In 2023, we’ve witnessed a remarkable display of innovative and truly unique sneakers that have demanded our attention. Similar to your own sentiments, the top sneakers of 2023 have a touch of nostalgia. A distinctive affinity for past decades emerges, even the most cutting-edge silhouettes introduced this year, such as the Asics Gel-NYC or Nike’s P-6000, appear more as artistic compositions of familiar styles rather than groundbreaking novelties.
Nostalgic kicks have always been crowd-pleasers, and while we do have a few exceptions, our current favourites transport us back to the 2000s. Regarding colour choices, the sneaker landscape appears to have embraced a subdued palette, with neutral and earthy tones taking centre stage. The adoption of a somewhat weathered appearance is the norm, except for the enduring classic black and white variations.
This week, we unpack the crème de la crème of sneakers for 2023, and witness the indisputable evidence that this year is shaping up to be another exceptional year for highly sought-after footwear.
Nike SB Dunk Low x Jarritos
RELEASED: May 10 2023
ORIGINAL RETAIL PRICE: R 2402
The Jarritos x Nike SB Dunk Low was born from a collaboration between the Mexican soda company on the iconic skate shoe. They’re constructed with a white leather base with contrasting tan hem overlays that can be worn away to feature an underlying orange suede layer. A Jarritos logo on the lateral side of the heel and a green hemp Swoosh on the mid-panel highlight the design. The shoe was a welcomed release that left many sneaker heads waiting in anticipation, however there was some controversy surrounding the shoe, pegged become a latest grail item, after Nike had cancelled people’s orders 5 days after the drop.
Why Did Nike Cancel Jarritos Dunks Orders?
To begin with, Nike has been actively working to combat bots on the SNKRS app. While their efforts to enhance bot protection may seem like a positive move for long-time users, it has inadvertently led to an unintended consequence. Some genuine users found themselves caught in the crossfire, resulting in Nike banning their accounts.
Nike "Frozen Moments" Jordan 4s
RELEASED: 31 August 2023
ORIGINAL RETAIL PRICE: R 3899
This luxe women’s sneaker features “Light Iron Ore” and “Neutral Grey” throughout the upper. The “Metallic Silver” support wings glisten above the leather and suede layer underneath, while the monochrome look is rounded off with a simple grey and white midsole and accents.
Adidas x Wales Bonner Samba "Silver"
RELEASED: 9 July 2023
ORIGINAL RETAIL PRICE: R 6522
July welcomed the Adidas and London based luxury fashion label, Wales Bonner‘s Samba collaboration, making a striking debut in a radiant Silver colourway. This partnership pays homage to vintage aesthetics and reimagines the classic Samba silhouette. Crafted with high-quality leather overlays featuring a lustrous silver finish, these sneakers exude a sense of luxury. Adidas’ iconic three stripes are elegantly presented in a contrasting woven off-white, adding an element of intrigue to the side panels.
Aimé Leon Dore x New Balance 860v2 “Green”
RELEASED: 4 April 2023
ORIGINAL RETAIL PRICE: R 2771
The Aimé Leon Dore x New Balance 860v2 ‘Green’ is part of a collaborative collection of three shoes that presents Teddy Santis’ interpretation of a high-performance running sneaker that first launched in 2012. The upper unit of the shoe features cream-colored mesh, complemented by sturdy synthetic overlays in silver and tan. The interior lining, the ‘N’ logo, and the mesh quarter panel appear in forest green. The tongue is branded with ALD, while the heel tab is adorned with the brand’s floral motif.
Travis Scott x Nike WMNS Air Jordan 1 Low OG “Medium Olive”
RELEASED: 26 April 2023
ORIGINAL RETAIL PRICE: R 2771
The Travis Scott x Women’s Air Jordan 1 Retro Low OG ‘ Medium Olive’ sneaker arrives exclusively in women’s sizing. These sneakers feature off-white leather overlays against a sleek black suede base. A unique touch is added with the olive suede Swooshes which appear in reverse on one side and a classic design on the other. The muted earthy hues are brought to life with bold crimson accents and finished with Nike Air woven tongue tags and alternating Jordan and Cactus Jack branding on the heel tabs.
Nocta x Nike Glide "Triple White"
RELEASED: 27 October 2023
ORIGINAL RETAIL PRICE: R 3000
Drawing inspiration from the Nike Zoom Flight 95, this retro-inspired model comes constructed in breathable white mesh on the upper with woven textile side panels. Other details includes the NOCTA branding on tongue and insoles, with stretched eyelets spelling out ‘NIKE.’ The shoe features 3M reflective elements.
CORTEIZ X AIR MAX 95 SP RULES THE WORLD "SEQUOIA"
RELEASED: 10 March 2023
ORIGINAL RETAIL PRICE: R 3510
The Nike Air Max 95 SP ‘Rules the World – Sequoia,’ created in collaboration with Corteiz, a streetwear brand from London, has been given a new look with a military-inspired color scheme and updated materials. The upper is designed with a gradient of olive-green hues, with a netted base and undulating leather panels on the sides. The Corteiz logo is stitched on the heel and lateral forefoot, and the tongue is adorned with their Alcatraz logo.
AIR JORDAN 4 RETRO GS "CACAO WOW’
RELEASED: 12 September 2023
ORIGINAL RETAIL PRICE: R 2771
Designed for older kids, the Air Jordan 4 Retro GS ‘Cacao Wow’ showcases rich dark teal accents on the molded eyelets and the inner lining against a suede-and-brown-textile upper and a chocolate brown leather overlay on the forefoot. The off-white foam midsole rests on a beige herringbone-traction rubber outsole and stands out with subtle speckling and a visible Air-sole unit in the heel.
NIKE X MARTINE ROSE SHOX
RELEASED: 25 July 2023
ORIGINAL RETAIL PRICE: R 4988
Sports giant Nike teamed up with London-based designer Martine Rose to bring its Shox technology back into the mix this season. Showcasing a mule-shaped silhouette, the reimagined take on the classic style is a nod to Rose’s iconic squared toe mules. Highlights include leather uppers with breathable mesh overlays and Nike’s iconic Swoosh logo on the sidewalls in metallic silver. A vibrant red shox column takes centre stage at the midsole for a sporty, eye-catching look.
JJJJound x Salomon XT-Wings 2
RELEASED: 1 June 2023
ORIGINAL RETAIL PRICE: R 3141
The XT-WINGS 2 model marks the first collaboration between Salomon merging a sports-inspired approach with a minimalist style. Presented in white and blue, these sneakers are sculpted with a mesh upper and a rubber outsole. They’re fitted with a Quicklace™ white lacing system for a secure fit.
Air Jordan 4 Retro SB "Pine Green"
RELEASED: 20 March 2023
ORIGINAL RETAIL PRICE: R 4157
After being teased last year, the much-anticipated Nike SB X Air Jordan 4 “Pine Green” finally released. It represents a fusion of two sporting worlds from different ends of the spectrum, both united through a desire for performance, cushioning and durability.At first glance, the sneakers have that familiar, AJ4-typical look. The shape, for instance, is designed to resemble the original ’89 release for increased comfort, while the tongue is thicker and padded for enhanced support.
Matin Kim x ASICS GEL-SONOMA 15-50 “Glacier Gray”
ORIGINAL RETAIL PRICE: R 3122
Seoul-based label Matin Kim’s collaboration with ASICS, saw them produce the three-piece “Tracing Ego” pack of GEL-SONOMA 15-50s. Out of the three, this “Glacier Gray”colourway embodies the brand’s signature of contemporary minimalism the most. Adapting the trail-ready, heavy-duty nature of Salomon’s and giving them a seraphic feel.
Nike Dunk "Volt" Low
RELEASED: 14 June 2023
ORIGINAL RETAIL PRICE: R 2032
These phosphorescent Dunk Lows are as bright at night as they are during the day. The entire upper, for starters, is painted a vibrant, neon green, with different finishes applied to the base and overlays. Black Swooshes, then, sweep across the side towards an orange-coloured heel tab, the latter of which complements the check atop the tongue label opposite. And once the lights begin to dim, the entire shoe displays a seemingly radioactive glow.
Adidas Campus 00s "Grey/White"
RELEASED: 1 March 2023
ORIGINAL RETAIL PRICE: R 1900
Drawing on the Campus 80s, these adidas Campus 00s shoes rewrite the narrative for the next generation of trailblazers. Updated colours and proportions give a modern edge while signature 3-Stripes and a premium suede upper keep things true to the iconic Campus style. A true classic, the adidas Campus 00s is back for the new season with an updated design, made partially with recycled content. It is crafted from grey suede and sits atop a white midsole – a nod to the sneaker heritage.
MAISON MIHARA YASUHIRO HANK LOW ORIGINAL SOLE TOE CAP CANVAS
RELEASED: 1 June 2023
ORIGINAL RETAIL PRICE: R 4060
Japanese label Maison MIHARA YASUHIRO has been known for its avant-garde aesthetics and experimental, deconstructed designs. The Hank sneakers arrive on an Original warped sole and are intentionally distressed for an instantly recognisable, lived-in look. The shoe features a black canvas upper with white stitching and a white rubber sole. The shoe is made from high-quality materials, ensuring durability and comfort.
AIR JORDAN 6 GOR-TEX "BROWN KELP"
RELEASED: November 2023
ORIGINAL RETAIL PRICE: R 4619
According to sneaker leakers, Jordan’s latest modernised basketball sneaker is inspired by the ACG Air Mowabb “Birch,” an offering that debuted in 1991. Sole units underfoot also take on a number of fall-appropriate colours, further expanding the Air Jordan line’s off-court legacy.
'NOTRE’S SALOMON XT- "GRASS-STAINED"
Alongside Chicago retailer Notre, Salomon is taking its XT-4 up a notch by revealing a collaborative The XT-4 OG. as it’s officially known — sports natural shades of green, beige, and brown that come to life in the custom gradient pattern reminiscent of grass stains that shoes often develop with heavy use. The model also features the industry-leading technology that Salomon is known for, furthering the concept of the collaboration with durable mesh uppers and multi-surface traction.