The All-Time Greatest Anime-Inspired Sneakers: Part 2
This article was originally published on May 30, 2022.
There are so many high-powered anime-inspired sneakers on the market it was simply impossible to fit them all into one list! From the ultra cute Nike SB Dunk High ‘Doraemon’ to the omnipotent adidas Yung-1 ‘Frieza’, the nexus between anime and sneaker fandom is stronger than ever. And with the upcoming Jordan Zion 1 ‘Naruto’ trio on the horizon, we thought it was the perfect time to expand our arsenal of the all-time greatest. Enjoy!
Nike SB Dunk High ‘Doraemon’Nike SB Dunk High ‘Doraemon’
You know an anime series has become culturally Super Saiyan when it gets the Nike SB Dunk seal of approval. Launching in 2020, the Nike SB Dunk High ‘Doraemon’ was inspired by Fujiko F. Fujio’s beloved time-travelling robotic cat with the crisp white, red and blue sneakers providing superlative fan service to the hordes of Doraemon fanatics across the globe. Originally developed by titans of Japanese anime Tentomushi Comics, the ‘Doraemon’ SB Dunk was one of the most anticipated skate shoes in a year loaded with releases, the rendition still popping up online for well above retail. Still, in the words of Doraemon, ‘You shouldn’t be crying over those things that happened in the past!’
Naruto x Jordan Zion 1Naruto x Jordan Zion 1
While we haven’t seen much of Zion Williamson on the court of late (the number 1 draft pick was sidelined for the entire season 2021–22), sneakerheads have been quick to lace the Jumpman’s Zion 1 after it made its debut in April 2021. The upcoming trio of Naruto colourways are undoubtedly the Air Zion’s most impressive yet, all three designs taking aesthetic cues from Masashi Kishimoto’s opus. Paying homage to Williamson’s personal connection with anime and the story of Naruto (including the central concept of overcoming the odds), the collaboration is slated to arrive on May 18, 2022.
adidas Yung-1 ‘Frieza’adidas Yung-1 ‘Frieza’
The Yung-1 ‘Frieza’, one of the standout releases from adi’s Dragon Ball Z pack in 2018, took inspiration from the main antagonist of the series. Dressed in purple, grey, and lilac overlays reminiscent of Frieza’s ‘final form’, the colourway stomped its way into the battle via the dad shoe phenom sweeping the globe in 2018 – the chunky, 90s-style Yung-1 famously reimagining the Falcon Dorf. Forming part of a collection showcasing the broader showdown between Son Goku and Frieza, the Dragon Ball Z pack is still one of the finest anime collaborations out there. (Senzu beans not included.)
atmos x Packer x Reebok Instapump Furyatmos x Packer x Reebok Instapump Fury
Doraemon is unquestionably a national treasure in Japan. A three-way collaboration between atmos, Packer and Reebok, the Instapump Fury was utilised for the plush toy-like makeover, with soft furry overlays and nylon supports inspired by Doraemon’s classic blue and white composition. Arguably one of the cutest anime colabs of all time, there were plenty of sneakerheads screaming ‘sugoi!’ when the Instapump Fury ‘Doraemon’ made its debut.
Reebok Instapump Fury ‘Gundam’Reebok Instapump Fury ‘Gundam’
The Instapump Fury again makes its way to our list of all-time greatest anime sneakers, this time suiting up in a colourway paying homage to the immensely popular Japanese series Gundam. A universe revolving around giant military robots, Hajime Yatate and Yoshiyuki Tomino’s legendary series has long inspired the sneaker industry, including the classic Air Max 98 and Nike SB Dunk High – not to mention the stacks of custom sneakers by our community!
The 2014 Instapump Fury was also packing plenty in its arsenal, with the duo of colourways taking notes from the high-tech military armour (specifically the RX-78-2 Gundam and the MS-06S Zaku II). The box art was also some of the best we’ve seen!
Can’t get enough of anime-inspired sneakers? Check out our two-part series detailing the best customs we’ve ever seen!