ARTICLE BY Boon

Fast Footwear: The Best Motorsport Sneaker Colabs

new balance x kawasaki hero
via @aintfussed

Across the many laps around the sun, there’s been countless sneakers inspired by motorsports. We’ve had some seriously iconic designs with automotive-themed aesthetics, such as the Air Jordan 14 and recent SB Dunk colourways, while there’s also been a few that failed to reach top speed – the TT-inspired adidas Kobe 2 comes to mind.

Despite the ongoing presence of motorsport in the sneakersphere, the official collaborations between manufacturers and sneaker brands have been somewhat sporadic. Nevertheless, the ones that have managed to come to fruition have been bona fide high-octane heaters. Buckle up… here are some of the best motorsport sneaker collaborations ever!

nike kobe aston martin pack
nike kobe aston martin pack
,nike kobe aston martin pack

Nike x Kobe Bryant x Aston Martin Pack

Some of the rarest Kobe signatures in existence, the Kobe 5 and Hyperdunk from the ‘Aston Martin’ pack were inspired by one of the most memorable Nike commercials of all time.

Each sneaker comes dressed in Gunmetal Grey and Burgundy, to pay homage to the Aston Martin DB9 that Kobe Bryant jumped over in the notorious Hyperdunk ad.

Only 500 pairs were released worldwide and, unsurprisingly, they were snapped up with serious speed.

lamborghini mizuno collaboration
lamborghini mizuno collaboration

Lamborghini x Mizuno Wave Tenjin 2

Back in 2017, Mizuno linked up with Italian legends Lamborghini to release a limited edition Wave Tenjin 2 inspired by the iconic Aventador sports car. Dropping in three colourways, the sneaker featured a hexagonal logo, mimicking the Aventador’s front grill, while the polyester mesh upper was designed to look like the car’s carbon fibre exterior.

Porsche Design x adidas UltraBOOST
Porsche Design x adidas UltraBOOST
Porsche Design x adidas UltraBOOST

Porsche Design x adidas UltraBOOST

Porsche have been the most active car maker in the sneaker space, working with plenty of big brands across the years. Teaming up with adidas during the peak of #teamcosy in 2016, Porsche gave the ever-popular UltraBOOST a luxurious makeover, finessing the collaborative colourway in a classic black, with a white BOOST midsole.

Williams Renault Team Shoe
Williams Renault Team Shoe
Williams Renault Team Shoe

Williams Renault Team Shoe

A true powerhouse of 80s/90s Formula 1, the Williams team took pride in peak performance. Those high standards were matched by these ultra-rare high tops, which were worn by the pit crew responsible for keeping the legendary driver Nigel Mansell perennially at the top of the podium.,

While not an official collaboration with a sneaker brand, these do share a lot of similarities to the Reebok Commitment basketball sneaker.

Subaru Rally Team x DC Shoes Redwood
via Greatest Subaru

Subaru Rally Team x DC Shoes Redwood

Once upon a time, skate stalwarts DC Shoes were sponsors of the Subaru Rally Team USA. During the stanza, they came through with a few themed sneakers and apparel collections. NGL, a lot of it wasn’t particularly memorable, however, these Redwoods provided a definite highlight. And, yes, that’s an air pocket in the sole! 

SONRA Porsche Design Edition

Porsche Design and the Berlin-based footwear label SONRA collaborated on a limited-edition sneaker borrowing design elements from the Porsche 912. Based on the ‘proto’ model designed by the brand’s founder Hikmet Sugör, the sneaker dropped in two colourways in limited numbers. Check out the video above and you’ll see Hikmet’s own signal red Porsche 912, which inspired one of the colourways.

asics x mclaren sneakers
via @lordbertrum
asics x mclaren sneakers

McLaren x ASICS

In motorsport, the drivers are always front-and-centre when it comes to the plaudits. However, ASICS made sure those behind-the-scenes at McLaren’s F1 team got a little love, finessing two special pairs for the pit crew. Just like their car, the crew definitely had their aesthetics on-point with the GEL McLaren MA-2 and GEL McLaren F1.

Honda F1 Racing Team x FILA

Honda F1 Racing Team x FILA

In the mid-2000s, Honda’s F1 team had pre-McLaren Jensen Button and post-Ferrari Rubens Barrichello behind the wheels. Marred by reliability issues, the team’s car never made it to the podium, but the pit crew’s FILA footwear was definitely a winner.

puma x ferrari racing shoes

Scuderia Ferrari x PUMA

One of most recognisable footwear partnerships in F1, PUMA and Ferrari announced their multi-year contract in 2004, making the German sportswear giants the official supplier of the most successful team in the sport’s history. Since then, the Big Cat has dropped numerous ‘Scuderia Ferrari’ sneakers, most notably the Speedcat. However, it’s hard to go past these official racers worn by the drivers themselves.

DMC-12 x Nike 6.0 “DeLorean Dunk”

DMC-12 x Nike 6.0 DeLorean Dunk

Back to the Future brought to life one of Nike’s most iconic sneakers, but there’s also a lesser known Dunk Low that deserves some recognition. Inspired by the DeLorean DMC-12, Nike 6.0 tapped the company to create a limited edition ‘DeLorean’ colourway.

The upper takes cues from the DMC-12’s sleek stainless steel exterior, while the bottom eyestay nods to the gull-wing doors. Down below, the outsole references the Delorean’s tail lights, while the DMC-12’s rear window shades reappear as graphic lines on the heel. In a nice touch, a Belfast stamp on the tongue alludes to the Irish factory that originally produced the car. Great Scott!

new balance x kawasaki hero
,new balance x kawasaki hero
new balance x kawasaki hero

Kawasaki x New Balance 993

This New Balance 993 created for the Kawasaki Superbike team has become quite the hot commodity in recent times. NB collaborations are known for keeping the branding at a minimum, but these are definitely a rare exception. Embroidered Kawasaki logos on the heel and toe are joined by a ‘Ninja’ across the tongues, creating one of the most memorable 993s in existence. These actually released via select outlets in 2012, so kudos to whoever managed to cop!

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