Adidas has made an impressive foray into the high end sneaker game, and 2016 saw the brand make epic collaborations and come up with many awesome releases. If anyone doubted the brand at all before, Adidas made it clear this year that they’re aiming to be one of the most innovative and accessible sneaker companies on the market. In addition to the profiles of some of the top Adidas sneaker releases this year, the colorways the company put out were also noteworthy. Here are five of the top Adidas sneaker releases of 2016.
1. Adidas NMD – $120
Without a doubt, one of the most highly sought after and most talked about models that Adidas put out this year was the NMD. Though the shoes start at a relatively affordable $120 price point, there’s been so much hype surrounding them that just about every colorway quickly sells out. Speaking of, Adidas really did a great job with the color palettes for this shoe and they managed to perfectly balance clean looks with modern style.
One of the highlights of the NMD collection is the Adidas x Bape NMD, which retails for $150. It took Bape’s signature camouflage and mixed it with the profile of the NMD to make one impressive shoe. What was really outstanding about this particular model was the flawless melding of the understated silhouette with a loud and bold print.
2. Adidas x Raf Simons Stan Smith Copper – $400
Adidas continued their collaboration with Raf Simons to come out with the Adidas x Raf Simons Stan Smith in 2016. It’s a metallic statement shoe that some call Copper while others call Bronze. Whatever you call it, these shoes are a refreshing detour from the typical metallic sneaker with tones of standard silver and gold.
Raf Simons made his mark on the sneaker with a perforated letter “R” at its vamp, which provides an edgy detail. This version of the Stan Smith is made of leather that’s super comfortable and breathable with a fabric lining. The Stan Smith was first released back in 1971, and though it’s been highly popular ever since this iteration of the silhouette is both luxurious and unexpected. It’s perfect for anyone who wants a high end sneaker that’s classic with a twist.
3. Adidas x Wood Wood Ultra Boost – $180
One of the most popular Adidas sneaker releases from the last several years is the Ultra Boost, and there’s been seemingly no end to the number of versions that have come out for it. In 2016, Copenhagen based Wood Wood and Adidas partnered to release a women’s version of the Ultra Boost that’s truly outstanding. The first time that Wood Wood worked with Adidas was in 2006, and this time their collaborative effort with the brand is even more innovative and crave worthy.
The shoe is one of two pairs of the Ultra Boost that was designed by Wood Wood, with the other being a black pair with a variation of the classic Adidas Three Stripes that was made for men. The women’s sneaker is white, doesn’t have a cage at all, and instead features a midfoot strap that’s elasticized. Paired with contrasting pull tabs at the heel and a bit of branding from Wood Wood on the left shoe’s tongue, these are stylish and unlike anything else on the market.
4. Adidas x Rick Owens Mastodon – $1,000
This is definitely one of the priciest Adidas sneaker releases of 2016, but that’s to be expected when Rick Owens is onboard. Still, the Adidas x Rick Owens Mastodon cost much less than most kicks that have Rick Owens’ influence, which is probably why so many people clamored to get these. Few other shoes in the Adidas line have such high quality leathers, and the shoe also features the trademark thick sole seen on other Rick Owens sneakers.
This isn’t the first collaboration between Adidas and Rick Owens, although other efforts between the team haven’t always been so well received — after all, it’s not easy to come up with a vanity sneaker that most of the Adidas fan base will gravitate towards. However, the Mastodon pretty much hit the mark. To come up with this 2016 release, Rick Owens worked with Adidas for several years and thankfully the shoe is a great blending of Owens’ aesthetic and classic Adidas style.
The Mastodon’s upper looks a lot like the Pro Model, an Adidas shoe that goes way back to 1965. That component is entirely covered with premium leather and was combined with a rubber toe cap and a huge sole that most would expect Rick Owens to come up with. When the Mastodon first dropped it quickly sold out in Europe, and in the States Adidas had to release several new colorways to keep up with demand just weeks after the original hit store shelves.
5. Adidas x Complex Quickstrike Pro Model – $150
Online magazine Complex was able to get a deal with Adidas for a sneaker collection due to its original video series Quickstrike. In it, Russ Bengtson and DJ Clark Kent talk all about the latest in the sneaker world as well as new releases — the series quickly became a hit with sneaker fans. At the end of one video early in 2016, the guys behind the video series announced they’d be coming out with their own sneaker in partnership with Adidas and hype for the line started almost immediately.
The team came up with designs for two Adidas classics: the Pro Model and the Superstar. The Superstar has a white leather upper with perforations shaped like stars and signatures from Adidas and Quickstrike on the shoe. The Pro Model, however, took a bolder approach and covered the silhouette in camouflage patterned premium leather. The toe and sole were kept white, but the rest of the shoe is anything but ordinary. Even the Three Stripes are interesting on this release, as the ones on the outside of the sneaker are black and the ones on the inner panel of each shoe are metallic gold.