The All-Time Greatest Glow-in-the-Dark Sneakers
Some of us have nightlights, others gaze up at stars stuck to the ceiling, but here at Sneaker Freaker HQ, it’s glow-in-the-dark sneakers keeping us up all night long. From Kanye West’s Nike Air Yeezy to the planet-devouring Air Foamposite One ‘Galaxy’, glow-in-the-dark Grails are emitting more light than the aurora borealis. Join us as we revisit the sneakers that stay lit long after the lights go out.
Nike Air Yeezy (2009)Nike Air Yeezy (2009)
A late-night supernova, the Nike Yeezy struck earth as one of the most anticipated sneakers of all time. The sneaker that lit the fuse on Kanye’s universe-expanding Yeezy empire, the Air Yeezy smoked the market with three colourways in three months – all featuring glow-in-the-dark soles. Built with full-grain leather and patent straps, the cushy ‘collar pods’ paid homage to Ato Matsumoto’s sneakers (as seen in Kanye’s ‘Stronger’ music video). Whether you rate ‘Blink’, ‘Zen Grey’, or ‘Net’ as the standout colourway, one thing remains the same: these are still some of the dopest sneakers in Kanye’s arsenal.
Nike Air Foamposite One ‘Galaxy’ (2012)Nike Air Foamposite One ‘Galaxy’ (2012)
It doesn’t get much more intergalactic than the Nike Air Foamposite One ‘Galaxy’. Striking earth in 2012, the Foamposite One ‘Galaxy’ caused hand-trembling hysteria when it arrived over All-Star weekend in Orlando (nearby the NASA HQ), the cosmic uppers and glow-in-the-dark soles sending sneakerheads to the stratosphere. Still one of the most successful Nike launches of all time (albeit dangerous – the Foamposite ‘Galaxy’ caused one of the wildest sneaker riots ever), the Foamposite still burns brows with its planet-hopping DNA all these years later. Penny, we have liftoff!,
Nike SB Dunk Low ‘Night of Mischief’ (2019)Nike SB Dunk Low ‘Night of Mischief’ (2019)
A ghoulish Grail, the Nike SB Dunk Low ‘Night of Mischief’ crept up on our release calendars in 2019. A modern Halloween classic, the colourway helped summon the recent resurrection of the notorious Nike SB Dunk, the spooky Jack-O-Lantern toe box perforations, embroidered spider web uppers, and pumpkin guts insole making this one of the best in recent times. Another nice kill from Nike SB’s Halloween division, expect plenty more glow-in-the-dark classics for Halloween, like the upcoming Nike SB Dunk Low ‘Mummy’!
Travis Scott x Air Jordan 6 ‘Olive’ (2019)Travis Scott x Air Jordan 6 ‘Olive’ (2019)
Travis Scott went SICKO MODE for his Air Jordan 6 collaboration in 2019, the free-wheeling rager producing one of the most impressive Jordan Brand collaborations in recent times. Emblazoned with translucent, glow-in-the-dark outsoles, Cactus Jack branding, and a utility pocket, Travis Scott also reeled in Randy Moss for one of the all-time great marketing campaigns. Not many of us caught Ws on this one, the resale marketing still at high-tide for the mega collaboration.
Nike Air Yeezy 2 (2012)Nike Air Yeezy 2 (2012)
Lightning does indeed strike twice. Mr. West went even more ballistic with the Nike Air Yeezy 2, the sneaker perhaps the closest Kanye ever truly came to ‘jumping the Jumpman’. Stuffed with deep cuts from Egyptology, the translucent soles again flushed with glow-in-the-dark stylings, while the moulded rubber ridges protruding from the spine gave the Air Yeezy 2 a living, beastly appearance. Coming in ‘Solar Red’, ‘Wolf Grey’, and ‘Red October’, the skeleton of the Air Yeezy 2 continues to feed voracious sneakerheads to this day.
Air Jordan 5 ‘Doernbecher’ (2012)Air Jordan 5 ‘Doernbecher’ (2012)
A heartfelt collaboration between Nike and the OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, the Air Jordan 5 ‘Doernbecher’ was a mighty effort by Isaac Arzate. Belonging to Nike’s Doernbecher Freestyle Program, the Air Jordan 5 is emblazoned with a poem (illuminated under blacklight) Isaac penned before he passed away, the AJ5 replete with references to Isaac’s basketball and baseball numbers. A glowing testament to Isaac and meaningful collaborations, the Air Jordan 5 ‘Doernbecher’ is truly one to remember.
Premier Skate x Nike SB Dunk Low ‘Northern Lights’ (2014)Premier Skate x Nike SB Dunk Low ‘Northern Lights’ (2014)
Never seen the northern lights? Not to worry, the Nike SB Dunk packs a huge glow-up for those looking to rock an aurora. A collaboration with Michigan’s Premier Skate, the Nike SB Dunk Low ‘Northern Nights’ lit-up the sneakersphere in 2014, the aesthetic taking cues from the eye-watering aurora borealis. Built with reflective starry detailing on the Swoosh and heels, the ‘Northern Lights’ colourway closes things out with green glow-in-the-dark outsoles, the collaboration still one of the brightest stars in Nike SB’s vast Dunk galaxy.
adidas Originals x Jeremy Scott Wings ‘Glow in the Dark’ (2011)adidas Originals x Jeremy Scott Wings ‘Glow in the Dark’ (2011)
One of the OG agent provocateurs, Jeremy Scott is no stranger to wreaking havoc with his sneaker collaborations. Naturally, the adidas Originals Jeremy Scott Wings is no exception, the high-flying design taking the world by storm when it first took flight. Affixed with wings, the Internet’s pop culture shock trooper recruited droves of fans in North America’s urban enclaves, the glow-in-the-dark rendition perfect for those accustomed to staying up all night. Regardless of how you feel about Jeremy Scott’s collaborations, it’s impossible to deny his lasting impact on the industry.
Yeezy BOOST 350 V2 ‘Glow-in-the-Dark’ (2019)Yeezy BOOST 350 V2 ‘Glow-in-the-Dark’ (2019)
A generation-defining sneaker from the Yeezy canon, the adidas Yeezy BOOST 350 V2 continues to power-up the sneaker scene in 2021 with fresh renditions. But the glow-in-the-dark rendition from 2019 is still keeping us up all night, the silhouette being the maiden Yeezy BOOST to feature the tech. Slime green in the day and iridescent in the night, it’s one of the best 350s of all time.