ARTICLE BY Boon Mark Souphanh

A Brief History of Paris Saint-Germain Sneaker Collaborations

jordan brand psg promo shot

When compared to basketball and running, football – the round ball kind – hasn’t had quite the same influence on sneakers. It may be considered the ‘world game’ but, strangely, the sport’s infiltration into the sneakersphere has been comparatively subdued when compared to other sporting pursuits.

However, things are beginning to change.

The past decade has seen more crossover between sneakers and football than ever before – and we’re not just talking Gazelles and Sambas, either. The world’s best players are now wearing heat on their feet on and off the pitch, while the teams themselves have also been keen to show off some ‘fancy footwork’, none more so than Paris Saint-Germain.

The kings of French football are also champions when it comes to sneaker collaborations, so here’s a brief look at their journey to the top.

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Bubbled Beginnings

Created to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the fan-favourite Air Max BW, Nike looked to PSG to inspire this ‘Paris’ colourway in 2006. Considering Nike have sponsored the team since 1989, we’re surprised it took them this long!

Donning the familiar French tricolour scheme, the sneaker was released as a limited edition Quickstrike, featuring higher-quality mesh and materials. The red, white and blue upper was contrasted with a bold black Swoosh, creating yet another timeless version of the ‘Big Window’ silhouette. Down below, the speckled outsole added to the exclusive look.

PSG fans had to wait over a decade for another Air Max to surface, with a special Air Max 90 created for the teams tour of Miami in 2017. Limited to just 24, the sneaker released exclusively during the tour, with only a lucky few scoring pairs.

Shortly after that trip, the team was honoured again with a ‘French Derby’ pack releasing in 2018. An ode to PSG’s rivalry with Marseilles, the pack featured two Air Max Plus colourways – donning both teams’ colourways.

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Jumpman in Paris

Foreshadowed by a crossover collaboration with on-field star Neymar, PSG embarked on a game-changing partnership with Jordan Brand in 2018, making them the first-ever football team to sport the Jumpman on their jerseys.

To some, the cross-disciplinary collaboration may not have made much sense. However, those in the know understood Jordan’s affinity with the French capital. The city’s love for the brand was honoured with the opening the one-of-a-kind flagship store – Jordan Bastille – in 2016. That, and the continued support of the Quai 54 World Streetball Championship, are just a few of the ways MJ has made his mark on the city of love.

The Jordan Brand x Paris Saint-Germain collection was highlighted with a pair of PhantomVSN cleats, as well as a co-branded Air Jordan 5 and Air Jordan 1.

‘Jordan Brand and Paris Saint-Germain share a distinct position in sport and style, so to partner with the club is a natural fit,’ said Michael Jordan following the announcement of the partnership.

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No One-Season Wonder

Just like their players on the pitch, Paris Saint-Germain and Jordan Brand have developed a synergy that’s seen them become regulars among the Jumpman’s collaborative roster.

After starting off with a bang, PSG have since dug deeper into the Jordan lineup, unearthing their own distinctive takes on silhouettes like the Jordan Mars 270 and Jordan React Havoc. Meanwhile, retailers like Sabotage were also keen to jump on the PSG theme, fashioning one-of-a-kind custom Air Force 1s that would’ve sold out instantly had they been GRs.

That said, the star players in this partnership are still the iconic builds. After creating a stealthy Air Jordan 6 in 2016, the PSG/Jordan Brand canon is expanding further with the release of an Air Jordan 4 to end 2020.

They may have just lost one of their main playmakers, but we can’t see PSG and the Jumpman losing ground on their competition anytime soon.

Head to our Features section for more deep dives in sneaker history.

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