It's a good time to be a sneaker designer, but a challenging one too. Relatively newer names like Li-Ning are pushing sneaker silhouettes as far as they possibly can, pretty much time traveling to a distant sneaker future with some of the designs they're thinking up.
The thing is, sneakers of late have become that futuristic that they now look fit for the cyber-punk-populated, barren plains of Mad Max or dystopian cityscapes of Blade Runner. But we're not complaining.
A host of recent sneaker releases have arrived dressed in fire colorways that make them look like they've been used to traverse sandy, deserted roads by someone who trades robot scraps for a living. Who knows, though, such apocalyptic environments may be drawing closer to our reality than we think.
Whether it’s Li-Ning x Random Identities, Packer x Reebok, or Axel Arigato, this selection shows the scope of the brave new world of footwear. It’s a world based around intricately detailed uppers, distressed luxury materials, and dusty colorways. At least look good when it all goes down in flames.
Shop some of our favorite futuristic sneakers below.
Axel Arigato R-Web
Axel Arigato sneakers continue to walk a pretty underrated path, but they rarely tread it quietly. The beastly R-Web comes in an appropriately dark colorway here.
Li-Ning Titan GTX
Equipped with a compass, detachable carabiner, and bungee rope, the Li-Ning Titan GTX is like a doomsday prepper's bunker in sneaker form.
Suicoke Five Fingers
Perhaps the most alien sneaker of this selection, the webbed Suicoke Fivefingers features a slot for each of your toes. If you couldn't get to grips with the Tabi, you're not going to like this.
Snow Peak Field Trainer
Training drills on the moon are way better when you're kitted out with this compact little beauty that comes courtesy of Snow Peak, an expert in outdoor gear that always looks insanely good.
Reebok x Packer Premier Trinity
Reebok x Packer
Released on October 30, Reebok’s collaboration with Packer boasts one of the year’s best colorways. An earth-tone upper is punctuated by a wave of washed-out blue which adds impact to the chunky silhouette made up of mesh, suede, and leather. Metallic gauze inserts to the mid-section instill an industrial, dystopian aesthetic.
Boris Bidjan Saberi x Salomon Bamba 5 Low
Boris Bidjan Saberi could be the name of a planet-hopping bounty hunter from the year 3046. Fitting, then, that the designer unites with Salomon on the futuristic Bamba 5. A sneaker that is undeniably Blade Runner-esque.
Raf Simons Solaris 1
Footwear of the future, but make it fancy.
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