The sneaker landscape of 2023 has taken on a life of their own, transcending traditional boundaries to become true reflections of personal style. A symphony of innovation, collaboration, and sheer sartorial ingenuity has shaped this year’s selection, promising a treat for sneaker aficionados and casual wearers alike.
Imagine a curated collection that spans the spectrum from exclusive collaborations that make hearts skip a beat, to ingenious technological marvels pushing the envelope of footwear design, all the way to effortlessly chic everyday essentials.
So whether you are an avid collector or appreciate footwear’s artistic beauty, our carefully curated selection will leave you wanting your pair. Join us as we discover some of the latest drops from acclaimed brands and unearth hidden gems that have taken sneaker culture by storm in 2023. This year, sneakers are more than just shoes; they’re vehicles of self-expression, windows into our individuality, and gateways to the stories we carry with us.
1. Travis Scott x Air Jordan 1 Low ‘Olive’
Release Date: April 26
Travis Scott finally unveiled his long-awaited seventh and, according to some speculation, final Air Jordan 1 collaboration. The anticipation for this release began last September when he unveiled the “Olive” Air Jordan 1 Low during Nike’s Just Do It Day event, sparking excitement among fans.
The “Olive” Air Jordan 1 Low remains true to the signature elements of the Cactus Jack collaboration: the reverse Swoosh, neutral color blocking, and pre-yellowed midsole. A stylish touch is added by olive accents on the Swoosh, outsole, and tongue branding, which contrast nicely with the black and white upper with bright red accents on the tongue and heel branding.
What sets this release apart is its exclusive availability in women’s sizes, making it the first Travis Scott collab that caters explicitly to female sneaker enthusiasts. However, due to an extended sizing range, most men were also able to purchase pairs. However, it’s a thoughtful nod to the female sneaker community, especially if this turns out to be Travis’ final Air Jordan 1 project.
2. Tiffany & Co. x Nike Air Force 1
Release Date: March 7
2023 saw Tiffany collaborate with Nike on an exciting modern take on a classic look that made it more wearable than ever. The shoe features a sophisticated black suede upper with “Tiffany Blue” Swooshes on each side; the tongue proudly displays the “Tiffany” script; silver co-branded embellishment graces the heel, all coming together beautifully to capture the essence of collaboration.
Though it appears unassuming, this collaboration has drawn mixed reviews. Some critics contend that its design lacks a wow factor compared to the legendary Diamond Supply Co. x Nike SB Dunk Low of 2005; on the other hand, others argue that staying true to the Air Force 1 legacy through an elegant yet timeless aesthetic is the best approach.
3. Air Jordan 3 White Cement Reimagined
Release Date: March 11
Jumpman brought sneakerheads great pleasure in 2022 when he unveiled an all-new twist on the Air Jordan 1 known as “Lost & Found.” Following its success, in 2023, Michael Jordan’s team did something similar with the Air Jordan 3 Reimagined “White Cement,” released to commemorate the 35th Anniversary of the 1988 model with a distinctive vintage aesthetic featuring pre-worn and distressed detailing.
The Air Jordan 3 Reimagined “White Cement” captures the essence of its original design with yellowing across its midsole, eyelets, and backtab, recalling its nostalgic roots. Classic Nike Air branding adorns its heel for an authentic touch to this reimagined classic; an updated elephant print replicates that found on the ’88 original, while Sail and Fire Red adds new life to this beloved design to preserve its timeless appeal.
4. Aimé Leon Dore x New Balance 860v2
Release date: April, 5th
Aime Leon Dore (ALD), the Queens-based clothing line, has established an impressive record of collaborations with New Balance sneakers since their partnership in 2019. ALD founder and creative director Teddy Santis has added his unique aesthetic to iconic models like the 997, 990, and 550 from New Balance’s catalog and recreating classic sneakers like the 860v2 for ALD’s initial sneaker collaboration this year.
ALD’s vintage-inspired model comes in three distinctive color options: green, red, and blue. Each pair showcases mesh and leather uppers with a gradient effect from a rich copper tone at the front to a metallic silver tone at the back; large “N” logos on both sides are outlined with gold; Aime Leon Dore branding appears on both tongues in New Balance font; while their midsole boasts ABZORB foam filled with N-ERGY cushioning to provide exceptional levels of comfort.
5. Nike SB x Air Jordan 4 ‘Pine Green’
Release Date: March 17
This special release honors the crossover between basketball sneakers and skateboarding culture, showing how skateboarders have adopted and customized the Air Jordan 4 for their purposes.
The iconic silhouette of the 1989 Air Jordan 4 has remained intact, yet some subtle upgrades have been introduced to enhance its performance. The upper has been made more flexible for increased comfort, while the toebox pays homage to its original design. While still keeping the iconic color-blocking formula of “Military Blue,” this version stands out with striking green accents and a timeless gum bottom.
The SB x Air Jordan 4 stands as an incredible tribute to Sandy Bodecker, the legendary figure behind Nike’s skateboarding division in the early 2000s. Bodecker made her mark by working on Jordan four decades before that and left an indelible mark on both eras and brands within Nike.
With its rich historical background and thoughtful modifications, the Nike SB x Air Jordan 4 perfectly balances past glory and futuristic promise.
6. Sandy Liang X Salomon RX Moc 3.0
Release Date: April 5
The emergence of indie darling Sandy Liang over the past decade has been nothing short of remarkable, evolving from a niche creator of cozy fleece jackets into a full-fledged fashion force, complete with runway showcases and high-profile collaborations, including the retail giant Target. In her understated interpretation of Salomon’s RX Moc, a delicately refined silhouette within the French brand’s portfolio, Liang’s distinctive flair for lively details harmonizes seamlessly with Salomon’s rugged outdoor ethos.
The delicate addition of a floral print on the tongue is a nod to Liang’s signature style, while the remainder of the silhouette remains largely unadorned. With mesh uppers ensuring breathability during trail ventures, these sneakers also offer an excellent opportunity to showcase your quirkiest socks. Inclusion in this lineup solidifies the Sandy Liang X Salomon RX Moc 3.0 Shoes as a true embodiment of the fusion between avant-garde fashion and practical outdoor utility.
Liang is known for her luxurious silk flats and delicate floral designs, this summer’s post-sports shoe draws inspiration from ballet elegance and translucent bath slippers. Its tulle-like finish, created with breathable open mesh, ensures comfort by preventing chafing and irritation. Beneath, a lightweight EVA midsole and Contragrip outsole work in harmony, providing cushioning and support to ease the strain on tired feet with every step.
7. Corteiz x Nike Air Max 95 ‘Pink Beam’
Release Date: March 21
Corteiz is rising to streetwear stardom, capturing attention and igniting excitement. With an air of mystery and innovative guerrilla marketing tactics, the label’s origins trace back to the bustling streets of London. So, when news broke that a specific sneaker release would remain an exclusive treat for New York City, it sparked a mix of surprise and a hint of disappointment among its devoted fans.
Amidst this buzz, the Corteiz x Nike collaboration strides proudly into our lineup of top 10 sneakers for 2023. The Corteiz x Nike Air Max 95 “Pink Beam” isn’t just confined to one city; it stands as a symbol of fashion’s fusion with urban culture. With its unique design, exclusivity, and a nod to streetwear’s roots, this sneaker solidifies Corteiz’s place among the elite names in the sneaker world this year. It’s a testament to the dynamic connection between style and the streets, capturing the essence of both brands while making a mark as one of the most sought-after releases of the year.
8. Converse Chuck 70 Hi ADER error
Release Date: July 27 via ADER and August 1 in stores
In a seamless fusion of creativity, Converse and Seoul-based label ADER ERROR continue their collaborative odyssey, infusing their distinct flair into the timeless Chuck 70 silhouette. A visual symphony of distressed textures and layered intricacies pays homage to the well-worn charm of classic Chucks, an embodiment of ADER ERROR’s ethos: rediscovering the past to forge the future. With a design language that resonates deeply, this collaboration is a testament to their shared philosophy—Create Next, where the new is a fresh iteration of what has come before.
The Chuck 70 Hi emerges as the embodiment of this vision, boasting a distressed denim upper adorned with artfully roughed-up overlays. Splashes of ADER ERROR’s iconic blue interplay with distinctive graphics and co-branded details, offering a tantalizing glimpse into the world of reimagined heritage.
9. Wales Bonner X Adidas Samba “Ecrtin Brown”
Release Date: June 9
Renowned British designer Grace Wales Bonner’s partnership with adidas remains robust, with no signs of abating after numerous successful collaborative footwear releases. A LVMH Prize winner celebrated for merging European heritage with Afro-Atlantic influences, Wales Bonner’s eponymous label has enjoyed considerable success through partnerships with adidas, including iconic models like the Samba and SL72 running shoe. This marks her sixth collaboration with the Three Stripes, offering a sneak peek at her upcoming creation.
The allure of Sambas is further heightened by the designer’s touch. Grace Wales Bonner, the catalyst behind the Samba’s resurgence, infuses the classic training shoe with premium suede in mouth-watering toffee shades. The extended tongue, a hallmark of the original, remains intact. The enduring appeal of the Samba remains unshaken, unaffected by online discourse. Amidst the chatter, one fact prevails: the Samba retains its status as an exemplary shoe that seamlessly elevates any outfit.
10. Cecilie Bahnsen X Asics GT-2160
Release Date: July 19
Cecilie Bahnsen’s artistic collaboration with ASICS has breathed new life into the GT-2160, merging a sense of femininity reminiscent of Mary Janes with the athletic spirit of the iconic sneaker. The debut of this innovative project on Bahnsen’s webstore was met with a whirlwind of demand, quickly resulting in the coveted “sold out” label. However, enthusiasts of Bahnsen’s eponymous label can look forward to a wider release of both styles of the Cecilie Bahnsen x ASICS GT-2160, set to hit ASICS.com and select retailers later this month.
In this creative endeavor, Bahnsen masterfully translates her design philosophy into the athletic realm, offering a fresh take on the GT-2160. The redesign is characterized by the introduction of a floral-inspired strap, shorter strings, and a unique translucent synthetic material adorned with captivating patterns. This departure from tradition harmoniously blends intricate couture detailing with ASICS’ technical and functional expertise, delivering a distinctive fusion that resonates with modern sensibilities.
The reimagined GT-2160 serves as a captivating emblem of Bahnsen’s vision of contemporary femininity, a perfect union of movement, motion, and mindfulness. Through this collaboration, Bahnsen and ASICS continue to push creative boundaries, seamlessly marrying fashion and function to craft a sneaker that stands as a testament to innovation and artistic expression.
As we conclude our journey through the best sneakers of 2023, one thing has become clear: 2023 has been an extraordinary year for sneakerheads worldwide. Each release brought its distinctive story and style to the fore, transcending mere footwear to become expressions of self-expression that brought people from diverse backgrounds together to pursue personal style and individualism.
While our list may have captured the brightest highlights, the sneaker world remains fluid and exciting, offering more surprises and delights each month. As we eagerly anticipate future drops. So put on those kicks, embrace your style, and stride confidently into life!