Highsnobiety has thrown down the gauntlet!

If you’re anything like me, you’ll see this in a month or two and question, who the hell decided that these were the top sneakers of 2015?! Well never fear, you can still vote and have your say.

“The HS Crowns are an annual awards series celebrating the very best in street wear and street culture over the past 12 months. All shortlists are chosen by the in-house editorial staff at Highsnobiety, with the final result left up to you, the readers.”

Although the choices are pretty limited to about 30 pairs, it’s an impressive selection. Some, I personally hadn’t seen before which have me feeling sneaker envy… (Yes, it’s a real thing) but here’s 5 of the full selection worth taking a look at.

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star 2

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How do you improve on a shoe that has sold over one billion pairs worldwide in its lifetime? That was the question the Converse design team was presented with back in 2014, as they set about reimagining the world’s longest-running sneaker design. Their answer was the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star 2, which resolved many of the comfort and durability issues that the original had traditionally suffered from without forcing any drastic changes on the time-honored silhouette. Just enough to keep the Chuck going for another hundred years, then.

Adidas Futurecraft Leather

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Adidas has been pushing the boundaries on all sides recently, but none were perhaps more important to the sneaker industry as a whole than its “Futurecraft” project. While their 3D printed running shoes and recycled ocean plastic outsoles remained in the conceptual phases this year, their groundbreaking single piece leather Superstar saw a very limited release in November.

While just 45 of the shoes were put on sale, that shouldn’t obscure the fact that this pioneering new method of shoe construction — using precision milling to shape a single piece of leather into the entire shoe — is one of the most significant advances of its kind, and represents a joining of the dots between Adidas’ glorious past and its hugely exciting future.

Nike x ACRONYM Air Force 1

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Since the brand’s inception, Errolson Hugh’s ACRONYM has continually pushed the boundaries of unorthodox performance apparel. So, when it was announced that the Canadian designer would be collaborating with Nike on an Air Force 1 it was always going to be something pretty unique.

In that respect, Hugh did not disappoint, deconstructing the entire shoe to its constituent panels before piecing it back together in a deliberately ragged, patchwork fashion. The result was about as polarising as you could have asked for. To some, it was an absolute Frankenstein’s monster; to others, it was the most bold and inventive piece of footwear design all year. Where you sat on that divide was purely down to personal taste.

Adidas YEEZY Boost 350

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While some might argue that, historically speaking, Kanye West’s shoe output has leaned rather heavily on unnecessary bells and whistles, the YEEZY Boost 350s were refreshingly understated.

That’s not to say this was a dull shoe — far from it. The woven one-piece upper is fantastically constructed, and the Boost sole is vastly superior to that of a shoe like the Roshe One (a comparison that many lazy detractors made). No matter how loud the haters spoke, they were no match for the legions of fans who queued, refreshed, bought, bartered and traded to get their hands on a pair (in whatever color), making this easily the most sought-after shoe of 2015.

Takashi Murakami x Vans Slip On

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Fashion should be fun, right? It doesn’t all have to be serious and moody, with gaunt models and all-black clothes. Japanese artist Takashi Murakami certainly thinks so, echoing this sentiment in his first ever footwear collaboration earlier this year. With its large, open toe-box, the Vans Slip-On proved absolutely perfect to exhibit his signature cartoonesque artwork, serving as an entirely different kind of canvas to the type he’s used to…

Some seriously impressive choices in this year’s line up. There you have it, see the full choice and cast your vote at Highsnobiety.

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