ARTICLE BY Cesca Benson

The All-Time Greatest Triple Black Sneakers

Via @jamietailor

Triple Black, blacked-out, all-black... Whatever you want to call it. But as far as schemes go, few are as everlasting as an all-over wash of inky black. A staple in every rotation, and a must for nearly every silhouette out there, it risks getting looked over as a colourway through pure ubiquity. So we thought we’d show it some love. Sure, you’ll always have your go-to all-black Air Max 95s or TNs, but these are the ones that really stand out from the pack.

adidas NMD ‘Pitch Black’adidas NMD ‘Pitch Black’

When it first dropped, the adidas NMD was unstoppable, and the ‘Pitch Black’ represented the summit of Mt. Nomad. It was the first outing for coloured BOOST – already enough to send the sneakersphere into freak-out mode – and was limited to 500 Friends and Family pairs. No wonder it caused pandemonium. To fuel the fire even more, an uber-lucky few scored the ‘Urban Utility Unit’, which saw the NMDs housed in a Rimowa case with blacked-out accoutrements from Porter and Oral-B... among others. It was enough to secure it a place in our list of The Most Legendary Sneaker Packaging Ever.

adidas NMD 'Pitch Black'

Nike Air HuaracheNike Air Huarache

It seems like a distant memory now, but the hunger for Nike Huaraches – Triple Black ones in particular – back in 2014/15 was truly wild. If you worked in sneaker retail at the time, no doubt you remember handing out more than a few ‘No, sorry. We’ve sold out’ platitudes before the hopeful face in front of you could even finish asking ‘Do you have any all-black Huaraches?’ How did you know what they even wanted? You could just tell.

Roaring popularity aside, they’re a damn comfortable shoe. There’s a reason the original advert for the shoe asked, ‘Have you hugged your foot today?’

@hattari_hanzo with a 3M laceswap
'Have you hugged your foot today?'

Yeezy BOOST 350 ‘Pirate Black’Yeezy BOOST 350 ‘Pirate Black’

Maybe not totally black, but black enough to make the list, the Yeezy BOOST 350 ‘Pirate Black’ gets us nostalgic for a simpler time. The time of Yeezy’s infancy, when each drop was a big event and you could – get this – count the number of colourways on one hand!

Sure, the scarcity of the early Yeezy releases did not align with Kanye’s ‘Yeezys for everyone’ plan but, as such, they’ve kept their shine. ’Ye, please don’t bring back the 350 V1, we like it just how it is.

Via @jamietailor

adidas UltraBOOST 1.0adidas UltraBOOST 1.0

The year 2016 was all about BOOST, and the adidas UltraBOOST 1.0 ‘Triple Black’ epitomised the #boostvibes era. The performance silhouette turned everyday driver was heavy on hype. So beloved was the OG that the Three Stripes recently brought it back this year, original 1.0 knit pattern and all.

adidas UltraBOOST 1.0 Triple Black

Air Jordan 11 ‘Blackout’ & ‘Cap and Gown’Air Jordan 11 ‘Blackout’ & ‘Cap and Gown’

A mysterious blacked-out Air Jordan 11 sample appeared, and Jay fiends went bananas. Needless to say, it ended up selling for $11,000 and leaving a trail of disappointment in its wake.

Luckily for everyone who doesn’t have a spare eleven stacks lying around, Jordan Brand heard these yearning calls, and dropped the AJ11 'Cap and Gown' in 2018. Sure, the ballistic mesh made way for suede, but it was a small price to pay.

Air Jordan 11 ' Blackout'
Image via Ebay
Air Jordan 11 'Cap and Gown'

Y-3 QasaY-3 Qasa

Yohji Yamamoto’s Y-3 Qasa broke the mould when it debuted in 2013. They combined sleek Japanese design with Team Trefoil’s resurrected Tubular tech.

Chuck on a pair with some drapey, drop-crotched pants, something minimalist and expensive up top, and you’re oozing mid-2010s steez.

Y-3 Qasa
Via End Clothing

Comme des Garçons x Nike Air VaporMaxComme des Garçons x Nike Air VaporMax

It would be remiss of us to talk about the all-time greatest ‘Triple Black’ releases and not mention Comme des Garçons’ epic back catalogue of Swoosh link-ups. There are plenty of blacked-out bangers to choose from, for sure, but it’s hard to go past their take on the VaporMax.

It marked the first appearance of Nike’s full-length naked Air unit, and got people salivating for the sleek sneak ahead of the VM’s general release on Air Max Day in 2017. Released alongside a ‘Pure Platinum’ variant, the ‘Triple Black’ was stealth AF.

Commes des Garcons x Nike VaporMax
Comme des Garcons x Nike VaporMax

Nike Air Force 1 ‘All Black Everything’ PackNike Air Force 1 ‘All Black Everything’ Pack

Just because they’re only one colour, doesn’t mean shoes can’t go hell for leather on the material front (yes, pun intended). And the Nike Air Force 1 ‘All Black Everything’ Pack did just that.

Created for a charity auction to benefit Jay-Z’s Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation, the five shoes were inspired by the five teams of the World Basketball Festival: USA, China, France, Brazil, and Puerto Rico. As the name suggests, they were all awash with inky black, but each was wrapped in different textures, be it patent or perforated leathers, nubuck, pony hair, tumbled skins, or a subtle safari. They were blacked-out and badass.

Nike Air Force 1 'All Black Everything Brazil'
Nike Air Force 1 'All Black Everything USA'
Nike Air Force 1 'All Black Everything China'
Nike Air Force 1 'All Black Everything France'
Nike Air Force 1 'All Black Everything Puerto Rico'
Now ReadingThe All-Time Greatest Triple Black Sneakers

Subscribe to our Newsletter