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Sneakers in movies - models that wanted to be famous


Without a shadow of a doubt, Hollywood has perfected the art of product placement. Every brand, including the greatest giants in the shoe industry, wants to be shown on the big screen as it ensures being famous, renowned and in some cases even iconic. The popularity of a given film or series translates into a demand for a specific model which means profits for the manufacturer. Another advantage is simply the fact that being shown in a movie makes a given model or brand legendary and translates into good PR. Let’s find out which shoe models have gained the greatest popularity thanks to film adaptations.

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star in "Alien"

In the 1979 movie by Ridley Scott, a British director and producer, Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) proudly wears shoes that are among the most popular models today - Converse Chuck Taylor All Star. The white Converse sneakers to the ankle have been noticed probably by everyone who was watchfully following the adventures of the movie’s protagonists. Many brand enthusiasts have also stated that classic models will work well everywhere, even in outer space.

Reebok Alien Stomper in "Aliens”

The next part of "Alien" is another example of a production where you can see unique sneakers. This time the producers decided to opt for the Reebok brand, or, to be more precise, for one-of-a-kind Reebok Alien Stomper. Moreover, it is worth noting that this particular model was designed specially for the movie and it was supposed to become the ideal footwear for chasing aliens.

But this is not the end of the story. Two years ago, in response to the fans’ requests the brand decided to commemorate the year 1986 (the date of shooting “Aliens”) and launched new collectable models. However, the outcome of these activities was far beyond the wildest expectations of movie (and sneakers) lovers! As the new models referred to the duel between Ripley and Xenomorph, they were considered to be a nostalgic celebration of one of the most unique finales in cinematography.

The Oscars vibe - Nike Cortez in Forrest Gump

Obviously, in our today’s article we have to mention the model that led Tom Hanks straight to the Oscar in 1995. We are talking about Nike Cortez - the first completed design of Bill Bowerman. However, this is not the end of the golden era of this particular model. According to numerous Sneakerheads, in the USA, Nike Cortez were one of the most popular sports-casual shoe models of the 70's and 80's. Moreover, the shoes are iconic up till now. Is it because of Tom Hanks or maybe because of finding a happy medium between sports and casual styles? It is hard to say. Perhaps it will be the most reasonable to attribute this credit to all these factors at the same time.

Vans SK8-Hi - “Fast Furious 6”

This Vans model did not need any publicity to be appreciated by people. The design immediately appealed to skateboarders, however, the remaining part of the society did not need any special convincing. “Taking part” in a $160 million movie was a real breakthrough moment for Vans SK8-Hi. "Fast Furious 6" with Paul Walker wearing the above mentioned shoe model is one of the most famous and successful film productions. Probably everyone is familiar with the action-packed scenes in which Brian O'Conner, the movie character, firmly pushes the gas pedal to win the race against time behind the driving wheel of an astonishing car. Have you noticed Vans SK8-Hi in these crucial moments? If not, it is high time to catch up! It seems that Vans are not suitable only for skateboarding.

adidas Country and “Beverly Hills Cop”

It is time for a real classic from 1984 which is still eagerly rewatched. The story of a cunning and brilliant policeman from Detroit who unscrupulously enters the glamorous world of Beverly Hills to hunt down the murderer of his best friend is still considered to be entertaining and intriguing. That is what “Beverly Hills Cop” is about - Alex Foley, the movie character, who was searching for the truth wearing adidas Country. Many production fans claim that Foley should be a real role model for every streetwear enthusiast as his lifestyle has worked perfectly well in the urban jungle. And what do you think?

Nike Air More Uptempo and “George of the Jungle”

Movies shot before the year 2000 have something that is difficult to find today. “George of the Jungle”, its sense of humor and subtlety which appealed even to the most picky audience is a perfect example. What kind of footwear did George wear when he discovered what shoes were? The answer shouldn’t surprise any Sneakerhead. It was Nike Air Uptempo that gave the hero extreme speed right after he put them on. With such backup, his adventures had to have a happy ending!

Onitsuka Tiger in “Kill Bill”

The scene when Uma Thurman, dressed in a yellow costume, takes revenge on her enemies is one of the most characteristic moments in the movie. Yellow-black Onitsuka Tiger are the element that noticeably stands out from her outfit and at the same time perfectly combines with the rest of her look.

In this case, we need to mention one more very important piece of information. Quentin Tarantino was not the first person to choose this shoe model for his movie. Peter S. Traynor chose Onitsuka Tiger for his “Death Game” shot in 1977. Who wore these iconic shoes back then? Of course, irreplaceable Bruce Lee. Well, it seems that Asics is an expert in designing shoes for special tasks.

Going “Back to the Future” in unique Nike Air Mag

Who remembers the Marty’s self-lacing shoes from “Back to the Future Part II”? This iconic model is almost 30 years old and still evokes a lot of emotions among Sneakerheads born after '80.

An interesting fact is that the original model used on the set by Michael J. Fox was up for auction for more than $17,000 (!) just a year ago. So which model could be so expensive? Of course Nike Air Mag! You will be surprised but Nike Mag is the first model ever created by the brand only for the film. Tinker Hatfield, whose task was to visualize the sneakers of the future, was responsible for the design. Hatfield went for self-lacing shoes with high uppers which turned out to be a great success. The popularity of the model was so huge that after many years the Nike brand decided to recreate the project and introduce it to a limited collection. As you can probably guess, the shoes sold out incredibly quickly. The brand earned 7 million dollars and donated it to a charity fighting with Parkinson's disease, which Michael J. Fox is struggling with.

Converse All-Star as a movie record-breaker

Many consider the Converse brand to be everlasting and there must be something true about it. This may be a reason why Converse All-Star has become a real record-breaker when it comes to appearing in various film productions. You can watch them in movies such as "Grease", "West Wild Story" or "Rocky". However, grey sneakers worn by River Phoenix in “Stand by me” are probably the most memorable model. Although not everyone is fully aware of it, River Phoenix is the person who devised the streetwear style based on a white T-shirt and jeans rolled up to the ankles. Fashion is like a boomerang and this particular example proves it best!

“The Breakfast Club” and Nike Internationalist

What happens when five pupils from completely different backgrounds have to spend the whole Saturday together at school? If you want to find out, watch “The Breakfast Club”, a movie proving that everyone is equal. But wait… Where are the shoes? One of the main characters, Brian, wore Nike Internationalist while dancing to kill time when he was sitting at the school common room for many hours. Was he effective? Well, he couldn’t have failed with this particular model on his feet.

“Fast Times at Ridgemont High” and chequered Vans Slip-On

And last but not least, the film production and sneakers which have become iconic in cinematography. We are talking about “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” where a group of teenagers do their best to seize the day. Obviously the characters needed shoes which perfectly reflect the idea of freedom and carelessness. This time the directors went for Vans Slip-On in a black and white check. The shoes were worn by one of the main characters - Jeff Spicoli (played by Sean Penn). But why Vans Slip-On? For many reasons. First of all, the comfort and the possibility to put them on really quickly. Second of all, the style of the shoes referring to the Californian look and chic. It seems that Vans was the only brand capable of meeting the requirements of both movie directors and the audience!

Although it may seem that we are talking only about shoes which are a simple styling accessory supposed to ensure comfort of the wearer, in the case of film productions shoes get their own role and the abovementioned models did very well. However, this is not the end of our story-telling time. If you are interested what models are used in cinematography today, visit our blog regularly because we are about to post an article covering the subject of modern film productions and sneakers.

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