On Thursday, I announced my Top Ten Best of 2015. While the casual observer may think compiling a “list” about anything might be easy, let me tell you, it’s anything but easy. A lot of research goes into lists. Shoes, colorways, release dates, etc.
It’s far from easy.
Maybe my list on Thursday was wrong. Did I research enough? Were they in the right order? Were shoes left off that should have been on? Were shoes on which should have been off? Should I have included customs? Whatever those answers are, I’ve decided to list my “Rest of the Best” of 2015.
I’ve listed these in no particular order. They are simply to be read as “the rest”.
- Adidas Superstar 80s City Series
- I love the Adidas Superstar 80s almost simply for the flat tongue. The City series offers an entire sneaker in tonal suede colorways each celebrating a major world city: Paris, London, New York, Berlin, Tokyo, Shanghai. In addition, a popular scenic landmark from each city is embossed in gold on the heel.
- PSNY x Air Jordan XII
- Jordan Brand’s recent foray into collaborations (ie. Fragment, Supreme, et al) has allowed us to bear witness to one of the best looking lifestyle shoes in a long while. The charcoal premium suede upper is perfectly executed on the right silhouette.
- Alife x Asics Kayano Trainer “New York City Marathon”
- In my opinion, the Kayano Trainer is one of the least appreciated silhouettes in the game today. It combines the past with the present. Alife distributed this in a pack with the Kayano 22, in celebration of the Marathon, however it’s this which I find best.
- Sneaker Politics x New Balance 999 “Case 999”
- One of the best combinations of color blocking and materials in 2015. The Premium leather works great with the navy suede and red accents. A nice winter runner.
- Jordan I Pinnacle Vegetable Tanned
- I really can’t get enough of vegetable tanned leather. While I’d have preferred a gum sole on this, it’s not a deal breaker. The high pricepoint on these may have scared your average sneakerhead away, but that doesn’t mean we can’t love them.
- Gucci Slide
- You’re damn right I put the Gucci Slides on the list. As a devotee of the Adidas Adilette, how can you not appreciate the luxury version? The familiar colors famous to the Gucci label make these a must have, err umm, at $160, a must want. So if anyone is generous, I’ll take an 11…
- Overkill x Asics Gel Sight “Desert Rose”
- God bless colorists. I have no talent for that. But these folks can grab some pantones, great materials, great patterns, a great silhouette and execute it just right. Overkill really killed it on this.
- KITH x Asics Gel Sight “Atlantic” and “Pacific”
- Sticking with the Asics Gel Sight silhouette, Ronnie Fieg once again created two great looking colorways for his KITH West Coast Project. He and his team once again prove that they’re home run hitters.
- Tubular Primeknit
- Ok, so I couldn’t decide which of the two colorways, Spice Blue or Stone which I liked most. It’s just a really hot shoe with a solid pattern. One update I’d make would be to use the updated Tubular midsole. Still can’t believe I didn’t pull the trigger on these…
- JBF Customs- Primo High, Low, Terrazzo, Semplice
- 2015 was the year that Jake Ferrato branched out from his “deconstruct” method of shoe customization and became a complete creative by creating his own silhouettes. Outside of private orders, his Primo High and Low, Terrazzo and Semplice (Simplicity) silhouettes are a brilliant look into what 1 person can do with imagination, effort and premium materials. I look forward to see what’s next out of Jake.
- Adidas Stan Smith “Made in Germany”
- The Adidas Stan Smith is just a really dope silhouette. It will ALWAYS be hot. Then, Now, and in the Future. Beyond GR releases, I love to see when boutiques collab or when it is executed in premium materials. The leather liner emits quality, and hey, I’m a sucker for the flat tongue too. So /// execs, I wouldn’t mind seeing the GR so back to the flat tongue. Just sayin’…
- JBF Air Force I Mid Balmain for Josh Gordon
- In all honesty, this might be one of the best looking shoes of the year. Cleveland Browns receiver Josh Gordon had JBF customize a pair of Air Force I Mids with Balmain denim, a python Swoosh and toebox, and leather accents. This is done flawlessly, again proving he’s +INCOMPARABLE+.
- Concepts x Asics Gel Lyte III 25th Anniversary
- Concepts continues to put out great looking collabs. No matter the make, they always use a great silhouette, and use excellent materials and have a knack for color blocking. This GLIII is no different.
- Buscemi x Beverly Hills Hotel 100mm
- While not generally a fan of the Buscemi 100mm, when I saw the Bevelry Hills Hotel inspired “colorway” I immediately loved it. Something about it screams “different”. The gold accents are an amazing accessory to the green, leafy foliage.
- Adidas EQT Support 93 Red
- I love this silhouette and I love the usage of tonal red on it. Sometimes GRs are all you need.
- Packer Shoes x Diadora N.9000 “Azzuri”
- One of the best things that boutiques can do when they collaborate is to use a lesser known brand or one which hasn’t been in the forefront for a while, and choose a little known silhouette. Packer Shoes grabbed Diadora and its N.9000 silhouette and poured Italy all over it. The result is a great sneaker.
- Adidas D. Lillard I “Weber St.”
- In my opinion, the Lillard I is one of Adidas Basketball’s best looking silhouettes in a really long time. This iteration, which pays homage to Lillard’s Alma Mater, Weber St., is laced in purple suede and just is a great look.
- John Geiger x The Shoe Surgeon SLP SL-10 x Jordan I
- John Geiger has never been afraid to push the envelope with his ideas. His partnership with The Shoe Surgeon has made his ideas realities. Taking the Saint Laurent SL-10 and adding python accents would be customization enough you’d think, but adding the Air Jordan I sole to it takes it to the highest level. Perhaps their best work.
- Reebok InstaPump Fury Chinese New Year
- The InstaPump Fury is just a great shoe… period. Its design lends itself to creative color blocking and many boutiques have already done so. This limited edition is no different. Soft colors are what makes this work.
Is this it? Probably not, I’ve probably forgotten so many more, but these were the ones which stood out in 2015. Can’t wait to see 2016…
Feel free to offer your best which may have flown under the radar in the comments and on social.