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Sneaker News 2013 Year End Rewind: Day 2

December 17, 2013by Sneaker News
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Day 2 of our Sneaker News 2013 Year End Rewind is here and we’ve only scratched the surface of what this past year had to offer. In addition to a smorgasbord of killer releases from some of your favorite brands and athletes, we’ve also got a full recap of the year’s best moments in Celebrity Feet.

Check out who was turning heads this year and get all caught up on the best of Nike Foamposites and KDs, not to mention strong 2013 campaigns from adidas and Vans. There’s plenty of ground to cover ahead, so dig in and stay tuned all week as we continue to run down the year in sneakers.

Sneaker News 2013 Year End Rewind: Day 1

2013 was all set up to be Kevin Durant’s to take. Coming off one of the most popular Nike Basketball signatures ever in the KD IV, as well as an impressive NBA Finals appearance, Durant and his shoes had only the highest of expectations going into the next season. It kicked off in October of 2012 with the introduction of his fifth Nike shoe, which would eventually spill into the first half of this year with a series of impressive KD V releases like the “All-Star”, “N7”, and “What the KD” editions. The year also brought the first-ever KD Elite Series offering which was introduced just prior to the 2013 playoffs after being noticeably absent from the previous year’s Elite collection. But for all the noise made by the V, it was the early launch of the sixth model that helped make the Nike KD series such a consistent headline throughout the year.

Nike significantly shuffled up their signature basketball release calendar in 2013 so that each player’s shoe would get its own release season rather than all of them debuting on top of each other at the beginning of the yearly NBA season. A late-June launch event in Durant’s hometown of Seat Pleasant, MD set off a string of inspired colorways of the KD VI, which boasted a super low-cut silhouette, cutting-edge tongue construction, visible Max Air in the heel, and Flywire on the upper. Everything from Kevin’s hometown gym to his favorite childhood food was used as for colorway inspirations, while the wild NSW Lifestyle model spoke to the OKC star’s likable nature off-the-court. 2013 was indeed a storied year for the growing legend of the arrived star, so read on below for some of the brightest KD highlights of the last twelve months.

One of the most popular Nike KD V colorways in the range, the space travel-inspired 2013 All-Star colorway featured a radioactive green upper, gradient midsole, and an inner lining printed with graphics portraying the rough surface of an unexplored planet.

Kevin Durant’s name was mentioned not once, but twice in 2013’s collection of Native American-infused Nike N7 sneaker releases. The KD V and KD VI were both released this year as part of the philanthropic initiative, with proceeds going directly to the Nike N7 Fund.

After being excluded in Nike Basketball Elite’s debut year, Kevin Durant’s signature shoe was rolled out as part of the sophomore series with an introductory White/Gold colorway, as well as the “Superhero” edition and others. The KD V Elite was a drastic change from the in-season model with a much lower ankle cut, visible Flywire, and a full-length Zoom Air unit utilized to bolster the shoe’s postseason capabilities.

The vivid colors and details on this unreleased version of the KD V Elite made them a hotly coveted item, with noted NBA sneakerhead J.R. Smith even giving them a go during a regular season game. Despite never releasing to the public, as these were created exclusively for the Elite Youth Basketball League, this special edition colorway was one of the most talked about make-ups of the shortly-lived model.

After making its way onto a number of other Nike basketball models, the alluring “What The” concept finally hit the KD series, with the most memorable elements from the many different KD V colorways being combined and interspersed throughout the shoe’s haphazard design.

Nike celebrated the launch of the Kevin Durant’s sixth signature shoe, the Nike KD VI, at a media unveiling in the hoops star’s hometown of Seat Pleasant, MD. The entire event, which realigned the release schedules of Nike Basketball’s signature sneakers, would be headlined by the release of a yellow/teal “Seat Pleasant” colorway that exuded local flavor.

Joining the hometown “Seat Pleasant” colorway at the launch of the KD VI was the multi-faceted Supreme edition. Acting as the model’s “Pre-heat” launch, the KD VI Supreme boasted a map of DC as well as a hypnotic graphic on the upper to represent Durant’s hometown and the concept of time and growth – a theme that would be later revisited with successive releases and on NIKEiD.

To serve as the introductory release in China, Nike Basketball whipped up the “Bamboo” colorway, transporting the durable and vigorous reputation of the plant onto the KD VI silhouette. The initial China-only release in July, which included special-edition wooden packaging, was followed by a wider global release in September.

With Kevin Durant’s star power rising, it was time to give the guy another model to work with. The KD VI NSW Lifestyle was a fun strictly off-the-court option, with a super-high cut and double-tongue construction headlining a list of funky details never before seen on a KD sneaker.

Sending praise to his alma mater isn’t anything new, but Nike upped the ante with the KD VI “Texas”. Instead of going with the classic Longhorns color scheme, Nike opted to bring in some unique visuals like the state’s well-known big night sky and glowing stars, pairing them with the classic burnt orange for the traditional Texas effect.

Nike and KD have gone the extra mile in their storytelling efforts with each and every release of the VI. This clever version was a simple nod to one of the go-to lunchtime staples of Durant’s childhood – peanut butter and jelly, complete with a goopy dripping Swoosh.

Nike chose to give props to KD’s home state of Maryland once again with another intricately composed colorway. The Maryland Blue Crab edition of the KD VI took its look from the state’s most recognizable signature dish.

Since the debut of the model in July, every KD VI release has been backed with an interesting sub-plot, giving each release some additional depth. The Wheat/Gum edition, however, hit stores without much of a peep from Nike, but anyone who laid eyes on these knew there was plenty to make noise about.

The annual Nike Christmas motif made its way onto the KD VI, with a metallic red and minty green upper comprising the bulk of this holiday-inspired shoe. What made this one a keeper was the new gem-shaped ornament lacelock and the holiday sweater print found on the medial side.

Not too many sneaker companies ticked all the right boxes quite like adidas did during the last calendar rotation. The Brand With The Three Stripes proved once again that they could nimbly juggle the realms of high performance footwear and more fashion oriented, lifestyle silhouettes. Their winning formula was one that relied on authentic voices from the worlds of sports and music to help tell their stories across a wide variety of models both new and old. Derrick Rose, A$AP Rocky, Damian Lillard, John Wall, Big Sean – that’s just a portion of the influential figures who went all in with adidas in 2013.

While the star power helped turn heads, keep in mind that adidas also demonstrated that they could do that for themselves with their brazen performance innovations like the BOOST and Springblade technologies. Mix in a healthy dose of their heritage styles, collaborations and long-awaited retros and you’ve got quite an impressive and broad-reaching crop of 2013 offerings that helped adidas win over a lot of consumers and set themselves up for a strong 2014 campaign. Oh, and did we mention that they’ve signed this guy Kanye West?

There was a lot of buzz around Iman Shumpert’s bright orange Top Ten 2000 PEs after they debuted on court in February of 2012. It took over a year to happen, but the coveted special edition colorway finally saw a retail release this past January as a Packer Shoes exclusive.

They’ve since parted ways, but the Teyana Taylor x adidas Originals project was an interesting one while it lasted, and further evidence of the GOOD Music camp’s influence on the sneaker and fashion worlds.

The Three Stripes lightened up their running program and came with the adidas Energy BOOST, a performance runner that upped the stakes for energy absorption and responsiveness with its unique molded foam capsule construction.

It took a while, but this trio of camo laden BAPE x UNDFTD joints finally showed up at retailers in February. You could go heavy on the prints with the ZX 5000 or opt for the slightly more covert Campus editions.

adidas Basketball proved once again that the D Rose line thing isn’t the only thing they have going. The CrazyQuick debuted on new signing John Wall’s feet and eventually had its namesake sole technology spread out to some other adidas hoops builds as well.

Runners for the runway. Yes they look kinda bizarre, but if you’re not into bizarre gear then you probably don’t rock with Raf anyway. After getting an A$AP Rocky co-sign a few months prior, various models in the Raf Simons for adidas collection began to hit shelves just in time for summer.

adidas single handedly distilled the whole Urban Ninja vibe into this sleek Y-3 silhouette. Some folks made a Roshe comparison, but come on, you’ve never seen a Roshe like this.

In contrast to their understated adidas BOOST technology, this time around, the Three Stripes unleashed a literal blade runner with one of the most visually striking outsole constructions we’ve ever seen.

At long last after 20 years, Dikembe Mutombo’s fondly remembered 1993 signature adidas sneakers finally made a retro comeback, staying true to their OG form and colorway when they returned to shelves this summer.

Before his boss Kanye joined the adi Camp, Big Sean hit us with his second signature edition of the Pro Model. The “Hall of Fame” followed up on last year’s red pair with a murdered out look and a less limited distribution.

It doesn’t get much cleaner than these. The adidas Originals Stan Smith showed up in a quick 100 pair run for New York Fashion Week exclusively at Barney’s NY. Be on the lookout for a wider celebration of the timeless model in the year to come.

Remember when the Dunk Contest actually had big names in it? So does adidas: they brought back the very shoe that Kobe Bryant wore while soaring to a win back in 1997 during his stint as a member of the Three Stripes family.

This one was a no-brainer. After aiding greatly in the popularization of the Jeremy Scott x adidas aesthetic within the hip-hop world, A$AP Rocky finally teamed up with the tandem for a “Black Flag” edition of the JS Wings 2.0.

Before a new injury would derail Derrick Rose’s comeback campaign,”The Return” came to fruition and Chicago’s favorite son got a dynamic new shoe for the 2013 season with a bold front/black split design on the upper and Crazyquick tech down below.

You can always count on Sneaker Freaker when it comes to collabs. This go-around, they teamed up for the first time with adidas to help reintroduce the Torsion Integral with a speckled-up black/mint/white concoction.

It doesn’t have his name attached anymore, but this is a Kobe Bryant sneaker through and through. adidas revisits their more recent basketball heritage once again by reminding us of the Black Mamba’s early days as a signature sneaker endorser.

In 2013, there seem to be more sneakerheads than ever. Just by walking down the street and checking out people’s footwear choices, it’s clear that more and more people are falling in love with the sneaker culture everyday. This ballooned population has of course trickled over into the world of celebrities. That’s not to say that famous folks flaunting sought-after footwear is an entirely new concept, and many of the names you’ll see below have certainly been around the block in this respect, but 2013 was undoubtedly a year more ripe with these sort of cross-over moments than any before it.

The Celebrity Feet section is one of the more controversial categories with our readers. Plenty will call into question why it even matters that another pop starlet donned a treasured pair of retros or a random rapper was seen co-signing the custom scene. But keep in mind that these moments help to contextualize the culture and serve as a reminder that the rest of the world is rapidly catching on. Some of these moments will earn your respect and some of them will generate no small amount of anger, but all of them point to the level of noise that the sneaker world is making on a level far beyond the blogs and message boards.

What do your bowling shoes look like? Chris Paul blew us away by wearing this unreleased Air Jordan IV during a charity bowling event. A few months later he would drop jaws again with the purple nubuck IV he showed off to the world.

We’re going to chalk this one up to Adam Sandler’s well-known Jets fandom. The New York born actor showed up courtside with the white/green version of former Jets cornerback Darrell Revis’ signature shoe.

Don’t forget that Jay Z had his own line of Reebok sneakers way back when. This time though, it wasn’t the S Dots, as Jigga stepped out on the town in an OG colorway of the revived Shawn Kemp model.

Jordans for the whole team. A whole gang of San Francisco 49ers laced up in matching Air Jordan Vs and posed for a pic before heading out East for their Super Bowl match-up with the Ravens.

A$AP Rocky has been showing love to Jeremy Scott’s adidas creations since day one, so it came as no surprise to see him sporting the JS Totem perfectly matched up with a Chicago Blackhawks jersey.

At this point, Russell Westbrook can probably get his hands on any Jordans he wants, but the Tokyo23 edition of the Air Jordan V is still a prized score for anybody and surely turned some heads when he broke them out at All-Star Weekend.

Concords on the cover. David Price hit the Sports Illustrated baseball preview in one of the greatest Air Jordans of all time.

The Cleveland Browns’ Joe Haden’s showed off his sneaker room and proved that opposing receivers aren’t the only thing he has locked down.

Jason Sudeikis’ sneaker selection has been on point for a while now. This time he hit up NYC’s Met Gala affair with the Air Jordan XI “Bred” on feet and wife, Olivia Wilde, on his arm.

You’ve gotta imagine that Heat coach Erik Spoelstra has the ultimate LeBron connect, and yet he still keeps the Jordans in the rotation as seen with the White/Cement IVs he broke out for a May press conference.

A strange bit of foreshadowing: Kanye West makes a cameo during the Anchorman 2 filming wearing a pair of adidas Forum Mids long before the official partnership between the two came to fruition.

Bronsolino could be seen sporting no shortage of limited releases from Asics and New Balance across the year. In his “Strictly 4 My Jeeps” video, he pulled out an Asics Gel Lyte III “ECP” designed by fellow Queens native Ronnie Fieg.

You don’t need to be told about Wale’s sneaker collection. He again impressed here by co-signing the python creations of one JBF Customs.

Kanye hit the Governors Ball stage and gave the world their first good look at the “Red October” Air Yeezy 2. Madness ensued, followed by some street sightings.

A deadly trio of the rap game’s brightest young stars, each showing that their acumen in sneaker selection is on pair with their skills in the booth.

LeBron James ain’t worried about nothin’. Expect for drinks spilling on his Air Jordan IIIs at this post-championship celebration party.

The movie White House Down had Jamie Foxx playing the US President and proclaiming “Get your hands off my Jordans!”

Court clothes? Amanda Bynes went to see the judge this past July in a basketball jersey and a pair of Air Jordan VIIIs.

At this point, people are going to pay attention to Trinidad James’ sneakers no matter what, but a mismatched pair of Air Jordan IIIs certainly helped.

Pharrell still has it as he put down the Timbs for a second and suited up in one of the most coveted LeBron releases of the year for a Nelly video.

Country club outfit guidelines mean nothing to Melo.

No doubt one of the more unlikely stories in sneaker celeb history. Hulk Hogan showed us again and again that someone somewhere was blessing him with all sorts of Air Jordans.

Are you really surprised that MJ can still dunk? This moment from the GOAT featured his first ever shoe on his feet as he reminded us all that he’s still got it.

Probably not an everyday occurrence, but West Coast rapper The Game was caught snoozing with all sorts of recent sneaker pickups sharing his bed.

Miley Cyrus literally said “Js so fly I should work at Flight Club” in the Mike WiLL Made It video for “23”. You mad?

Kanye’s fiancee proved to the world that she’s on the short list of people with a legit pair of the “Red Octobers”.

His Airness bro’d out in a game of beer pong while casually wearing one of the most sought after unreleased Jordans of all time.

Yep, Chi McBride still gets blessed with insane hook-ups. Here he popped up as one of the first non-Eugene residents to wear the Air Jordan V “Oregon Ducks”.

Drizzy’s signing bonus after becoming an official member of Team Jordan? Two sets of OVO branded, stingray leather retros.

One of the most memorable moments in sneaker history reborn. Fat Joe is still tasting his soles after all these years.

After the glowing Galaxy and the ghoulish ParaNormans raised the bar the year prior, what direction would Nike take the Foamposite in 2013? Would Nike keep it on the traditional side and stay with the uni-colored body that made it such a hot item, or would the brand explore a new realm of possibilities by bringing back graphic prints? It’s clear that the latter was the chosen path because this year’s Foamposite releases were more ambitious than ever as the legendary model received some of its most outrageous looks to date.

Camouflage print, classic Safari, the return of Weatherman, and another trip to outer space summarizes the short list of this year’s Air Foamposite output. But don’t forget the all-white Ones that were originally a PE for Penny Hardaway, and the Sport Royal pair that provided a different take on the original colorway, not to mention the first ever Foamposite entry into the annual Doernbecher collection. After all the bold color approaches seen this year, it will be interesting to see where Nike takes the silo from here in 2014.

The 2013 Foamposite onslaught was started off with a major bang thanks to the white/black/silver camouflage pair dubbed the “Fighter Jet”. This was the first Foamposite to feature an extra assortment of details like the dogtags and military fighter jet logos.

Thought Nike was getting a bit out of hand with Foamposite colorways? The “Whiteout” erased all that chatter and offered up the cleanest Foams ever, proving that the brand hasn’t completely detoured from the tonal route.

Nike returned to the military inspiration with the classic camouflage graphic on this Foamposite Pro. Volt-colored details and a gum outsole added some additional intrigue to this popular mid-year release.

This Sport Royal edition took an alternate spin on the original Dark Neon Royal Foams, changing things up with the brighter hue and further deviating from the OG with the grey tongue and eyelet strips.

Kevin Durant’s “Weatherman” chapter never seems to close. Nike Sportswear took the shoe championed by KD’s DMV home region and outfitted it with some personal touches calling back to KD IV edition from 2011.

Another member of the NSW “Weatherman” Pack was this White/Red “Thermal Map” installment, which utilized thermo-graphic imagery to adorn the clean white upper and provide a new angle on the ongoing theme.

The annual Doernbecher collection raised the bar for its 10th Anniversary by adding one of the most popular retro silhouettes in the recent memory. Designed by Elijah Diggans, this Air Foamposite One release was inspired by the youngster’s favorite sport (baseball) and pro athlete (LeBron James).

What was left for Nike to do to honor Tinker Hatfield’s iconic Safari print? How about putting it on the Air Foamposite One, and making it reflective. Just like the Weatherman release, the Safari Foams were paired with a matching Air Force 1 Low counterpart.

Finishing off the year of wild Foamposite drops was the “Asteroid”, which clearly plays off the seemingly never-ending “Galaxy” theme. This Pro model travels through an asteroid cloud, pulling in some vibrant colors and patterns and even introduced the Foam’s first gradient outsole.

When it comes to Vans sneakers, there is an underlying rebellious California skate aesthetic that will always come with the territory. Call this not a static brand image, but a strong identity that shines through whether the shoes in question are being touched up by an independent sneaker shop out in the Midwest or a riot-inducing thrash rap band from the 1990s. As is usually the case, the Vans inline range was strong, helped out this year by the tenth anniversary celebrations coming from their Vans Vault category, but it was their unique array of partnerships that offered up the biggest brand highlights over the past year.

Those partners took us to the dingy forgotten sectors of Boston, the gritty streets of New York, back to Africa and over to Asia, and finally back into the summery California landscape that originally birthed the brand. Vans’ outlaw appeal and willingness to take chances by teaming up with edgy partners were as apparent as ever in 2013 as they continued to make headlines with a vast assortment of different models and brands subdivisions. With one of the most timeless catalogs boasted by any brand, it’s safe to say that Vans has all the firepower they need to keep going strong into the new year and beyond.

So-Cal sneaker shop Blends celebrated their tenth year in business with a long overdue Vans team up. The result was a mean looking Sk8-Hi in black leather with zippers on the heel and stitched bones representing the Vans wave.

The Concepts team took us to the dingy depths of Boston with the “Combat Zone” Sk8-Hi featuring a laser-etched upper, plush pink lining, and some naughty little graphics on the heels.

Leave it to the Supreme team to have kids camped out for flowery sneakers. Extra points if you got the New Order reference without having to look it up on Wikipedia.

When was the last time you saw a sneaker collab come out of Columbus, Ohio? This Vans Vault release made a good case for the city via Sole Classics’ “Carmen” colorway.

Another one of those sneaker partnerships that just had to happen. No longer does Tyler, The Creator have to doodle on his Old Skools – they gave him his own Syndicate collection.

The royal sneakers are clean your highness. Bodega referenced an Eddie Murphy classic with the “Coming to America” pack and some wild printed Authentics.

This renowned sub-section of the Off The Wall brand officially celebrated a decade of endless creativity and luxurious make-ups back in the summer. Here’s to another ten.

Supreme and Comme des Garçons back together again. For the 2013 iteration, a four-pack of Vans classics donned polka-dotted digital camo prints that linked back to a matching apparel collection.

Kanye West in Vans? It happened, and you can thank the WTAPS collection. This lowkey military-inspired pack kept up the tradition of strong co-branded Vans efforts from the popular Japanese brand.

Ice-T’s controversial 1990’s side project, Body Count, gets a couple of models bearing their name in OG gothic lettering and featuring the added touch of metallic gold revolver hangtags.

Is there any outside entity Vans has more trust in than Taka Hayashi? They handed him another set of shoes to work with and he hit it out of the park again, pirate prints and all.

Tattooed Vans? The team at UBIQ enlisted some overseas talent to come up with a couple of silhouettes sporting traditional Japanese artwork.