Anime Ninjas Inspire the Naruto x Mizuno CollaborationRelease: 11 January 2022
The long-running manga and anime series Naruto has inspired countless custom sneakers, but almost never has there been an official effort. A mysterious adidas collaboration seemingly smoke-bombed in 2019, but now there is some better clarity coming from ,Mizuno, who have three colourways out now.
Given Naruto and Mizuno both originate in Japan, this colab was more likely to come to fruition. The latter have used an archival model called the Contender from the 1990s – perfect considering the manga’s original debut. This era in sneakers still relied on a mixture of suede and mesh, which proves to be an ideal conduit for these three unique palettes, each referencing the three protagonists of the series.
The pink and red pair is modelled after Sakura’s hair and outfit; purple and black, plus a snake-textured logo represents anti-hero Sasuke; and a black and yellow scheme nodding to titular character Naruto’s jumpsuit. Each pair is also finished with idiosyncratic embroidery referencing the respective characters, and the Naruto title logo printed on the insoles.
The Naruto x Mizuno Contender is available now directly from Mizuno Japan. While this usually means exclusivity to the country, it looks like they are offering global delivery via a third-party shipping partner.