Last month at E3 2018, attendees had the opportunity to snag a re-release of the PlayStation x Air Force 1s from Nike. These highly coveted sneakers, originally released in very limited quantities – "limited" meaning 150 pairs – back in 2006, were updated this year and offered exclusively to convention ticket holders via Nike’s SNKRS Stash service.
The overwhelming hype for these Air Force 1s provided gamers and sneakerheads alike with the chance to experience either the thrill of securing a limited release or the agony of missing out. With this recent gaming-themed release, we thought it presented the perfect opportunity to look back at some of the best geeky sneaker collaborations of all time.
BAIT x Stranger Things x Ghostbusters x Reebok Ex-O-Fit Clean Hi
Back in October 2017, California-based streetwear store BAIT partnered with Reebok to create Halloween-themed shoe as a tie-in with the second season of Stranger Things. The white kicks feature Ghostbusters drawings (Slimer, Stay Puff, etc) that the show’s character Dustin doodles onto his own Reebok sneakers. Set up as a limited release, these niche sneakers are pretty easy to find on the resale market for affordable prices depending on your size.
New Balance 530 Marvel Spider-Man
In the summer of 2017, near the opening of Spider-Man: Homecoming, New Balance collaborated with Marvel on a classic 530 silhouette honoring the web-slinger himself. Mahogany leather makes up most of the shoe and it includes spiderweb detailing pressed onto it, resulting in a very unique 530. Also, if you fancy some extra branding on your sneakers, you’ll find Marvel logos on each shoe’s lace locks as well as its insole.
A Bathing Ape Bapesta x DC Comics The Flash
Say the name of this sneaker five times fast. Almost exactly 11 years ago, high-end clothing brand Bape released four pairs of its beloved Bapesta sneakers, each with a DC Comics superhero theme (Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash). While all look fantastic – and are extremely tough to find to this day – arguably the best is The Flash pair. These bright red and yellow kicks give off a definite "Fastest Man Alive" vibe and, if that wasn’t enough, each shoe includes a tiny cartoony Flash on the heel.
PUMA x SEGA RS-0 Sonic / Dr. Eggman
Back in June, Puma released two of its RS-0 sneakers in collaboration with Sega’s chili-dog-loving hedgehog franchise. One, known as "Sonic," features blue, textured suede, a checkered outsole inspired by the many roads he runs on, and some gold accents to represent the rings he covets. The other, dubbed "Dr. Eggman," features dark red leather, a caution stripe outsole, and even metallic, gold rings on the lace ends. If either of these sound like things you need for your wardrobe, they’re still readily available and are reasonably priced, even on the resale market.
Sperry Cloud Slip On 'McQuarrie' Sneaker
In 2017, Sperry – makers of your favorite semi-overpriced boat shoe – teamed up with Star Wars to release a summer line. While some of the shoes ending up being underwhelming, the most eye-catching pair features Ralph McQuarrie’s concept art depicting the X-Wing fight to destroy the Death Star as well as the final battle between Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker. Somehow, these are still available on the official Sperry site today for an absolute steal.
Marvel x New Balance 574 Sport (Black Panther)
The Spider-Man 530s weren’t the only Marvel superhero sneaker release that New Balance has dropped in the past few years. This release flew under many people’s radar, even with its timed released back in February, when Marvel’s Black Panther released in theaters. Available exclusively through retailer Jimmy Jazz – plus a short release on New Balance’s website – this take on the 574 featured rugged, black leather with silver accents, inspired by King T’Challa’s Vibranium suit.
Puma Mostro Mid Marvel Black Panther
While New Balance honored the Black Panther movie release with its 574 sneaker, you’d be hard-pressed to find any shoe that captures the futuristic Wakandan tech look better than Puma’s Mostro Mid. Similar to the Reebok Stranger Things release, this sneaker was available exclusively through BAIT and was limited to 100 pairs, each including a reprint of the Black Panther comic’s first issue.
Adidas Top Ten Star Wars Luke Skywalker
2010 brought about a huge collaboration between Star Wars and Adidas, one that featured more than 15 pairs over the course of two years. One of the best, and most difficult to find, was centered around that lovable and sometimes whiny Jedi, Luke Skywalker. These kicks featured an orange and white theme, modeled after the Rebel pilot suits. But the coolest part? The tongues feature black-and-white artwork depicting Skywalker suited up in his X-Wing.
Xbox x Air Jordan 1
Not to be outshined by its console counterpart, Microsoft debuted an Xbox-themed Air Jordan 1 at this year’s E3. Whenever this iconic silhouette has a special release, it becomes the talk of the sneaker world, and this particular one was no exception. Simply put, the shoe is stunning. The premium suede material really makes the green and black colorway pop, but what has most people talking is the glow-in-the-dark green sole. Unfortunately, this release is a "Friends and Family" joint, meaning that you’ll likely only see it on Microsoft executives, celebrities, and YouTubers.
Nike PG2 'PlayStation'
The Air Force 1 wasn’t the only shoe in 2018 to get the PlayStation treatment. Upon the unveiling of Oklahoma City Thunder star Paul George’s second signature shoe announcement, Nike announced the first of many colorways, simply dubbed "PlayStation." Released back in February, this coveted sneaker features multiple nods to Sony’s beloved console family, including the official logo on the left tongue as well as a controller-button-inspired print on the heels. Unfortunately for fans of the console (or basketball player), quantities were limited from day one and picking up a pair on the resale market could easily run you $500.