Wonderful and Weird Star Wars Sneakers
Ever since Disney laid down plenty of fetti to rule over the entire Star Wars universe, there's been enough new merchandise to sink the Death Star and, thankfully, the footwear category hasn't been neglected.
For many Star Wars lovers, it's been a case of the more merch the merrier. Lately it seems like Disney dish out the licensing contracts as liberally as pints of blue milk down at the local cantina. While adidas have the most prolific output on both sides of the Force, a handful of other brands have added to the canon by simply coughing up the Galactic Credits into Disney's coffers. Or, in some cases, renegade brands and sneaker fans have concocted their own royalty-free tributes.
But you can't dress a Wookie up as an Alderaan princess and call it a mind trick – whacking a Star Wars motif on a crappy model is not the design you are looking for. We've used the Force to sort through some of the most dazzling – and also head-scratchingly weird – Star Wars footwear, so you don't have to.
WONDERFUL: adidas Superstar 80s x Star Wars (2015)
adidas have been the most consistent Star Wars collaborators in both quantity and quality over the years. This 2015 release rebuilt the Superstar 80s in the metallic finish of everyone's favourite robot duo, R2-D2 and C3PO. Beep beep bloop bloop.
WONDERFUL: adidas Rivalry Hi x Star Wars 'Chewbacca' (2020)
One of the most recent additions to the Star Wars x adidas universe gets full points for the complete cosplay commitment. In accordance with Kashyyyk for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (KETA), no Wookiees were harmed in the production of these ,Rivalry His.
WEIRD: Payless x Star Wars 'Storm Trooper' (2015)
Damn son, where'd you find this? Return these and demand your refund, even if you won't get much back.
WONDERFUL: adidas Top Ten x Star Wars 'Boba Fett' (2020)
The galaxy's greatest bounty hunter is also an old-school baller with the adidas Top Ten Hi. There have been plenty of Boba Fett sneakers over the years, but these are ones the muse would likely rock. Especially with the utility ankle pouches and protective high-cut.
WEIRD: adidas Eldorado x Star Wars 'AT-AT Pilot'
Well, you saw how wobbly the AT-AT Walkers were in The Empire Strikes Back. Did you expect a sneaker version to not be clunky?
WONDERFUL: SWITFISH x Star Wars Motive 'X-Wing'
Here's an example of an unlikely brand from a galaxy far, far away to work with Star Wars. SWITFISH are a South Korean brand who must have some fans in the ranks, and these X-Wing-inspired kicks are a possibility if the Resistance wore Dad Shoes.
WONDERFUL: adidas x Star Wars Tubular 'Stormtrooper'
The Three Stripes' Force awakened when they were surrounded by the Stormtrooper army – it turns out the Galactic Empire's finest cannon fodder can make good sneakers. Taking a subtle approach that would almost be acceptable dress outside of a sci-fi convention, almost, this Tubular is a piece of abstract shoe art.
WONDERFUL: Stride Right x Star Wars 'Darth Vader'
Obviously, if these weren't for the Padawans, they'd get thrown straight into a Sarlacc pit, but they look kinda cute here! And the mask might even offer protection. That said, the closure system looks simultaneously a little too easy and brain-busting.
WONDERFUL: adidas Superstar 'Light Side' (2007)
The Star Wars x adidas partnership hadn't existed yet back in 2007, but this cheeky Consortium drop definitely played some Jedi mind tricks. Despite the conspicuous fonts, this wasn't an officially licensed product, and Lucasfilm kicked up a stink like Jar Jar Binks. So, adi had to put up the galactic credits the next time they wanted to channel the Star Wars aesthetic. The continued colabs suggests it was money well spent. How good is that blister packaging!
WEIRD: Irregular Choice x Star Wars 'Wack Saber Wedge' (2015)
Does the saber extend in times of conflict? Could these be incredible wedge stilts? You won't win if it's a fashion battle, though. Yes, we know it's not a sneaker. But just look at them.
WEIRD: Irregular Choice x Star Wars 'Vader and Stormtrooper Menagé' (2015)
WEIRD: Stride Rite x Star Wars 'Light-up Lightsaber'
Okay these things are kinda cool – those lateral lightsabers light up! Still ugly AF though. Your children deserve better.
WONDERFUL: Nike SB Dunk Low Pro 'Jedi' (2004)
Phew, after that string of shockers, here's one of the greatest Star Wars sneakers that actually isn't official merch. The 'Jedi' Dunks were a legendary release from the 'Silver Box' era, and provide an early example of Nike SB's uncanny ability to draw upon irreverent inspirations. In this case, the green and beige colourway is pure Yoda, it is. And the neon green lacesabers? Genius. Again, not official Star Wars sneakers, but definitely one of the best.
WONDERFUL: adidas ZX Flux x Star Wars
Yeah, it kinda looks like someone tried to upcycle some shattered gimmick mugs by whacking the ceramic shards onto a heel counter, but we still fux with these Flux.
WEIRD: adidas x Star Wars Micropacer (2010)
Before the Star Wars x adidas collaborations hit hyperdrive, both parties banked on the sneakers being collectibles rather than daily drivers, such as these lenticular Micropacers. In the words of the nasty cheerleaders from Wildcats, ' U-G-L-Y. You ain't got no alibi – you ugly!' At least they still have a high bounty on the secondary market.
WONDERFUL: adidas x Star Wars AlphaEDGE 4D 'Death Star'
These ,AlphaEDGE 4Ds are probably the only sneakers on this list that wouldn't be an anachronism in the actual Star Wars universe. After all, that 4D-printed midsole looks like it comes from a galaxy far, far away. And the blacked-out Primeknit upper with tonal ship graphics should be standard issue footwear on the Death Star.
WONDERFUL: Vans x Star Wars (2014)
Vans are veterans of using prints on their silhouettes, and they did not disappoint with their ode to Star Wars ahead of May 4, 2014. The Stormtrooper bandana paisley print is straight hard!
WEIRD: Stride Rite x Star Wars 'Nasty Ass Shoes'
Two strikes for Stride Rite. Don't put your kids through this, please. Don't Force project this wackness onto the next generation – it's how they turn to the Dark Side.
BONUS: Freehand Profit Boba Fett SB Helmet
Sneaker mask maker Freehand Profit has definitely touched a few nerves over the years with his radical remakes of masks in a laced-up form of shoe grave-robbing. For this Mandalorian helmet, he systematically dismantled numerous pairs of the Nike SB Dunk High 'Boba Fett' – another unofficial Star Wars colourway.
Wonderful? Weird? You decide.
Originally published December 16, 2015.