Well it’s that time of year again when we recap what we think were the best footwear offerings of 2013 — be they boots, slippers, high-tops, low-tops, sandals, whatever (OK, clearly no sandals). Like many of y’all out there, we have a soft spot in our decrepit hearts for sneakers, and shoes of all sorts, so we’re collecting our favorites from the past year and sharing them with you below. Starting at #13 and descending all the way to our #1 shoe — including offerings from mastermind JAPAN, Converse, Martin Margiela, Nike, adidas, Comme des Garcons, Alexander McQueen, Supreme and many more — we present you Lost In a Supermarket’s Top 13 Sneakers, Shoes, Boots & Luxury Footwear Of 2013…
#13 Supreme x COMME des GARCONS x Vans Eras
Let’s start off with a no brainer. Three fashion super heavyweights unite in this collaboration between New York skate/streetwear giants Supreme, Japan’s Comme des Garcons and iconic Cali footwear stalwarts Vans. Supreme and Comme des Garcons collaborated on several items in 2013, but this Vans Era silhouette — also using the pixelated camouflage x polkadot CdG material — is the best application.
#12 Converse x Chaz Bojorquez Chuck Taylor All Stars
Legendary graffiti artist Chaz Bojorquez lended his design style to Converse for an update on their iconic Chuck Taylor All Star hi models. The limited edition sneakers featured many a fine detail, including hexagonal lace eyelets, woven waxed laces, embroidered heel logo, printed insoles and most boldly the Los Angeles artist’s “Senor Suerte” skull on the tongue. The shoes, which were crafted of thick black canvas, used to be available in limited numbers over at Haven for about $115. But now you’re outta luck.
#11 visvim Gris Moc Mid-Folk Boots
We had to include one visvim on the list, so why not the Gris Moc Mid-Folk silhouette from Japanese brand. Straight from their Spring/Summer 2013 Collection, the Gris Moc Mid-Folk were finished in all natural cowhide on the upper with a Vibram Gumlite outsole, and were made available in colorways for everyone — from your basic black and brown to more headturning options in green, blue and pink.
#10 Keith Haring x Reebok Reserve “Affili’Art” Pop-Art Sneaker Collection
The artwork of famed New York artist Keith Haring was cleverly incorporated onto classic 80’s Reebok silhouettes such as the Ex-O-Fit, Freestyle Hi and Classic Leather for their The “Affili’Art” collection. Our favorite iteration was the above Ex-O-Fit silhouette, playfully modified with Haring’s iconic stick figures popping up over the laces and dancing on tongues. The “Affili’Art” collection was a playful mix of pop-art meshing with Reebok’s higher end Reserve line of sneakers.
#9 Christian Louboutin “Tyronito” Wingtips
It takes a special kind of man to pull off Christian Louboutin’s “Tyronito” Wingtips, but we gotta give good ol’ Red Soles props in the “head turning” category. What is normally one of the most conservative of all footwear options, the wingtip, gets plastered with black metal spikes onto a rich calf leather toe, matched with suede around the ankles. If you got the balls, you can get Louboutin’s “Tyronito” for $1,675,
#8 mastermind JAPAN x adidas Original Consortium Rivalry Hi Sneakers
We’re all saying goodbye to mastermind JAPAN this year, which is a sad event for fans of higher end street wear. In one of their last offerings, mastermind JAPAN gives the Adidas’ Rivalry Hi silhouette their signature treatment, which means they’re constructed of high quality premium laser cut leather, pigskin suede, flocked reflective logos and bone lace jewels — all in black, naturally, with plenty of MMJ branding (including copious skull and crossbones). Part of the ‘BEST of adidas Originals’ capsule collection — which included running shoes, track suits, hoodies and leather jackets — the mastermind JAPAN x adidas Original Consortium Rivalry Hi Sneakers were the piece we were feeling the most.
#7 Nike Jumpman23 x JUST DON “Black History Month” Air Jordan 1 High-Tops
There were some other great Air Jordan 1’s released in 2013, including the classic Air Jordan 1 Retro Highs and OG “Black Toes”. But we had to lean towards this limited edition pair crafted to celebrate the 37th Anniversary of Black History Month. Designed in collaboration with hat designer JUST DON, the classic Air Jordan 1 silhouette was swathed in all black leather with a bright orange liner — and only 37 of the highly exclusive high-tops were made, all to benefit the Big Brothers & Big Sisters of America organization.
The Top 6 of the Best 13 Sneakers, Shoes, Boots & Luxury Footwear Of 2013 after the Jump…
#6 Bally Vincens Boots Celebrating 60th Anniversary of First Mount Everest Climb
These beautifully crafted boots were manufactured by Swiss label Bally to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Sir Edmund Hillary’s legendary climb of Mount Everest back in 1953. Interestingly, the boots are not modeled after the shoes that Hillary wore, but rather are replicas of the ones worn by Hillary’s main Sherpa, a Nepalese man named Tenzing Norgay. Now that’s a neat twist in the homage game. The men’s Vincens alpine boots were manufactured out of a rich brown leather with an ankle strap, silver buckle and chunky vintage outsole. The most salient design element, however, has to be the extended pad in a lighter, contrasting coffee brown that comes up out of the ankle.
#5 Y-3 Yohji Yamamoto adidas Held Sneaker
The latest collection of sneakers for Yohji Yamamoto’s Y-3 line for adidas contained some familiar silhouettes, as well as some totally fresh ones for Fall/Winter 2013. Of course even the repeat models are crafted in new materials and colors, including a camouflage and safety orange version of the popular Snow Model. But our preferred item had to be the top of the line Held seen here for around $505.
#4 adidas Originals by Jeremy Scott JS P-LETTERS
If it’s a new year, it’s time to expect more footwear craziness from Jeremy Scott. Sure we could’ve gone with his “Tartan” Plaid-Printed JS Instinct Hi’s, the “Hologram” High-Tops or even his Zebras, Dollar Bills and Digital Wings collection, but perhaps his most creative pair of sneakers this year were his JS P-LETTERS Leather High-Tops.The limited edition sneakers take a classic white basketball shoe and wrap it in giant black leather letters spelling out “ADIDAS”, starting from the left shoe and wrapping around back to the right. While not as garish as some of Scott’s other footwear creations, the JS P-LETTERS sneakers still won’t fail to get you plenty of attention. You can get the latest from the Kansas-via-Paris-via-Los Angeles designer at Atmos for about $250 (22,050 yen).
#3 Alexander McQueen Punch-Hole Sneakers
The house of Alexander McQueen recently showed off its latest offering in the world of ultra-luxury “sneakers” with their Punch-Hole high-tops. Although looking more like a boot, the Punch-Hole sneakers are crafted in black perforated leather that fades into a cognac brown on the toes and heel. They also feature a beige logo patch on the tongue, tonal lace up closure with gunmetal eyelets and lace hooks, white foxing, tonal stitching and a rubber sole. Gorgeously executed, the half sneaker/half formal Alexander McQueen Punch-Hole high-tops can still be picked up at SSENSE for $800.
#2 Maison Martin Margiela x Converse White Paint-Dipped Sneaker
Maison Martin Margiela and Converse keep their much anticipated collaboration true to their particular styles with very simple takes on two of the latter’s most iconic silhouettes. Both the Chuck Taylor All Star Hi and Jack Purcell models get outfitted in Maison Martin Margiela’s signature crispy white. But it’s not just white canvas or leather, but rather the entire sneakers have been doused in brilliant white paint, from heel to toe. This paint motif reflects a process Margiela has oft utilized — such as with their paint-splattered Austrian sports sneakers. The interesting wrinkle however is that the shoes before they’re dunked in paint begin their life in vivid colors — Crimson Red, Black, True Navy and Vintage Sunflower Yellow (a color exclusive for the Martin Margiela collaboration). This means that as you wear the shoes, the paint will wear off in unique patterns dependent on your foot shape and activity. In the end, your shoe will be unlike any other. The Maison Martin Margiela x Converse Sneaker Collection is part of Converse’s First String Collection, and was released on September 20 for $200 (200 Euros as well). Conveyor had some, but they’re long gone.
#1 Adidas Stan Smiths Re-Issue
And with absolutely no dissension in the ranks, we anoint the re-issue of the timeless adidas Stan Smiths as the #1 shoe of 2013. Every man should own at least one pair of Stan Smiths. No, scratch that — every man, woman and child alive should own a pair of Stan Smiths. In fact, they should have charities where they gift Stan Smiths to Congolese children who don’t have shoes (they really should do that). Along with Chuck Taylors and Vans slip-ons, it’s one of the must-have silhouettes that will never age. After monkeys take over the world and bury the Statue Of Liberty under sand, those upstart simians will probably be rocking Stan Smiths (keep your hands off my Stan Smiths, you filthy apes!). Unfortunately for you, in the last couple years if you were in the market for a pair you were assed out, as adidas ceased production on the timeless sneaker years ago. Fortunately for you, adidas announced this year they were re-introducing the shoe into production. The Stan Smith sneaker returned on September 4th as a limited launch, but will be back in more widespread production in 2014 — so you’re in luck kids. The low tops will look pretty much the same as they did when the show was called the “Robert Haillet” — you know, clean white leather upper, triple perforated stripes and green accents. What more do you need? That of course was before the great Mr. Smith started rocking them and made them an iconic chemical in the pro tennis equation. Keep an eye out for the adidas Stan Smiths at your local (tasteful) sneaker boutique early next year…