It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s … a sneaker?

Sept. 30, 2008 | 5:49 p.m.

Superman_with_boxChris Lee writes about Hollywood and pop culture for the Los Angeles Times and, through the years, he has spent a ludicrous amount of money on sneakers. He just sent over this post on some heroic new shoes.

It was as inevitable as the Hulk and Iron Man winding up in a Marvel Studios-produced movie together: that comic book geeks and athletic footwear fetishists known as “sneakerheads” would one day bond over shared cultural arcana.

This week marks the release of a trio of limited edition DC Super Hero Shoes, available at Limited Soles courtesy of sneaker purveyor ACI International. The cost: $110 a pop, each shoe’s look copped from the chunky-soled styling of Nike’s iconic Air Force 1 basketball shoe.

Respectively commemorating Batman, the Joker and Superman, the collectors’ edition kicks are a vibrantly-hued, small batch affair you’re not going to find at your local Foot Locker.

ACI International produced only 1,938 pairs of the Superman shoe (in homage to the year the Man of Steel’s debut issue was released), 1,939 of the Batman and 1,940 of the Joker’s model –- each individually numbered and encased in the kind of custom packaging that sneaker snobs make a primary talking point.

As well, each pair comes kitted-out with enough comic-specific details to make fanboys swoon: the words “BRUCE” and “WAYNE” on the heels of the Batman women’s shoes, an embossed silhouette of Metropolis (with the obligatory Daily Planet logo) on the heel basket of the Kryptonian model and a purple caricature of the Joker on the tongue of the criminal clown’s shoe.

Batman_with_box_2Of course Adidas beat ACI International to the fanboy punch earlier this year, releasing Hellboy-themed limited edition sneakers tied to the release of director Guillermo del Toro’sHellboy: The Golden Army” in June. Working in conjunction with the movie distributor Universal, Dark Horse Comics and original Hellboy comic book artist Mike Mignola, Adidas Originals produced two comic-inspired sneakers: the Forum Mid-Golden Army (which boasted an image of actor Ron Perlman as the demonic anti-hero on its outsole) and the Stan Mid-Hellboy (which came with a mini-comic, three extra footbeds and something called “lace jewels”).

And back in April, the custom designer Flawless Victory reworked a pair of Nike Vandals with images of Spider-Man’s nemesis Venom. “The disgusting details of Venom including his sharp teeth and overabundance of saliva show the designer’s skill with small touches,” noted the blog

Truer geek-speak was never spoken.

— Chris Lee

Images courtesy of ACI International


One Response to It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s … a sneaker?

  1. Call me when they make Green Lantern.

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