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15 Of The Greatest Sneaker Collaborations Of 2015

When two parties put their heads together, the results can be truly magnificent.
by Miguel Escobar | Sep 24, 2015
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There's just something about collaboration sneakers that makes them even more desirable. A pair of Nikes isn't just a pair of Nikes anymore when it has your favorite rapper's name on them—suddenly, it's a little more than that. A collab sneaker necessarily comes with a co-sign; a seal of approval from a person or a brand whose opinion matters. Plus, it doesn't hurt that these types of shoes are usually limited releases, and they hardly ever see another release after the first.

Often, those alone are enough to sell a good number of shoes. But other times, these kicks are opportunities for great design. When two parties really put their heads together to come up with something beautiful, the results will make themselves known.

Such is the case with these fine pairs of sneakers, each a collaborative effort that resulted in something more than the sum of their parts.

1)   Supreme X Air Jordan 5

sneaker collabsImage via Snkrbst.com

When it comes to streetwear and fashion in general, no brand can touch Supreme. It's been around for almost a decade, and yet only in 2015 did a Supreme Air Jordan materialize—a pack of three Jordan 5s, to be precise. Set to drop this October, it's sure to be a historical collaboration.

2)   Kanye West x adidas Originals Yeezy Boost 750

sneaker collabsImage via Theboombox.com

If you don't already know about Kanye West's adidas collaboration, you probably don't even wear shoes at all. Anything that Yeezy touches is bound to have its detractors, but it's hard to deny the transcendent cultural significance of his sneaker collaborations.

3)   Pharrell Williams x adidas Originals Stan Smith "Jacquard"

sneaker collabsImage via Sneakerfreaker.com

Many know of Pharrell's "Supershell" and "Supercolor" adidas collaborations (and there are certainly a lot of opinions about those), but few remember that Skateboard P also came out with a jacquard collection of Stan Smiths—perhaps because they flew off the shelves a lot faster.

4)   fragment design x NikeLab Sock Dart

sneaker collabsImage via Hypebeast.com

Hot off an incredibly well-received Air Jordan 1 collaboration late in 2014, Hiroshi Fujiwara's fragment design hit the ground running with NikeLab releases across all of 2015. Among the many shoes they worked on are the Roshe LD-1000, the Air Trainer 1 Mid, and the Hyperchase. But arguably the best among them was Sock Dart: a futuristic, almost eccentric design that served as a perfect match for fragment's simple choice of colors.

5)   OVO x Air Jordan 8

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sneaker collabsImage via Highsnobiety.com

It's not often that Jordan Brand collaborates with hip-hop artists, but the times that they do are always met with incredible hype. In 2014, Drake joined Eminem and Macklemore as one of the few from the world of hip-hop to work on their own Air Jordans, with the release of the OVO Air Jordan 10s and 12s. Named after Drizzy's record label, October's Very Own, the kicks came in premium leather and a stingray pattern in all-white and all-black. In 2015, the OVO 10s have been re-released, possibly foreshadowing the release of OVO 8s that he wore to the OVO Fest earlier this year.

6)   Kendrick Lamar x Reebok Ventilator

sneaker collabsImage via Premierboutique.com

To go with the release of Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp a Butterfly album, the Los Angeles rapper paired up with Reebok to create an important pair of Ventilators. This collab yielded a mismatched pair of shoes: one in red, one in blue. Kendrick meant to reference the Crips and the Bloods of his native Compton in a peaceful effort to unite the two gangs symbolically.

7)   Public School x Air Jordan 1 "Los Angeles"

sneaker collabsImage via Nikeblog.com

The Public School x Air Jordan 1 "PSNY" was one of 2014's hottest collabs, and the progressive high streetwear label is looking to do it again this year. For 2015, they're paying tribute to Los Angeles with an all-white Jordan 1 with soles iced out with "Los" and "Angeles" under each pair.

8)   Raf Simons x adidas Originals Stan Smith

sneaker collabsImage via Sneakernews.com

One of the best things about the adidas Stan Smith is that it effortlessly walks a tightrope between high fashion and streetwear. Raf Simons' take on the Stan Smith—which was as simple as picking out colors, swapping out the stripes for an "R," and stamping his name on them—is the perfect example of how in 2015, sneakers can mix with even the most upscale.

9)   J. Crew x Asics Gel Lyte III "Ribbon Blue"

sneaker collabsImage via Sneakernews.com

American label J. Crew is consistent with its sneaker collaborations. Previous ones with Vans, Nike, New Balance, and Onitsuka Tiger were all highly-coveted colorways that clearly put fashion forward. This pair of Gel Lyte IIIs, while astoundingly simple, really shows off the classic Asics silhouette in all its glory.

10)   Sneaker Freaker x Puma "Bloodbath"

sneaker collabsImage via pmcfootwearnews

Australian sneaker magazine Sneaker Freaker is not unfamiliar with the Puma Blaze of Glory. They've worked on the silhouette before, yielding the extremely popular Sharks and Sharkbait. Keeping with the whole Jaws theme they seem to love, they colored the Blaze of Glory blood red and added some nice blue accents for a 2015 release that sneakerheads were rabid to get their hands on.

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11)   mastermind Japan x Reebok Instapump Fury

sneaker collabsImage via Dcfever.com

Japanese streetwear label mastermind Japan kept it really simple with this pair of Reeboks, perhaps because they knew that the Instapump Fury is a difficult silhouette to work with. In plain black with a white sole and mastermind's iconic skull-and-crossbones logo, these shoes prove that when you've built up a reputation, you don't have to complicate things.

12)   Taka Hayashi x Vault by Vans TH Chukka Gore LX

sneaker collabsImage via Highsnobiety.com

Longtime Vans collaborator Taka Hayashi remains true to his signature aesthetic with these midrise chukka sneakers, done in dark and light shades of brown and what could only be the most supple of suede and leather.

13)   UNDFTD x Bape x adidas Originals Superstar

sneaker collabsImage via Undefeated.com

Streetwear giants came together from different parts of the globe to work on these adidas kicks. Japanese label Bape and Los Angeles sneaker boutique Undefeated tapped adidas Originals' flagship model for the year, the Superstar. Black on white and white on blue colorways released, both with subtle camo linings and bandanas to match.

14)   Acronym x Nike Lunar Force 1

sneaker collabsImage via Sneakersaints.com

Berlin-based high fashion label Acronym has an interesting take on the Nike Lunar Force 1, and it did manage to ruffle a lot of feathers. Featuring a huge and totally pointless size zipper that looks like it was pasted on the shoes, these aren't for the faint of heart.

15)   Zozotown x Reebok Instapump Fury "Zozo"

sneaker collabsImage via Hypebeast.com

This Instapump Fury shows a couple of things that Japan does exceptionally well: selvedge denim and sneakers. This one from streetwear retailer Zozotown is a solid addition to Reebok's long list of strong collabs in 2015.