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Heat Check: Cartoon-Inspired Sneaker Colorways

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Sneakers inspired by cartoons will always be a hit, especially for fans. Here are a few that stood out over the years.

When it comes to sneaker designs, a huge part will always be the colorways and designs. Team colors aside, these usually tell something about an athlete’s story, whether in terms of personal interests, or the many adversities they’ve overcome in their sport.

But at times, sneaker colorways are also a result of collaboration. And over the years, a common staple we’ve seen, are cartoon characters, or animated series being sneaker colorway inspirations. 

Here’s our list of sneakers inspired by famous cartoons that proved to be memorable over the years. See anything familiar? 

Jokic and Kai’s love for SpongeBob
Kyrie 5 Spongebob Shoes
The Kyrie 5 ‘Spongebob’ on-foot. (Photo Credit: NBA Kicks on X [formerly Twitter])

What’s not to love about SpongeBob Squarepants, right? And it’s probably because of this that we’ve gotten some standout sneaker collaborations with the beloved cartoon character. 

The most recent is Nikola Jokic with his 361° BIG3 Future signature sneakers, with colorways inspired by characters in SpongeBob, Patrick Star, Mr. Krabs, and Squidward Tentacles. As a bonus, all four colorways come with a hang tag for each character, which can double as a keychain too! 

Nikola Jokic BIG3 Future in a Patrick Star
Nikola Jokic’s 361° BIG3 Future in a Patrick Star colorway. (Photo Credit: Modern Notoriety on X [formerly Twitter])

Five years before Jokic, though, there was Kyrie Irving with his old Nike Kyrie line. A total of six colorways were dropped, with his Kyrie 5 having (again) SpongeBob, Patrick, Squidward, and even SpongeBob’s iconic pineapple house. 

Meanwhile, the guard’s Kyrie Low 2s had designs inspired by Sandy Cheeks, and Mr. Krabs — a clear show of love for this generation’s childhood from Kyrie and Nike. 

The ‘Hare’ Jordans 
Cartoon-inspired sneaker colorways: Hare Jordan
The 1992 pair of the “Hare” Jordan 7s. (Photo Credit: Sotheby’s Sneakers on Instagram)

Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny’s first-ever collaboration was with the “Hare” Jordan 7 in 1992, where the devil is in the details. There’s the light grey suede overlay, and the Jordan 7’s iconic tongue that included green and orange hues, likely symbolizing Bugs’ favorite carrots. 

Since the Jordan 7, the “Hare” colorway was also used on the Jordan 8, the Jordan 29, and a retro version of the Jordan 6 in 2020. 

LeBron the Family Guy
Cartoon-inspired sneaker colorways: LeBron 18 Stewie
The LeBron 18 “Stewie Griffin” featuring the character’s signature outfit. (Photo Credit: Meat Pack Sneaker Store on Instagram)

In 2018, Nike released a “Stewie Griffin” colorway for the LeBron 18, 10 years after it was seen on the LeBron 6. Both iterations take design cues from Stewie’s trademark outfit composed of a red jumper, a yellow long-sleeve shirt, and blue baby shoes.

Thick lines are also used to give the sneakers that straight out of the Family Guy cartoon world vibe. A smart design choice from Nike if anything for this one.

The Simpsons and the Three Stripes 
The Adidas Forum Low CL ‘Living Room’. (Photo Credit: Foot Locker UK)

In 2020, Adidas released its first collaboration with The Simpsons — a Stan Smith which featured the popular Homer Simpson “backs into bushes” meme and other related details.

That collab would be followed by a second wave and three total pairs of Simpsons-inspired designs. Within that capsule was the Adidas Forum Low CL, which came in a colorway lifted from the Simpsons’ iconic living room

Besides that, there was also the rather vibrant Homer Simpson NMD G1 and an AdiFom Superstar low that was inspired by the show’s opening credits. 

What’s your favorite cartoon sneaker? 

Banner Images from NBA Kicks on X (formerly Twitter) and Foot Locker.

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