between the original and the retro but not enough to keep these from the number 42 spot.
#41 Buscemi 100MM x Beverly Hills Hotel
The 100mm continues to be a good shoe for the Buscemi brand but non of them compared to this Beverly Hills Hotel release. “The result of a sublimated leather process that took more than a year of development. The repeating banana leaf print on the shoe’s upper radiates the enchantment of the Pink Palace. The white outsole and heel handle complete the piece, and prevent you from disappearing into the jungle. Only 52 pairs in existence.” Need I say more?
#40 Nike Hyperdunk 2015
As a kid when I envisioned what a shoe of the future could look like, this was it. They featured finely crafted modern looks, were widely available, came in a bunch of color way’s and fit great.
#39 Lebron XII EXT Wheat
Paying tribute to Lebron’s rookie shoe, this years Lebron XII came in a finely crafted wheat color way. If you are a fan of Lebron’s and didn’t pick these up you did your self a disservice.
#38 Puma Blaze Of Glory “Black Friday”
Puma did some really good things with the Blaze of Glory for 2015 and their Black Friday release was one of them. They brought a luxe vibe that had people salivating and many taking the plunge into ownership. Throw these on with anything and you could make it work.
#37 Nike Air Pippen 1 Retro
Originally releasing in 1996, the Pippen 1 returned again; quietly in 2015. If you missed out on the last retro release then these were a must.
#36 Puma x Sneaker Freaker Blood Bath Blaze Of Glory
The Puma x Sneaker Freaker Blood Bath Blaze of Glory was big for a few reasons. Number one, they looked amazing. Number two, the entire idea behind the release was sparked from a Facebook comment which confirmed for years that your ideas and thoughts on message boards were gold. Number 3? Sneaker Freaker did right by the individual that sparked the whole concept by sending them a gift package and name dropping them in the latest Sneaker Freaker magazine. Hand clap.
#35 Puma Rihanna Creepers
It was a big year for Puma and the Creeper is another notch on the old belt. They featured a chunky midsole that was reminiscent of the mid 90’s and sold out with Yeezy like demand.
#34 Nike Bruin White/Red “Marty McFly”
With the popularity of Back to The Future coming full circle in 2015, many had hoped for an Air Mag retro. What we got instead was Marty’s other Nike shoe, the Nike Bruin. Released in limited supply and in the classic white red colorway, they disappeared with the quickness.
#33 Nike Air Jordan V “Supreme”
Real talk, it was an unlikely couple for 2015. The Jordan V has never really been affiliated with skateboarding (that honor goes to the Jordan 1) but they looked oh so good and unsurprisingly sold out so fast your head didn’t have time to spin.
#32 Nike Air Force 1 Lady Liberty
Another AF1 low makes the list and for good reason. These finally crafted lows have the ability to change color under sunlight. If you grew up with those color changing hot wheels as a kid, then this was the perfect time to re-live those moments via your footwear (or you could just buy those color changing cars on eBay).
#31 Nike Cortez 72 White, Blue, Red
The earliest example of the Nike Cortez got some love this year via NikeLab. A great tribute to some serious Nike history.
#30 Reebok Pump Fury SNS Token 38 NYC
In celebration of the NBA All Star game being played in NYC, Reebok and SNS created one of the best Pump Fury’s of the year. Taking cues from the New York State flag, these gems put the sneaker world in a New York state of mind.
#29 Nike Air Jordan II ‘Just Don’
The original Jordan II was all about flash. They were made in Italy and had an elegant presence. Just Don understood that and re-imagined them for 2015. The result? A finely crafted luxe Jordan complete with a plush wings box that had everyone feeling smurftastic.
#28 Ewing 33 Hi x Packer Shoes x Fabolous x Teyana Taylor
The best Ewing collaboration shoes to date? Its possible. These two versions of the 33 Hi birthed a whole new way of looking at the historical model: Luxe. Whether you chose all gold, black red and green or better yet both, you made the right decision.
#27 Nike Air Trainer Huarache 92
After two retro’s Nike FINALLY got the color right. To bad it was used on the worst quality version. An upper that has been likened to paper based on the way it creases, these would have been ranked much higher had the quality been better. Still, with the overall consensus that these will hold us all over until they perfect them bumped these to number 27
#26 adidas Yeezy 750 Boost
Surprise! These didn’t make the top 10, they didn’t even make the top 25 and there’s a few reasons. While the Yeezy 750 boost gets brownie points for quality materials and unmatched comfort, the overall design is nothing to write home about. If you made these in Jordan retro numbers at a similar price point I’d be willing to bet they would sit. Since the driving factor behind this shoes demand is the limited availability and resale value these arrived at number 26.
#25 Puma Blaze Of Glory x Ronnie Feig x Highsnobiety
Puma continued to roll out the red carpet for the Blaze Of Glory this time teaming up with Ronnie Fieg and Highsnobiety. They took the idea of this collaboration to another level with the addition of a midfoot strap and premium quilted leather uppers which together changed the entire dynamic of the shoe.
#24 Nike Air CB 94 White/Old Royal
This color way of the CB 94 has never seen a retro. No other reason is needed for why these landed at number 24.
#23 Raekwon x Diadora N9000 Purple Tape
Diadora has been quietly carving out their own lane in 2015. To celebrate 20 years of Raekwon’s debut solo project and his famed purple tape (earliest cassette, CD and Vinyl pressings of Only Built 4 Cuban Linx were purple) the two teamed up for a special Purple N9000. The end result? A gem.
#22 Asics Gel Lyte III Vegetable Tanned Leather
Once you got past the sticker shock and realized just how often you could wear these it all made sense. This ultra high quality release was the ultimate pick up for Gel Lyte III fans at $500.
#21 Nike Air Foamposite Sharpie
I wouldn’t ordinarily endorse a shoe that was created to look like it was colored in with Magic Marker,(especially since Nike could have just released the royal foams and let you decide to do that for yourself), but the story behind these is interesting. Penny was pressured by the NBA about wearing his all-royal foams, so he went into the locker room and used a sharpie to color in areas of his shoes black (to meet the NBA’s guidelines for sneakers during that period). The end result is what we saw in 2015 by way of a “sharpie” Foamposite or Penny’s first “PE”. Penny’s most iconic shoe in PE form for the first time? Destined for the top 25 and thats just where it hit at number 21.
#20 Puma Suede x Alife
A very high spot for such a regular $%% shoe huh? Oh and they come looking pre worn? You’re nuts. Ok, I get it. But look a little deeper. The Puma Suede is an Iconic model that surprisingly doesn’t get special releases all to often. Alife took this classic basketball shoe and hit it with a vintage effect and contrasting colors that brought to mind a grittier time for New York. They were also reminiscent of a Japanese release (because for some reason the US market rarely see’s low key gems like this). This is the release that years down the line you are looking for but will never find.
#19 Ewing 33 Hi White/White
Oh boy, here we go again. First its your plain *&& Puma Suedes in at number 20 now a plain white 33 Hi at 19? FAIL. Ok, hear me out. The Ewing 33 Hi is one of the most iconic designs of all time and while the Knicks color way is arguably the best of the bunch this all white pair allows you to rock your 33 Hi’s with anything. A Ewing 33 Hi you can wear with anything is a no brainer and shows just how strong this silhouette really is.
#18 Adidas ZX Flux Xeno
The Adidas ZX Flux put color reflecting on the map. It was by far one of the hottest shoes to own for 2015 and a shoe that restocked and sold out many times.
#17 Nike Air Force 1 High Purple/White/Purple
If you love the AF1 then this is one you’ve probably been looking to add to your collection for a while. Released in 1993 many claim this color way to be one of the greatest. Nike pulled out all the stops on these including the OG midsole to complete the look and feel. If there hadn’t been so many other great releases for 2015 these would have ranked much higher.
This years release of the Jordan VII was part of JB’s continued remastered series. Some that still owned the previous retro releases of both these color way’s defended their shoes reputation to the death. However, in the end the consensus was that these were the best retro releases of both color way’s to date.
#15 NikeLab Payaa
Inspired by the payaaqek, a Native Alaskan boot that “exemplifies simplicity” the Payaa is the sleeper release of 2015. Beautiful form and function at only 100 bucks puts these in at number 15.
#14 Puma Disc Blaze x Bape
The Puma Disc Blaze x Bape is one of the best collaboration shoes in a long time. The stars aligned to give us a shoe that is not only quality but visual candy. From the black suede toe bumper to the contrasting Bape camo on through to the Bape branding on the heel, this was the best attainable collaboration shoe to own this year.
#13 Nike Air Presto Lightning & Unholy Cumulus
This year lots of shoes we haven’t seen in forever made a return, two of which were these Presto releases. Nike did a decent Job on these leading to strong sales and what looked like more demand for the Unholy Cumulus release over the lightnings. Regardless, both earned the number 12 spot for 2015.
#12 Nike Air Jordan 8 “Aqua”
First re-issued in 2007, this years retro would go on to be the closest re-issue to date. The $220.00 price tag coupled with the fact that people have never completely beasted over the 8 led many to pass, but it didn’t take away the fact that Jordan Brand did right by these.
#11 Adidas 350 Boost Low
The Yeezy 350 Boost had the streets LIT. Yea, I said LIT. Aside from being extremely comfortable and slightly more available than its 750 Boost counterpart this was the shoe that consistantly made more noise through out the year. Of course there were more color way’s released but the overall design was much more easy on the eyes and for the general public, a low top was just much more rockable.
#10 Nike Air Huarache Sport Turquoise
Make no mistake, 2015 was a big year for Huarache. Sure, the ZX Flux made some noise as did the Presto and the Ultra Boost but all of them (minus the Ultra Boosts) pale in comparison to the hype surrounding Huarache runner’s of all kinds for 2015. It was this OG color way specifically that stood out among the pack.
#9 Nike Air Mowabb OG Hiking Sneaker Rattan/Birch/Bright Mandarin & Pitch/Ttl Orange/Trls End Brwn
Nike wasn’t playing any games this year when they brought back two OG color way’s of the Air Mowabb. Part of the ACG line, the Mowabb has a hardcore following that doesn’t play when it comes to their retro’s. Add to the fact that these retailed at a jaw dropping $180 USD and the stakes were high. Fortunately, Nike did right by these and it showed by way of sales. Did the quality justify the price? Maybe not, but sales have proven otherwise.
#8 Adidas Ultra Boost Running Shoe
Many have claimed this was the most comfortable shoe of the year, like walking on pillows. Claims were true. While styling was nothing we haven’t seen before and the midsole looked a little like the foam inserts used to protect your HDTV, they still looked good. Unmatched comfort and good looks brought these to number 8.
#7 Ewing Athletics Concept Hi White/Blue/Orange & White/Black/Castlerock
Originally released in 1992, the Ewing Concept Hi is by far the second most notable model from the Ewing Athletics brand. It was the shoe that reinvented the famed strap, this time extending over the midfoot. For 2015 they returned, but two of the color way’s stood out among the rest. The Knicks colorway was a no brainer since Pat wore them on court, but the castle rock release was always a street favorite and one that OG shoe heads had been wishing for as well. Ewing athletics made it happen and both came in at number 7.
#6 Nike Air Jordan 1 OG White/Black/Red “Chicago”
A faithful retro of the OG complete with Nike Air branding hasn’t seen a release since 1994. With that said you knew when release time was nearing people would be all over these and thats exactly what happened. Nike could have mass produced these in record numbers and these would have still sold out with the quickness.
#5 Nike Air Jordan 1 Low White/Neutral Grey Euro Release
Remember the days where an OG white/grey Jordan 1 low commanded thousands of dollars? If you do, chances are you were ready for these when they dropped. Initially reported to be a global release they wound up only seeing a release overseas. While we could have done without the hits of 3M (which the OG’s didn’t have) these were still a really good retro of an OG color way complete with the OG wings logo on the heel, the likes of which we haven’t seen in three decades and for a lot less than the cost of an OG pair.
#4 Nike Air Jordan 1 OG UNC White/Dk Powder Blue
If you’ve been collecting for awhile then you know we’ve had some near hits with this colorway of the Jordan 1, but somehow they always fell short. Not this year. No, this year Jordan Brand was on their A game and brought the original back for the first time in a cut that was true to the OG release. Quality was really good and prices for these will only climb.
#3 Nike Air Jordan 6 Maroon
Nike Air Back, Nike Air Back. For 2015 Nike Air branding returning to the Jordan’s we love and grew up on was one of the hot topics. In addition, for the first time in 15 years (<sigh>) a Jordan 6 sported the OG Nike Air on the heel by way of the Maroon 6 retro. Retailing at a wallet crushing $220 this was the second release of an OG color this year that didn’t sell out on release day. Still, Jordan Brand took these to a whole new level with quality materials and the look and feel of owning an original pair. Add to the fact that this color way has never retro’d and you have yourself the number 3 release of the year.
Last years number one is this years number 2. Nike blessed us with not one but two more OG color way’s of quite possibly their most iconic inflatable shoe complete with a functioning pump. The $200.00 price tag turned many off initially but once these hit under 150 (which is probably where they really should have retailed) they begun to disappear. (Looks into the future and sees them selling for over 500).
#1 Nike Air Tech Challenge III White/Voltage Purple/Bright Mandarin/Black & White/Volt/Radiant Emerald/Black
Not a Yeezy?! Blasphemy! While the Yeezy 350 & 750 Boost owned the Hypestage it was the Tech III’s triumphant return that captured the heart of OG shoe heads globally. The Tech III saw its first retro in 2007 but it was half the retro it should have been (shout out to STP) missing key elements that made the original great such as the brighter shade of volt, the hit of black on the rear of the midsole and of course the iconic flaming tennis ball logo. Fast forward to 2015 and everything that was missing from the previous release was right where it should be and overall quality was solid. While we could have used the splatter print on the collar of the white/purple release it wasn’t enough to knock these down. If Kanye was allowed to rock Nike’s make no mistake he’d be rocking these heavy.