For years, fashion companies have been trying to figure out ways to demonstrate their new products. From billboards and posters to sports endorsements and music videos, the traditional visual stimulation was enough for sneaker placements.
During the 70s and the 80s, incorporating fashion products into movies (wich also meant more money for the production of the film), became the new thing for marketers. Keep in mind that in that time, there were no “social media posts”, media exposure is somehow limited, and the monthly magazines are still the “go to” media for style.
The only industry that was deep into this kind of marketing was the food industry, with tons of breakfast scenes (cereal etc.) diners, fast food chains and sodas.But that was about to change, as studio executives and fashion companies saw the possibilities in joining forces and writing scenes around their products.
Let’s take a look at the TOP 15 Sneaker Scenes in movies.
🎥 Game of Death (1978)
Sneaker : Onitsuka Tiger Mexico 66
Info : The project began in 1972 as a film directed, written and produced by Bruce Lee. During filming, Lee received an offer to star in “Enter the Dragon“, the first kung fu film to be produced by a Hollywood studio (Warner Bros.), and with a budget unprecedented for the genre ($850,000).Long after his death, the studio released the movie as “Game of Death”. In the final fight , Bruce in wearing the Onitsuka Tiger Mexico 66 along with the iconic yellow uniform, a style that was later adapted in the Kill Bill story by the Bride (Uma Thurman)
🎥 Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)
Sneaker : Vans Checkerboard Slip-On
Info : Fast Times at Ridgemont High is a 1982 American teencoming-of-age comedy-drama film that splits into two subplots with Jeff Spicoli (Sean Penn), a perpetually stoned surfer, facing off against his uptight history teacher Mr. Hand. Spicoli’s “I’m So Waisted” scene is probably the first unboxing on screen.
🎥 The Terminator (1984)
Sneaker : Nike Vandal
Info : Did you know that the first battle of a human vs a BOT over a pair of shoes was back in 1984 ? That’s when Kyle Reese, a reverent soldier sent back in time to protect Sarah Connor, copped a pair of Nike Vandals. This guy travels from 2029 knowing the resell value of that pair for sure.
🎥 The Goonies (1985)
Sneaker : Nike Skyforce Hi
Info : Chased by the Fratellis, Goonies’ gadget freak Richard “Data” Wang triggers his “Slick Shoes” and evades the mobsters, in this comedy-adventure treasure hunt. Same as the one we go through just to cop some new drops.
🎥 Aliens (1986)
Sneaker : Reebok Alien Stomper
Info : In the second movie of the iconic franchise, Ellen Ripley fights the alien queen in an airlock . During her effort to expel the creature to the outer space, she misses one of her Reebok Alien Stompers .
🎥 Do the Right Thing (1989)
Sneaker : Air Jordan 4
Info : Spike Lee shows his love for Jordans every way he can, and in his 1989 comedy-drama depicts Buggin’ Out Jordans been run over by a bicycle. We can all handle a bit of dirt on our sneakers, but tyre marks ? (and yes , the bicycle couldn’t have run him like this from that side)
🎥 Back to the Future Part II (1989)
Sneaker : Nike MAG
Info: Combining fantasy, tech and fashion, “Back to the Future 2” was a window to the what we could expect in the future. Beside the hoverboard that nearly every gadget company tried to make, the movie marked the date October 21st 2015 as a date for Nike to release the MAGS. Nike failed to “complete the prophecy” for retail (dropped a prototype though) with the 1st fully functional edition of the self lacing sneaker releasing in 2016.
🎥 White Men Can’t Jump (1992)
Sneaker : Nike Air Command Force
Info : An ode to streetball, hustling and 5-panels. Billy Hoyle in his Nike Air Command Force, one of very few models that used the inflatable Air-Fit technology, proves that white men can jump.
🎥 Robin Hood: Men In Tights (1993)
Sneaker : Reebok Pump
Info : “Ahchoo”….”Bless you-r sneakers”. Dave Chappelle is flexing some some weird for that era boots, like the NBA players that used to call time outs to pump their Reeboks. Did it really work ?
🎥 Forrest Gump (1994)
Sneaker : Nike Cortez
Info : The second unboxing on our list comes from the Award Winner Tom Hanks (as Forrest Gump) when he receives a fresh pair of Nike Cortez as a gift from his friend Jenny. And he surely gave his sneakers a run.
🎥 Space Jam (1996)
Sneaker : Air Jordan 11
Info : The film marks the reboot of both Michael’s basketball career, and the sneaker craze that followed. Though you would expect bigger sneaker exposure from a basketball themed movie , the Air Jordan 11 “Space Jam” ranks high in the collectors’ list.
🎥 George of the Jungle (1997)
Sneaker : Nike Air More Uptempo
Info : UPS : ☑️, Sneakers : ☑️, Product intergration : Uhmm…that didn’t worked so well. Though it’s just one year after the Air More Uptempos came out and the marketing around them was huge, George uses them to…run through a field. We would prefer a different movie for this placement. Like the one following on our list.
🎥 He Got Game (1998)
Sneaker : Air Jordan 13
Info : Another film from Spike Lee in our list. The sports drama about Jake ( Denzel Washington ) trying to persuade his son Jesus (Ray Allen), a basketball top-rank prospect to choose a university. Jake just got out from jail on parole, he just need some kicks, and we got the iconic scene while he tries on the AJ 13s, revealing his ankle bracelet.
🎥 I robot (2004)
Sneaker : Converse All Star Chuck Taylor
Info : All the sci-fi movies about the future have a little something for nostalgia, some retro vibe scene etc. In this dystopian story circa 2035, police detective Del Spooner, gives us another unboxing, of his “Converse All Star, vintage 2004“. Sure, the Fresh Prince of Bel Air could do better.
🎥 White House Down (2013)
Sneaker : Air Jordan 4
Info : We knew you don’t mess with the POTUS. We also knew that you don’t mess with someones’ Jordans. Well, that poor terrorist did both in the comic relief scene with Jamie Foxx in “White House Down”.
What do you think about our Top 15 Sneaker Scenes in Movies list ? Do you have a memorable sneaker scene to share ? Comment bellow and dont forget to FOLLOW Sneakerize.gr on Instagram for the latest sneaker news.