Released: May

To say adidas was desperate for a hit in 2014 might be an understatement. The perception of the brand, at least to those who are fanatic about sneakers, is that the German company was a distant second best to Nike. That would all change when adidas released the Pure Boost, a streamlined use of the brand's new cushioning that had been previously used on more serious running sneakers. It's not that you couldn't run in the Pure Boost, it's just that it looked better on the streets - or even on the basketball court as demonstrated by Kanye West. Shortly after its launch, heralded adidas collaborator Yohji Yamamoto gave the Pure Boost a spin, renaming it the Yohji Boost and adding premium details such as suede and waxed laces. For those who couldn't get their hands on the limited Yamamoto-designed version, the regular Pure Boost retailed at just $120. It was affordable, widely available, and stylish. That's a powerful combination. Bigger than that, it landed adidas back in the conversation with Nike - not only amongst those who want to find the gap between luxury and general release, but anyone who wanted something clean laced up on their feet — Matt Welty