Sneaker collaboration with celebrities isn’t a new phenomenon. Yet, sneakerheads love when their favourite celebrities or anyone trending puts out sneakers. Of course, these limited edition sneakers often have great resale value.
The buzz is only getting stronger with supply chain issues delaying release dates. So what are some of the hottest celebrity sneaker collaborations in 2022? Here are the top 10:
Billie Eilish x Nike Air Force 1
Recently, the most exciting sneaker collaboration came from the Grammy-winning recording artist Billie Eilish and the world’s biggest sneaker brand. Eilish redesigned the iconic high-top sneakers, Nike Air Force 1s, and made them with a vegan nubuck upper. Made with 18 per cent recycled materials, the sneakers sold out immediately.
They were released in the neutral ‘Mushroom’ colourway. A second colourway ‘Sequoia’ has been unveiled, releasing in fall. There are even rumours of an AF1 Low collab with Eilish making rounds in sneaker blogs and forums.
Tom Sachs x Nike ‘General Purpose Shoe’
Where sneaker collabs are all about limited edition numbers, the contemporary American artist, Tom Sachs, took a different approach with his collab with Nike under the label Nike Crafts. His collab sneakers, named ‘General Purpose Shoe’ or ‘GPS,’ are all about accessibility.
They were priced modestly and were restocked frequently to meet the demand. Sachs even asked fans not to buy resales as the shoes will be restocked, so they can buy them at retail price. Now that’s a breath of fresh air in an increasingly competitive sneaker collab world.
Travis Scott x Jordan 1 Low ‘Reverse Mocha’
The Travis Scott x Jordan 1 Low ‘Reverse Mocha’ colourway was teased for months, only hyping it up for the Cactus Jack sneakerheads. As if a Travis Scott collab isn’t already hyped!
The Reverse Mocha colourway features cream leather, brown suede, and the Cactus Jack logo on the back tab. The subtle colours of these sneakers are just so versatile that they have to be the best Travis Scott collab sneakers to come out in 2022.
Billie Eilish x Jordan Brand Air Jordan 15
Billie Eilish’s collab Air Jordan 15s dropped recently, and they are simply fabulous. The young singer-songwriter took the technologically-advanced design of the Jordan 15s to the next level, with 20 per cent of them made with recycled material, just how her AF1 rendition was.
It’s interesting why she chose to collaborate on this particular sneaker model. According to Nike, she wore them when she sprained her ankle and loved the extra support the high top of the sneakers provided. Her take retains the same benefit with an almost slip-on-like silhouette.
Joe Freshgoods x New Balance 9060
Joe Freshgoods has established himself as the design king of the ‘West side of Chicago.’ While he has collaborated with many brands, he outdid himself with New Balance.
The 9060 collab is different for a variety of reasons. First off, it’s a new sneaker model inspired by the 990 series, unlike other collabs that are just reincarnations of classic models. Secondly, and more importantly, it’s a little different from earlier New Balance collabs that usually only see slight redesigns and modifications.
Virgil Abloh x Nike Air Force 1 Low
The Louis Vuitton x Nike Air Force 1 sneakers by Virgil Abloh easily take the reigns when it comes to the most iconic sneaker collabs. After his passing, the sneakers have resurfaced as part of his last collection for the French luxury brand.
Virgil Abloh’s contributions to the sneaker world go way back, and it’s unfortunate that we won’t see more of them. But we did get another smashing sneaker collab released posthumously. All of his collabs, whether under Louis Vuitton or his label Off-White, have incredibly high resale/auction prices.
Rick and Morty x Puma x LaMelo Ball ‘MB.01’
Puma isn’t as big on celebrity sneaker collabs as Nike or Adidas, or even sneaker collabs, in general. However, the brand has changed the narrative by taking onboard the young basketball sensation LaMelo Ball. Of course, that meant collaborating on sneakers, too, but Puma did one better and involved Rick and Morty as a partner.
The result was the MB.01 sneakers in mismatched bright colours that were surprisingly an instant hit. The sneakers have been a common sight on basketball courts and sold out quickly. It’s not that the neon pink and green sneakers have a celebrity name and pop culture attached to them, but the design itself is pretty extraordinary.
Travis Scott x Nike Air Max 1
Perhaps the most anticipated sneakers for 2022 were the Travis Scott x Nike Air Max 1 announced after the unfortunate incident during the Astroworld Festival. The sneakers were released months later when the attention had shifted.
Even though they are often associated with Astroworld Festival, this particular Cactus Jack collab notably stands out as Nike introduced some archival features like the Nike ACG Pocket Knife. Of course, it had to have the signature Cactus Jack elements like reverse Swoosh. However, the nostalgic retro elements in Earth tone colourway made this collab sneaker a true standout.
Bad Bunny x Adidas Forum Low ‘Blue Tint’
Adidas and Bad Bunny began collaborating in 2021, and this year, the ‘Blue Tint’ colourway for the retro Forum Low became one of the most sought-after sneakers. While Adidas has collaborated with several celebrities and designers, their collab with Bad Bunny is probably the smartest, given the Puerto Rican artist’s global stardom.
This collab used a skate-inspired design for the retro sneaker, with a buckled strap over the laces and a puffy tongue. They were initially released exclusively in Puerto Rico, but in the summer, they were released globally. Not so surprisingly, the sneakers became some of the most expensive flips.
Adidas Yeezy 450 ‘Utility Black’
At this point, it’s probably not right to consider Yeezy a collab sneaker, as Yeezy is a brand in its own right. Whilst we don’t know where the Yeezy brand is headed with Kanye West ending his contract with Adidas, we know that the Yeezy 450 in the Utility Black colourway is hands-down one of the best sneakers in 2022.
Dropped in August, the all-black futuristic Yeezy sneaker was a Yeezy release after a while. So you can imagine the anticipation Yeezy fans had. The black Prime-knit upper combined with the black claw-like sole of this Yeezy 450 makes it more sophisticated.