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From Naruto to Sonic the Hedgehog, 5 best pop culture sneaker collabs 

Pop culture sneaker collabs that excited the sneaker world (Image via Sportskeeda)
Pop culture sneaker collabs that excited the sneaker world (Image via Sportskeeda)
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Shatakshi Gupta

In recent years, some of the most popular sneaker releases have been inspired by the most popular TV shows, movies, and anime from the past and present.

Apart from movies and anime, major web series such as Game of Thrones, Stranger Things, Money Heist, and others are now teaming with sportswear giants such as Nike, Adidas, Reebok, and PUMA. These collaborations are actively thrilling the shoe market.

Not only are footwear businesses reaching out into pop culture, but the opposite end has received a comparable response.

Style mavens and pop culture fans who are readily enthralled by both the present and the nostalgic look forward to the shoe partnerships. This is why fancy footwear fusions, whether they're anime-inspired shoes or TV and movie-themed kicks, rarely fail.

If you love pop culture, this list is for you, as we've compiled some of the best pop culture sneaker collaborations.


Five enthralling pop culture sneaker collaborations

1) Naruto x Jordan Zion 1

In April 2022, Pelicans’ Zion Williamson teamed up with Nike's Jordan label to create a new collection of Jordan Zion 1 silhouettes. The duo, who were further joined by the highly coveted Naruto Shippuden, resulted in three new designs based on the Japanese manga series.

Three new versions of the Zion 1 silhouette were launched under the collection's footwear line. All three hues are unique interpretations of Naruto's distinct characters.

The first pair, namely Naruto x Jordan Zion 1 SP “Six Paths Sage,” is the most admirable part of the collection. These sneakers featured orange and yellow construction. The Six Paths Sage mode of Naruto inspired these sneakers.

To add even more depth, the back of the shoe sported a graphic motif similar to that featured on the protagonist's coat while in six-paths sage mode.

The Naruto x Jordan Zion 1 SP "Six Paths of Madara" is the collection's second colorway. Fashioned with hues of 'White/University Red/Black,' the pair exhibited Naruto’s Rinne Sharingan dojutsu on their tongue tags. The sneakers are decorated with black and white in a jumbled pattern and detailed in red all over.

The third style is named as Naruto x Jordan Zion 1 SP “Kurama Rage.” This pair arrived in a 'Black/Orange/Chile Red' tone, guided by the power Naruto derives from Kurama.

All three colorways are sold by Nike’s e-commerce website as well as select outlets. The footwear collection is priced at $130.


2) Sonic Hedgehog x Fila

Sonic the Hedgehog's iconic sneakers were brought to life by PARAMOUNT Pictures and FILA to mark the release of the world-famous hedgehog's second feature.

The film studios and shoe manufacturer announced their collaboration on March 31, 2022, in honor of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, which was released in theaters on April 8, in the United States.

Ray Tracer Evo x Sonic 2, a slip-on footwear prompted by Sonic's shoes from the film Sonic the Hedgehog 2, was conjured up by the team.

FILA has teamed up with Paramount Pictures to launch the Ray Tracer Evo x Sonic 2, a unisex slip-on sneaker inspired by the iconic Sonic shoe as seen in the film, Sonic the Hedgehog 2. The Ray Tracer Evo x Sonic 2 now available at spr.ly/6019KQ2iv @Sonicmovie #Sonicmovie2 https://t.co/OGeoQfB3v8

The bold red laceless bootie was adorned with a broad white stripe, which was placed over it. The slip-ons, which had chunky white soles, were popular with the Hedgehog cult.

These playful red pairs were launched for $110 each via FILA’s online store.


3) Nike x Stranger Things Cortez “OG Collection”

#ad On Sale: Stranger Things x Nike Cortez ‘University Red/White’ @Stranger_Things x Nike Cortez now $95.97 + Free Shipping w/ NikePlus accountShop Here - bit.ly/2RC6yq4 https://t.co/Qs3yXZWKWg

Stranger Things has left a lasting influence on present day esthetics, with fans flocking to vintage graphic tees, lightwash denim, fun design shirting, and much more.

In July 2019, Nike tapped the series’ popularity and gifted its fans with brilliant Cortez sneakers under their "OG Collection" collaboration. These two-toned shoes were priced at $120 and were sold via Nike’s webstores.

Crafted with University Red and White, superior quality leathers were employed to make the uppers. The smooth red body of the shoes was nicely adorned with white swooshes as well as heel tabs.

The most eye-catching was the Nike x Stranger Things branding, which was placed on the tongues.


4) Adidas x South Park collection

Adidas has wowed its followers with a variety of pop culture engagements over the years. The 2022 venture with South Park has surely caught the spirits of the sneaker world. The dynamic duo recently debuted an assortment of their sneakers.

The Comedy Central series created six new shoe designs for this new endeavor, all of whom are guided by distinct characters from the show.

The Forum Low, a basketball-inspired model from 1980s, was dressed in classic leather and bright colors and was inspired by central character Cartman's clothing.

The NMD R1 V2, on the other hand, was dressed in turquoise and silver, a colorway characterized by Butters' evil alter ego, Professor Chaos. The turquoise uppers were embellished with silver foil elements.

Under the lineup, Kyle Broflovski also received his own Superstar, which comes in a bright green and satsuma colorway that matches the character's attire.

The Stan Smith, another Adidas classic, has been revamped to look like Stan Marsh's blue and red poof-ball cap, with a brilliant blue leather top and a red sole. The most environmentally friendly of the South Park’s pack, these were created from a variety of repurposed materials, with at least 50% recycled component in the top.

Following were these NMD R1 sneakers, which arrived in a colorway inspired by the famous character Kenny's tangerine suit. The premium knitted uppers have brown laces and red detailing on the sides. Further, the inners of South Park NMD R1 are made fuzzy, similar to the lining of Kenny's iconic parka.

The Forum Low AWESOM-O 4000 was glammed up like Cartman's paper robot evil twin, wrapping up the collection. The mud brown shoes are decorated with silver embellishments. Moreover, the upper features eye and mouth motifs made with black as well as curly, spring strings.

All the pairs were exclusively launched via Foot Locker with prices starting at $100.


5) Adidas x Game of Thrones

Adidas x Game of Thrones sneaker collaboration (Image via Sportskeeda)
Adidas x Game of Thrones sneaker collaboration (Image via Sportskeeda)

After considerable anticipation and buzz, Adidas Running finally collaborated with the iconic HBO drama series Game of Thrones in 2019.

Game of Thrones has created waves throughout the entertainment landscape since its debut in 2011, elevating the world of Thrones to firmly establish itself in modern pop culture.

Adidas reinterpreted the iconic House and People of Thrones in sneaker form ahead of the eighth season. The collaboration featured a set of six limited-edition Ultraboost sneakers. Each pair was meticulously created to reflect the personalities, colors, and attributes of the heroes and villains to whom they refer.

The shoes contain subtle references to Westeros' various warring clans. On the tongue was their faction's insignia, and on their heels was their motto. The Adidas x Game of Thrones Ultraboost design combines performance-oriented sneaker science with a striking and distinctive visual esthetic, with house elements inspired by the show.

Each shoe in the line was incorporated with BOOST midsole technology for limitless energy output. Further, Primeknit uppers for efficient performance, the famous heel counter for flexibility, support, and opulent materials completed the shoes. Each pair of this pop culture sneaker collab sold for $180.


Edited by Somava
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