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15th November 2023 EDT FEATURES

6 Villains, 6 Shoes, 6 Reimaginings: What Modern Footwear Would Pop Culture Horror Icons Wear?

They're known for their iconic looks, but what kind of footwear would they wear today? Here are a few guesses.

6 Villains, 6 Shoes, 6 Reimaginings: What Modern Footwear Would Pop Culture Horror Icons Wear?
6 Villains, 6 Shoes, 6 Reimaginings: What Modern Footwear Would Pop Culture Horror Icons Wear?

Did you know Batman at one point swung around Gotham in the Nike Air Jordan 6? Yup, he did when Michael Keaton played the eponymous character in 1992’s Batman Returns. And Miles Morales wore the AJ1, as did his Earth-42 counterpart in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. Even Shang-Chi wore the Jordan Access “Black/Gym Red” and it totally matched his Dragon Scale Armor.

So if those guys can wear sneakers, so can these pop culture horror icons. They’re known for their distinctive looks, too. We recognize Freddy Kruger’s striped sweater and claws as much as we do Elvis Presley’s black leather suit, Jason’s hockey mask and machete, and David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust makeup. Hence in broad strokes, they’re fashion icons—at least not in the traditional sense.

These characters were created shortly before and after Michael Jordan came into the NBA in 1984. That means no Air Jordan line, thus no sneaker boom, thus no hype culture. But just imagine…

… for Halloween 2023, what modern footwear would pop culture horror icons wear?

1. Freddy Krueger, A Nightmare on Elm Street – Timberland x A-COLD-WALL* 6-Inch Side-Zip Boot

No, we’re not letting him wear the Nike SB Dunk Low “Freddy Krueger”. It’s too predictable and his whole MO as a horror villain is built on unpredictability.

Besides, he was in his 40s when he debuted. He seems too old to be bothered. And a shoe that matches his complexion too? It’s a matching too matchy. The teens from Elm Street would be more terrified of his fashion sensibilities than his persona.

Let’s go with the Nike Air Max 95 “Anatomy”. It’s a sneaker respected among OG circles and the Dream Master is an OG in his. Aside from the obvious palette, the Air Max cushioning would provide him with the support he needs to run and jump through dreams.

But on second thought, he’s been wearing boots in all of his appearances. So let’s respect his choice and let him have the Timberland x A-COLD-WALL* 6-Inch Side-Zip Boot.

Besides, for a guy who was burned to death by Molotov cocktails, he could use a cold wall.

2. Michael Myers, Halloween – New Balance 990v5 “Grey”

Michael Myers if he was integrated into normal society seems like he’d make a good employee in the office. He has an imposing presence but keeps to himself. Not at all a chatty guy, rather spending his mental bandwidth on getting the task done. He’s never tardy even if he gets around on foot. He understands the job description and performs it methodically and patiently.

It just so happens his JD is to murder.

His work requires him to be stealthy and strategic. Therefore, his shoes have to be understated so he can remain inconspicuous; comfortable for the long hours stalking his victims; lest we forget, a strong grip for any physical confrontations.

The Pharrell Williams x adidas Originals Samba Humanrace “Night Grey” might make a great pick but at 6’9”, he’s one of the tallest movie killers, second only to the Predator at 7’3”.

Assuming he has wide feet, the New Balance 990v5 “Grey” might be best, a silhouette popular with wide-footers. Why not? He could even level up his jumpsuit from HUMAN MADE, WTAPS, or Nigel Cabourn. We get his whole workwear vibe and aesthetic.

3. Pennywise, It – MSCHF Big Red Boot

There were two actors that played Pennywise in It, Tim Curry in the 1990 TV mini series and Bill Skarsgård in the 2017 remake. Pennywise in both was sinistrous, menacing, and unsettling. While the character in the remake had modern movie magic to make him visually scarier, Curry’s portrayal without CGI made him more psychologically frightening.

Aesthetically, Pennywise the Clown is horror’s most flamboyant. So flamboyant he could wear anything from Jeremy Scott x adidas Originals and it wouldn’t even be a statement piece. And anything from Cactus Plant Flea Market x Nike will just look like a general release.

He spends a lot of time in the sewers so boots is the way to go. Since he’s always up to mischief (pun intended), the Big Red Boot it is.

The Crocs x MSCHF Big Red Boot “Yellow” could work as well but water would seep through the perforations. Whether he actually wears socks underneath, not sure anyone would be interested in seeing what Pennywise’s toes look like. Aside from Hannibal Lecter, don’t think horror villains would make time for a pedicure.

4. Jason Voorhees, Friday the 13thand wander x Salomon XA Pro 3D GORE-TEX “Brown”

Jason Voorhees is the Michael Jordan of movie slashers, killing well over 200 people across 12 movies. At 6’5”, he’s not a silent killer, except he is a silent killer. There are men of few words and he’s managed to speak even less. “Not a word” is a phrase he embodied with the only thing to ever come out of his mouth was a grunt, which only ever happened once in Part 9.

Most of his kills were accomplished with melee weapons or his bare hands, so that tells us he’s a man of simple needs. The same should apply to his shoes too. He’s the Pennywise antithesis.

Aside from his sole sightseeing adventure in Manhattan (1989’s Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan), his stomping ground has always been the swampy terrain of Camp Crystal Lake. And swampy is Salomon’s domain.

He wouldn’t mind the Palace Skateboards x Salomon XT-Wings 2 “Black” or The Broken Arm x Salomon XT-Quest 2, but outdoor specialists and wander and GORE-TEX will understand his needs better. Thus, the and wander x Salomon XA Pro 3D GORE-TEX “Brown”.

Chucky, Child’s Play – Nike Air Jordan 5 Retro Low “Doernbecher”

Striped sweater and denim dungarees. Chucky might be the the most fashion savvy on this list. He pulled off the look in 1988 and he could pull off the same in 2023. All he needs are better shoes—and the sneaker landscape is his playground.

Throughout his appearances, he’s always had red shoes like Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz. Say he stuck to the same palette, there are still so many to choose from like it’s 2014.

He could easily go for the shoe that started the all-red hype that year, the Nike Air Yeezy 2 SP “Red October”. The Nike Air Jordan 1 High OG “Lost & Found” would also be an obvious choice. He could even wear the Black Eye Patch x Converse All Star 100 Slip OX “Red”.

But let’s have him something from the Nike–Doernbecher “Freestyle” Collection*. He’s always had an affinity for dying and children anyway.

Switching up the red shoes, his outfit’s palette will be complemented well by 2022’s Nike Air Jordan 5 Retro Low “Doernbecher”.

*A program wherein patient-designers and Nike visionaries collaborate on footwear, apparel, and equipment collections that benefit the OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.

Pinhead, Hellraiser – Rick Owens Moto Cyclops “Black”

One could tell from his face that he has his whole look “pinned down”. The Lead Cenobite or The Hell Priest is most recognizable for his leather-clad outfit, pale complexion, and array of nails protruding from his head. Thus, his footwear would likely reflect that.

He’s basically Rick Owens without hair. Pinhead once said, “I’m not really into clothes. I wear one outfit like a uniform … black sweatpants, black baggy shorts over them, a black or white cotton T-shirt, and a black cashmere T-shirt over that.”

Nope, that’s actually Rick Owens.

An early sketch of Pinhead by Clive Barker

Pick any from the catalogue. The classic Rick Owens Sneakers, or the Rick Owens Geobasket. But if Pinhead had a Sunday best, it might be the Rick Owens Moto Cyclops “Black”.


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