The Best Video Game Inspired Sneakers

Thanks to the recent release of the PlayStation Classic, many online personalities received care packages from Sony to celebrate the release. Each care package containing, of course, the PlayStation Classic, a couple of hats and a set of video game inspired sneakers; the Nike PG 2.5 x PlayStation.

The collaboration isn’t as strange as it first seems as there isn’t much difference between gamers and sneakerheads. Similarly, both are collectors, have a strong passion for the stories behind the creative process, and both enjoy the artistic value of their favourite titles. This is exactly why, in recent times, there have been many collaborations between the two mediums.

So, here are some of my favourite video game inspired sneakers – ones I’d love to own myself!

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Nike SB Dunk High Pac-Man

Nike SB Dunk High Pacman Video Game Inspired Sneakers
Nike SB Dunk High Pac-Man

Collaboration: Namco & Nike

Release: 2009

Nike has a strong track record of pulling from historic pieces to provide inspiration for its most successful collaborations. This Pac-Man collaboration is no different.

Originally inspired by the color scheme of the  Pac-Man video game arcade machine from the 1980s. The SB Dunk High is made from an eye-catching suede upper and a bright leather toe box. With reflective yellow 3M piping complimenting the electric red, blue and yellow upper. All the colors are brought together with yellow laces into a unified theme to make it Pac-Man official.

What really makes these shoes great is that the color scheme is so obviously Pac-Man inspired; without needing to have any official branding spell it out.

Super Mario Bros. x Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Hi

Super Mario Bros x Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Hi Video Game Inspired Sneakers
Super Mario Bros. x Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Hi

Collaboration: Nintendo & Converse

Release: 2011

Converse jumps at the chance to pay homage to one of the most famous video games of all time; Super Mario Bros.

The collaboration sees Nintendo celebrating the 25th anniversary of the game with the 8-bit Mario sprite set over the classic silhouette of the Chuck Taylor All Star Hi Tops. The choice of adding the timeless sprite in a repetitive pattern adds to the retro feel of the shoe and is a fitting match for the All Star logo. All of this comes packaged in a box covered with sprites from the game itself, looking brilliant in either the black or white variant.

Nintendo x Vans Collection

Nintendo x Vans Collection Video Game Inspired Sneakers
From Top Left to Bottom Right: Vans Authentic Super Mario Bros, Vans Slip-On The Legend of Zelda, Vans Authentic Donkey Kong, Vans Authentic Princess Peach, Vans Authentic Duck Hunt

Collaboration: Nintendo & Vans

Release: 2016

Vans is going full retro in its sneaker collaboration with Nintendo; celebrating the early days of console gaming. Covering popular classics, including the Vans Authentic, Sk8-Hi, Old Skool, and Slip-On silhouettes.

Each silhouette is redesigned with 8-bit-inspired graphical artwork from the NES era. Boasting multi-colored character prints all over the shoe with iconography of the game’s logo on the tongue. They also feature  artwork from huge franchises such as Super Mario Bros., The Legend of ZeldaDonkey Kong and more.

The collection perfectly captures the essence of every game in the line-up for the world’s oldest video games company. My favorites being the ridiculously loud and over the top Vans Authentic Super Mario Bros.

PlayStation x Nike Air Force 1 Low

PlayStation x Nike Air Force 1 Low Video Game Inspired Sneakers
PlayStation x Nike Air Force 1 Low

Collaboration: PlayStation & Nike

Release: 2018

Nike mashes together one of its best-selling shoes with the best-selling console of all time; the PlayStation 2.

The Air Force 1 Low features a black leather upper, translucent blue swoosh, and an icy outsole. The PlayStation 2 blue swoosh and heel comes with the detailing of the PS buttons floating inside them. With the outer sole and tongue branding completing the collaborative color scheme; driving home the PlayStation collaboration.

Puma RS-0 Sega Collection

Puma RS-0 x Sega Collection Video Game Inspired Sneakers
Left to Right: Puma RS-0 Sonic, Puma RS-0 Dr. Eggman

Collaboration: Sega & Puma

Release: 2018

Puma’s recently released RS-0 sneakers mimic the iconic characteristics of Sonic The Hedgehog and Dr. Eggman.

The RS-0 Sonic features a textured blue suede upper, checkered panels with gold ring accents and a translucent red outsole. These colors are meant to tie back to the Sonic’s fur, the roads and grass of the Green Hill Zone and his rivalry with Dr. Eggman.

The RS-0 Dr. Eggman features a shiny red patent leather upper, caution panels with gold rings on the lace tips and a translucent blue outsole. All of this represents the doctor’s red suit, the construction-like machinery of the Eggmobile and his hate for Sonic.

This collaboration really goes the extra mile to capture the characters’ personalities and the opposition of the two sides. Above all, it’s cool that each shoe is essentially stepping on the color of its enemy.

Because of that, these are not only my favorite video game inspired sneakers, but also my favorite sneakers to release in 2018 – alongside the Nike Wotherspoon.

What are your favorite video game inspired sneakers? And what video game inspired sneaker collaborations do you want to see? Let us know in the comments below.

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Ahmed Lulat

Covers all things nerdy, which if you're reading this, makes perfect sense. When he isn't raging on the PlayStation, you can catch him following the mighty Liverpool FC and re-watching Scrubs for the umpteenth time.

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