ARTICLE BY Boon Mark Souphanh

The Most Underrated Sneaker Colabs of 2020 (So Far)

new balance haven colab

We’ve been thrown what seems like an endless assault of curve balls in 2020, and the sneakersphere certainly hasn’t been immune to the wildness. However, despite supply-chain nightmares, cancelled anniversary celebrations, delayed releases, and forced store closures, many of the game’s most prominent collaborative forces have still managed to send deafening reverberations through the scene, rewriting the playbook on hype in the process.

The focus has been firmly fixed on releases like the ‘Air Dior’, as well as the revitalised Dunk, but we’ve fortunately been blessed with some killer link-ups from those who tend to steer clear of the limelight. Here’s our most underrated collaborations of the year so far. 

haven new balance 990v5

HAVEN x New Balance 990v5

HAVEN and New Balance are building quite the partnership, and their most recent 990v5 continues the good vibes. Once again, the Canadian retailer has proven they’re credentials with a minimal remix of a New Balance favourite, combining eye-catching reflective accents with familiar grey tones.

Once again, it’s the minute details that set this release apart – Horween leathers and CORDURA reinforcements headlining the all-important add-ons.

sneeze club reebok colab

SNEEZE magazine x Reebok Club C

Reebok are making some big plays in 2020, with releases like the Brain Dead x Club Leather showing off the brand’s willingness to team up with new collaborators. Another such link-up is the super-clean SNEEZE magazine x Reebok Club C, which delivers welcome spin on the ‘Bok classic.

Calling on the help of the popular streetwear zine, Reebok make use of lush ebony and ivory tones, splashed with just the right amount of black. SNEEZE stamp their authority on the lateral via an eye-pleasing bubbly inflated font logo.

Above The Clouds x ASICS GEL-1090
Above The Clouds x ASICS GEL-1090

Above The Clouds x ASICS GEL-1090

Sydney boutique Above The Clouds celebrated 10 years in the retail game this year, and good friends ASICS came to the party with this zen AF GEL-1090.

Marking the first time the silhouette has been used in a collaboration, the colourway combines tonal beige mesh and lightweight synthetic with pretty OG ASICS blue accents along the heel counter and toe bumpers. It’s clean ‘n mean, but custom touches like see-through Tiger Stripes, clear GEL inserts, ‘MIND’ and ‘BODY’ tongue labels, and raised Above The Clouds heel tabs win this celebratory crep a spot among the year’s faves. 

Women’s Air Jordan OG SP x Melody Ehsani

Air Jordan OG SP x Melody Ehsani

LA-based designer Melody Ehsani broke new ground with her Jordan OG, the first ever Women’s OG collaboration from the Jumpman. A celebration of women in basketball, the sneaker pays homage to the past, while looking to usher in the next generation.

Symbolising women’s excellence on and off the court, the Ehsani calls on classic black and infrared for the base, while distinctive cherry detailing – a symbol of abundance and closely associated with the goddess of fertility – delivers a fitting feminine touch.

Converse x Carhartt WIP Renew Chuck 70
Converse x Carhartt WIP Renew Chuck 70

Converse x Carhartt WIP Renew Chuck 70

These guys know a thing or two about canvas. Carhartt and Converse expanded the game-changing Renew initiative with a brand new collaborative Chuck 70 project in 2020.

The project made use of a thousand pre-loved canvas Carhartt work jackets, trousers and overalls, sourced from UK-based fashion and vintage retailer Beyond Retro. No two pairs are the same, with all the pre-loved garbs sorted into three colour ranges – navy, black and brown – then butterfly cut to create individual Chuck 70 shoe panels.

Hard work always pays off!

Enjoy a mid-year recap? Be sure to check out the Sneaker Freaker staff's favourite sneakers of the year (so far) here.

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