The All-Time Greatest NFL Super Bowl-Themed Sneakers
Super Bowl LV is almost here, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers set to throw down against the Kansas City Chiefs. The Buccaneers may have home ground advantage at Raymond James Stadium – and Tom Brady – but their Midwestern opponents will be chasing back-to-back championships! While this Sunday could go either way, what’s for certain is there have been some great commemorative Super Bowl–themed sneakers over the years.
Because Nike have been the NFL’s uniform supplier since 2012 (taking over from Reebok) through to at least 2028, there is a heavy Swoosh presence below. But a couple of unofficial outsiders have snuck through!
Nike Air Trainer 1 ‘Nike Knows’ aka ‘Super Bowl’ (2014)Nike Air Trainer 1 ‘Nike Knows’ aka ‘Super Bowl’ (2014)
The official story about these rainbow lenticular Air Trainer 1s is actually to do with the ‘Nike Knows’ collection, but the sneaker community retconned it into the Super Bowl 2014 pack. It became a tale about the glossy and glistening finish being loosely inspired by the luxurious piece of silverware that is the Vince Lombardi Trophy. Either way, they’re certainly eye-catching, and worth big $$$.
BAPE x adidas UltraBOOST (2019)BAPE x adidas UltraBOOST (2019)
OG Japanese streetwear brand BAPE arguably couldn’t be further removed from American Football, but their expansive adidas colab in 2019 proved they knew what they were doing. BAPE applied their distinct ape camo across the UltraBOOST – plus the coveted black BOOST midsoles – perpetuating the model’s zeitgeist status. The accompanying camo-covered helmet and gloves were pretty sick too.
Nike Air Force 1 ‘Super Bowl’ (2006)Nike Air Force 1 ‘Super Bowl’ (2006)
Nike have released many Super Bowl Air Force 1s of varying creativity and rarity over the years, but this version from 2006 is one of the best. These are great with brown pebbled football leather contrasting against orange patent mid panels and toe boxes. For the sneaker nerds, that green Sphere Dry mesh collar lining is some of the best stuff Nike’s ever used.
KangaROOS Ultimate ‘Memory of 34’ (2020)KangaROOS Ultimate ‘Memory of 34’ (2020)
Walter Payton is one of the sport’s true GOATs. KangaROOS acknowledge that fact with a touching sneaker tribute using their pinnacle Ultimate retro runner. Made using Horween football leather – the same stuff Wilson have used on the official NFL ball for over 70 years – in KangaROOS’ German workshop, these luxe, #34-branded kicks are truly befitting of the player they called ‘Sweetness’.
Nike Air Force 1 ‘SB51 Comeback’ (2017)Nike Air Force 1 ‘SB51 Comeback’ (2017)
The New England Patriots made an astounding comeback from behind to win Super Bowl LI over the Atlanta Falcons, 34 to 28. Lauded as one of the greatest moments in Super Bowl history, Nike added to the memorabilia with a one-off pair of AF-1s made from two game-played footballs. They were eventually auctioned off for charity – but they must be kicking about somewhere!
Air Jordan 7 Cleat ‘Earl Thomas’ (2015)Air Jordan 7 Cleat ‘Earl Thomas’ (2015)
This Air Jordan 7 Cleat was far from Jordan Brand’s first sports crossover, but there’s a lot of symbolism here. Earl Thomas unveiled the boots ahead of Super Bowl XLIX, where his Seattle Seahawks attempted a second consecutive championship win. Michael Jordan won his second NBA ring wearing the AJ7 – see the connection? Sadly, the New England Patriots ended the Seahawks’ dream run 28 to 24.
Honourable Mention: Nike Dunk Low ‘Pro Bowl 2011’Honourable Mention: Nike Dunk Low ‘Pro Bowl 2011’
The Pro Bowl is the NFL’s All-Star game, and Nike have always come to the party with some special sneakers for the big event. Given the Dunk’s current white-hot hype, these PE Dunks from a decade ago offered a glimpse into the future. The 2011 Pro Bowl game was played at the Aloha Stadium in Hawaii, which Nike commemorated with green island embroidery and ocean blue ice soles. Very very rare.
Want more all-time greatest? Check out SF's compilation of the best ever releases here.