Halloween is around the corner and while trick-or-treating may be out of the question this year with COVID-19 ramping up again around the country and globe, you can still have fun at home and enjoy the festivities by checking out these spooky kicks.
We’ve rounded up some of our favorites, these are by no means the end all be all list. But it’s a starting point for sneakerheads and a lot of these pairs have been in my own personal collection at some point and bring back a lot of nostalgia and memories. Whether it’s design, materials, or colorway, here are some spooky season gems.
Nike Air Force 1
Nike Air Force 1 “Halloween” (2005)
The Swoosh was one of the first to capitalize on the now yearly holiday release trend. When I think of Halloween sneakers, this is almost always the first one that comes to mind. Featuring a patent leather upper in orange and black with a white midsole, black outsole, orange laces, and white embroidered mask and skeleton hand on the heel, these are timeless.
Nike Air Force 1 “Halloween” (2006)
As a follow-up to the release from the year before, Nike remixed the Air Force 1. With the same color palette and details, they decided to split the lateral and medial sides down the middle of the shoe – with black patent leather on the outside and orange patent leather on the inside. These were way ahead of their time and are still one of my favorite AF1s of all-time.
Nike Air Force 1 “Frankenstein” (2006)
These are pretty self-explanatory. Based on the popular character created by Mary Shelley, the patent leather brought the monster green to life and a metallic silver Swoosh really adds the element of metal needed to bring across the screws in the monster’s head. The red stitching across the toe box is an amazing finishing detail.
Nike Air Force 1 “Savage Beast” (2009)
One of the furriest pairs of AF1s you’ll ever see (if you’re lucky), this pair was designed to pay homage to Gossamer, the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies orange monster. Faux fur covers the entire upper and midsole while a canvas Swoosh and heel tab perfectly portrays the villain. These aren’t for the faint of heart and you best have a fire costume to go with them.
atmos x Nike Air Force 1 “Shibuya Halloween” (2019)
This pair does double duty and that’s why I love it so much. Not only does atmos pay homage to the Shibuya district of Japan that’s heavily played a role in the streetwear game, the design also pays tribute to the original “Halloween” AF1 we talked about above. These mix a tumbled leather toe box with translucent mid-section panels and a patent leather heel for a completely robust design.
Nike Air Force 1 “Skeleton Orange” (2020)
In 2018, Nike released the first iteration of its “Skeleton” AF1 which depicts a skeletal foot along the lateral of the sneaker. They continued with a black version in 2019 and this year’s orange version may be the best yet. Inspired by jack-o-lanterns, the entire upper is covered with a starfish orange while the midsole and outsole are made to glow-in-the-dark. These are truly a spooky pair.
Nike SB Dunk Low “Flash” (2002)
Not really themed around the holiday, these OGs make the list because of their colorway and because quite frankly they are one of my favorite SBs ever. The two-tone color blocking of black and orange just works perfectly for this “Orange Box” era classic. Happy hunting trying to find a pair of these grails.
Nike SB Dunk High “Iron Maiden” (2003/2004?)
Officially never released, these friends and family only Dunk Highs spared no expense in material usage and design. Celebrating the heavy metal band, an even scarier version of their mascot was incorporated into the middle panel of the sneaker underneath a clear Swoosh while “Iron Maiden” was outlined and stitched in red across the heels for the ultimate statement sneakers. These aren’t directly related to the holiday but they sure as hell work.
Nike SB Dunk Low “Jedi” (2004)
One of the most recognizable Silver Box era releases, the “Jedi” colorway clearly receives its nickname for the use of colors that refer to the legendary warriors of the Star Wars franchise. The neon green laces coupled with the earthy tones that pay homage to Jedi lightsabers and garments respectively make this a great holiday sneaker for your costume or for stunting on everyone else.
Nike SB Dunk Low “Pushead” (2005)
Artist Brian Schroeder, also known as Pushead, was given the chance to use the Dunk Low as a canvas back in 2005 and did he ever. His skeletal design on the rear panel of the sneaker coupled with his artwork that was originally created on a 35mm film slide and transferred over to the entire sneaker has lived on in SB lore and Pink Box era glory for sneakerheads. Everything about this pair screams ready for Halloween, including the box.
Nike SB Dunk Low “Día de los Muertos/Day of the Dead” (2006)
While some places celebrate Halloween, Mexicans celebrate Día de los Muertos. The holiday involves gatherings where friends and family pray for those who have departed from this world. Nike’s execution on the color palette, materials and graphics for this pair pay the utmost respect to this special day.
Nike SB Dunk Low/Dunk High “Jason Voorhees” (2006/2007)
Produced in 2006 as a sample, it’s rumored that only 24 pairs of these exist. Based on the notorious Crystal Lake villain, these draw design cues from multiple points of reference in the Friday the 13th film. Black references Jason’s outfit while the white is a nod to his Detroit Red Wings hockey mask. Finally, throughout the front half of the sneaker reminds you of the bloodbath waiting to happen. These would later enter production in 2007 as a Dunk High model.
Nike SB Dunk Low “Freddy Krueger” (2007)
Originally slated to be released as part of Nike’s 2007 “Horror Pack,” these were scrapped due to a cease and desist order from the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. A true holy grail for SB collectors, these horror villain-inspired Dunks feature a sick Gucci-esque green and red striping coupled with the blood splatter effect across the other panels.
Nike SB Dunk High “Coraline” (2009)
Created to help promote the first film out of Phil Knight’s Laika animation studio, these were designed by Wieden + Kennedy members Rob Heppler and Gian Galang – so you knew it’d be a hit. Canvas throughout the sneakers coupled with the clearly exaggerated black stitching throughout at the seams brought in the movie’s elements while holding true to the silhouette’s design as well. Playful character lace locks and the button at the top eyelet make these a great Halloween sneaker to add into the rotation (if you have the money to drop on these rumored 1 of 1,000 sneakers).
Nike SB Dunk Low “Pushead 2” (2012)
Teaming up with Nike SB once again, Pushead created another masterpiece on the Dunk low. Using the same method and design principles that made the first collaboration so beloved, the artist once again incorporated his aesthetic into the sneaker, this time shifting the color scheme into darker tones. The unique pattern was also done on the laces which really give this sneaker a sinister feel.
Nike SB Dunk Low “Night of Mischief” (2019)
Released last year, these completely scream Halloween. From the usage of pumpkin-inspired orange on the toe box and Swoosh to the purple laces, spider web and spider, these are a must have for trick-or-treating. Jack-O-Lantern toe box perforations, glow-in-the-dark “TRICK” and “TREAT” on the heel tabs and a pumpkin seed insole complete all the details on this pair and makes sure no piece is left untouched.
Nike Air Max
Nike Air Max 95 “Freddy Kreuger” (2020)
Another Freddy Kreuger-inspired design adorns a Nike silhouette for the Halloween season. Unlike the Nike SB variation, these are releasing. Combining a red and tan alternating pattern along the wall of the sneaker and cream on the midsole, these have a deathly vibe to them. The nightmarish pair is finished with a suede grey toe box and sockliner which brings the complete outfit color palette of Freddy to life on this pair.
Nike Air Foamposite One “ParaNorman” (2012)
Another pair of sneakers on this list that were produced to promote a film out of Phil Knight’s Laika animation studio, the “ParaNorman” Foamposites are still recognizable to this day. Celebrating all the “weird kids” everywhere, “WEIRD” and “WINS” appear on the heel pull tabs while a silhouette of Norman sown into the heel and a Swoosh on the other. “P” and “N” detailing on the tongue and a flame graphic all in glow-in-the-dark material makes this a holy grail pair to wear on Halloween.
Nike Blazer Mid “Mummy” (2015)
This pair of Blazers are the perfect sneakers for anyone that wants to go old school and dress up like a mummy. A textured paneling along the walls of the sneaker gives off the bandage vibes while a pyramid lace lock further deepens the Egyptian theme. Hits of gum on the toe and bright blue on the tongue finish off a perfect design.
Off-White x Nike Blazer Mid “All Hallows Eve” (2018)
Another pumpkin-inspired colorway on the list, the “All Hallows Eve” Blazer was part of the “Spooky Pack” from Virgil Abloh, Off-White and Nike two years ago that also featured a black pair. The large exaggerated orange Swoosh on the lighter orange tone upper and extended tongue really make these a must-have for the holiday.
Vans Era “Van Doren Repeating Skulls” (2014)
The Van Doren line from Vans featured reissued designs from the vault that were approved by founder Paul Van Doren’s son Steve. In 2014, a repeating skulls design was placed on the classic Era silhouette and their playful nature make them the perfect pair to put on if you’re feeling down during these holidays or don’t want to go full-out on the costume.
Takashi Murakami x Vault by Vans Slip-On LX “Skulls” Collection (2015)
Murakami’s skull graphics were perfect at covering the entirety of the classic Slip-On model in a multitude of colorways that included blue, yellow and gold lining. A super comfy sneaker to wear around the house or for a quick run to the store, these are a must have for sneaker fans, art fans and the Halloween hypebeast.
size? x Vans Sk8-Hi “Halloween” (2019)
This collaboration between Vans and UK retailer size? really hit the mark. Using a color combination of yellow, purple and black, these incorporated spider web graphics into the uppers, oozing drip graphics along the Sidestripe, crossbones on the outsole and even the words “TRICK” and “TREAT” on the laces. Great this season especially to celebrate both the Lakers’ championship and Halloween.
BLENDS x Vault by Vans “Bones” Collection (Multiple)
California-based shop BLENDS has collaborated with Vault by Vans on numerous occasions for “Bones” sneakers. Taking the brand’s iconic Sidestripe, blends reinterpreted it with a bone like design and it adorned every pair of Vans’ styles stretching from the Old Skool to the Epoch Sport to the Sk8-Hi. Classical in its black and white color palette, this is a low-key flex during spooky season for those that actually know. The pair above is the recently released Sk8-Hi Zip.
BAIT x Toy Story x Reebok Instapump Fury “Buzz & Woody” (2020)
There’s a lot to take in with this collaboration and while there were numerous other Toy Story collaborations that I considered for this list, these take the cake. With one half paying homage to our favorite cowboy Woody and the other calling us to Space Ranger Buzz, you better have a fire ass fit ready to pull these off. Nothing spooky about these actually, just plain old school nostalgia.
Ghostbusters x Reebok Ghost Smashers (2020)
What’s Halloween without a sneaker reference to the cult classic Ghostbusters movie franchise? Releasing on Halloween this year, Reebok has taken their design talent into crafting a Ghost Smashers sneaker that has a pre-distressed leather upper, Velcro fastenings and a paranormal capturing system on the heel. These are just wild and out of this world.
Alife x ASICS GEL-LYTE III “Green Monster” (2007)
Alife was ahead of the pack when they crafted these Halloween-inspired kicks along ASICS over a decade ago. Part of the “Monster Pack” that also featured a black pair, the zigzagging teeth outlines on the midsole along with the bright red mouth outsole, red laces, big eye tag and scale-like graphics throughout the upper make these an OG in the Halloween footwear space and a super head-turner.
BAPE STA FS-001 Low “Halloween” (2005)
The BAPE STA is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year and it was way ahead of its time back in 2005 when they released a Halloween pack. The black and orange theme was featured on two different pairs that used patent leather across the upper to give it a nice sheen. A jack-o-lantern version of the APE HEAD was embroidered onto the heel panel and remains one of my favorite designs to this day.
Ghostbusters x Baby Milo x BAPE STA “35th Anniversary” (2019)
BAPE worked with Ghostbusters before this collaboration, but these sneakers helped the franchise celebrate its 35th anniversary last year with a full on capsule collection. Two pairs of white and red BAPE STA sneakers were released that featured Baby Milo alongside the ghost logo from the iconic movies. Patent leather ran across the entire upper and a playful Baby Milo box was also created for the release. Another playful pair to bust out instead of a spooky pair.
FLEX ON ‘EM
Nike Air Yeezy 2 “Red October” (2014)
Rumored for a holiday release in 2013, the “Red October” Air Yeezy 2 didn’t see the light of day until February of 2014, after Kanye had already left Nike for adidas. While this pair doesn’t have any direct ties to Halloween, the fact that it is completely red and has a great story tied to it helps it onto the list. And it costs five digits for a DS pair so yea, flex on ‘em if you got it like that.
Nike Mag (2011/2016)
Any sneakerhead would want to dress up as Marty McFly on Halloween and cruise around in a DeLorean or hoverboard and drip out in the Nike Mag. Whether you have the 2011 version or the 2016 version that has auto-lace capabilities, these are a huge flex and they are the utmost holy grail kicks for the holiday and any time of the year tbh.
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