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adidas x Sean Wotherspoon Gazelle Hemp | Image: adidas

15 Best Sneakers of 2023


It may have taken a few years, but 2023 finally saw a big shift in the world of sneakers. Some of the silhouettes that have dominated the last few years were traded out in favour of something more streamlined, and there was one shoe that best typified the change. adidas came back in a big way thanks to the dominance of the Samba and Gazelle, bolstered by collaborations with names like Sean Wotherspoon and Wales Bonner. It was also the year that saw golf and streetwear combine, something that Nike led the way in through collaboration with Travis Scott and PeaceMinusOne. As per usual, this list features plenty of other high-profile collaborations with names like Rihanna, J. Balvin and sneakerhead mainstays Joe Freshgoods and Salehe Bembury. Check out the best sneakers of 2023 below.

Best Sneakers of 2023 at a Glance

adidas x Sean Wotherspoon Gazelle Hemp | Image: adidas
adidas x Sean Wotherspoon Gazelle Hemp | Image: adidas

adidas x Sean Wotherspoon Gazelle Hemp

  • Brand: adidas, Sean Wotherspoon
  • Upper material: Hemp
  • Cushioning: Medium
  • Shoe shaft style: Low Top

The adidas x Sean Wotherspoon Gazelle Hemp took sustainable fashion to new heights, earning its spot among the best sneakers of 2023. Crafted from hemp, the shoe not only embraced eco-conscious materials but also showcased innovative design. The woven upper, reminiscent of Gazelle’s classic panelling, featured intricate white embroidery, complemented by vibrant orange accents on the heel and iconic adidas stripes.

Sean Wotherspoon’s initials and a distinctive hemp label added personalized branding. The eco-friendly ethos extended to a translucent gum midsole and a cork insole, reflecting Wotherspoon’s commitment to plant-based fashion.

adidas x Wales Bonner Samba Metallic | Image: adidas
adidas x Wales Bonner Samba Metallic | Image: adidas

adidas x Wales Bonner Samba Metallic

  • Brand: adidas, Wales Bonner
  • Upper material: Leather
  • Cushioning: Medium
  • Shoe shaft style: Low-top

The adidas x Wales Bonner Samba “Silver” sneakers epitomized futuristic elegance. Crafted in collaboration with Wales Bonner, those kicks featured a silver-tone patent leather upper, creating a mesmerizing mirror effect. The iconic 3-Stripes took on a unique crochet form, alongside a Wales Bonner print, adding distinctive flair. The oversized tongue proudly showcased dual branding, emphasizing the collaborative design. Beyond aesthetics, those sneakers boasted a front lace-up fastening and a flat rubber sole for comfort and style.

ASICS x GmbH – GEL-KAYANO LEGACY | Image: ASICS
ASICS x GmbH – GEL-KAYANO LEGACY | Image: ASICS

ASICS x GmbH – GEL-KAYANO LEGACY

  • Brand: ASICS, GmbH
  • Upper material: Leather, Mesh
  • Cushioning: High
  • Shoe shaft style: Low-top

The dynamic duo of the German fashion scene, Benjamin Huseby, and Serhat Isik from GmbH, made a lasting mark with their ASICS collaboration. In celebration of the GEL-Kayano Legacy’s 30th anniversary, GmbH unveiled two versions, including the standout ‘Grey/Black’ colourway showcased during their Fall/Winter 2023 runway show in Paris. These kicks boast a throwback aesthetic with a blend of dad shoe and Y2K runner influences, featuring mesh and leather overlays. The triangular tongue labels proudly display white Japanese kanji characters, representing the Kayano brand and the ASICS logo.

New Balance x Aimé Leon Dore 860v2 | Image: New Balance
New Balance x Aimé Leon Dore 860v2 | Image: New Balance

New Balance x Aimé Leon Dore 860v2

  • Brand: New Balance, Aimé Leon Dore
  • Upper material: Mesh
  • Cushioning: High
  • Shoe shaft style: Low-top

Aimé Leon Dore and New Balance joined creative forces again, leaving a mark with the ALD/New Balance 860v2. Unveiled as part of the SS24 collection, this collaboration diverged from its earlier release in the year, embracing a vibrant, 2000s-inspired palette. The shoe’s upper, a blend of open-holed mesh and glossy synthetic overlays, reflects meticulous attention to detail, preserving the shoe’s original purpose.

KITH x Clarks x adidas Samba | Image: KITH
KITH x Clarks x adidas Samba | Image: KITH

KITH x Clarks x adidas Samba

  • Brand: KITH, Clarks, adidas
  • Upper material: Suede
  • Cushioning: Medium
  • Shoe shaft style: Low-top

Kith’s Ronnie Fieg orchestrated a partnership between adidas and Clarks Originals, resulting in a striking trio of models. The fusion of three iconic brands gave birth to a novel silhouette, seamlessly blending the classic adidas Samba with Clarks Originals’ signature suede. The reimagined Samba showcased the iconic three stripes on both sides, symbolizing the unity of these powerhouse brands. Ronnie Fieg, Clarks, and adidas Originals coalesced on the debossed tongue, while the sock liner boasted a tonal leather finish. The design was crowned with Clarks’ legendary crepe outsole, making its debut alongside the adidas Samba upper.

Nike x PEACEMINUSONE Kwondo 1 | Image: Nike
Nike x PEACEMINUSONE Kwondo 1 | Image: Nike

Nike x PEACEMINUSONE Kwondo 1

  • Brand: Nike, PEACEMINUSONE
  • Upper material: Leather
  • Cushioning: Medium
  • Shoe shaft style: Low-top

The Nike Kwondo 1 G-Dragon Peaceminusone Panda was a landmark collaboration between Nike and G-Dragon. In a sleek black-and-white color palette, the sneaker boasted a durable upper crafted from white leather and synthetic materials, accentuated by striking black details. The dense midsole ensured exceptional padding and support. Noteworthy features included the Nike Swoosh on the lateral sides, a ‘NIKE Swoosh’ inscription on the tongue, and G-Dragon and Peaceminusone branding on the heel.

Tiffany & Co. x Nike Air Force 1 Low | Image: Nike
Tiffany & Co. x Nike Air Force 1 Low | Image: Nike

Tiffany & Co. x Nike Air Force 1 Low

  • Brand: Nike, Tiffany & Co
  • Upper material: Leather, Suede
  • Cushioning: Medium
  • Shoe shaft style: Low-top

The Air Force 1 x Tiffany & Co. ‘1837’ was an unexpected, luxurious collaboration. This exclusive release paid homage to New York City’s iconic landscape, showcasing the AF-1 silhouette in a Triple Black colourway. Crafted with precision, the sneaker boasted premium leather and luxe detailing, including a sterling silver piece on the heel. The AF-1 x Tiffany & Co. ‘1837’ effortlessly bridged the worlds of basketball and street style, symbolizing the crossover icon it became.

Nike Air Jordan 3 'Reimagined' | Image: Nike
Nike Air Jordan 3 ‘Reimagined’ | Image: Nike

Nike Air Jordan 3 ‘Reimagined’

  • Brand: Nike, Jordan
  • Upper material: Leather
  • Cushioning: High
  • Shoe shaft style: High-Top

The Nike Air Jordan 3 ‘White Cement Reimagined’ took sneaker enthusiasts on a nostalgic journey back to 1988, paying homage to one of the most coveted colourways in sneaker history. Honouring 35 years of legacy, this iteration embraced an aged aesthetic that redefined timelessness. Vintage vibes permeated the design, with intentional yellowing on the midsole, eyelets, and backtab. Classic Nike Air branding at the heel added to the throwback appeal. The iconic Elephant print, faithfully updated to replicate the ’88 original, and splashes of Sail and Fire Red kept the spirit of the original design alive and well.

Nike SB x Air Jordan 4 | Image: Nike
Nike SB x Air Jordan 4 | Image: Nike

Nike SB x Air Jordan 4

  • Brand: Nike, Jordan
  • Upper material: Leather
  • Cushioning: High
  • Shoe shaft style: High-Top

The Nike SB x Air Jordan 4 ‘Pine Green’ was a vibrant amalgamation of skateboarding and basketball culture. This drop paid homage to the dynamic duo, Sandy Boedecker and Tinker Hatfield, architects of the iconic sneaker that not only guided Michael Jordan’s journey but also reshaped pop and street culture.

Revisiting the AJ4 design, Nike SB and Jordan reintroduced the ’89 toe box with a deconstructed upper with flexible plastic detailing. With Nike Air in the heel for comfort during epic stair counts and zonal gum rubber on the outsole for essential traction, these sneakers seamlessly blended heritage AJ4 style with contemporary Pine Green accents. Straight from the vault, the Nike SB x AJ4 ‘Pine Green’ delivered a wild ride and fetched a mammoth resale price.

FENTY x PUMA Avanti 'Aged Silver' | Image: PUMA
FENTY x PUMA Avanti ‘Aged Silver’ | Image: PUMA

FENTY x PUMA Avanti ‘Aged Silver’

  • Brand: Puma, Fenty
  • Upper material: Leather
  • Cushioning: Medium
  • Shoe shaft style: Low-Top

Originally introduced in Jil Sander’s 1998 collaboration with Puma, the King Avanti brought back Rihanna’s collaboration with Puma. This fresh take on the OG sports style evolved into a lifestyle statement with gleaming silver uppers, infusing a contemporary edge. The ever-iconic fold-over tongue proudly displayed the signatures of both brands, showcasing a seamless blend of heritage and modern aesthetics. Rihanna’s Fenty label transformed the King Avanti into a bold and eye-catching sneaker – perfect for the relaunch of an iconic streetwear pairing.

J Balvin x Air Jordan 3 'Medellín Sunset' | Image: Nike
J Balvin x Air Jordan 3 ‘Medellín Sunset’ | Image: Nike

J Balvin x Air Jordan 3 ‘Medellín Sunset’

  • Brand: J Balvin, Jordan
  • Upper material: Leather
  • Cushioning: Medium
  • Shoe shaft style: High-Top

The J Balvin x Air Jordan 3 Retro ‘Medellín Sunset’ reunited the creative partners on a tropical colourway of the iconic silhouette. Inspired by the incredible sunsets of J Balvin’s hometown of Medellin, Colombia, this special-edition AJ3 featured an ivory-coloured leather upper with tonal elephant print overlays at the forefoot and heel.

A gradient blend of yellow, orange, and dark purple adorned the rear midsole and moulded back tab, with mismatched Nike branding on the left shoe and J Balvin’s smiley face icon on the right. An embroidered gold Jumpman graced the tongue, and a blue-tinged translucent rubber outsole underlined the sneaker’s unique design.

Nike Air Jordan 1 Low Golf Travis Scott | Image: Nike
Nike Air Jordan 1 Low Golf Travis Scott | Image: Nike

Nike Air Jordan 1 Low Golf Travis Scott

  • Brand: Nike, Travis Scott
  • Upper material: Leather
  • Cushioning: Medium
  • Shoe shaft style: Low-Top

The Jordan 1 Low Travis Scott Golf continued this year’s trend of bridging gold and streetwear. Travis Scott’s innovative fusion showcased his ability to bridge sports and style, transforming a classic basketball sneaker into a golf-ready design. Golf-specific modifications, including a raised traction pattern, met Scott’s trademark upside-down Swoosh. Earthy tones and extra laces with unique patterns appealed to golf enthusiasts and sneaker fans alike.

Joe Freshgoods x New Balance Rainier Lil’ Block | Image: New Balance
Joe Freshgoods x New Balance Rainier Lil’ Block | Image: New Balance

Joe Freshgoods x New Balance Rainier Lil’ Block

  • Brand: Joe Freshgoods, New Balance
  • Upper material: Textile, green nubuck
  • Cushioning: Medium
  • Shoe shaft style: High-Top

The Joe Freshgoods x New Balance Rainier ‘Lil’ Block’ showcased the Chicago-based designer’s stylish interpretation of the outdoor silhouette. Freshgoods’ custom camo print adorned the ripstop textile upper, complemented by green nubuck overlays and secured with rope laces through brass eyelets.

The high-cut padded collar ensured a comfortable fit, while the Gore-Tex membrane provided waterproof protection without compromising breathability. The archival model featured a lightweight EVA midsole and a robust Vibram outsole for support. This collaborative creation merged urban style with outdoor functionality, embodying Freshgoods’ distinctive approach to design within the realms of both fashion and outdoor wear.

Salehe Bembury x Clarks Mud Moss Lugger Masala Orange | Image: Clarks
Salehe Bembury x Clarks Mud Moss Lugger Masala Orange | Image: Clarks

Salehe Bembury x Clarks Mud Moss Lugger Masala Orange

  • Brand: Salehe Bembury, Clarks
  • Upper material: Suede
  • Cushioning: Medium
  • Shoe shaft style: Low-Top

This year Salehe Bembury turned his attention to Clarks Originals with the aptly named ‘Mud Moss Lugger.’ It reimagined the iconic Clarks Lugger with a contemporary twist. Merging elements from the classic Clarks’ Wallabee and Bembury’s signature motifs, the shoe boasted a shaggy suede upper, asymmetrical lace panels, and a recognizable splash pattern on the toe and collar. Delivered in Masala Orange, Sapa Green, and Lichen Grey, the design is completed with exclusive Bembury-branded fobs and Clarks Originals FSC-certified crepe rubber soles.

New Balance x Stone Island 991v2 | Image: New Balance
New Balance x Stone Island 991v2 | Image: New Balance

New Balance x Stone Island 991v2

  • Brand: New Balance, Stone Island
  • Upper material: Nubuck, Mesh
  • Cushioning: High
  • Shoe shaft style: Low-Top

In 2023, New Balance and Stone Island unveiled their third collaboration of the year, a notable highlight. The 991v2 underwent a transformation, blending robust mesh with bovine nubuck overlays, creating a model designed for outdoor exploration. The simplicity of the colourway and the resilience of the fabrics underscored its rugged versatility.

The pièce de résistance was the Stone Island patch on the tongue, boasting a tonal green colourway that added a distinctive touch. The collaboration between two beloved brands exceeded expectations, exemplifying the success when favourites join forces, making this iteration a standout in the trio of 2023 collaborations.

How Man of Many Chose the Best Sneakers of 2023

To arrive at this list of products, the Man of Many team went through hours of rigorous testing, implementation, and analysis before culling it down to the very best. Led by our sneaker expert Sam Murphy, the last 12 months were spent uncovering the latest trends in footwear and enticing releases from the world’s pre-eminent brands. This list was curated with his expertise in mind and finalised by our team of fashion and product editors.

2023 Sneaker FAQs

What are top 3 shoe brands?

According to recent sales data from GOAT and StockX, Nike, Air Jordan and adidas are the three biggest sneaker brands in the world currently.

What is Nike’s most popular shoe?

Despite having a long list of sneakers across a number of different categories, the iconic Air Force 1 is widely regarded as Nike’s most popular shoe. The timeless sneaker design has seen many iterations and has become a favourite for its sturdy, robust design and versatile capabilities.