It has been a banner year for sneakers in 2013 and we take a look back and highlight the 25 craziest online releases from the past 12 months. And by crazy we mean releases which were basically instant sellouts and ones that were only available online from a shop or two. Buying kicks online is obviously a convenient method for quenching your thirst for the latest drop, but with more and more individuals into sneakers and evolving technology making it difficult to cop limited releases, you definitely had to get lucky on just about every one of these. Take a look and see which releases you were able to grab this year and let us know in the comments section below which was most difficult for you or your favorite!
Air Jordan III Retro '88 White/Cement
Release Date: 2/6/2013
This year’s crazy releases started early with Jordan Brand in pole position, bringing back a true classic with the Air Jordan III Retro ’88 in white/cement. Being that it was the first time we’d see and Air Jordan III in it’s OG form, with Nike Air logos, since 1994’s first retro, you know the hype was crazy. It’s no surprise these went with the quickness.
Nike Kobe 8 "Area 72"
Release Date: 2/15/2013
Nike’s special edition signatures, like their Christmas, BHM or All-Star Game colorways, are always typically a tough get. But this year, the colorways (and hype) of the Kobe 8, LeBron X and KD V were on point, making them exponentially more difficult to get your hands on. Particularly considering the “Area 72″ makeup is one of the smoothest of the Kobe 8’s plethora of colorways. And of the three, the Kobe 8 never seemed to really pop back up. Once they were gone, that was it.
Undefeated x Nike "Bring Back Pack" and "Bring Back Pack 2003"
Release Date: 2/15/2013 and 5/25/2013
Spanning more than a decade, Nike’s relationship with LA-based clothing/sneaker brand Undefeated is nothing new, but 2013 brought two packs, both containing two colorways of the Nike Dunk High and Hyperdunk. The first drop, February’s Bring Back Pack, was an ode to the two label’s first collab, and sported an all-white upper with a clean gumsole. Not to be overlooked, May’s Bring Back 2003 pack brought the heat with a dope military-inspired olive green/black colorway. As usual, with all the attention the two brands have brought about throughout the years, these were quite difficult to cop online for retail.
Air Jordan I Black/Royal
Release Date: 2/16/2013
Bringing back a product as significant to your brand as the Air Jordan III “Retro 88″ might be enough that most brands would consider February a success. But not one to rest on their laurels (or our bank accounts), JB blessed us by bringing back the legendary black/royal Air Jordan I. Though rumored production problems caused some heartburn for sneakerheads camped out to cop these OG beauties, we’re still holding out hope for the greatest word in the sneakerhead lexicon: RESTOCK!
LeBron X EXT "Cork"
Release Date: 2/23/2013
WOOO! Nike really swung for the fences on this one. With all the hype surrounding LeBron’s ascendance to the NBA throne, you knew the celebratory LeBron X Cork would be tough to get ahold of. And, sure enough, one of the craziest concept sneakers released in some time, didn’t disappoint on that front. Super limited numbers and insanse resale prices meant that owning a pair of these babies (whether you were actually going to wear them or not) remains nothing more than a pipe dream for most of us. This is one many will be salty about for years.
UNDFTD x Bape x adidas ZX 5000
Release Date: 4/13/2013
When three of the biggest names in streetwear/footwear (Bape, adidas Originals and UNDFTD) teamed up in 2013, you knew sparks were going to fly. Fueled by a late change in release date, the struggle to get your hands on the ZX 5000 – the clear fan favorite from the pack – was real. This was interesting because, even though the olive campus was actually the more limited, in terms of production, the camo-flavored ZX 5000 was the most difficult to land.
Ronnie Fieg x Asics Gel Lyte III "E.C.P."
Release Date: 5/10/2013
We could probably populate this list entirely with Ronnie’s 2013 Kith lineup, but the E.C.P. was a special release. Those in the know understand that when Kith drops an Asics collab, you do all your sneaker god praising beforehand and just keep hitting F5, but this time he dropped two banging colorways to fuel that thirst. And just to make things more interesting, the Kith set web team put in some work to redesign the site prior to this special release. What ensued was an awesome scavenger hunt for some of the best sneakers of the year. More brands should handle their hyped releases like that.
Memorial Day Air Jordan Retro Restock
Release Date: 5/25/2013
In 2013, it seems as though Nike and Jordan brand have started a new trend in an attempt to dilute a little bit of the Twitter-bot frenzy that has marred most of their most popular releases lately…the random restock. And oh boy, did they restock. Memorial Day 2013 brought with it lots of barbeque and celebrating to be sure, but this year it also brought a bunch of highly-coveted Air Jordans back to the masses online, most notably the Jordan III Retro ’88 white/cement and Jordan IV “Thunder” releases.
Nike Kobe 8 "Mambacurial"
Release Date: 6/7/2013
Combining the Black Mamba’s two favorite sports, the “Mambacurial” took the colorway from Nike’s flagship Mercurial soccer boot, and placed it on the Kobe 8 silhouette, resulting in one of the hottest releases the silo saw all year. With the success of the “Mambacurial” Kobe 8, we hope to see this one in the future…just so we can get another chance at copping.
Saint Alfred x Asics Gel Lyte III
Release Date: 6/15/2013
Chi-town’s St. Alfred really used 2013 to solidify their brand, releasing two of the most coveted sneaker collabs of the year. In addition to their awesome recent New Balance drop, their summertime-friendly Asics Gel Lyte III broke some hearts. With all the hype surrounding the shoe, and Asics collabs in general right now, Saint Alfred’s site buckled under the pressure of all that traffic, making picking up this release an exercise in patience and persistence. Fortunately for the sneaker world, Saint Alfred seems to have rectified the issue with their recent NB release, creating a microsite just for that collab. Hopefully that’s something we’ll see from other shops too, moving forward.
Nike Zoom Revis LE "Denim"
Release Date: 6/15/2013
Even though it seems as if the Nike Zoom Revis will be a one-year-only silhouette, the sneaker did see some fantastic colorways (including the coveted DJ Clark Kent 112 blessing). One of it’s best colorways however, was also one of the year’s toughest to cop. Extremely limited with only 224 pairs released, the “Denim” colorway of the Zoom Revis is one that those lucky few should cherish for years to come.
Nike Air Tech Challenge II "Wimbledon"
Release Date: 6/24/2013
If you haven’t heard, the Air Tech Challenge II is on it’s way back. And this year saw two extremely limited colorways drop in various locations. While the black/royal “US Open” colorway never made it online, Nike randomly dropped the white/green “Wimbledon” colorway online at UK site Pro-Direct Select. And, unfortunately, it appears that if your international sneaker copping game wasn’t up to par, you’re going to be relegated to the resale market to cop these babies.
KD VI Supreme DC Preheat
Release Date: 6/29/2013
The first of Nike’s big three signature hoops silhouettes made a splash way back in June, with the KD VI. And, following the tradition of launching some crazy heat prior to the NBA season even starting, KD’s Supreme “DC Heat” colorway had folks camped (both physically and digitally), for a chance to cop. Sporting that wild neon-tinged upper, many were likely looking to get in on that next “Nerf” or “Weatherman” colorway. Though the VI may not have reached those heights quite yet, the DC Preheat will no doubt go down as one of the most difficult to obtain KD VIs.
Ronnie Fieg x Asics Gel Lyte III "Flamingo"
Release Date: 8/2/2013
Another RF x Asics collab entry on our list of craziest releases of the year are the super clean “Flamingo” Gel Lyte IIIs. It’s no surprise that a strong, neutral Asics colorway from Ronnie Fieg and Kith would garner this kind of attention, but the Flamingo IIIs sold out nearly instantaneously. This one was pretty much gone before we even had the chance to add it to our carts.
Packer Shoes x Reebok Kamikaze II "Remember the Alamo"
Release Date: 8/2/2013
This sneaker, honoring one of the best NBA All-Star Games of all time, will likely go down as one of the best colorways the Reebok Kamikaze has ever seen. This past August, Packer Shoes teamed up with the boys at Reebok and dialed up this ode to the 1996 NBA All-Star Game, dubbed the “Remember the Alamo”. Dropping exclusively at Packer, in a capsule that included a sick Shawn Kemp throwback Jersey and Tee, this amazing colorway was also one of the toughest gets of the year.
CLOT X Nike Air Max 1 SP
Release Date: 9/1/2013
Following up on one of the most coveted Air Max 1 colorways of all time, the minds at CLOT brought back some fond memories of the “Kiss of Death” colorway with this crazy-limited drop. Borrowing a few unique design elements from the KOD AM1s, these Hyperfuse-based beauties were super difficult to attain as most stores in the US that did get stock only made them available in-store. You had to get lucky and be on your p’s and q’s to cop online from a very select shop or two.
Air Jordan V "Doernbecher"
Release Date: 9/14/2013
The Doernbecher series is always hyped and difficult to cop, but when it involves an Air Jordan silo, particularly one as beloved as the Air Jordan V, you better start planning ahead. This year’s gem from the DB collection sported a crazy iridescent/glow-in-the-dark design that sneakerheads went wild for. Resale market prices on these babies are insane at the moment, which is yet another reason why this was one of the craziest releases of the year.
Supreme x Nike Flyknit Lunar1
Release Date: 10/3/2013
When Supreme drops a Nike collab, you know you’re gonna have to throw some elbows to cop em, especially when the silhouette involved is one of the year’s hottest. Despite the detractors, disappointed with the simplicity of the collab, the Supreme x Nike Flyknit Lunar1 sold out in the blink of an eye. Perhaps it was that simplicity that drove the hype, making it one of the craziest releases of the year. But, that’s the optimist in us. Let’s be real, Supreme has the Midas touch lately and all-blacked out iterations will always have a strong contingent after them.
CNCPTS x New Balance 998 "Mint"
Release Date: 10/5/2013
Speaking of the Midas touch, the boys from Boston’s Concepts are on fire lately, dropping two of the dopest New Balance colorways of the year. Even if most seem to like the “C-Note” better, the “Mint” 998, due to it’s limited numbers and exclusive Concepts release, was the most difficult pair to get a hold of. Though this release did go much smoother than many past CNCPTS drops, the hit streak, and subsequent salty sneakerheads, continues.
Footpatrol x Saucony Shadow 6000 "Only in Soho"
Release Date: 11/16/2013
For those on the hunt, it didn’t matter that the Footpatrol x Saucony collab dropped at several retailers (albeit in very limited numbers). The colorway was just too good to avoid the hype. These bangers sold out with the crazy quickness and left many sneakerheads (us included) empty handed. Though they’ll likely get overlooked, in favor of the higher-profile collabs dropped throughout the year, we feel the “Only in Soho” Shadow 6000s should be included on more “best of” lists…which is why it’s found it’s way here.
atmos x Nike Air Max 90 Premium Camo Pack
Release Date: 11/27/2013
Oh atmos, how you kill us with these limited and staggered releases. This year’s Premium Camo Pack teamed up Nike with Japanese streetwear purveyor atmos once again to drive sneaker fiends into a frenzy with two amazing colorways of the Air Max 90. One done up in ‘Infrared’ and duck camo, while the other sported black/reflective tiger camo and a speckled sole, and both were equally difficult to cop as these only popped up online from a couple retailers out west.
Nike Air Max Lunar90 "Infrared"
Release Date: 12/2/2013
The newest mashup from Nike combines two of their most successful sneaker technologies, Air Max and Lunarlon. The result is a modern take on one of their most iconic sneaker silhouettes, the Air Max Lunar90 “Infrared.” What’s interesting about these kicks is that they dropped with almost no lead time to hype them up. NDC just dropped and restocked them randomly for the first 36 hours or so. Frankly, we’re still a little confused by the release, with the Swoosh staying quiet on whether or not we’ll get another shot at this particular colorway.
BWGH x Puma R698 "Bluefield"
Release Date: 12/7/2013
Who would have guessed that a Puma collaboration would be this difficult to get? But, here we are. Sure enough, despite dropping at a handful of online retailers, the hype of the BWGH x Puma R698 made the “Bluefield” look like the latest Ronnie Fieg release, selling out in minutes. We know the harsh realities of the modern sneaker world, but this was unexpected. But on the flipside, the colorway was definitely dope enough to have more than a few interested and while a few shops did get stock, the numbers were quite limited.
Kobe Prelude Pack (1 & 2...so far)
Release Date: 12/7/2013 and 12/14/2013
The Kobe Prelude Pack has, and will continue to drive sneakerheads crazy, battling Twitter bots into 2014 as NDC is the only spot you can get them online. But those silhouettes that have dropped so far (1 & 2), are likely to go down as modern classics. With all the intrigue surrounding Kobe’s comeback, the surprisingly late-reveal of his highly-anticipated 9th Nike signature, combined with the limited quantities and release of the retro Prelude pack, all eyes are certainly on the Mamba (and his feet).
Puma x Sneaker Freaker Blaze of Glory Trilogy
Release Date: 12/12/2013
With their triumvirate of Puma collabs, the folks over at Sneaker Freaker have been killing it in 2013. In commemoration of their 2008 collab with the brand, Sneaker Freaker reissued their classic duo of Puma’s Blaze of Glory. Initially, sneakerheads were pumped at another shot to cop two of the best Puma collabs ever. But, when a new, third colorway was announced, that’s when it really got crazy. Combining a super-limited release with a significant timezone difference, and the recent love of all sneakers mint/turquoise-colored, the “Sharkbait” colorway really pushed this capsule over the top.