Collaborations owned the sneaker landscape in 2021, and Nike delivered countless looks with others that all collectors loved.
The athletic giant worked with the likes of Social Status, Kith, Supreme and other footwear and fashion leaders throughout the year to give some of its classic sneakers new shoes to choose from.
Below, six in-the-know collectors share their thoughts on several of Nike’s top collaborations from 2021.
Social Status “Free Lunch” Dunks (“Chocolate Milk” and “Strawberry Milk”)
“James Whitner proved to be another prolific storyteller in 2021, especially for the underrepresented minorities, through his Nike Dunks with a custom cut to narrate a ‘Free Lunch’ story. The complete rollout of the short film and packaging for the ‘Chocolate Milk’ and ‘Strawberry Milk’ colorways reminded me how the free lunch program served my family in a time of need. The sneaker made you recall your favorite lunch selection and understand how important community is for children and families.” — T.J. Keasal
Patta Air Max 1
“I see this shoe all over all of my timelines, both platforms, so the saturation is wild. Plus it’s a Black-owned brand — got to love that.” — Jazerai Allen-Lord
Kith for Nike Air Force 1
“If there’s one thing Ronnie Fieg is know for his execution. To commemorate his latest flagship locations in Paris and Hawaii he dropped two Air Force 1s, which at first glance may not look too crazy, but when you look up close and peep the crazy yet subtle detailing you’ll see why these shoes are so impressive. Both pairs feature an all white premium upper complimented by the embossed Kith-branded quarter panels which sits on a sail outsole. The Paris version draws inspiration from the French flag with the velvet collar and tri-colored mini embroidered Swoosh, while the latter version has a ‘Blue Lagoon’ collar and mini embroidered swoosh which is similar to the water in Hawaii.” — Henry Francois
“The best Nike collab this year has to go to Off-White. I jump back and forth between the 50 and the lemonade AF1. But in my eyes, it really may be the 50 with Virgil [Abloh] passing. I’ve wondered in hindsight if he knew his time here may not be the longest, and he wanted to ensure as many people as possible could have his work. Hence the way it released and the volume. If that is the case it makes the release far more meaningful than what many of us thought initially. And that says a lot to me, personally.” — Ricky Shoebio
Supreme SB Dunk Lows
“The Supreme x Nike SB Dunk Lows proved that when Supreme is on they’re untouchable. You have to see those Dunks in person to really appreciate them. They’re on my hit list now. Flawless execution and another classic.” — Robbie Falchi
Sacai x Fragment LDV Waffle
“We got hit with a slew of triple collabs this year, but the Nike x Sacai x Fragment LDV Waffle was a beautiful nod to nostalgia mixed with just the right hit of modern notoriety. My personal favorite was the light smoke gray colorway. Expounding in the classic Bill Bowerman creation, I loved the double Swoosh, suede overlays and small Fragment lightning bolt logo — just the right amount of hype to keep the new generation of sneakerheads satiated while making the OG’s appreciative of the resurgence of a classic silhouette. A definitely top pick for 2021 for me.” — David “Kari” Daniels