Monotone colour choices and drab materials on sneakers are often defended under the guise of the so-called 'minimalist' tag. Recently, perhaps inspired by Jeremy Scott's antics with adidas, other sneaker companies have produced a menagerie of kicks influenced by all creatures great and small. Lions, tigers and elephants, macaroni penguins and anacondas, let's take a look at some of the nuttiest and most animal shoes we've seen in a while!
ATMOS x NIKE AIR MAX SAFARI PACK
Combining zebra, tiger, pig, horse and leopard print, this zoo-on-an-air-bubble dropped in 2006 as a colab with animal-loving boutique atmos.
DEE & RICKY x PONY TOPSTAR LOW
Dee & Ricky's Pony colab featured high-octane colours injected into cheetah print, with a tiger-influenced Chevron below the heel. The crazy combination of big cats and bright colours made for one of the most outrageous sneakers of 2011.
While elephant print had been used on sneakers previously, the global profile of Michael Jordan brought it to the masses via the Jordan 3, making the 'crackle' a part of sneaker folklore.
AIR FORCE 1 LUX ANACONDA
Combining fine Italian craftsmanship and the skin of an Amazonian predator, the Air Force 1 Lux Anaconda is quite simply one of the most exotic and luxurious Nikes of all time.
JIMMY CHOO 11AW
Blending a crocodile skin and leopard print upper with a little tiger tossed on the toe, this one is looking more Jimmy Zoo than Jimmy Choo. Bananas!
While the Kobe 4 rejuvenated the basketball sneaker market by going low-pro, the scaly snakeskin upper of the Kobe 6 is where this signature sneaker really began to bare its fangs.
KOBE 7 (PREDATOR PACK)
The Kobe 7 Predator Pack dropped in four colourways representing the wolf, shark, cheetah and snake, further developing Kobe's almost mythical killer instinct.
AIR FORCE 1 CHINESE NEW YEAR
Since the release of the Year Of The Horse Air Force in 2002, Nike have celebrated the Chinese zodiac with animal-themed releases. The 2006 Year Of The Dog version blended pony fur into the upper for added animal appeal.
PHILLIP LIM PONY FUR
Draping the upper in pony fur was only the beginning, as designer Phllip Lim then splashed these kicks with Frankenstein animal print!
CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN NONO PONY FUR
The name says it all with this high-end horse-hair horror story. Laced with pony fur all over, these Louboutins can be yours for only $600!
While animal print is yet to pounce upon a LeBron sneaker, Nike have maintained a lion link from the LeBron 2 right through to the most recent model; branding King James' sneakers with a king of the jungle motif.
Turning the basic low-cut silhouette wild, Supra lets the leopard loose on the pony fur upper, combining the two for an all-out animal assault!
When Italian-American brand Gourmet got their first taste of jungle fever, their Cinque silhouette was splashed with a liberal lashing of leopard print.
Drawing influence from the panther, you can see hints of the phantom predator all over the sneaker; from the paw-print on the sole, to the 'eyes' on the outside of the heel.
ATMOS x PUMA ENDANGERED SPECIES COLLECTION
Divided into the Asia Pack and Polar Pack, this collection laced the Puma Clyde with the aesthetics of endangered animals such as the Harp Seal and Macaroni Penguin.
JEREMY SCOTT x ADIDAS ORIGINALS
Not happy with merely throwing some leopard print around, Jeremy Scott's Panda, Teddy and Gorilla sneakers were designed with plush-toy-styled animal faces to match the furry finish. Jeremy Scott's adventurous spirit was a catalyst for the current influx of loud, animal-inspired sneakers we're seeing today.