Sneakers that the Stranger Things Kids Should Have Worn
With the third season of Stranger Things poised for release, Nike’s collaboration with the nostalgia-drenched series is going global, repping Hawkins High on store shelves across the world.
The collection features suitably retro silhouettes, with Blazers, Cortezs and Tailwinds all making an appearance, but we couldn’t help but think – what would Mike, Eleven, and the gang wear if they took on the Upside Down in the 21st century?
Mike Wheeler – Air Jordan 11
Mike’s devotion to Eleven is the beating heart of the show. From hiding her in his basement to radioing her for 353 days in a row after she disappeared battling the Demogorgan. Therefore, it goes without saying that he’d always want to keep her close. And what better way to do that than wearing 11s on his feet!
A straight up classic, the ballers would see Mike through school, D&D, and fighting off fantastical beasts, while still scrubbing up nicely for his date with Eleven at the Snow Ball.
Eleven – Margiela Fusion
Is it a bit on the nose to assign Eleven to Margiela’s science experiment in shoe form, the Fusion? Eh – we’re going to do it anyway. But it kind of makes sense – it’s weird as hell, looks like the result of someone testing out their telekinetic powers, and drips like her nose after a battle.
Sure, she’d have to open her wallet as wide as an inter-dimensional gateway to cop, but they’d slot nicely into her newly-found neo-goth aesthetic.
Dustin Henderson – Game of Thrones x adidas UltraBOOST
Translate D&D fans of the 80s into the now, and they're likely to be otaku-level fans of Game of Thrones. It makes sense, then, that Dustin, the smartest and most prone to the fantastical, would be into the GoT x adidas colab. Not only are these creps seeped in fantasy, they're also comfortable enough to chase mini Demogorgon D’Artagnan around Hawkins. Add to that the Targaryen colourway, fiery like the Mind Flayer, and it’s a match made in heaven.
Lucas Sinclair – New Balance 990v5
For someone as pragmatic as Lucas, it’s an obvious choice: the New Balance 990v5 is made for the sensible sneakerhead. Wary of anything new or too esoteric, Sinclair would appreciate the hallmarks and heritage of the 990 lineage, while it’s paternal utilitarianism and performance tooling would see him through endless battles with the supernatural.
Will Byers – Nike ACG Mowabb
Ah, poor Will. Getting trapped in the Upside Down only to be possessed by the Mind Flayer and ensnared in an inter-dimensional hive mind upon his rescue. With all that flipping and flopping between reality and alternate ethereal planes, Will would do best in some All Conditions Gear; something important to the narrative but not in the limelight – much like little Byers himself. The Mowabb fits the bill just nicely.
Steve Harrington – Off-White x Air Jordan 1
Sure, now he’s everyone’s favourite babysitter, but Steve Harrington was the king of Hawkins High long before he was Dustin’s partner in crime.
The popular kid who hides a sensitive side, he’d wear sneakers that appealed to the masses, but were still a flex for those in the know. Off-White x Air Jordan 1s – the first, and best, iteration – ooze Harrington’s normie cool. And you know what they say: the bigger the hair, the bigger the shoe.
Nancy Wheeler – FILA Distruptor
The good-girl-gone-badass has come a long way from the girl who couldn’t believe she was dating Steve Harrington. She fought to find out what happened to Barb (RIP) and even took on the monsters of the Upside Down. The FILA Disruptor strikes the perfect balance between girl-next-door appeal and Demogorgon-stomping chunk.
Jonathan Byers – Converse All Star (The Clash)
The outcast, the weirdo, the introvert – that’s Jonathan Byers. And whether it’s 1983 or 2023, the outcasts will always flock to Converse All Stars. And for this punk-loving Hawkins High student, there’s no better choice than the Clash-inspired pair from 2016.