It's kind of cool how sneakers can bring folks together.

Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to talk my favorite mid-year release with my friends at TSFJ and now that we've reached the end of 2015 (time flies, doesn't it?) I thought it would be nice to reflect.  After dishing on my Nike Air Max 1 UC 'Milan' I found myself in them quite a bit through the summer and fall.  From shoots for the CNKDaily.com launch to sneaker shows and even a local bar or two, these sneaks have been conversation starters and have led to some pretty awesome interactions.  

As we close out 2015, a few friends of CNKDaily came together to highlight some of our favorite releases this year and spread the sneaker love from our closets to yours.  

Take a look at picks from some of our favorite chicas below.


The Gal: Taylor Bettis | @taytayb1120

The Goods: Saucony x Epitome Shadow 5000 "Righteous One"

Over my years of collecting I have come to realize my favorite releases always seem to be sneaker collaborations. Sneaker brands always pull out all the stops when it comes to collaborations, even down to the tiny minute details.

So for me my favorite release this year has to be the Saucony x Epitome Shadow 5000 "Righteous One". From the moment the sneaker was announced I knew I had to track it down. The sneaker is the first collaboration that the Atlanta based sneaker store has done with Saucony. The sneaker is inspired by the 65 foot iconic Atlanta landmark "the big fish" which sits directly across from Epitome as well as certain beliefs accredited to Middle Eastern culture. Both Saucony and Epitome killed it with the design and execution of the sneaker. The sneaker features premium leather detailing, premium suede, embossed fish scale on the toe box, speckles on the midsole, gold detailing and a translucent/ gold glitter sole that really tops of the sneaker IMO. Another special detail of the sneaker is the "hamsa" located on the tongue. In Middle Eastern culture this symbol serves as a protector against the evil eye as well as a guide to the righteous path. Not only does the sneaker look amazing it also feels like heaven, due to the use of the memory foam insert ( a first for Saucony.) Overall, the detailing and story won me over with this release. Job well done Saucony and Epitome. Looking forward to many more dope collaborations in the future.

The Gal: Brit | @FitXBrit

The Goods: Nike WMNS Air Max 90 HYP QS "Milan Apertivo"

I'VE NEVER BEEN A CHICK YOU WOULD FIND ROCKING HEELS SO WITH THAT BEING SAID SNEAKERS HAVE ALWAYS BEEN MY FIRST LOVE. WHILE I HAVE EXPANDED MY KICK GAME PAST THE USUAL JORDANS THAT FILL MY CLOSET SHOE RACKS. MY WARDROBE IS FULL OF BLACK, GRAYS AND WHITE, WHICH HAS REALLY CHALLENGED ME TO EXPRESS MYSELF THROUGH MY SHOES. THE BRIGHT COLOR OF THIS PARTICULAR PAIR HAD ME AT FIRST GLANCE AND I KNEW THAT I HAD TO HAVE THESE IN MY COLLECTION.

THE AIR MAX 90 CITY COLLECTION FEATURES SIX POPULAR “SWEETS” BASED IN SPECIFIC LOCATIONS TOKYO, LONDON, MILAN, SHANGHAI, NEW YORK AND PARIS, AND WITHOUT QUESTION SATISFIES YOUR SWEET TOOTH WITH THEIR DISTINCT COLORS AND AESTHETIC QUALITIES, I SWEAR I WANTED THEM ALL BUT MY POCKETS SAID DIFFERENTLY. 

The Gal: Jenntronic | @Jenntronic

The Goods: Nike WMNS Ai Max 90 City Pack "Macaroon"

Sneakers inspired by desserts?! Yes, please! When I found out that the Nike Sportswear WMNS Air Max 90 City Pack was inspired by sweets, I was immediately intrigued. London, New York, and Tokyo were some of the cities included in the 6 city pack, but it was the Paris "Macaroon" that had my heart. I'm a huge fan of monochromatic sneakers. Over anything else, sneakers that are all one color always catch my eye. This sneaker was no different! The Paris "Macaroon" is a beautiful shade of lavender with red branding on the tongue and heel. There's a touch of iridescence on the toe box, tongue, and mudguard too. When it's nice and sunny out these shoes have a light magical glow that I just adore. 

I'm also a fan of comfort and these fit the bill. I like to keep my shoes pretty, but I walk a lot. They have kept their shape with minimal signs of wear which is great! Since they are such a favorite of mine, I've definitely worn them many times over the 3 months I've had them so far.

I like sweets and "sweet" sneakers, how could these not be a 2015 favorite?

The Gal: Kitty | @djkitty_

The Goods: Rihanna x Puma Creepers

Let’s just be honest, Rihanna is "that chick", so naturally when I found out she was teaming up with Puma to bring a new sense of cool to creepin’, I was instantly intrigued.  While I may have missed my chance to cop the cool girl sneaker of the year the first go-around, once I knew another wave of colors was being released I had to get my hands… or feet on a pair!

Embodying a little bit of punk and a little bit of glam, even the most girly sneaker rookie- like myself, will be unapologetic after purchasing a pair of these dope sneaks. With neutral colorways perfectly paired to the platform base, it’s clear to see that any remix Rihanna gets a hold of turns to gold.

These sneakers have definitely found a place in my closet, and my heart as a wardrobe staple. Whether it’s rockin’ them with a trendy outfit, or my tried and true leggings and v-neck, these creepers and I found love in a hopeless place!

The Gal: Tonya Rapley| @MyFabFinance

The Goods: Nike Air Force1 Hi Suede
 

Once upon a time I promised myself I would never buy another pair of Air Force 1's. AF1's represented my high school years. It was the other Nike everyone anxiously anticipated the release of new color ways. I loved them. And then the rampant bootlegging happened.

I changed my mind this year. The Air Force 1 Hi Suede happened. When this shoe floated across my timeline I immediately stopped what I was doing. It was classy, urban, nostalgic yet new, simple but powerful. I fell in love with this shoe because it was everything I thought I hated in a shoe yet everything I wanted in a sneaker. The gum bottom is durable for the New York Streets, the suede resists creasing longer than traditional leather, and to be honest I feel like the "Rebirth of Slick" when I tie the last lace and tighten the strap. They aren't exclusive, but they are one of the shoes I feel Nike has gotten right in the past year. The Air Force 1 RT Givenchy Boots reminded us just how good Nike is at blending their shoes with fashion. The AF1 Hi Suede's were a gentle, subtle reminder.

The Gal: MK | @Melissa_Kimble

The Goods: Melody Ehsani x Reebok "Summer of Love'

Melody Ehsani is an artist in every sense of the word. Her attention to detail, passion for culture and authenticity and sharp execution, all make her a top Creative to watch when it comes to style and business. I'd trust her with my expression - after all, any maker that can adorn Erykah Badu is an A++ in my book. 

So when Melody began designing shoes, I was not disappointed and one shoe in particular that's caught my eye this year is her "Summer of Love" sneaker collab with her go-to brand Reebok. This shoes reflected everything that's good and right about the summertime - color, fun, and waviness with a hint of attitude and carefree-ness. It screams cool without the effort - a requirement I have for my life across the board - whether it's style or life. Yet, anytime I'm feeling uninspired, I can look to M.E. for inspiration. Even on my feet. 

The Gal: Sam| @SamTheHypebeast
The Goods: Nike Cortez "Bronze"

Without the risk of sounding like a clique, I truly believe in love at first sight, especially when it’s about your sole. 2015 my sole fell in love immediately and instantly, time and time again.  Especially when Nike’s brilliant design team went back to the basics to add something extra special to the shoe that revolutionized the track and field brand for NIKE.

Since it’s inception in 1972, the Cortez was the first track shoe NIKE designed. Forty-three years later, the silhouette received a “Bronze” metal. the absolutely jaw dropping top release was the WMNS Nike Cortez “Bronze”. Everything about this shoe is top notch: The Bronze color / Black trim / White & Black sharktooth sole; simple yet it stand out like no other. The metallic “Bronze” upper is shimmery with out being intrusive or loud which is incredible. That being anchored by a white and black sole adds a pop. The black tongue breaks the monochromatic monotony of having the entire body metalic, yet it blends perfectly. The Cortez is a great sneaker for simplicity but this coloring makes people notice. I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t pair mine with a luxury leather laces from Aglit Italy. It’s only right. 

The Gal: Tassjania | @urbanamericana.tx

The Goods: Nike Air Max 1 Patch “Sand”

I love black, white and everything nice but 2015 being the year of neutrals, I found a new love; Air Max 1 Patch in Sand. Don’t get me wrong I love the Black and Olive versions as well but the Sand captured my heart at first sight.

I love to travel, and at that on a whim, which poses several issues when I attempt to pack, how do I fit everything I want to wear plus all the shoes that go with my outfits and what if I’m not feeling what I packed? Well these AM1 put an end to this dilemma. They’ve been with me to New York multiple times, DC, Mexico and all over Texas and they haven’t failed me yet. They match with literally everything. As someone who beats her shoes from wear, they aren’t just simply beautiful but truly functional as well. They have that chic elegance of a monotone shoe with the badassery of being slightly military looking. I wear mine pretty simple but I sport 2 patches always and recently have added a new patch; NYC to keep my friends close to my sole/soul, TH 87 for my born year and the PRS in honor of lives lost during the Paris attacks. These shoes could not have been a better fit for me on multiple fronts. Now if only I could get a Mexican flag and TX patch.

Catch me globetrotting in these runners and look out for any new patches, they might mean more than you think.

The Gal: Valerie Des'Rae | @valeriedesrae

The Goods: Ruby Red Nike Air Huaraches

This year I discovered the awesomeness that is the Nike Huarache Sneaker (I'm late, I know .) I got my first glimpse of the beautiful ruby reds when the Queen of CNKdaily herself posted about them on her Instagram. I instantly fell in love! 

The day they dropped you better believe I followed the yellow brick road to The Emerald City (aka my local sneaker store). Once I tried them on I knew this would be the beginning of a beautiful love affair. I squealed with excitement and had to bring myself back to earth. They're just so comfortable and literally go with everything! I'm a pretty flashy gal myself, so the bold red color has Valerie written all over it, but I also like the fact they're ironically also a little subtle. I can pair them with a LBD or just some leggings and a sweatshirt. Their versatility knows no bounds. 

Nike also recently announced the next color way of their "Loyal Royals" and you can bet your bottom dollar I'll be purchasing a pair of those too. 

The Gal: @miss_danielv

The Goods: Pharrell x Adidas Originals Superstar Supercolor

I'd consider the Pharrell Williams X Adidas super colors pack release one of the most fun releases all year! Not only because of the vast array of bold colors, but because they totally revamped a classic and didn't just stick to a few "safe" colors. Personally, I picked the royal blue pair because I don't wear a lot of bright colors, and I've found them easy to pair up with most of my black wardrobe. It's been so much fun to see all the various outfit combinations in social media and on sneaker heads worldwide. They've truly brightened the sometimes-predictable color landscape of many sneaker releases this year. 

The Gal: Cao | @living29
The Goods: Nike Kobe X "Fundamentals"
Colorway: White/Grey-Black

I was born and raised until the age of 11 in Southern California, and my "Ball is Life" mentality started very early on. Although I have been in Texas, and basically Dallas for many years, I am a Lakers fan for life. Jordan shoes ruled all, but Kobe Bryant is my basketball spirit and I am as devoted to Nike as I am to the Lakers, so I had been coveting a signature Kobe shoe since they started releasing. 

But to be honest, the design and colorways were garbage for the most part. A few special editions almost won me over but I could not justify them due to so many other good sneaker debuts. Then the Fundamentals, his 10th signature shoe, came out and they were oh so fresh, and so clean. There were no random, out of place, fugly colors. Instead, it is white mesh with a black Swoosh with simple black details throughout the rest of the shoe, and a milky sole. His best to date, in my opinion. 

Maybe I'm reaching, but the whole release was very serendipitous. The fact that they were named Fundamentals and released shortly after I launched my business, I wore them at my first pop up event, and I finally got my Kobes the year he announces his retirement. Oh, and did I mention they were part of my dream engagement package my now team mate for life put together for his proposal?