With just a few days remaining before 2015 closes out, we take a look at the best sneakers in which we, the general public, wished we had a chance to cop!
Whether through auction, friends & family hookup or celebrity/player exclusive, the kicks in this feature unfortunately were just not available in a regular release sense.
adidas Yeezy Boost 350 "White Out"
If you’ve been paying attention, we know by now that when Kanye rocks a pair of Yeezy Boosts, we’re pretty likely to see a retail release in the near future. And while these ultra clean “White Out” 350s are rumored to release next year, it’s been a while since ‘Ye initially broke them out. And with all these L’s we’ve been taking on the other releases, we gotta dream, right?!
Air Jordan XX9 Low White/Gum
Speaking of fire all-white joints, MJ rocked this unreleased iteration at his Flight School camp earlier this year. These are really dope and who knows, maybe they will end up being the second XX9 Low to release. We know His Airness rightfully gets first crack at all these bangers, but it doesn’t make us want them any less!
Air Jordan I Retro High "Flight School"
Originally thought to maybe be a part of the “Rare Air” line of Air Jordan 1s, these washed grey/white-black high tops feature the classic Air Jordan ‘Wings’ logo, as well as heel tabs which look to be attached to a possible inner sockliner. With the Jordan 1 being one of our favorite silos, we’re still holding out hope that these hit retail shelves in 2016 or at the very least maybe we get a better look at them.
IG video credit to @benji_4523
Jordan CP3 IX 'Green Suede'
Prior to the launch of the CP3 IX, we saw what’s becoming an increasing trend in signature iteration debuts: the elusive Friends and Family “PEs.” Now if you’re one of the lucky few that get seeded a pair of gems like these ‘Green Suede’ IXs, well, you’re pumped. But, if you’re like us? Well, they’re nothing more than pipe dreams. Regardless, it goes without saying that these ‘Green Suede’ CP3s were absolutely awesome and we’re salty we don’t have a pair.
Eminem x Carhartt x Air Jordan 4 Retro
While the third collabo between Jordan Brand and Eminem wasn’t exactly unreleased, you either had to have a connect with the man himself, or crazy-deep pockets. Available via charity auction (20 units) on eBay with a few additional pairs floating around as an uber-limited Friends and Family hookup, Shady proved his work with the pen extends far beyond rap bars. These were by far one of our favorite collabs of the year, which makes that “unreleased” status that much harder to cope with.
Nike Air Trainer Cruz "Red October"
The Nike Air Trainer Cruz is a bit of a love-it-or-leave-it sneaker. Us? We just so happen to fall into the former. Which is why we were bummed when our Swoosh overlords decided to nix the excellent “Red October” colorway we’d seen product shots for. We get it. Back in November, when the Air Trainer Cruz dropped, we’d seen enough of the all-red craze recently made all-the-more popular by Kanye. So we certainly understand why Nike likely cancelled the release. But that doesn’t mean we have to like the decision, ’cause those were pretty dope.
OVO x Air Jordan XII
We’re really surprised that more OVO Jordans haven’t hit retail. We all know about pairs of the ‘White’ OVO x Air Jordan Xs. And we saw Drake flexing in both his white & black VIIIs. But the one that really has us salty so far is our favorite of all, the Air Jordan XII. And after seeing how quick the OVO Xs, a silo that rarely sells through on Day 1 lately, moved off shelves, it makes it all the more vexing that these XIIs haven’t dropped. Man, those XIIs could GET IT.
Jordan CP3 IX 'Leather' Vachetta Tan
The ‘Vachetta Tan’ CP3 IX, the other Friends-and-Family PE from this year’s CP line, were just as hot as their envy-hued brother. And unfortunately for us, just as exclusive. We will say, however, that we were really impressed how dope this technical basketball silo looks draped in that luxurious ‘Vachetta Tan’ leather. And with rumors of only 33 pairs being made, we hope those who own them are actually rocking them…if only to see what they look like after some solid wear and tear.
Just Don x Air Jordan II Samples
For those well-heeled Jordan heads out there, the partnership between JB and Don C has been one filled with a couple high-end, super-limited collabs. And this year’s wild ‘Blue’ Just Don x Air Jordan IIs were no exception. We’ll be honest, it took a while for us to warm up to that bright blue colorway, and even longer to get used to the $350 retail price. But recently, we’ve been made aware of two alternate, possibly sample colorways. And let us tell you, damn. The black and gold would have been a very classic go-to, but those cream/off-white joints would have set our bank accounts on fire. That’s a double-up if we’ve ever seen one!
adidas NMD Primeknit Runner "Friends and Family"
This year has been a fantastic one for adidas, and even as we close in on the end of it, they’re still dropping fire. Which is why they caught us off-guard last week when they decided to introduce the world to their latest silo, the NMD Primeknit Runner. And while we’d only previously seen their limited “Key City” iteration and the black/red-blue colorway, it appears there is a third, Friends and Family makeup that features a nice patterned Primeknit upper. Color us intrigued.
Jordan CP3.VIII AE "Entourage"
Former pop-star, high-grossing actor/producer and homies with Michael Jordan. As if Mark Wahlburg didn’t already have enough to be envious of, his crazy vault of Js, the likes of which most of us can only dream of, continues to rank near the top of that list. And here is yet (*extremely Khaled voice) another one; the CP3.VIII “Entourage.” Done up in what appears to be black ballistic nylon and gold trim, these would’ve done numbers if they ever hit retail. Man, being Michael Jordan’s buddy certainly does not suck. Well, as long as you’re not getting ran in 1-on-1.
OVO x Air Jordan VIII
We mentioned these earlier, but the OVO Air Jordan VIIIs had people fiending when they were teased earlier this year at OVO Fest. Unfortunately for us, we still have exactly as many OVO 8s as we did back then. That is to say zero. Hey JB, let’s do something about that! While the VIIIs aren’t our favorite of the OVOs we’ve seen, the white and gold colorway goes very nice on the Jordan VIII. Hopefully these will see an actual release to the general public in 2016.
Air Jordan XII "Doernbecher Dozen"
It’s really hard to hate on the motivation, but the Air Jordan XII “Doernbecher Dozen” was one we were hoping would see some sort of general-public release. With just 12 pairs available via charity auction, these XIIs each featured one-of-a-kind sketch work by Tinker Hatfield. We know it’s not exactly feasible to get Tinker drawing something unique on a full run of Jays. But that doesn’t make us wish we had deep enough pockets to win one of these auctions.
Nike Kyrie 1 "Uncle Drew"
Like a few others on this list, the “Uncle Drew” Kyrie 1 had us a little bit salty. While we liked the Kyrie 1, and thought the silo was a great first signature, we were only really moved by a couple of the colorways to possibly pull the trigger. But that all changed as soon as we saw this special “Uncle Drew” makeup. If you read any of our features, you already know we’re a sucker for some gum soles. But Pepsi & Nike limiting this release to just 150 pairs had us feeling some type of way.
Public School x Air Jordan 12 Retro "Friends & Family"
The recently released PSNY x Air Jordan 12 Retro was also one of our favorite sneaker releases of the year, even if we did strike out on trying to cop a pair for ourselves. Nevertheless, even if you did get the W that day, the internet is always there to remind us that someone out there is flexing harder than you. So, days after the PSNY XIIs hit retail, folks like Ronnie Fieg and DJ Clark Kent hit the ‘Gram with their personal “Friends and Family” colorway. Now, we personally like the retail version a little bit better, but these are pure fire.
Nike SB Dunk High "What The Doernbecher"
Available exclusively via eBay auction, just 11 pairs were produced of the “What The Doernbecher” Nike SB Dunk High. This very unique release boasts design elements from all 13 of the program’s SB designs, and pays homage to the first SB Dunk that launched the “What The” concept back in 2007. When you factor in these were produced for a great cause, came out dope and are super limited, it’s no wonder these went for sky-high prices once the dust settled on the auctions.