The Best (and Most Polarising) Off-White x Nike Sneaker Colabs Ever
Regardless of your opinion about the work of Virgil Abloh, you can’t deny that he has been a prolific collaborator in recent years, especially when his Off-White brand joins forces with Nike. While there’s generally a lot of love out there for Virgil’s work, his expansive Swoosh collaborative catalogue occasionally polarises the sneaker community. And while the man who does it all has crafted some absolute heaters, some have had sneakerheads less than enamoured. Here are the best and most polarising Off-White x Nike collaborations ever.
BEST: Off-White x Nike ‘The Ten’ Collection
The love story of Virgil Abloh and Nike started in 2017 with a collection dubbed the ‘The Ten’. As the name suggests, it was a 10-piece sneaker collaboration that consisted of an Air Force 1, Zoom Fly, Air VaporMax, Air Presto, Hyperdunk, Blazer, Air Max 90, Air Max 97, Converse All Star, and Air Jordan 1.
The crown jewel of the colab was the Air Jordan 1 which brought back the famed ‘Chicago’ colourway. While models such as the Zoom Fly and Hyperdunk, that weren’t necessarily standalone hype silhouettes, also received some much needed time in the spotlight.
This colab officially launched the fruitful relationship between Abloh and the Swoosh, it cemented the Off-White look that we now know. Zip-ties on sneakers have now become synonymous with the brand and have helped launch a plethora of new models with the collaborative co-sign. As a collection, ‘The Ten’ showed a new way of collaborating and caused ripples within the sneakersphere that are still felt today.
BEST: Off-White x Air Jordan 2
According to many, the Air Jordan 2 is an underrated silhouette. It hasn’t been in rotation for a while, so excitement is high for the fact Virgil touched-up the decades-old shoe for the new generation of sneakerheads to enjoy. The pre-worn aesthetic with artificially crumbled soles plays into the vintage sneaker trend that’s been popular in recent years and, while not everyone likes that look, we have to give props for creativity!
POLARISING: Off-White x Nike Dunk Low ‘Dear Summer’ Collection
When the sneakersphere heard that we were receiving 50 Off-White x Nike Dunk Lows that pretty much look exactly the same, they were divided. One of the main reasons a collaborative sneaker is special is because it’s distinct, and you’re one of a few who owns it – which is a great feeling. However, a bunch of enthusiasts seem to have enjoyed the democratisation of this colab, and the broad colourway choice.
POLARISING: Off-White x Nike Dunk Low Collection
Back in 2019, excitement levels were high when people learnt that Abloh was touching the Nike Dunk Low. The sneakersphere waited with bated breath. We were expecting some heat, but the final product left the sneakersphere divided. The changes looked to be minimal, with added branding and extra laces, which seemed to play it a little too safe. While this could also be said about his other releases, Virgil will usually change the structure of the silhouette ever so slightly. An example would be added foam to the Air Max 90’s collar and tongue, Swoosh branding under the Air Presto cage, or the stitched Swoosh on the AJ1. Some digged the new look and copped with the quickness, but others thought they seemed like a slightly lazy interpretation of an OG silhouette.
BEST: Off-White x Nike Rubber Dunk Collection
We have to give Virgil props for creating the Rubber Dunk, which is a fusion between the Nike P-6000 and the regular Dunk. While these three region-exclusive colourways weren’t for everyone, they were an original interpretation of the retro silhouette, so they deserve some praise.
POLARISING: Off-White x Nike Zoom Fly Mercurial Flyknit
What’s your opinion of the Off-White x Nike Zoom Fly Mercurial Flyknit? It seems the community either hated it or loved it, with no grey area in between. For some it was too simplistic, and didn’t hold the same pizzaz as many of the other shoes on this list. For others, the minimal intervention aspect meant these were the perfect gateway into the Off-White x Nike universe.
BEST: Off-White x Air Jordan 4 ‘Sail’
Banger alert! The women’s Off-White x Air Jordan 4 ‘Sail’ was arguably one of Virgil’s best. Hitting last year, the sneakersphere went nuts for the minimal design with signature Off-White touches.
POLARISING: Off-White x Nike Air Force 1 ‘Volt’
Nike’s ‘Volt’ colour is cool... when used sparingly! So, an Air Force 1 covered in the bright green hue could be seen as a bit too much. However, ‘Volt’ is a favourite hue among heads that like their sneakers to be loud AF, so it didn’t turn everyone off.
POLARISING: Off-White x Converse Chuck 70
Some say that the Off-White x Converse Chuck 70 is the poor man’s ‘The Ten’ version. A plain white upper sees Off-White medial branding, large orange zip-tie, and stripes along the midsole. But for those who didn’t want to pay the inflated after-market prices for ‘The Ten’, these provided a welcome alternative!
BEST: Off-White x Nike Zoom Terra Kiger 5
Were you expecting to see the Off-White x Nike Zoom Terra Kiger 5 voted as one of the best? While its resale value isn’t up there with some of the other silhouettes, this iteration of the track shoe showed that Abloh doesn’t always need an OG silhouette to create a banger release!
POLARISING: Off-White x Nike Air VaporMax
Another shoe that could be considered a poor man’s ‘The Ten’ iteration. Looking at it from Virgil’s perspective, as a man of the people, he just wanted to give them what they wanted – a sequel to his collaborative Nike Air VaporMax. Not as sought-after as the first edition, this follow-up was a more accessible version.
BEST: Off-White x MoMa x Nike Air Force 1
Ultra-limited and easy to style, it’s difficult to say anything bad about the Off-White x MoMa x Nike Air Force 1. These bad boys released exclusively at the MoMa Design Store in New York with a pair of matching socks. Every celebrity or noteworthy person that was close to Virgil seemed to add these to their rotation, driving their lustre even higher. Following this release, we saw Virgil host his own exhibitions at select galleries around the US and dropping commemorative AF-1s to celebrate the opening of each.
BEST: Off-White x Air Jordan 5
We’re grouping both of the Off White x Air Jordan 5s in here because they were as epic as each other! The ‘Sail’ and ‘Muslin’ hit shelves last year and, of course, were scooped up with the quickness. The icing on the cake was Abloh surgically removing the transparent circles for a classic Off-White touch.
BEST: Off-White x Air Jordan 1 ‘Europe Exclusive’
There’s just something special about an all-white sneaker. And what about an all-white sneaker that’s also an Off-White colab and exclusive to Europe? Now that’s sneaker history in the making.
BEST: Off-White x Air Jordan 1 ‘UNC’
The peak of Off-White x Nike hype was circa 2018, and the Off-White x Air Jordan 1 ‘UNC’ added some serious fuel to that already-raging fire. It hit all the right notes, and was another of Abloh’s best creations with the Swoosh.
BEST: Off-White x Nike Air Force 1 ‘ComplexCon’
Who remembers the 2017 ComplexCon? Exclusive sneakers were dropping left, right and centre, including this highly sought-after AF-1. Similar to it’s MoMa cohort, this pair was a simple take on the iconic Uptown that we can’t really fault.
POLARISING: Off-White x Nike Air Force 1 ‘Lemonade’
The reason the Off-White x Nike Air Force 1 ‘Lemonade’ is considered polarising is because putting together a fit will be incredibly difficult. However, the more adventurous stylists out there are definitely up for the challenge!
BEST: Off-White x Nike Air Presto
Most of Off-White’s ‘The Ten’ follow-ups have failed to reach the heights of that original collection, however, the second coming of the Air Presto was one exception. Arriving in a black and a white, these were low-key and provided the perfect follow-up to the OG.