5 Unusual Shoe Partnerships

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I'm sorry; I just can't relate to a person who only has four pairs of shoes. I have a fairly serious shoe addiction and I don't care who knows it. In fact, after reading Jason's story, I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to add a pair of Air McFlys to my collection. When they come out, that is. Jason is a regular blogger here on the floss, which is pretty appropriate since he's majoring in journalism at Northwestern. -Stacy Conradt

5 Unusual Shoe Partnerships
by Jason Plautz

jason-northwestern.jpg
I've never been big on shoes; I only have four pairs and I need to see at least two holes before I'll consider replacing them (the same unfortunate strategy I employ with pants). Still, that doesn't mean I can't appreciate a cool shoe when I see one. Here are five cool shoes and the unusual corporate partnerships that created them.

Kool-Aid

kool aid shoe.jpgUsually you're trying to get the odor out of your shoe, but in a new sneaker released by Reebok this month, the scent is the appeal. Formed in a partnership with Kool-Aid, the low-tops will release the fruity scents of the classic powdered drink from a sock liner. The initial flavors are grape, cherry and strawberry, but should the venture prove successful (and really, why wouldn't it?), the line will expand to the citrus flavors of lemonade, orange and lemon-lime. According to a press release, the soles of the shoes will also depict the Kool-Aid man, just in case the whole venture didn't sound strange enough already.

The Simpsons

Marketing for The Simpsons Movie was huge (remember the Kwik-E-Mart promotion?), so it only makes sense that it would spread to footwear. The film's producers teamed up with Vans to come up with 14 shoe designs dedicated to America's favorite yellow family. They got fourteen underground L.A. artists to design the kicks, including graffiti taggers and one of the set designers from Pee Wee's Playhouse, so the shoes actually looked nice. Vans only produced 100 of each design, so don't worry if you didn't see one in your local Foot Locker.

Run DMC

adidas run dmc.jpgRap group RUN DMC had long made public their adoration for Adidas sneakers, most notably through their hit "My Adidas." So it only made sense that they would strike a deal with Adidas. The mega-deal led to the creation of the Adidas Superstar, which was recently re-released for the 35th anniversary. The partnership was so big, it was actually closed on stage at Madison Square Garden during a sold out concert. Reverend Run told it like this:

I told everyone in the crowd, 'Put your sneakers in the air!' They turned the house lights up. When I looked out, the entire Garden was holding up one Adidas.

"I turned to the rep and he said, 'You're getting your own sneaker deal!' It was for $1 million per year and I closed it on that stage.

The hip-hop world has been linked with sneakers ever since, including a 2003 partnership between Reebok and Jay-Z for the "S. Carter Collection by Rbk."

Apple

Apple and Nike teamed up to release the runner's dream tool- a sensor that links to an iPod to measure how far and fast you've run. The sensor in the Nike+ shoe will wirelessly send updates on your run to an iPod nano, which will then tell you (yes, as in speak to you) how far you've gone and how fast you're going. The data can also be uploaded to nikeplus.com, where you can track your running patterns and create a training regimen.

Marty McFly?

mcfly.jpgEver since Back to the Future Part II came out, everybody has wanted the super cool Nikes that Marty McFly wore in the future. They laced up by themselves, they lit up and, let's face it, they just looked awesome. A petition has been floating around the Internet for years to get Nike to release the McFly shoe. Rumor has it Nike listened to the petition and came up with these prototypes of the sneaker. There's no official word on their release, though.

Say it with me: "Sidewalks? Where we're going, we don't need sidewalks."

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February 9, 2008 - 9:50am
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