ARTICLE BY Cesca Benson

The All-Time Greatest Camo Sneakers

atmos x ASICS GEL-Lyte III
Via @indy.sneakers

As far as colourways go, there are only a few that have been widely adopted across the sneakersphere quite like camo.

Sure, it can be polarising and is often misused, but when brands get it right, like the best of the best do, it can make for one hell of a shoe.

'But you can't even see them,' you say? Pish posh - these'll get heads turning.

BAPE x adidas Super Ape Star (2003)BAPE x adidas Super Ape Star (2003)

You can't talk about camo sneakers without talking about BAPE, and you can't talk about BAPE sneakers without talking about their 2003 adidas Superstar, aka the 'Super Ape Star'.

The first link-up between the two titans, the camoed-out Shelltoe has become the stuff of legend. It released as part of a co-branded quartet but, ironically, it was the camo colourway that would get you seen.

BAPE x adidas Super Ape Star
Image via Sneaker News
BAPE x adidas Super Ape Star
Image via Sneaker News

atmos x Nike Air Max 90 'Duck Camo' (2013)atmos x Nike Air Max 90 'Duck Camo' (2013)

Nearly, if not equally, as synonymous with camo shoes are Japanese sneaker stalwarts atmos. And if you're talking about concealed creps, you can't go past their 2013 Nike Air Max 90 'Duck Camo'.

With bold blotches of duck camo, added stylings of the renowned 'Infrared', and a subtle touch of snakeskin for good measure, it's no surprise that this release has gone down in the history books (and spawned the 2020 'Reverse Duck Camo remix).

atmos x Nike Air Max 90 'Duck Camo'
Via Sneaker News

atmos x Nike Air Max 1 'Tiger Camo' (2013)atmos x Nike Air Max 1 'Tiger Camo' (2013)

While we're in the neighbourhood, it would be remiss of us to not talk about one of atmos' other beloved camo-covered Air Maxes: the Air Max 1 'Tiger Camo'.

Dropping as part of the 'Animal Camo' pack back in 2013, tiger camo- and snakeskin-plied sneaks were joined by a desert camo and leopard print-swathed AM1. A beastly double-drop to be sure, but it's the 'Tiger Camo' that stalks our sneaker dreams.

atmos x Nike Air Max 1 'Tiger Camo'
Via @manoloprado

Supreme x Air Jordan 5 (2015)Supreme x Air Jordan 5 (2015)

Hype hit fever pitch back in 2015 when it was announced that Supreme and Jordan Brand would join collaborative forces for the first time ever. On the underrated (at the time) Air Jordan 5, no less.

With all-over desert camo, and the unmistakable 'Sup' caught in the netting, the Camo AJ5 was the knockout hit the Jumpman needed in a time when erstwhile Swoosh supporters were bounding around in BOOST.

Supreme x Air Jordan 5  (2015)

Nike 'Country Camo' Pack (2013)Nike 'Country Camo' Pack (2013)

Sure, this list is dominated by colabs, but brands have definitely dropped some insane fatigued footwear. Nike's 2013 Tier Zero 'Country Camo' pack is a case in point, and got the hypesphere whipped up in to just as much of a frenzy as any co-branded cop.

A completionists nightmare – or dream, depending on your preferred difficulty level – the pack comprised 10 (!!!) bubble-bottomed beauties, each wearing serious army fatigues.

Nike Air Max 1 Country Camo Germany (2013)
Via Nike
Nike Air Max 180 Country Camo Germany (2013)
Via END.
Nike Air Max 95 Country Camo Japan (2013)
Via Nike
Nike Air Max 90 Country Camo Japan (2013)
Via Nike
Nike Air Max 1 Country Camo France (2013)
Via The Drop Date
Nike Air Max BW Country Camo France (2013)
Via Nike
Nike Air Max 97 Country Camo Italy (2013)
Via The Drop Date
Nike Air Max 90 Country Camo Italy (2013)
Via END.
Nike Air Max 90 Country Camo UK (2013)
Via Nike
Nike Air Max 95 Country Camo UK (2013)
Via CNCPTS

BAPE x mita x Reebok Instapump Fury (2014)BAPE x mita x Reebok Instapump Fury (2014)

BAPE, mita and Reebok joined forces back in 2014 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the ground-breaking Instapump Fury.

The upper was washed in Bathing Ape camo, the sole unit was buoyed with Hexalite cushioning, and the pumped-up bladder hugged your foot like only an Instapump can. But it wasn't the last time the three brands would join for a camoed out crep...

BAPE x mita x Reebok Question Mid (2016)BAPE x mita x Reebok Question Mid (2016)

BAPE, mita and Reebok reunited in 2016 to form a three-pronged battalion to produce a Question Mid to celebrate 20 years of Allen Iverson's fabled first signature.

Not only does this drop look goddamn ballin, it's perfect for that unseen on-court assault. An absolute slam dunk for the collaborative triumvate.

BAPE x mita x Reebok Question Mid (2016)
Via END.
BAPE x mita x Reebok Question Mid (2016)
Via END.
BAPE x mita x Reebok Question Mid (2016)
Via END.

UNDEFEATED x Nike Kobe 1 Protro (2018)UNDEFEATED x Nike Kobe 1 Protro (2018)

UNDEFEATED's Nike Kobe 1 Protro took over All-Star Weekend in 2018, and the jewel in the crown? The camo.

Wrapped in battle-ready ballistic mesh and sat atop the model's monster sole unit, the Kobe 1 Protro was an unstoppable beast – the perfect way to retro the Black Mamba's first Swoosh signature.

UNDEFEATED X Nike Kobe 1 Protro
Via UNDEFEATED
UNDEFEATED X Nike Kobe 1 Protro
Via UNDEFEATED
UNDEFEATED X Nike Kobe 1 Protro
Via UNDEFEATED

BAPE x PUMA Disc Blaze (2015)BAPE x PUMA Disc Blaze (2015)

BAPE were back at it in 2015, this time around teaming up with PUMA for a take on their Disc Blaze.

You'd think the combination of BAPE's 1st Camo and the Big Cat's wirey tech would be too much, but somehow it all worked, balanced out with the silhouette's considerable heft. Hey, we're not gonna argue.

BAPE x PUMA Disc Blaze (2015)
Via END.

Nike Air Max 97 'Country Camo' Pack (2017)Nike Air Max 97 'Country Camo' Pack (2017)

Those completionists we mentioned before, they were dealt a blow in 2017 when Nike dropped another 'Country Camo' pack. Unlike the first drop, this one was comprised solely of Air Max 97s.

The countries featured were the same as the first time round – France, Germany, Italy, the UK, and Japan – each wearing a different set of fatigues across the 97's signature waves.

A fitting wrap-up to what had been an epic 20th anniversary for Christian Tresser's inimitable design.

Nike Air Max 97 Country Camo France (2017)
Via Nike
Nike Air Max 97 Country Camo France (2017)
Via Nike
Nike Air Max 97 Country Camo Germany (2017)
Via Nike
Nike Air Max 97 Country Camo Germany (2017)
Via Nike
Nike Air Max 97 Country Camo Italy (2017)
Via Nike
Nike Air Max 97 Country Camo Italy (2017)
Via Nike
Nike Air Max 97 Country Camo UK (2017)
Via Nike
Nike Air Max 97 Country Camo UK (2017)
Via Nike
Nike Air Max 97 Country Camo Japan (2017)
Via Nike
Nike Air Max 97 Country Camo Japan (2017)
Via Nike

Supreme x Nike Air Force 1 (2012)Supreme x Nike Air Force 1 (2012)

Camo sneakers can get pretty wild, but Supreme and Nike showed you don't need a menagerie of details to do it well.

Their 2012 Air Force 1 was about as pared back as a camo shoe can get: traditional print, muted forest greens, and classic white/gum combo on the sole. A subtle Supreme tag on the heel was all that was needed to finish it off. Classy.

Supreme x Nike Air Force 1 (2012)
Via Nike

BAPE x UNDEFEATED x adidas ZX 5000 (2013)BAPE x UNDEFEATED x adidas ZX 5000 (2013)

C'mon, you didn't think we'd forget this one did you? UNDEFEATED and BAPE's take on the Three Stripe's ZX 5000 sits pretty in the annals of adi history as one of their most sought after colabs.

And it's obvious why. Signature camo paired with the bold tritone Three Stripes and gold co-branding - chef's kiss!

BAPE x UNDEFEATED x adidas ZX 5000 (2013)
Via SNS
BAPE x UNDEFEATED x adidas ZX 5000 (2013)
Via SNS
BAPE x UNDEFEATED x adidas ZX 5000 (2013)
Via SNS

atmos x ASICS GEL-Lyte III (2017)atmos x ASICS GEL-Lyte III (2017)

Another entry from Japanese retail legends atmos to round out the list. Like the Air Max 90 'Duck Camo', 2017's ASICS GEL-Lyte III 'Green Camo' contrasts a flurry of verdant greens with poppin' red on the laces and deep black expanses on the toe box and Tiger Stripes.

What can we say, they just know how to work with camo.

atmos x ASICS GEL-Lyte III (2017)
Via @indy.sneakers
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