The Dragon Ball Z Characters adidas Forgot About
We’ve seen Anime-inspired collaborations before, but has there ever been a manga mashup that’s piqued the sneakersphere’s interest quite like the upcoming Dragon Ball Z x adidas collection? It’s like Team Trefoil have been charging a hype Spirit Bomb for months, leaving fans on edge in anticipation of the next wave of leaks and release gossip. Consisting of seven silhouettes, each representing a favourite character from the DBZ universe, the collection’s power level has varied depending on whose scouter you’re reading — admittedly, they’ve made some glaring omissions. The imminent Goku, Frieza, Vegeta and Cell releases were no-brainers, but there’s plenty of forgotten heroes and villains that could’ve charged up this colab to over 9000! Here are some we’d wish for if we managed to collect the Dragon Balls.
PICCOLO: PHARRELL WILLIAMS X ADIDAS HU NMD ‘YOUTH’
Like many, we were aghast when we found out our favourite Namekian wasn’t part of the collection. He’s a green, mean, limb-regenerating machine that’s blessed with the power of eternal youth, so we reckon these Hu NMDs would look a treat on Piccolo’s feet. Despite not ageing, he still manages to die three times throughout the series. We’re not blaming him though, as staying alive in the DBZ universe is about as easy as copping Hu NMDs for retail.
YAMCHA: ADIDAS YEEZY BOOST 350 V2 ‘BLACK/SOLAR RED’
Low-key, Yamcha is a lord. He’s a charming hunk who always gets into lady trouble, is weak around blondes and isn’t much use to the story (at least he’s good comic relief, so you can’t help but love him). Come to think of it, he’s the Scott Disick of the DBZ universe. When it comes to sneakers, Yamcha would do what Lord Disick and every other basic with connections would do — rock Yeezys. When we polled our Twitter audience, the most popular V2 was the ‘Black/Solar Red’, and we reckon Yamcha would side with the masses.
KRILLIN: ADIDAS STAN SMITH 'WHITE/GREEN'
That loyal old friend you can always rely on, Krillin has been wished back to life by the Dragon Balls just about as many times as the Stan Smith has been reincarnated. A staple in so many rotations, the classic Stan Smith is that shoe you wear to death, then happily replace with a fresh pair — much like old mate Krillin. Let’s face it, nothing looks worse than a beat pair of Stans that look like they got cut up by a Destructo Disc.
ANDROID 18: PARLEY x STELLA McCARTNEY x ADIDAS ULTRABOOST X
Neither Dragon Ball Z nor the sneaker game have enough strong female characters, but two forces remedying that problem are Android 18 and Stella McCartney. Since both are fond of small, weak creatures — McCartney with her animals and 18 with, err, Krillin — this Parley colab is perfect. It looks great, is packed with tech and protects the earth. Plus, it delivers a kick with more oomph than most men can match.
KORIN: ADIDAS Y-3 QASA ‘TRIPLE WHITE’
Korin and the Qasa have one big thing in common: you forgot about them. But deeper than that, they’re both immeasurably influential OGs. Though Korine is a dopey sensu bean supplier in DBZ, in the days of the Red Ribbon Army Saga he was known as ‘The God of Martial Arts’ and overshadowed kid Goku as earth’s most powerful tailed creature. This origin story mirrors the Qasa, which debuted sagas ago in 2013. Like Korin, the Qasa schooled a lot of youngsters in style and reigned supreme as the game’s heaviest hitter for years. Many characters change uniforms over time, but Korin has always been intent on looking crispy — thus the only Qasa for him would be this ‘Triple White’ drop from 2015.
FUTURE TRUNKS: ADIDAS FUTURECRAFT 4D
Hailing from a post-apocalyptic future, Trunks would look right at home in the game-changing Futurecraft 4Ds (they’d probably be celebrating their fifth reissue by then). The sleek silhouette and 3D-printed sole matches perfectly with his boyish ‘cool guy’ aesthetic, blessing him with all the energy-return he needs to slice up those pesky Androids. We can’t say we’ve tested this, but we reckon they’d improve your swordsmanship by at least 10 per cent.
KING KAI: ADIDAS YEEZY WAVE RUNNER 700
Throughout the series, King Kai plays mentor to Goku, Krillin, Yamcha, Tien, Piccolo and Chiaotzu, passing on his wisdom and unparalleled martial arts knowledge. King Kai is a father figure and doesn’t mind dropping the odd dad joke, so he warrants an A-grade dad shoe. With its insect-like aesthetic, the Wave Runner 700 would slot nicely into King Kai’s rotation, matching seamlessly with his bulbous figure and telekinetic antennae. Now, to find a courier service that’s willing to travel through Snake Way.
MASTER ROSHI: ADIDAS JEREMY SCOTT BONES ‘MULTI’
If Master Roshi was a sneakerhead, his footwear of choice would be like pick-up lines: inappropriate as all hell. Like any old dog, he’s always looking for a bone, and since he likes to wear a big one (shell) on his back, he’d probably want to lace up in Jeremy Scott’s adidas JS Bones ‘Multi’.
TIEN: ADIDAS SOLARBOOST 'BLACK/AQUA'
Disciplined and reserved, Tien is one of the most underrated characters in the DBZ universe. Despite not being blessed with Saiyan strength, he manages to hold his own, regularly bailing out the good guys with his trademark Solar Flare (a technique that Goku and Krillin bite off him). Naturally, the new SolarBOOST makes perfect sense here. Name aside, we think the tech-heavy runner is one of the most underrated adidas drops in recent times. Knowing Tien, he’d probably cop a matching pair for his best buddy Chiaotzu as well.
HERCULE SATAN: ADIDAS NMD_R1 PK ‘BLACK ZEBRA’
How can one be so weak, yet revered the world over? So attention-grabbing, yet so boring? What’s wrong with the world when people flock in droves to something obviously second-rate to those around it? We have a lot of questions about Hercule Satan, but not which sneakers we’d pair him with. Hands down, it’s the ‘Black Zebra’ adidas NMD_R1 PK from 2017. Why? We’re not exactly sure, it just feels right.