With 2014 quickly coming to a close, we take a look back and highlight the 25 best unreleased sneakers which popped up throughout the course of the year.
One look at this spotlight and it’s clear to see that Jordan Brand would make a lot of heads happy if even a couple of the highlighted exclusives from this list actually hit retail. But it wasn’t just salivating goodness from JB that caught all the buzz, as several Nike and Asics iterations were brought to light as well.
After taking a scan at this list, what would be your top choice for an actual retail release? Please feel free to let us know in the comments section below!
Air Jordan VI "Ming Green" (Macklemore Exclusive)
As if Macklemore didn’t elicit enough haters already, he really made them salty this past fall when he showed off the first of two exclusive pairs of the Jordan VI. Done up in an excellent “Ming Green” suede, these VIs go oh so hard. We’re even starting to hate a little…green IS the color of envy, right?
Air Jordan "OVO" Exclusives
Speaking of eliciting an obscene amount of hate, Drake really had ’em thirsty this year. After signing an endorsement deal with Jordan Brand, Drizzy starting breaking necks in all kinds of funk. But, perhaps none made waves like the numerous “OVO” colorways. Draping some of our favorite Js in a clean black or white makeup, and trimming them with a bit of gold gilding, the OVO Jordans really had us hoping for a surprise drop.
Nike Foamposite One "Gold Speckle" Sample
After seeing all the Foamposite drops in recent years, it’s no surprise we’ve all been experiencing a bit of Foam Fatigue (TM). But this year saw the silo flex a little bit, with the likes of the Knicks, Wheat (yeah, we said it), and “Yeezy” colorways. However, one that never made it past the sample stages were these fire “Gold Speckle” Foamposite Ones. Ooooh baby, these are awesome. We really hope Nike’s got something like this cooked up that we’ll actually get to purchase.
Air Jordan "All Red" Collection
With all the hype surrounding the “Red October” Yeezys, the “All Red” Jordan collection seems a bit like shooting fish in a barrel. Seriously, nearly every footwear brand has been jumping on the all-red trend lately. However, just because it’s a bit redundant, doesn’t make us want all red IVs or Vs any less. Seriously, these are dope as hell.
Air Jordan Future "Blackout"
The Air Jordan Future is a love it or hate it kind of sneaker. And, while we love that JB is experimenting with creating something new (relatively speaking anyway) instead of just sticking to the retros, we feel like we’ve gotten too much too quickly with the silhouette. Seriously, how many colorways have we gotten of the Future in it’s first year of existence? Sure, some of them have been crack. But others…ehhhh. Now, these “Blackout” Futures? We can’t believe these haven’t dropped yet. We hope someone at JB reads this, cause the public needs these. Let’s get it!
LeBron James x Nike Air Max 95 "Friends & Family"
We already know it’s good to be the king. But recently, we got a first hand look at one of the many perks, with this excellent Air Max 95 exclusive for LeBron James. Credited as a “Friends and Family” colorway, LeBron stunted on us all with these. We could do without the LBJ logo on the tongue, but otherwise these 95s could GET IT!
Air Jordan "World Basketball Festival" Collection
As many of us know, back in 2010, we all got a chance at some clean all-white Js with the 25th Anniversary/Silver Collection. But that drop didn’t include some of our favorite silos. This year however, for the World Basketball Festival, JB got their dope boy on and broke out crispy white versions of bangers like the V, VI, VIII and XIII, amongst other classics. Unfortunately for us, however, we didn’t get the same chance to buy these. Well, here’s to hoping JB lets us get our flex on in some crispy white VIIs this spring. *Lights a candle for the sneaker Gods.*
Air Jordan VI "Clay Suede" (Macklemore Exclusive)
Okay, so perhaps “Ming Green” isn’t your jam…we get it, it’s kind of a niche colorway. However, shortly after stunting in his those green joints, Macklemore showed off once again, flexing in this gorgeous pair of “Clay Suede” VIs. Sure, we did get a handful of VIs this past year, and we’re definitely thankful for those. But, we REALLY like these suede bangers. Let’s get some!
Air Jordan XI "Melo/Red" PE
Like the “All Red” JB collection mentioned earlier, these Carmelo Anthony exclusives are just easy money. And actually, we like these a little bit better than the “All Reds.” With the white midsole and accents, as well as a bit bluer outsole, these look like a more production-ready version of the all-red XI. Which we hope means that JB’s got this one on deck for next year. Hey, we can hope right?
Air Jordan V "Oregon" Away
Many flame emojis. Oh, so many flame emojis! Look, we already know that the University of Oregon basically circumvents NCAA regulations by giving their student athletes the most exclusive athletic gear on the planet. But sometimes, that ish isn’t even fair. Come on now. After last year’s immaculate green Vs, we didn’t think it could get much doper. But, here we are. Damn son.
Air Jordan III "Metallic Gold"
With the recent “Liquid Metal” iterations Nike has been dropping, it’s no surprise that JB has been toying around with the same materials. But, what is surprising, is that none of them have actually made it to retail. Apparently that’s no concern for Mr. Usher Raymond, because this year, he’s been breaking necks in a number of ridiculous exclusives, like these amazing Air Jordan IIIs. Sheesh.
Air Jordan XI Low Blue/Gum
We’ve highlighted some of Marcus Jordan’s eStunting on this site before, but we couldn’t go all year without acknowledging these crazy XI Lows. Not only are they in a nice, previously-unseen navy blue colorway, but the gum sole. THE GUM SOOOLLLEEEE!
Nike Zoom Revis 2
We all know that Nike unceremoniously stopped the Revis signature line after a solid first year. Apparently sales weren’t right, because we really liked the silo, and many of the colorways. But that doesn’t mean they didn’t cook up a second silo. Tentatively named the ZR2, the silhouette would’ve made a pretty big departure from it’s forerunner. Matching a double strap with a Concord-like patent leather toebox would have been crazy. While we’re not crazy about this digi-camo colorway, this silo could have had some major potential.
Air Jordan XX9 "Oregon Ducks"
As if you needed another reason to go to the University of Oregon. Clearly, it ain’t just about the retros. This year, along with some fantastic KD colorways, the Oregon Fighting Ducks (seriously), broke out one of the best colorways of the AJ XX9 we’ve yet to see. Now, we know that JB/Nike like to keep these exclusives, you know, exclusive. But come on! These would be a Robocop.
Ronnie Fieg x Asics Gel Lyte III "KFE" Sample
It’s interesting that, with all the collabs Ronnie Fieg blesses the sneaker world with, we don’t actually get to see more samples make their way onto the web. It’s always interesting to see the creative process that goes into creating such highly-regarded kicks. Well, one that did make it’s way to the blogs this year, might have even been a step-up on what we saw release for the Kith Football Equipment pack. If you recall, the wild gold Gel Lyte III was the stand-out favorite from that release, but it turns out that some of Kith’s friends-and-fam got a slightly different version. Above is a great look at a version with stars embossed across the heel cap. We love the IIIs we got in that release. But heck if we can’t help but be a little envious of these.
Air Jordan XII "Milwaukee Bucks" PE
When news broke of Chi-town’s own Jabari Parker inking a deal with Jordan Brand, we couldn’t wait to see what kind of heat JB had on deck for one of the game’s brightest new stars. Interestingly, Parker ended up in Milwaukee, which promised a look at a bunch more Ray Allen-esque PE colorways, right? Well, Parker’s season started off really strong with this gorgeous pair of white/green XIIs. And even though his season has been cut short by injury, we have a feeling that Parker will be back healthy and with a stronger than ever PE game next year. Now, if we could just get these XIIs in our size please.
Jordan Melo M10 "Blue Suede"
The ‘Blue Suede’ LeBron XI EXT was one of our favorite XI colorways that we saw at retail. Turns out, Nike had some more blue suede on deck for the likes of Melo too. And even with the forthcoming Melo M11 right around the corner, we can’t help but wish Nike would do us a solid and drop these fire ‘Blue Suede’ Melo M10s. These might even be better than the Brons.
Nike Foamposite Pro "Shooting Stars" Samples
Look, we loved this year’s Nike “Shooting Stars” pack. On top of blessing us with the Lil’ Penny Posite, we also got an awesome pair of Foams we’ve been sweating since we saw Penny rocking them a while back. However, it turns out there were some other colorways sampled up for possible inclusion. We’re particularly fond of those matte black joints. Oooh, those go hard.
Asics Gel Lyte V "Selvedge"
No matter what you think of Ronnie Fieg and his sneakers, his footwear choices are always a point of debate amongst sneakerheads. And, when he rocks a previously unseen pair of Asics, you better believe people are going to talk. So earlier this summer, when Ronnie broke out this fire pair of ‘Denim’ Gel Lyte Vs, the sneaker world was churning with rumors that a “Selvedge” V with his name attached was on it’s way. And even though the Ronnie Fieg collab rumor since then has been debunked, we still want to know what’s up with these denim joints. Seriously, get at us with that.
Nike Roshe Run "Tropical Floral" Sample
The Nike Roshe Run is such a great sneaker. Not only is it lightweight and comfortable, but it’s affordable price tag, breathable upper and casual styling lends itself to countless wild colorways. Like this awesome “Tropical Floral” sample from earlier this year. Welp, it’s official. After a bit of over saturation, we’ve overcome our Roshe fatigue.
Nike Air Huarache "Cove" Sample
We find it interesting that, with all the success Ronnie Fieg has had with his innovative colorways, no major brands have “taken inspiration” from his sneaker designs. Sure, we’ve seen a little here, and a little there, but nothing completely obvious. Well, turns out Nike has been paying attention, because they’ve got an obvious “Cove-inspired” colorway of the Air Huarache on deck. If you couldn’t tell, those quotes were supposed to be sarcastic, because these samples are basically a direct port of the Cove colorway on the Huarache. And you know what? We’re not even that mad at it. We know a lot of folks can’t get their hands on the recent Vs, to say nothing of the OG IIIs. So, we can’t even hate this one.
Colette x Asics Gel Lyte III Sample
French streetwear purveyor Colette has worked with Asics on a Gel Lyte III before, but nothing like this recent sample that made it’s way around sneaker blogs earlier this year. Though they never ended up making it to retail, these GLIIIs would have made waves. Looking like the design team got ahold of your grammy’s china plates, we’re actually kinda mad these didn’t drop this year. Sure, they’re not for everyone (or, even us). But, that’s what we love about sneakers: originality. And these are certainly original.
Nike Lunar TR1 "Beast Mode/Skittles"
When we heard about Nike dropping a sneaker for Mr. Beast Mode himself, Marshawn Lynch, we were really hoping for a Skittles-inspired release. What we got was a nice, but ultimately, toothless gold/black Lunar TR1. And while those were pretty clean, this sample would have been awesome. Yeah, the scream green is a bit wild, but these are super dope. Come on Nike!
Air Jordan 11 "Kawhi Leonard" PE
If you’ve been paying attention to JB signings recently, you already know that one of the league’s brightest young stars, Kawhi Leonard, signed on with Jordan fairly recent. And with that comes the inevitable thirst-creating PEs, like his white/black XX9s, or his awesome white/gold VIs. But, it wasn’t until recently that Kawhi really got us interested with these amazing Jordan XIs. Done up in a strong white/royal blue combo, these XIs are just Dylan, Dylan, Dylan…HOT FIRE!
Air Jordan XI "Metallic Gold"
This is another one that ain’t even fair. As if Usher didn’t already have enough with his talent, fortune and good looks. Now he’s gotta flex on you with his exclusive “Metallic Gold” XIs. It goes without saying that Jordan Brand needs to drop these with the quickness. Seriously, can’t we get some kind of government petition going? Can someone get Obama on this one?
Bonus: JBF Customs x John Geiger x Air Force 1 Mid
Look, we know it’s a slippery slope to start including customs here, but these were just too good to leave off the list of best unreleased kicks. Sure, there are probably less than five pairs in existence, and you’ll likely never have a pair yourself. And, of course, Nike’s never going to release a sneaker with the F word emblazoned all over it. But that doesn’t make us want them any less. Constructed out of Supreme’s Spring/Summer 2013 “Fuck” jacket, these Air Force 1 Mids are unlike anything we’ve ever seen. Tip the cap to JBF and John Geiger here, cause we’re not sure we’ve ever wanted a pair of customs this bad. These are just amazing.