2019 In Review: The Best Pop Culture-Inspired Sneakers of the Year

2019 In Review: The Best Pop Culture-Inspired Sneakers of the Year

It’s been a busy year in entertainment, and an equally busyyear in fashion. Sneaker giants, Nikeand Adidas, have been working hard to outdo each other, and their one-upmanshiphas been paying substantial dividends. 2019, in many ways, was the year of popculture collaborations, and the results have been epic. Have you noticed thesetop pop culture collaborations? If you are a sneakerenthusiast, you probably have.

Kyrie Irving is a pop culture purist

KyrieIrving might already be a big name in basketball, but he’s becoming a bigname in the sneaker world now, too. Irving’s collaborations with Nike rose to popularityin 2015 with his first drop with the famous sneaker brand, but the popularityof his shoe skyrocketed in 2019 with two pop culture-inspired releases.

First came a Friends-inspired kick. The show, featuring a black upper, paid homage to the wildly popular sitcom with colored accents inspired by the 90s sitcom’s logo. The shoe was released in men and children’s sizes in May 2019. Irving and Nike followed up the success of the Friends collaboration, with a Spongebob Squarepants-inspired release.

The shoes, inspired by several characters of the hit children’sshow, hit the shelves in August 2019. Five styles were included in the pack.One inspired by Spongebob,with the others featuring colorways dedicated to Mr. Krabs, Sandy, Patrick, andSquidward. A sixth style was released in October 2019, featuring a pineappledesign to pay homage to the show’s underwater backdrop.

Nike offered up a Stranger Things sneaker pack, too

As if sneakers inspired by cult classics like Friends andSpongebob Squarepants wasn’t enough, Nike also offered up something abit stranger to its fans in 2019. The activewear juggernaut worked closely withNetflix to develop a line of sneakers inspired by Stranger Things. Thead campaign was a little bit spooky, but the sneakers were solid.

Released in two packs in July 2019, fans could pick theirfavorite retro styles in a colorway that represented their love of StrangerThings. The sneaker packs included the classic Nike Cortez, Nike Tailwindand the Nike Blazer styles. Each style was introduced during the period StrangerThings is set in.

Adidas got in on the pop culture game in 2019

Nike may have led the charge with a few pop culture-inspiredkicks, but they were not the only brand to dig into current and past televisionto find inspiration. Adidas did it, too. The sneaker purveyor responsible for theYeezy line offered up sneakers inspired by cult classics like Game ofThrones and StarWars.

First, Adidas took a shot with Game of Thrones. Releasingseveral character-inspired colorways, the sneaker company tested the waters,and success was found. TheTaragaryen Dragons colorway was among the most popular with a March 2019release. The shoe, which retailed for $200 upon release, has been sellingon aftermarket sites for around $250 ever since.

To close out the year, Adidas offered up a collaboration with Star Wars, quickly selling out multiple styles. Currently, the millennium falcon-inspired Ultraboosts are selling for upwards of $400. Released in November 2019, the shoes retailed for just $180. The Darth Vader colorway, which dropped in December 2019, is finding similar success. The Darth Vader offering was released in the NMD style and retailed for $130.

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