Sneaker collaborations aren’t anything new however, over the last few years they’ve become a constant within weekly launches. From Nike with their arsenal of Travis Scott, Sacai or A Ma Maniere and more or even New Balance with the likes of Salehe Bembury, JJJJound or Joe FreshGoods, it was collaborations like those which, over recent years have put sneaker collecting into a new light.
Now of course, there are multiple ways of collaborating. Whether it’s a store bringing the ideas forward to a brand or the brand itself scoping the world to find the next industry leading talent to bring their eye and name to something, get it right and it could be something that could go down in history. Another way that sometimes gets overlooked is when a brand, or for this latest story, a band becomes affiliated with a brand so much so that it becomes uniform and forms part of their image. Sometimes it’s easy to go down the route of Hip-Hop, Rap or R&B but there are occasions that see them delve into the world of metal and that’s where we’re at today.
We’re of course talking about the latest Korn x adidas collection. An affiliation that goes back to the early 90’s, the band would frequently wear the Three Stripe tracksuits and this quickly passed down to their audience and became somewhat of a statement uniform for their followers. They even had a song called A.D.I.D.A.S though for anyone who’s heard it will notice its playful take on ‘All Day I Dream About Sports’. But for ‘23, after decades, the duo finally made that relationship official with a collection harking back to the band’s past. Though this is the latest venture into this genre, it definitely won’t be the last.
With generations of people growing up on this genre of music, it’s easy to forget how much of a cultural impact some of these bands have had on the music world and just how relevant they are even to the point of people like Ice Cube and Public Enemy sampling bands such as Slayer and Black Sabbath.
So to celebrate, we thought we’d go back in time and take a look at some of our favourites. From samples, to limited releases through to general releases, the breadth of these collaborations seems to be endless.
A heavyweight within the Nu-Metal scene, back in 2003 Nike decided to celebrate the genre-bending, Sacramento based band Deftones with their very own Nike Dunk High. Limited to only 40 pairs worldwide, these are still one of the rarest Dunks and seem in safe hands with the likes of JD Beltran having them within his collection. In keeping with the leafy green city centre, the band kept things simple with a predominately green leather upper whilst their logo takes dominance on the heel.
One that may have slipped under the radar for many and one that still hasn’t had much information shared regarding it but to celebrate their 2017 ‘No Filter’ tour, rock legends The Rolling Stones teamed up with French football team Paris Saint Germain for a collaboration that included 55 pairs of the Air Max 1 you see above. With a range of apparel within the collaboration as well, it was the AM1 that gained most attention. With The Rolling Stones logo featuring on the lateral side of the shoe, the PSG emblem featured on the medial.
Celebrating its 30th anniversary, Metallica enlisted the help of Vans to celebrate their debut album ‘Kill ’em all’. Like Iron Maidens 2012 collaboration, the Sk8 Hi and Slip On were the silhouettes of choice and continuing in a similar theme, the album artwork was a focus of the collaboration.
One that never technically saw the light of day apart from a few sample pairs for the bands friends and family, the Iron Maiden x Nike Dunk High ‘Beasts from the East’ shows how these coming togethers can go down in folklore. Taking away the limelight, the Swoosh becomes a translucent feature upon the iconic artwork that brought a heavy attitude to match their debut L.P. A must have for many, the pair was not too long ago spotted on the feet of frequent Nike collaborator Travis Scott.
With over 40 albums since forming back in 1975, Iron Maiden once again found themselves collaborating on a footwear collaboration, this time though, with Vans. Receiving a general release back in 2012, the band opted to celebrate one of their first albums ‘The Number of the Beast’ that released back in ’82. Using a Sk8-Hi and a Slip On as the silhouettes of choice, the band took their recognisable album cover and used this as the highlight of the collection.
A constant when it comes to this genre of collaborations, Vans never skip a beat in similar vain to their next collaborator, Motorhead. Having formed in 1975, the band went on to cement theirselves within music history with their blend of heavy metal and punk rock. Continuing the theme of using album art covers as inspiration, the team looked towards their first studio album ‘Motorhead’. This means a clean all black upper is met with the bands logo on the heel whilst the iconic Snaggletooth, aka the War-Pig featured on the insole.
Revolutionary at the time, the Air Presto paved the way for many future sneakers and quickly became a firm fan favourite. However, a pair that may have gone under the radar for many with only 15 pairs known in existence is that pair above. Celebrating a worldwide tour back in 2001, Nike provided Eric Clapton with his very own Air Presto. Although a relatively subtle iteration that saw a predominately grey upper, underneath the heel shows the EC World Tour graphic that makes these pairs so special. Thankfully and after much persistence, it’s thanks to people like Prestology for shining the light on such things!
One of the more recent editions and during the recent craze of sneaker collaborations, Nike stayed true to past efforts and this time celebrated 50 years of Grateful Dead. For this, the SB team paid homage with three neon colour ways that make us think back to those psychedelic rock days and the genre in which the band will go down in history for being one of the biggest within.