The 10 best shoe collaborations of 2014
We countdown the craziest and coolest sneaker collabs of the year that was
2014 found its fair share of dope shoe collaborations. A number of brands and designers joined forces with shoemakers this year to put out conceptual, innovative designs, effectively adding to the diversity of the contemporary sneaker market. From super exclusive runs to highly sought-after releases, this year saw a number of influencers breathing their personalities into beloved sneaker silhouettes, ultimately crafting some truly unique creations. To honor their efforts, we’ve looked back on the year and hand-selected the most game-changing shoe collabs of 2014.
Supreme x Nike Air Force 1 High
Thirsty sneakerheads gathered around their laptop screens when the highly anticipated Supreme x Nike Air Force 1 High collaboration was allocated a release date. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, we don’t have to explain what made this sneaker so dope. The three-colorway release featured a premium leather upper decked out in Supreme and Nike branding, polished with a “World Famous” ankle strap and “94” motif to celebrate Supreme’s 20-year history. Even though release details caused some controversy within the sneaker community — an online-only drop that took place on Monday, going against Supreme’s longstanding tradition of dropping releases on Thursdays — the shoe was one of the most highly sought-after sneakers of this year, securing it a spot on our list.
Concepts x New Balance 496 “Regatta”
To celebrate its newly opened NYC flagship location in November, Concepts launched its vibrant take on New Balance’s 469 silhouette, deeming it the “Regatta.” The two-tone suede upper rested upon a bright white midsole that offered an aesthetically pleasing contrast, while close attention to detail was apparent in the shoe’s rope laces and water-graphic insole. The colorway is reminiscent of Nike SB’s “Bloody Gums” Dunk Highs, which were released in 2009, but the “Regatta” was a solid continuation of Concepts’ killer collabs this year.
Supreme x Vans FW2014 “Fuck ‘Em” Collection
Two of the biggest influencers in skate style, Supreme and Vans, linked up this past November to drop an exclusive collab, dressing up two fan-favorites, the Era and the Sk8-Hi. Both come in two colorways, black and red, and feature Supreme’s iconic slogan as a repeated motif around the upper. The design was both rebellious and an instant classic, making the “Fuck ‘Em” collection one of the most head-turning sneaker collaborations of the year.
Pharrell Williams x adidas Originals Stan Smith Series
Teaming up for a series of Stan Smith collabs this year, Pharrell and adidas came through with “Solids,” “Polka Dots” and “Tennis” renditions of the classic silhouette. Not for sneakerheads who prefer their flexing to lean on the subtle side, the packs featured vibrant colorways and bold designs. All three drops were tastefully done, presenting creative interpretations of the Stan Smith without hindering the integrity of the shoe’s time-honored essence.
Villa x Timberland “Sweet Potato”
After a successful collaboration with Offspring, Timberland took to their popular 6-inch boot again in late November, this time conjuring up a “Sweet Potato” colorway with Philly-based retailer Villa. The orange-hued brown nubuck upper closely resembles the autumn spud, making this one a definite fall favorite. With coordinating laces and interior in a contrasting deep navy, the two designers presented a cleanly packaged, versatile boot for the colder months.
Ronnie Fieg x New Balance “Landmarks” Collection
For Black Friday 2013, New Balance recruited designer extraordinaire Ronnie Fieg for the NB 1600 “Daytona.” The shoe received a ton of praise, and this year, the influential sneaker company and NYC-based tastemaker went at it again, this time unveiling a collaborative “Landmarks” collection. Paying homage to two Big Apple staples, the pack carried “Central Park” and “Brooklyn Bridge” styles, both offering thoughtfully conceptual colorways and intricate detailing. The drop felt roaring acclaim, and rightfully so since the “Landmarks” collection was hands-down one of the best sneaker collaborations of the year.
Black Scale x adidas Originals
Black Scale has a handful of footwear collaborations on its resume, including past work with Timberland and Gourmet. This year, the West Coast brand teamed up with adidas Originals to reimagine two retro silhouettes, the ZX 7000 and the Forum High. The runners were plastered in an interesting combination of patterns, marrying purple, red and traditional camouflage. The high tops, on the other hand, kept it simple with just a taste of red camo on the toe box. We have to commend Black Scale and adidas for taking a risk with this one.
Barneys New York x New Balance 1700
Teaming up for a limited edition release, New Balance and Barneys New York gave us this dope glow-in-the-dark version of the NB 1700. Not only did the shoe feature a full-grain leather upper and premium pigskin lining, but if you’re were sporting these with the lights off, you’d look like you were on some kind of crazy Buzz Lightyear space mission. If you could look past their corniness when you’re in daylight, we would suggest these definitely be copped.
Pigalle x Nike Air Force 1 “PPP” Collection
For spring 2014, the French PPP crew, which composed of Pain O ChoKolat, PIGALLE Paris, and Pompon, joined forces with Nike for their own adaptations of the Air Force 1 High and Air Force 1 Low. Applying fine leather and a rugged, distressed aesthetic, the two designs paid homage to the wear and tear that streetball can have on your kicks. Over time, the waxed exterior given to the shoes would age uniquely to the wearer, making these not only a necessary addition to any sneakerhead’s collection, but also a thoughtfully designed example of footwear artistry.
The Boxtrolls x Nike Roshe Run “Trollstrikes”
To celebrate the release of the 3D stop-motion film The Boxtrolls, Nike linked with the movie’s creators to craft a limited edition adaptation of the Roshe Run. The “Trollstrikes” embodied some of the film’s themes and characters, incorporating burlap overlays, cheese-print sockliners, and steampunk-inspired laces. Not only was the shoe innovative and whimsical, but on feet, the “Trollstrikes” were sure to turn some heads and start up a conversation or two.