The best sneaker collaborations of 2023

The best sneaker collaborations of 2023

by Ollie Cox
9 min

For years, people have been saying sneakers are dead and that we’ve entered the “post-sneaker” world, but let’s be honest, it’s not happened, and we’re as into them as we’ve ever been. This year has been a better year for trainers, with a load of fashionable collabs revamping everything from the adidas Samba, archival ASICS styles and mule-ified Nike Shox. If this has piqued your interest, take a look at the best sneaker collaborations of 2023 below. 

Wales Bonner x adidas Samba 
Wales Bonner x adidas ©

Wales Bonner x adidas has become a fabled collaboration amongst fashion-forward folk, thanks to an attention to detail, play with materials, banging colourways, and, of course, the flappy tongue. Earlier in the year, we saw a muted “Beige Yellow” and a standout “Silver” colourway release, which sent the Instagram guys and girlies wild. If you managed to get your hands on a pair for retail consider yourself lucky, as they now go for upwards of £300 on the secondary market. 

Just as we were getting over the flappy-tongue-induced frenzy, helped by the rise of “bloke core” which reached its peak, pint-sinking glory this year, Wales Bonner gave us a second wave. Four more colourways were announced, including “Core Black,” and a leopard print “Fox Brown,” which made use of a leather and short-haired suede construction. “Cream White” and “Dark Brown” iterations were crafted from fine pony hair, giving us even more options, and exemplifying everything great about adidas and Wales Bonner, a collaboration that updates the heritage style with Bonner’s signature brand of soulful luxury. 

Kiko Kostadinov x ASICS NOVALIS Men’s Gel-Teremoa
Kiko Kostadinov x ASICS ©

Some things just go well together, and Kiko Kostadiniov x ASICS is one of them. In January this year, a sleek leather ASICS sneaker was pictured on the feet of the brand’s founder and menswear designer at its Fall/Winter 2023 menswear show. Fast forward to November and the shoes were released as part of a newly unveiled ASICS Novalis line in “Black” and “Yellow” colour schemes. The Gel-Teremoa sneakers made use of high-quality materials, and brought a premium aesthetic to the table. With more a red and black mesh iteration teased online, we can expect more sell-out styles under the Kostadinov-helmed Novalis design umbrella next year. 

Martine Rose x Nike Shox MR4
Martine Rose x Nike ©

In January this year, Martine Rose built on the mule-mentum of 2022, teasing new colourways of the Nike Shox MR4 square-toed mule-sneaker hybrid inspired the colours of retro goal-keeper jerseys, including a “Scuba Blue,” and “Safety Orange” as well as a patterned black colourway. As expected, these were catnip for “It” girls, quickly being papped on the feet of Hailey Bieber and flooding the front row. It wasn’t just the girls that couldn’t get enough of them, though. Kendrick Lamar wore a full Martine Rose ‘fit on stage during a 65th Grammy Awards performance. Crafted from a mesh and leather blend, with an open back and Nike Shox technology to the heel, these unique sneaker-mules were a definite highlight. 

Fenty x PUMA Avanti 
Fenty x PUMA ©

Rihanna’s take on the archival PUMA Avanti proves the flappy tongue fever isn’t going anywhere just yet. Arriving in a muted “Navy,” “Black,” “Dark Myrtle,” and “Aged Silver” colourway, this Riri-approved take on the sporty style is a hit of keepy-uppy couture for any occasion. With stylistic similarities with the football boot, this is the perfect winter sneaker re-up for any Stella-slurping blokette. 

Tiffany & Co. x Air Force 1 Low “1837”
Tiffany & Co. x Nike ©

The product of the former Tiffany & Co. Creative Director Ruba Abu-Nimah’s penchant for streetwear, the Tiffany x Nike Air Force 1 was one of those internet-breaking sneakers that will still be discussed in ten years. First revealed on Instagram via a series of leaks, it later hailed “A Legendary Pair,” in a marketing campaign centred around a Tiffany Blue Shoebox and a host of accessories. Now selling for more than double its retail price on resale websites, the Tiffany x Nike Air Force 1 is a sneaker we won’t forget anytime soon. 

Miu Miu x New Balance 574
Miu Miu x New Balance ©

The Miu Miu x New Balance 574 was first seen on the catwalk as part of Miu Miu’s Spring/Summer 2022 collection. Far from your average New Balance sneaker, the fashion meets function runner adds fringed denim and Nappa leather to New Balance’s comfort-focused design. These ‘80s-inspired classics are completed with Miu Miu branding on the tongue, letting everyone know it really is possible to be cool and comfy. 

Nike x 1017 ALYX 9SM Air Force 1
 Nike x 1017 ALYX 9SM ©

A late-comer when it comes to 2023 sneaker releases, the Mattew M. Williams-conceived ALYX x Nike Air Force 1 is a late contender, only releasing this month. The brand’s utilitarian take on design bridges the worlds of luxury fashion and high-end streetwear as part of its distinct design aesthetic. Its latest Air Force 1 release perfectly fits into this approach, bringing a subtle, detail-led approach to the monochrome silhouette, seen in minimal branding to the heel and contrasting chrome eyelet. 

Gucci x adidas Gazelle 
Gucci x adidas ©

This year, adidas and Gucci returned with another belter collaboration, bringing us the best in sportswear and luxury. We saw the Gazelle receive a makeover in Gucci’s iconic “GG” monogram print. The sneaker arrived in a black and yellow colour, with contrast provided through a gum sole, a classic Gucci canvas colourway completed with red and green accents, and a blue and gum style. Just when you thought one footwear and fashion’s coolest collabs couldn’t get any cooler, it came back for round two. 

Travis Scott x Air Jordan 1 Low OG  Womens SP Olive 
Travis Scott x Air Jordan ©

Travis Scott and Nike turn everything they touch into gold, with every release selling out instantly. In April this year, the Travis Scott x Air Jordan 1 Low OG Womens SP Olive was released, featuring the signature reverse Swoosh, a hallmark of the collaboration. Upon release, it was a classic case of “blink and you’ll miss it,” thanks to the insane demand. Despite the sneakers being long sold out, no 2023 sneaker release roundup would be complete without some Cactus Jack goodness. 

OTTO 958 x ASICS Flexkee Pro 
OTTO 958 x ASICS ©

For a while, OTTO 958, the joint project between Kiko Kostadinov and LA-based art gallery Morán Morán, had been a quiet signifier of cool, worn by an army of well-dressed Kiko Kostadinov loyalists. That is until its collaboration with ASICS came along, putting the collaborative project on the map with the release of the Flexkee Pro. Initially arriving in “Gunmetal/Black” and “Hunter Green/Black” colourways, before being followed by a later “Black/Pure Silver release,” the shoe features an asymmetrical construction and square tongue, housing the signature OTTO “O.” As with anything attached to Kiko Kostadinov, these sold out fast, but if you want to see them in the wild, just head to East London, where you’ll see your fair share. 

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