Scary Hours: Halloween 2021's Spookiest Sneaker Styles
Halloween 2021 is almost upon us, and this year's batch of trick-or-treating-ready kicks is spookily good. From sinister styles inspired by serial slashers like Freddy Kruger to more playful pairs that show mesmerising mummy eyes – and even silhouettes that get at the holiday's original meaning – there's something for everyone from ghouls to ghosts, and we've selected the best of the bunch for your viewing (and copping) pleasure.
Nike Air Force 1 Low 'Purple Skeleton'
Any seasonal collection needs good, strong bones, and Nike has 'em with the Air Force 1 'Purple Skeleton.' Following up 2020's Air Force 1 'Orange Skeleton,' 2019's Air Force 1 'Black Skeleton' and 2018's original Air Force 1 'Skeleton,' the 'Purple Skeleton' is equal parts spooky and playful thanks to its rich purple base, detailed skeleton foot embellishments and glowing green soles.
Want this shoe to be the backbone of your Halloween sneaker rotation? It's releasing October 28 and will be available at the stores listed here.
Nike Dunk Low 'Halloween'
Nike Sportswear has quite a stocked lineup of Halloween kicks this year – the Air Force 1, Air Force 1 Experimental and Air Presto, to be specific – but the most hauntingly appealing silhouette in those ranks is the Dunk Low. Much like its compatriots, it combines candy corn-esque orange and cream tones with stark black accents, but what makes it the best pumpkin in the NSW patch is how it artfully plays its light and dark tones off one another before delivering a final scare with glow-in-the-dark detailing.
Don't get spooked just yet, but an official release date hasn't been announced. However, some of this Dunk's compatriots are hitting SNKRS October 29, so it may well do the same.
Nike SB Dunk Low 'Mummy'
Moving from sportswear to skate, Nike SB succinctly wrapped up their Halloween releases with a single silhouette this year: the SB Dunk Low 'Mummy.' Bound with bandage-like textiles and supplying glow-in-the-dark detailing, this low-cut SB Dunk's embellishments ensconce a set of glaring eyes that peer out from the heel and shine in the dark with a sinister yellow shade.
The 'Mummy' is set to be excavated on October 28, but like many other SB releases, it's likely to gradually trickle out as shipments arrive at skate shops like Swell-O-Phonic.
Air Jordan 1 Mid 'Día de Muertos'
Artfully commemorating the storied Mexican tradition of Día de Muertos (the Day of the Dead), this Air Jordan 1 Mid discards the spooky or gory inspiration of the other shoes on this list, instead focusing on 'Siempre Familia,' or the unbreakable bond of families. It has an intricate jaguar print, a uniquely detailed Swoosh made out to look like an arrow, and even sharp 'fangs' on its toebox! Equal parts family-centric and ferocious, it's this year's best 'Day of the Dead' release, though the Día de Muertos' collection's Air Force 1 Low and Dunk Low do provide some stiff competition.
The Air Jordan 1 Mid 'Día de Muertos' is available in Mexico now and will see a global release via Nike come October 28.
Vans Sk8-Hi 'Freddy Kruger'
At the beginning of October, Vans revealed a six-shoe 'Horror Pack' with styles inspired by classic horror flicks. Though the offerings included tributes to It, The Shining, Exorcist, Friday the 13th and Lost Boys, nothing could quite top the spookiness of the Sk8-Hi inspired by A Nightmare on Elm Street's Freddy Kruger. Sure, some of the hubbub may have been caused by the fact that Freddy's already been spotlighted on one of the most valuable unreleased Nike SB Dunk Lows of all time, but this model is a bloody (literally) good addition to Freddy's footwear with its sinister stripes and splattered detailing.
Freddy's kicks are unfortunately sold out, meaning this is the one time you do want to see him in your dreams.
Ghostbusters x Reebok Answer IV
If the Ghostbusters theme didn't start playing in your head immediately when you saw these ... well, that's scary! Inspired by the first Ghostbusters film's snarling, snapping Terror Dogs, this special iteration of Allen Iverson's fifth signature sneaker is just as deadly as Iverson's killer crossover with a snarling maw on its side and plenty of slime graphics to boot.
You can scoop a pair via the Reebok webstore now.
Looking to sink your teeth into something truly sinister? The last shoe on this list is an adidas Forum inspired by Dracula, the king of monsters. It starts low-key with a black leather-and-suede upper, but quickly becomes more haunting with red detailing and glow-in-the-dark outsoles before crescendoing with some sharp silver fangs on the lace deubre.
When will it rise from the coffin? Monster hunters everywhere are unsure as adidas has yet to announce an official release date. However, it'll likely arrive on or around Halloween.