Yes, there have been lists like this before. But either they name movies no one has even heard of let alone seen or the list features crappy shoes no one would wear in the first place. This is the one true list. The movies were absolute blockbusters and the shoes are equally legendary.
10. Beverly Hills Cop (1984) – Adidas Country
Axel Foley does not only have a fast mouth, he also has nice sneaker game. But what is often mistaken as an Adidas Samba shoe is really an Adidas Country. Originally introduced in 1970 this shoe was intended as a cross country sports shoe. However the sleek and simple style had its biggest success as Eddie Murphy’s preferred foot ride in the 1984 blockbuster Beverly Hills Cop and was especially visible in the unforgettable scene where Axel get’s thrown out a window and cops show up, leading to the famous line “Yo, you wanna arrest me for getting thrown out a f***** window?!“.
9. White Men Can’t Jump (1992) – Nike Air Command Force
The Nike Air Command Force was originally David Robinson’s signature shoe, however not even the Hall of Fame center of the San Antonio Spurs could have made a bigger splash with the shoe than Billy Hoyle in White Men Can’t Jump. The “Chump” played by Woody Harrelson created one of the most iconic basketball moments in movie history when he took the court in Venice Beach and kicked Wesley Snipes’ loud-mouth-trash-talking-goofy-clothes-wearing-gatorade-drinking-ass twice. In our opinion the Nike Air Command Force does not get nearly enough props as a true 90s basketball performance shoe. If you can get your hands on a pair, don’t hesitate to cop.
8. White House Down (2013) – Air Jordan IV
“Get your hands off my Jordans!” was the legendary line uttered by Jamie Foxx playing the President of the United States while kicking a terrorist who grabbed his Air Jordan IV Fire Red. No matter in what year, in what movie theatre, in what country and language you watched the White House Down. THAT line got the biggest laugh and applause. Coincidentally it’s probably also not too far off of what the real president would say, considering Barack Obama is known as a baller who has more than one pair of Jordans in his presidential shoe rack. He probably knows people who can hook him up.
7. The Terminator (1984) – Nike Vandal
When you travel through time you can’t bring your shoes. That’s one of the things you learn fairly quickly when you watch the original Terminator (Yes, the “I’ll be back” one) movie. It is also the reason why Kyle Reese aka John Connor’s father has to run into a department store in the middle of the night and steal shoes. Because you can’t fight the Terminator barefoot. Just imagine him stepping on your toes with his metal frame. You’d beg to step on a Lego! By the way the shoes Reese stole are of course black/silver Nike Vandals which are so iconic that Nike remade one pair only for one sequence in the movie ‘Terminator Genisys’, which kinda sucked. Sorry. Hasta la vista, baby.
6. Kill Bill (2003) – Onitsuka Tiger Tai Chi
One of the most common mistakes in sneaker/movie history is the assumption that Beatrix Kiddo (Uma Thurman in her best role ever) is wearing ‘Onitsuka Tiger Mexico 66’. Nope. It’s a pair of Onitsuka Tiger Tai Chi, which incidentally are the same shoes Bruce Lee wore in the Game of Death. Little known fact, if you look very closely and in slow motion just minutes before her epic battle against O-Ren Ishii (Lucy Liu) in Kill Bill 1 you will see that there are letters carved into Kiddo’s Tai Chi soles that spell out “Fuck U“.
5. Forrest Gump (1994) – Nike Cortez
Forrest Gump said life is a box of chocolates or in this case it’s a marathon through world history. Forrest who likes to run a lot wears Nike Cortez in US colorway white, red and blue. Just a couple of months ago Nike brought it back. Featuring a revamped premium leather upper true to the original, the Nike Cortez ‘Forrest Gump’ stands out thanks to a vintage-inspired foam tongue and Varsity Red Swoosh branding with accents of Royal Blue. Ironically of all the protagonists listed here I would bet everything that Forrest would be the one who cares the least about what shoes he is wearing.
4. He got Game (1998) – Air Jordan XIII
In one of the best basketball movies ever (sorry, ‘Hoosiers’) Denzel Washington tries to win back the trust of his estranged son (Ray Allen) by wearing the latest Air Jordans XIII. Why Jordans and not Adidas or Nike? Because ‘He got Game‘ is a Spike Lee movie and Spike Lee loves everything about Michael Jordan. Except the fact that the Jordan-Bulls used to beat Spike’s Ewing-led Knicks each and every time. By the way, Allen only got the part after both Allen Iverson and Kobe Bryant declined. Just thought I’d throw that out there.
3. Back to the Future II (1989) – Nike Air Mag
I admit this is a tricky one, because technically the shoe featured in the Back to the Future sequel doesn’t exist. At least not as it is shown, with the most stunning feature of all sneakers in all movies of all time. Self adjusting Power Laces. Yes, a couple of years ago Nike brought out a couple of Nike Air Mags that looked like the real deal. It even had cool lights! But still missing were Power Laces. Next year the shoe is rumored to come back one more time. And this time it’s supposed to have real Power Laces. We believe it when we see it. Still this one get the prize for best future sneaker of all time. When I asked a friend if he would rather have the DeLorean time machine or this power laced Nike Air Mag, he had to think before answering. Imagine that.
2. Do The Right Thing (1989) – Air Jordan IV
Anyone with even the slightest sneaker behavioural disorder (aka probably everyone who collects sneakers) can identify with this iconic scene. A biker in a Larry Bird tee causes an Air Jordan IV wearing righteous black man to lose his marbles when he accidentally scuffs his White Cements. Why is he wearing Air Jordans and not any other brand? Because ‘Do the right thing‘ is also – you guessed right – a Spike Lee movie. Nevertheless if you are collecting sneakers, if you care about how clean your sneakers are, this scene will have you clench your fist in agreement or yell to your significant other “SEEEEE! It’s not just me!”
1. Space Jam (1996) – Air Jordan XI
It doesn’t come as a big surprise that the greatest moment in sneaker/movie history is created by the GOAT himself. Michael Jordan wearing arguably the finest Jordan shoe ever (I said arguably!) in one of the best basketball movies of all time has to be high on anyone’s list and as far as I’m concerned it’s hard to top. Not only is the Air Jordan XI legendary, but it is worn during a do-or-die basketball game featuring Jordan, Bugs Bunny and Daffy against aliens. Aliens! And Jordan dunks from halfcourt! At the buzzer! After a 48-point first half deficit! Against ALIENS! I’m sorry I can’t control myself but this one takes it all.