Black Panther has pounced onto the silver screen and met with some seriously high praise from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s an occasion worthy of celebration and the sneaker world hasn’t disappointed; rather, it's served up four colabs for the king of Wakanda in just one week! But this isn't the first time we've seen the comic book giant license their wares to sneakerdom. Marvel's heavy hitters have spawned as many colabs as the equally praise-worthy Black Panther soundtrack, and we've taken the liberty of picking our favourites for your perusing pleasure.
Marvel's Top Five Sneaker Colabs
Date: February 14 2018
By: Cesca Benson
BAIT x PUMA Black Panther Pack
The connection was there to be made, and the Big Cat made it. Can you think of another brand more suited to a feline-themed colab? The two-strong pack from PUMA and BAIT features an inky Tsugi BOG and a similarly blacked-out Mostro Mid. These might not give you superhuman abilities like the Heart-Shaped Herb, but with tooling such as the midfoot straps, Ignite Foam and evoKNIT, they definitely look the part.
adidas x Avengers Pack
The bold colours and strong shapes of comics were born for sneakers, and adidas took full advantage of that fact. Delving into their archives, the Three Stripes revived four retro basketball shoes - those with the most panels, and those most worthy of the superhero treatment - to celebrate the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron. It's a sensory onslaught, but those Captain America Crazy 97s steal the show.
Vans x Avengers Collection
Sometimes a colab takes a true-to-the-source approach. We're not talking simply superhero-inspired colourways, but rather, when a comic book character consumes the whole shoe.
Vans proved their models were the perfect base for such a concept with 2013's Avengers Collection. Earth’s Mightiest Heroes made the leap from comic to canvas, banding together on the Sk8-Hi and Era silhouettes. The team’s resident billionaire also splashed out for his own Iron Man make-ups. Spider-Man was treated to honorary Avenger status with designs of his very own to round out the collection. No detail of the colab was overlooked, even the box was given the comic book treatment. This was definitely one for the collectors.
Reebok x Marvel Pack
Reebok weren't satisfied with tapping only one source of Marvel inspo, so instead they tapped the entire Marvel Universe to bring us 10 shoes based on 10 characters.
Like adidas, Reebok revived some little-seen silhouettes such as the Night Storm and the outdoorsy Night Sky, and the collection is all the stronger for it. Of course, the classics turned up too: both the InstaPump Fury and Freestyle His got two runs each. With heroes and villains both represented, it was hard to choose a side.
New Balance x Jimmy Jazz x Black Panther
PUMA might have been the most obvious collaborator for a Black Panther sneaker, but New Balance's Marvel marvel is the most badass. The stealthy pack draws on Black Panther's impact-absorbing Vibranium suit, with the 574S and 990v4 both sporting blacked-out uppers, save for theme-appropriate silver detailing, 3M touches and red Marvel dubraes. Definitely one of the more wearable Marvel tie-ins, these will appeal even if you don't know your T'Challa from you T'Chaka.