The Iconic Edition
News
|26 Nov|6 mins

Vroom: A Look Back at Some of Our Favourite Car-Inspired Kicks

Push the pedal to the metal!
Sneaker Freaker
26 Nov
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The new Hot Wheels x PUMA RS-X is one of the most unexpectedly cool colabs of 2018.

Crafted in honour of Hot Wheels’ 50-year anniversary, the drop pays homage to the brand’s first-ever collection of die-cast toy cars and sees the RS-X done up in colourways inspired by the likes of the 1968 Camaro and ‘Rodger Dodger’ Charger SE. The release got us to thinking: there have been a ton of incredible automotive-inspired kicks over the years, from Ferrari-inspired Jordans to Back to the Future Dunks.

Below we go pedal to the metal and take a look back at some of our favourite car-inspired kicks to date.

News
|26 Nov|6 mins

Vroom: A Look Back at Some of Our Favourite Car-Inspired Kicks

Push the pedal to the metal!
Sneaker Freaker
26 Nov
Share:

The new Hot Wheels x PUMA RS-X is one of the most unexpectedly cool colabs of 2018.

Crafted in honour of Hot Wheels’ 50-year anniversary, the drop pays homage to the brand’s first-ever collection of die-cast toy cars and sees the RS-X done up in colourways inspired by the likes of the 1968 Camaro and ‘Rodger Dodger’ Charger SE. The release got us to thinking: there have been a ton of incredible automotive-inspired kicks over the years, from Ferrari-inspired Jordans to Back to the Future Dunks.

Below we go pedal to the metal and take a look back at some of our favourite car-inspired kicks to date.

Air Jordan 6
Year: 1991
Inspiration: Porsche 964

The Air Jordan lineup has seen a number of car-inspired silhouettes over the years, but the Air Jordan 6 was the very first. After taking cues from the World War II-era P-40 Warhawk fighter plane for the Air Jordan 5, designer Tinker Hatfield looked inside Michael Jordan’s own garage for its followup. The Air Jordan 6 took cues from the 964-era of the Porsche 911 — which were manufactured and sold between 1989 and 1994 — and even used the look of its signature rear spoiler to craft the AJ6’s moulded heel pull tabs.

Nike Air Pippen 2
Year: 1998
Inspiration: 1950s Mercurys

Most auto-inspired kicks take their cue from sports cars, but Aaron Cooper went back in time to come up with the look of Scottie Pippen’s Air Pippen 2. Inspired by the dramatic body lines of 1950s Mercurys, Cooper created a decidedly minimalist upper of tumbled leather and accentuated it with a moulded TPU addition that swooped up from the midsole and ran the length of the shoe.

Air Jordan 14
Year: 1998
Inspiration: Ferrari 550 Maranello

Probably the most well-known automotive inspiration for a pair of kicks comes in the form of the Air Jordan 14’s homage to the Ferrari 550 Maranello. Taking the performance features of the supercar and perfectly translating them into a piece of footwear, the AJ14 featured upholstery-inspired stitching and applied the 550’s hood vents to the medial side of the arch. Ferrari’s iconic crest even hits the kicks, with the Jumpman replacing the prancing horse.

adidas Kobe 1
Year: 2001
Inspiration: Audi TT

The Audi TT was extremely popular in Southern California in the early 00s and adidas looked no further then the streets of LA to design Kobe Bryant’s signature Three Stripes shoe. The silhouette’s moulded foam upper was a clear nod to the German coupe, and even featured a sloping bullet-nosed toe as a nod to the TT’s unmistakable front end.

Air Jordan 17
Year: 2002
Inspiration: Aston Martin Vanquish

This Air Jordan actually features multiple sources of inspiration — music notes moulded into the lace-hiding shroud took cues from MJ’s jazz-like improvisation on the court, while the outsole was based on the Quail Hollow golf course in his home state of North Carolina. However, according to the Jumpman, the AJ17’s finer details — including the chrome and eyelets — were a direct nod to the Aston Martin Vanquish

Nike Shox VC II
Year: 2002
Inspiration: Bentley Azure

The Bentley Azure is the perfect combination of top-notch performance and elegant luxury. Vince Carter’s signature Shox VC II echoed that contrast, juxtaposing a sleek upper of smooth and perforated leathers with a bold full-length take on the Swoosh’s Shox tooling.

Air Jordan 18
Year: 2003
Inspiration: Lamborghini Murcielago

Building on the luxurious look offered up by its Aston Martin—inspired predecessor, the Air Jordan 18 one-upped the AJ17 and once again employed a lace-hiding shroud and chrome details, but opted for a near-one-piece upper of either nubuck or leather. Shroud aside, the silhouette’s most distinct design cues were its wing-like flaps and rubber heel extension of the outsole — nods to the Lamborghini Murcielago’s engine-cooling vents and back end, respectively.

Nike Air Zoom Generation
Year: 2003
Inspiration: Hummer H2

LeBron James’s ride of choice — a Hummer H2 — was the source of much controversy during his senior year of high school as onlookers wondered how he could purchase the car pre-shoe deal or NBA contract. Nike leaned all the way into the gossip when designing The King’s first Swoosh signature, paying homage to the rugged SUV throughout the Air Zoom Generation.

Dada Spinners
Year: 2004
Inspiration: Spinning Rims

Dada’s audacious Sprees weren’t inspired by any one vehicle. Instead, the Latrell Spreewell—endorsed kicks were a nod to the beloved spinning rims of the era, and even featured their own take on the gaudy automotive accessory.

adidas T-Mac 4
Year: 2005
Inspiration: Lamborghini Murcielago

Following Kobe Bryant’s departure from the Three Stripes, Tracy McGrady became the face of adi’s basketball efforts. Like the Air Jordan 18 before it, T-Mac’s fourth adidas shoe took cues from the Murcielago and was highlighted by a bold heel design as a nod to the Lambo’s rear mesh grille.

Air Jordan 21
Year: 2006
Inspiration: Bentley Continental GT

D’Wayne Edwards took over MJ’s signature line for the Air Jordan 21 and, like Tinker Hatfield before him, looked no further than Jordan’s garage for a little creative stimulus. The AJ21’s alcantara-constructed upper was a direct nod to the interior of MJ’s Bentley Continental GT, while the mesh accents were a nod to the same car’s distinct grille.

Nike Zoom Kobe V and Hyperdunk ‘Aston Martin’ Pack
Year: 2010
Inspiration: Aston Martin DB9

In 2008, Nike launched the futuristic Hyperdunk with an instant-classic viral video that featured Kobe Bryant rocking the kicks and jumping over a speeding Aston Martin DB9. Two years later, the Swoosh celebrated the feat with a special pack that included DB9-inspired takes on both the Hyperdunk and Bryant’s signature Zoom Kobe V. The release was limited to just 500 pairs, and was exclusively available at LA’s House of Hoops.

Ferrari x Livestock x PUMA Mid
Year: 2010
Inspiration: Ferrari

Canadian retailer Livestock and PUMA launched an official collaboration with Ferrari back in 2010. A nod to F1 legend Gilles Villeneuve, the colab featured a trio of mid-tops in red, yellow and black, each with Villeneuve’s car number on the tongue and the Italian automotive icon’s signature prancing horse crest on the heel.

Nike 6.0 Dunk ‘DeLorean’
Year: 2010
Inspiration: DeLorean DMC-12

Before Nike brought back the MAG in 2011, it dropped another Back to the Future—inspired release: a ‘DeLorean’ Dunk under its now-defunct 6.0 imprint. The Quickstrike not only donned a metallic silver upper, but actually sported the official ‘DMC’ badge on the heel while the DMC-12’s distinct tail light design graced the outsoles.

Nike LeBron 11 and 11 Elite
Year: 2013 and 2014
Inspiration: Lamborghini Aventador and Egoista

The King’s very first Nikes may have been inspired by his high school whip, but, by 2013, James had moved on to something far sleeker and faster: the Lamborghini Aventador. Accordingly, the LeBron 11 took on a sculpted look inspired by the Aventador’s body work, right down to the shiny Foamposite panels. When the $275 USD Elite edition of the kicks was introduced for the playoffs later that season, they swapped the Aventador inspo for that of the Egoista — a Gallardo-inspired one-seater introduced in honour of Lambo’s 50th anniversary.

Sneaker Freaker
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