As the calendar begins to turn its page to 2019, Sneaker News has taken the time to rank the ten best of the best from each brand to serve as an accurate thermometer of the current state of interest. One of the busiest companies was adidas, tasked with exceeding the rapid success they’ve encountered since the middle of 2015. Their trendy-heavy approach to product was extremely productive during that span, but suddenly their dominant mainstays – particularly its BOOST-laden models – were no longer on the pedestal of the public eye.
In a market currently fixated on silhouettes ripe with design language born in the 90s, adidas had to reposition away from the silhouettes that kept them on top of the game. Still, the German Sportswear brand managed to establish a new direction and unleash a number of noteworthy sneaker release by introducing new styles to the market, fresh-faced collaborative partners, and perhaps the most interesting non-signature basketball shoe in years. Despite their hot streak coming to an end, adidas was still out to remind the world that they are one of the most innovative and forward-thinking footwear brands in the industry – and this selection of the ten best sneaker releases proves just that.
10. UNDFTD x adidas Ultra Boost The Ultra Boost may have lost some of its shine after an astounding three year run, but LA-based retailer Undefeated forced a blip on the radar of sneakerheads with their simple yet bold take on the 1.0 model.
9. adidas N3XT L3V3L The brand’s basketball division as a whole may have been hit with some scandal on the college recruitment end, but their creative team, led by Marc Dolce and Denic Dekovic, produced a truly futuristic iteration of a game shoe in the N3XT L3V3L, born directly out of the Brooklyn Farm.
8. Packer x adidas EQT “Adventure” Pack Meant to encourage the consumer to go on an adventure, this co-branded effort from the esteemed Garden State retailer is another adidas creation born in the future with a nod toward the past.
7. adidas Yung-1 Perfect for today’s consumer that admires design language born in the 90s, this re-vamped silhouette is a streamlined version of the nostalgic Falcon Dorf. Debuting in a punchy orange colorway, this retro-friendly sneaker was an ongoing topic for the entire year.
6. Pharrell x adidas NMD Hu “N*E*R*D” Highlighting another banner year for the partnership between Skateboard P and the Three Stripes, this N*E*R*D-branded NMD Hu paid homage to the rapper/producer/fashion icon’s hometown of Virginia Beach.
5. Adidas Consortium 4D With help from a number of the industry’s leading shops, the brand’s Consortium division envisioned the Futurecraft 4D models in four distinct ways. Invincible’s light application of color was a surefire stand-out of the series.
4. BAPE x adidas Dame 4 Meant to help further blur the lines between basketball performance and streetwear, the Japanese label’s camo-friendly patterns fit seamlessly on the silhouette of Damian Lillard’s fourth signature shoe. It was also one of the most coveted shoes of the All-Star Weekend festivities.
3. adidas Dragon Ball Z Collection Few collaborative sneaker releases this year intrigued sneakerheads more than the eight-piece Dragon Ball Z set. Inspired by seven of the anime series’ most compelling figures, both the sneakers and the packaging were ripe with details as each of the boxes served as a key piece in an incredible mural.
2. Daniel Arsham x adidas Futurecraft 4D Arguably the hero of the German sportswear brand’s increasingly popular Futurecraft movement, the contemporary artist’s most significant foray into the sneaker industry had the attention of sneakerheads for the better part of nine months. Its hidden detailing revealed through black light, appropriately monochromatic color scheme, and unprecedented packaging created a look that won’t be soon forgotten.
1. adidas Yeezy 500 “Blush” Championing 2018’s chunky “dad shoe” movement, Kanye West’s sixth Yeezy silhouette led the charge in the year’s most exercised trend. Debuting in a neutral “Blush” colorway, the model made use of a multi-layered upper and a sole unit from the KB8 3 basketball shoe from the late 1990s. Further popularizing the shoe is its versatility, as it was easily adopted by both men and women like.
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