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Sneaker News NINE@NINE: Food Inspired Sneakers

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Special edition sneakers are increasingly showing up with elaborate back stories and themes attached to helped build their mystique. This has been going on for years now of course, but in 2014 it seems to be at an all time high – nearly every stray Nike Basketball colorway or random pair of Dunks eventually is given a nickname (Either by the brand themselves or by sneaker enthusiasts across the internet). So what trends emerge in this process of associating shoes with objects and places relating to a player’s life, a partnering store’s history, or a lost bit of trivia regarding the model in question?

One that we’ve noticed is the tendency to attach shoes to foods, an approach that you’ll see at retail this weekend with the release of the END. x Saucony Shadow 5000 “Burger”. Ahead of that drop, we’re taking a look back the past decade of food based sneakers, some of them more literal than others. Continue reading to check out this greatest hits gathering of tasty sneakers (Word to Fat Joe) and let us know down in the comments if you’ve got a favorite amongst the selections, or perhaps a pair that you would have liked to see included in this edition of Sneaker News NINE@NINE.

DQM x Nike Air Max 90 “Bacon” – 2004

The best food-based sneaker to ever release? Back in 2004 when DQM still stood for “Dave’s Quality Meat”, the NYC shop came with this killer AM90 release inspired by your favorite breakfast meat. The in-store only Hyperstrike version came with extra accoutrements like the leather tongue tag and an alternate graphic for the insole.

Nike Zoom LeBron IV “Fruity Pebbles” – 2007

LeBron’s food and drink choices that have made it to the sneaker world might not have been the healthiest, among them Sprite and Fruity Pebbles, but they certainly made for some awesome sneakers. This 2007 pair of the Nike LeBron 4 that never was available for the general public featured a cereal style photo print across the bulky ‘Posite parts of this pre-Petrie design.

The Cobra Snake x colette x Vans Era “Burger” – 2012

Vans did indeed beat Saucony to the burger-based sneaker punch. Not to say that END’s brilliant creation is in any way derivative of these colette bangers though. The clean canvas of the Vans Era was utilized here for a Cobra Snake crafted graphic that slid in all the right ingredients.

CNCPTS x Nike SB Dunk Low “Lobster” – 2008

Boston’s Concepts has always made sure that their collaborative sneaker output reflects their New England locale, and the Nike SB Dunk Low “Lobster” was no different. The shoes were blessed with a red shell, a picnic blanket style liner, and even a rubber band around the toe to mimic the fastening of a soon-to-be-feasted-upon lobster’s claws (Bonus points if you managed to catch the later blue or the ultra rare yellow).

Packer Shoes x Reebok Kamikaze II “Chili Pepper” – 2013

Packer Shoes doubled up on the Reebok Kamikaze II last year, with their first pair featuring a clever flip of the Vector logo that integrated a chili pepper as a nod to the ’96 NBA All-Star. For the sequel they got quite a bit more literal with this fiery San Antonio chili pepper-inspired colorway.

Nike KD 6 “PBJ” – 2013

The Nike KD 6 has been very much caught up in the stories of Durant’s childhood in the DMV. As it turns out, one of his favorite treats is the peanut butter and jelly sandwich, which served as the basis for this late 2013 release. Especially tasty was the first ever jelly-Swoosh cutting across the side of this Nike Basketball design.

Play Cloths x Saucony Shadow 5000 “Cotton Candy Pack” – 2013

That’s right, End’s Burgers aren’t the first pair to bring mouth watering treats to a Saucony shoe. Last year Pusha T’s Play Cloths imprint signified the onset of spring with this fresh trio, which donned cotton candy colored suede and some unique perforations across the toes.

Nike Air Force 1 “YOTR” – 2011

This one wasn’t inspired by the actual consumption of rabbit, but rather of the popular “White Rabbit” candy treat native to China. Making the theme extra clear was that special edition candy wrapper packaging that was available to only a handful of Swoosh retailers out in China.

Vans Authentic “Watermelon” – 2012

A no-brainer if there ever was one. No need for a detailed back story this time around – instead Vans just planted some seed graphics and a crisp red base onto some of their timeless silhouettes (There was also a women’s pack that had the Chukka, Slip-on, and Era) and called it a day.A hot summer day that is, one punctuated by this refreshing treat of a sneaker.