Respect the Merch

Trainer brands take inspiration from a wide variety of places. Designs can be influenced by pretty much anything, but by far, one of the most consistent and unique sources of inspiration for trainer designs come from the world of Film and Television. Things we watch on the big or small screen often help define generations, contributing massively to popular culture. Whether you grew up watching a yellow-skinned family called The Simpsons, remember seeing the original Star Wars at the cinema, or spent the mid-90s and early 2000s entirely enamoured with the adventures of a 10-year-old boy trying to “catch ’em all” as Poke-mania swept the world. These iconic franchises became a part of our identity, easily recognisable, quotable, and infinitely rewatchable.

For the majority of these TV shows and movies old and new their characters, themes, designs or even story-lines lend themselves to an almost endless spread of merchandise. Everything from lunchboxes to action figures and everything in between. So naturally, it isn’t that much of a stretch to think that shoe brands would want to try and capture the essence of these fan favourites in their own designs. TV & Movie-inspired kicks are of course an acquired taste, some in an effort to stay faithful to the source material ends up looking like something you’d rather have on a shelf than on your feet, but sometimes when some level of restraint is utilised they end up capturing peoples imagination. Whether you are a fan of the gimmick, nostalgia, or just because they look cool, these are some of our favourite TV & Movie-inspired shoe designs.

Vans ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’

Designs inspired by Television series or Films are often way more impactful if the source material is something that already heralds a following, whether that be from franchise level global success or, like in the case of the newly announced Vans ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ collaboration, a cult following. The 1993 Tim Burton stop-motion classic hasn’t lost any of its appeal for fans via its playful dark humour, and expect Vans to repurpose that along with fan-favourite characters and imagery, like Sally, Oogi Boogie and Jack Skellington as the centrepiece for this upcoming release.

Nike Air MAG “Back to the Future”

Some designs are inspired by film and TV, and some are pulled directly from them, something that could quite literally be described as a film prop the Nike Air MAG captivated audiences back when ‘Back to the Future Part II’ hit cinema screens in 1989 as the self-lacing kicks worn by protagonist Marty McFly. In 2019 the design is the very definition of a grail. Expensive, hard to find, and futuristic, the Nike Air MAG has only ever received incredibly limited releases and to this day stands as one of the more expensive pairs you can get your hands on. 

Vans 'The Nightmare Before Christmas'

Game of Thrones x Adidas Ultra Boost

The hype and expectation surrounding certain TV series are at times monumental and for the final season of HBO’s Game of Thrones series the excitement for incomparable to anything previous. Being the savvy business people they are, it was only right that just before the launch of the first episode of the final season Adidas released an extraordinary collection of GoT-themed Ultra Boost. Comprising of six designs they paid homage to some of the most famous houses in the show such as House Lannister, House Stark, and House Targaryen, as well as the Night’s Watch and the White Walkers.

Vans 'The Nightmare Before Christmas'

Adidas Originals Stan Smith “Stan Smith”

One of the more playful and understated designs on this list comes on an Adidas Originals Stan Smith that shares its name somewhat humorously with the Stan Smith from American Dad! Subtly replacing the iconic Tennis icon with a motif of the character.

Vans 'The Nightmare Before Christmas'

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