So many high profile collaborations are releasing this week that sneakerhead’s everywhere are going to have to make some hard decisions about which pairs to add to their collections. Big names like artists Ralph Steadman and Steve Harrington and basketball legend Ralph Sampson add a special collector’s quality to each release, making it tough to want to wear this week’s batch out and about, though we aren’t suggesting you keep these in the closet either. (That would be crazy. Do you know how much dust is produced in a closet? What are you insane, these are collector’s items!)
Before we get to the kicks, we have a bone to pick with Adidas. Hey Adidas, we were really digging on your 4/20 commemorating Samba with its purple velvet upper, suede overlays, translucent sole and hidden stash pocket.
Very cool idea. But you ruined it by adding “VIBES” in all caps to the heel. It’s just a little too on the nose. So we’re only including one of your sneaker releases this week. Consider this shout out a consolation prize.
Enough ranting, let’s get to the shoes.
Vans Ralph Steadman Collection
Ralph Steadman, perhaps best known as Hunter S Thompson’s illustrator for Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas and Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail amongst others, has dipped into the Vans Vault to bring his illustrations to three iconic Vans silhouettes. The Sk8-Hi, Slip-On, and Style 138 will feature illustrations taken from Ralph Steadman and Ceri Levy’s published works Extinct Boids, Nextinction, and Critical Critters.
The collection is meant to bring attention to threatened animal species and, as part of the collaboration, Vans has agreed to donate $10,000 to WildAid to help support the end of illegal wildlife trade. We’ve been wondering when Vans would finally make an appearance on SNX and with Steadman’s involvement, it’s been the easiest decision of the series.
Nike Steve Harrington Collection
In celebration of Earth Day, Nike and Steve Harrington have teamed up for a special run of three of the brand’s best silhouettes — updating them with Flyleather construction and Harrington’s unique and cartoonish artwork. The Air Force 1, Blazer Low, and Cortez are all receiving the special treatment, and feature all-white colorways which act as the perfect canvas to bring Harrington’s toons to life.
Subtle details like the mismatched colored soles, swooshes, and inky sketches on the heel are a nice touch that makes this collection feel more like a work of art than a functional shoe. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t willing to wear them out. By far the best Earth Day shoe ever.
The Nike Steve Harrington collection is available now at Nike’s online store. The Air Force 1s will retail for $100, with the Blazer low going for $80, and the Cortez for $90.
PUMA Ralph Sampson
Basketball Hall-of-Famer and former Houston Rocket Ralph Sampson is a giant — both literally and figuratively. You’ll never be able to fill his shoes, the guy is 7’4, but you can wear his shoes now that he’s teamed up with PUMA to bring back his signature sneaker in both a low and mid-top version. The new Ralph Sampson’s feature 80s callbacks like a full leather upper, and a classic PUMA basketball silhouette, with a padded collar and tongue, and full lace closure.
The branding on this fresh pair is subtle, with gold leaf being used for both the PUMA Majesty Branding and Ralph Sampson’s signature across the ankle.
The PUMA Ralph Sampson is set to drop this Saturday, April 27th, the mid will retail for $90 and the lows for $80. Pick up a pair at PUMA’s online store or select PUMA retailers.
PUMA Thunder Nature
If you’ve been wondering if we’d be giving a shout out to any sneakers that aren’t part of a high profile collaboration this week, wonder no longer because now we’ve come to the PUMA Thunder Nature. This epically named chunky sneaker features a custom IMEVA midsole for extra support and traction, and comes in two spring-ready colorways of Nasturtium, Silver Grey, and Whisper White, and Pale Khaki, Cloud Cream, and Bluestone. Which is all just shoe-langue for beige and orange, or blue and cream.
PUMA is killing it this year and the Thunder Nature is probably the brand’s best spring offering so far.
The Puma Thunder Nature is available now and retails for a price of $129. Pick up a pair at PUMA online retailers like Sneakersnstuff.
Adidas Eric Emanuel Rivalry Hi
How could anyone not absolutely fall in love with these? I mean, sure, they’re inspired by faded hotel wallpaper but they just look so damn cool. Featuring an all leather upper with an allover floral print and rubber outsole, Eric Emanuel’s take on the Rivalry Hi is just one part of a larger 10 piece collection that sees Emanuel put his spin on various Adidas sportswear apparel.
Floral prints are gaining popularity in the sneaker world but Emanuel’s particular take on the trend is the best we’ve seen yet.