Originally commemorating Mexico's historic defeat of France in the Battle of Puebla, Cinco de Mayo has become a celebration and unifying holiday for Mexicans, and people of Mexican descent everywhere. For many, it's a time to revel in the history, culture and food of Mexico. For us, it's more about the fire sneaker releases.
Of course, there's the hallowed Nike SB Dunk 'Cinco de Mayo', but we thought we'd look at the unsung heroes of the May 5 releases. Here's a look at five of our favourites that don't just fly the colours for a quick buck, but highlight the efforts of Mexican creatives and collaborators.
Nike Zoom Air P-Rod Elite (2006)
Far from a simple throwing together of red, white and green, the Marco Hernandez–designed Nike SB Zoom Air P-Rod Elite Cinco de Mayo is steeped in Mexican influence. Not only does it call to P-Rod's Mexican heritage, it also puts the tricolour and coat of arms of the Mexican flag front and centre.
Mister Cartoon x Nike Air Force 1 (2005)
It takes more than a colourway to make a Cinco de Mayo sneaker, so when famed LA artist Mister Cartoon teamed up with the Swoosh for a commemorative Air Force 1, its place in the annals was all but ensured. The sleek upper paid homage to the tattooist's heritage, while the details – like his signature LA logo at the heel – celebrated his hometown.
Sam Rodriguez x PUMA Clyde '1800 Tequila' (2017)
Unlike frat boys using the day as an excuse to drink tequila and wear inappropriate garb, Sam Rodriguez's PUMA Clyde proved that the national drink can be celebrated tastefully. Borrowing the hue from 1800 Tequilla's Silver drop, the Mexican-American artist plies the upper with Mayan and Aztec iconography rendered in his signature style.
Listen Recovery x adidas Encoreadi (2010)
Creative outfit Listen Recovery pulled out all the stops for their 2010 Cinco de Mayo offering with adi. The Three Stripes were the perfect canvas for the tricolor mexicana, while the speckled sole brings extra pizazz.
Nike Zoom Air P-Rod II (2008)
We know, we know. We've already listed a P-Rod. But it would be remiss of us not to give a nod to this P-Rod II, whose mint accents bring a fresh take to the theme. With the signature quilted lining, embossed midfoot panel, and oversized patent Swoosh, this is a standout amongst Cinco de Mayo sneaks. Or maybe this writer is just partial to that cushy ankle padding. Either way, it looks good, so we're sticking with it.