Pokémon is considered the highest grossing media franchise of all time. It began in 1996 as a video game series and quickly expanded to dozens of sequels, a trading card game, anime and manga, and countless other licensed items. In recent years, ‘Pocket Monsters’ (as it’s known in Japan), have found themselves on shoe collaborations from brands big and small. Here are the all-time greatest Pokémon sneakers – gotta catch ‘em all!
Pokémon x FILA Court Deluxe (2018)Pokémon x FILA Court Deluxe (2018)
This link-up between Pokémon and FILA was their second in 2018, highlighting the clean Court Deluxe with classic motifs, including Pokéball tongue logos and elemental type symbols on the heel tabs. They were only released in South Korea, so get hunting if you missed out on them.
Pokémon x Converse Chuck Taylor (2021)Pokémon x Converse Chuck Taylor (2021)
Pokémon x Balmain B-Bold (2022)Pokémon x Balmain B-Bold (2022)
A $1000-plus Balmain fashion sneaker is by far the most expensive Pokémon sneaker collaboration, and it seems an unlikely pairing for the franchise. However, creative director Olivier Rousteing says, 'Pokémon’s bright pop aesthetic and captivating creatures have always appealed to me.'
Pokémon x adidas Advantage ‘Pikachu’ (2020)Pokémon x adidas Advantage ‘Pikachu’ (2020)
While Pokémon is a very well-established name worldwide, it tapped into the overlapping sneaker market via its adidas colab in 2020, which was a step up from its previous smaller partners. This Advantage edition nodded to the 8-bit origins of the video game and its mascot Pikachu.
Pokémon x Clarks Wallabee ‘Pikachu’ (2022)Pokémon x Clarks Wallabee ‘Pikachu’ (2022)
Pokémon has been carrying a lot of momentum in 2022 with its sneaker collaborations. Clarks Originals have similarly made big strides in the clout game. So, it only seems natural that they paired up on a Wallabee pack celebrating Pikachu, who’s stamped as a repeating pattern on these all-yellow and black pairs.
Pokémon x ASICS Idaho (2021)Pokémon x ASICS Idaho (2021)
The Pokémon video games and media series involve the protagonist traversing marathon distances by foot. The next generation of IRL Pokémon Trainers can rock the ASICS Idaho collaboration, which are definitely the smallest pairs on this list. They released in 2021 for the franchise’s 25th anniversary.
Pokémon x Glamb (2019)Pokémon x Glamb (2019)
Niche Japanese fashion label Glamb released an entire Pokémon collection in 2019, which included these zany sneakers that are more costume than couture. The ears at the top of the eyestays and zig zag tail protruding from the heels are pretty cute, though. These were very limited, and now command a handsome price on the secondary market.
Pokémon x Comme des Garçons x Vans Old Skool (2022)Pokémon x Comme des Garçons x Vans Old Skool (2022)
Yep, there have been quite a few Pokémon sneaker colabs in 2022. Japanese label Comme des Garçons offer perhaps one of the rarer pairs, dropping a very limited Vans Old Skool adorned with CDG and Pikachu motifs. They released at a pop-up in Japan before arriving in scarce numbers from CDG. So yeah, they’re hard to find.
Pokémon Centre Exclusive Slip-On Shoes (2016)Pokémon Centre Exclusive Slip-On Shoes (2016)
Regional availability of sneakers can be frustrating, but it can also be pretty fun. These slip-on shoes could only be copped from Pokémon Centres in Japan – the accompanying shoe box explicitly states ‘FOR SALE IN JAPAN ONLY’. Hardcore collectors will need a Master Ball, plane ticket, and time machine, or any combination of those.