The Top 3 Marvel Sneaker Collaborations

Just a few days ago, Adidas revealed that it would be working with Marvel to release a sneaker inspired by Groot. The new Stan Smith-style sneaker pulls inspiration from Guardians of the Galaxy, and fans are excited about the collaboration. It isn’t the first time a shoe purveyor has collaborated with Marvel, though. Do you remember these historic Marvel sneaker releases?

Before the Marvel Cinematic Universe, BAPE worked with Marvel Comics

Long before the Marvel Cinematic Universe was a thing, BAPE founder Nigo saw the value in collaborating with the comic giant. Fashion designer, Nigo, founded the brand in Tokyo at just 23. In 2005, the company linked up with Marvel Comics to create a collection of sneakers that paid homage to some of its biggest stars.

Nigo sits with a version of the Bapesta sneaker in 2004
Fashion Designer, Nigo | Gregory Bojorquez/Getty Images

The collection included several Bapesta sneakers. Each colorway was linked to a famed comic character through its primary colors. BAPE did the Hulk’s shoe in green and purple, and Iron Man’s colorway used the red and gold of his suit as inspiration. Captain America, the X-Men, and Spider-Man got colorways, too. The big draw of the shoe was its packaging, though. The company sold the shoes in blister packaging just like action figures. BAPE eventually released a similar collaboration with DC comics.

Nike offered up an Air Jordan 1 to celebrate ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ in 2018

The Air Jordan Retro 1 is among the most popular sneakers for collectors. There is something about the shoe’s silhouette and old-school street credit that makes it special. It makes perfect sense that Spider-Man would be interested in the sneaker, too. In 2018, Nike collaborated with Marvel to release a Jordan 1 Retro High OG that paid tribute to the beloved comic character.

Shameik Moore poses for a photo with cardboard cutouts of the characters from 'Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse'
Shameik Moore | Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images

The ‘Origin Story’ sneaker featured a red and white upper, with black laces and a black swoosh, the colors prominently featured on Spider-Man’s suit. The translucent sole added a special touch and mimicked his web. Miles Morales wore the sneakers in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

The 2013 Vans X Avengers Collection was highly sought after, too

Sneaker collectors covet Nike and BAPE releases. They tend to consider Vans beater sneakers. Beater sneakers are shoes that collectors don’t mind wearing down and dirtying up, either because they are easy to come by, cheap or both. That’s sort of how Vans intended it. The brand is deeply entrenched in skating culture, where beaters are a bit revered.

In 2013, Vans jumped into the collaboration game with both feet when creating a collection with Marvel. The canvas kicks utilized material depicting key members of the Avengers as its main focus. Everything else about the sneakers was classic, though. The collection used the familiar SK8-HI and Era models, two of Vans’ most beloved silhouettes. The company went back to the drawing board in 2018 and released another Marvel collaboration. Fans can’t decide which they prefer.