On the cusp of the Nike SB x Jordan I ‘Lance Mountain’ releases this weekend, we highlight 15 sneakers that just look better the more you wear them. And sometimes by better, we mean different. As is the case with the upcoming Nike SB x Jordan I release, this isn’t the first time Nike SB has unleashed a shoe which can have its appearance altered the more you wear them. Both the “Statue of Liberty” and “Cheech and Chong” Dunk Highs laid the foundation. Other sneakers that look better as you wear them are obvious classics such as the Jordan I or Converse Chuck Taylor. But take a look for yourself and please let us know if the comments section below what pair of kicks you think looks best the more they get worn.
Nike SB Dunk High "Statue of Liberty"
One of our favorite SB Dunks of all time, the “Statue of Liberty” Highs are just fantastic. Even if you’re not a huge fan of green, over time these beauties wear away to reveal a vintage looking bronze below. These are some of the best ‘color-revealing’ sneakers ever made.
Ronnie Fieg x Asics Gel Lyte III "Selvedge"
Just like their selvedge denim namesake, the Ronnie Fieg x Asics Gel Lyte III “Selvedge” collab just looks better after it’s been worn in. Sure, you can’t really wash them like you can jeans, but as they age, they pick up a truly awesome broken-in look. These are just proper.
Air Jordan XI
By sneakerhead terms, we’re old. So when Jordan Brand starting doing retros with the ‘icy soles,’ we were hesitant. Particularly when it came to the iconic Air Jordan XI. Even though we know their hearts are in the right place, trying to make the kicks actually last longer, we feel they look better when they’ve actually been worn in a bit, so they lose some of that initial blue hue.
Nike SB Dunk High "Cheech and Chong"
Nike SB always puts out a sweet QS release right around that infamous April 20th ‘holiday’ a lot of folks are so fond of. But these “Cheech and Chong” Nike SB Dunk Highs, from 2011, are our favorite of all the “4/20″ releases. Done up in an asymmetrical colorway, these Dunks wear away to reveal that ominous ‘sticky’ green colorway below. Sweet.
Converse x Maison Martin Margiela
Likely the newest release on our list brings the luxury on an iconic silhouette. Just recently released a few weeks back, the Converse x Maison Martin Margiela pack is amazing. Taking a classically-colored Converse Chuck Taylor and/or Jack Purcell, hand-painting then in MMM’s traditional off-white premium paint, the results are fantastic. As you wear them, the white color breaks away and reveals the OG Converse colors beneath. Premium, unique, whatever you want to call it, these are amazing.
Air Jordan III
We all know the Air Jordan III has a notorious creasing “problem” with the toebox. Probably more prominent than any other Air Jordan sneaker out there. But one man’s problem is another’s feature. While the compulsive sneakerheads take their time to keep their toe boxes as mint as possible, we actually prefer the III with that worn-in look. Just gorgeous.
Vans Vault Premio Pack
Look, everyone loves a crispy new pair of Vans, especially in the summer time. But be real, they just look better with some wear and tear. Especially the Vault line’s “Premio” pack, featuring super high quality Italian calfskin leather. These are just begging to be broken in.
adidas Stan Smith
Whether you’re new to the legendary adidas Stan Smith silo, or you’ve been kicking them around for years, the adage is still the same; these beauties just get better with age. And, with all the recent retros going on, the time has never been better to break ’em out and put some miles on those tires.
Nike Air Max 90 "Infrared"
The OG of OG Air Maxes, the Nike Air Max 90 “Infrared” just looks better with a little dirt around the outsoles. Whether you’ve got a new Lunar90, a Hyperfuse model, or you’ve got some old vintage heat, the Air Max 90 is a staple of sneakerhead closets worldwide.
Nike Air Force 1 Low 'White-on-White'
For any good sneakerhead worth his (or her) salt, summer time means hot days, long nights and white-on-white Forces. Perhaps no Nike classic epitomizes that pre-Labor Day sneaker heat than the white-on-white Nike Air Force 1 Low. And you already know they look better after a couple wears.
Supreme x Nike SB Blazer
Grails to some, just some more heat to rock for some (lucky) others, the Supreme x Nike SB Blazers are just amazing. White, red or black, this is a collab we’ll remember for decades. And while some folks are happy just putting these beauties on ice, that leather has to age, and it looks far better as you wear and break them in. So, if you’re in possession of these grails, don’t take them for granted; you need to rock ’em!
Nike SB Dunk High PRM "Born in the USA"
Man, just looking at these classic Nike SBs, you can practically hear Springsteen screaming “Boorrrrn in the USAAAA!” With those hits of clean denim on the upper and Old Glory wrapped around the collar, the SB Dunk High PRM “Born in the USA” just looks better broken in. Fly those flags!
Air Jordan IV
You already know the Air Jordan IV is a classic, an icon, whatever pedestal you want to put it on…just make sure you’re also putting them on your feet from time to time. We’re partial to the classics; White Cement, Black Cement and Fire Reds. But perhaps no other Jordan retro gets better new colorways than the IV…just remember those “Fear” pack IVs…dope.
Converse Chuck Taylor All Star
The vintage of the vintage, Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars simply don’t look right without a little bit of dirt around the outsole. Sure, most of them aren’t considered kicks you need to keep on ice, but the Chuck Taylor All Star seems like it was designed to be broken in.
Air Jordan I High
Perhaps no shoe on this list looks better broken in than the iconic Air Jordan I. It doesn’t matter which retro you’ve got (or even if, somehow, your OGs haven’t crumbled yet). The Air Jordan I High is like a fine wine; it just gets better with age…and crinkles, dirt and creases don’t hurt either.
Bonus: Nike SB x Jordan I Lance Mountain
The hype. Ohhhhh the hype. The teams from Nike SB and Jordan Brand have already dropped a future classic earlier this year. But their upcoming “Lance Mountain” pack has the internet buzzing like a hive of bees. Black or white, you simply can’t go wrong…these are going to be super in-demand and amazing. Either colorway, as you wear them, the white or black overlay paint begins to wear off to reveal arguably the two most popular OG Jordan I makeups. And you can see in the pic above that Lance Mountain himself has wasted no time grinding away with ’em. So call in those favors sneakerheads, Saturday is gonna be crazy.