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18th April 2024 EDT FEATURES

Better Than Heavy-Duty Boots: Top 8 Pokémon Collaborations Since 2016

Okay, so these won't—actually—shield you from Stealth Rock, but still...


[Update 18 Apr 2024] First off, please scroll past this update and return to it after reading the rest of the article if you don’t want a “spoiler”.

New Era’s recent collaboration with Pokémon has taken the streetwear world by storm. Released on 7 March 2024, it includes caps, T-shirts, backpacks, and other appealing accessories.

In addition to “the usuals” such as the Eeveelutions, Pikachu, and the first-generation starter trio, the collection also gives some of the “less mainstream” picks a day in the spotlight. Among these are Morpeko, Mantyke, and Yamper.

Find our image of the Pokémon x New Era collection in the gallery (preferably after reading the whole article)!

All right, that’s the spoiler done. Let’s proceed with the article itself.


As one of the world’s most iconic media franchises, Pokémon has featured in countless product collaborations over the years. Sneakers are no exception—there’ve been some seriously awesome kicks bearing the imagery or inspired by some of our favorite ‘mons.

Without further ado, let’s get started with:

Pokémon x High Beam (2016)

Pokémon x High Beam

There can be little question that one of the Pokémon franchise’s greatest successes was the launch of the augmented reality mobile game Pokémon Go. Released by Niantic as a Pokémon-themed reskin of their existing mobile game Ingress, Pokémon Go took over the world almost immediately—so much so that the weeks following its release in mid-2016 were retrospectively nicknamed “the Pokémon Go summer”.

Capitalizing on the mobile game’s skyrocketing popularity, a High Beam and Pokémon sneaker collaboration featured visual and auditory signals intended to cater to Pokémon Go players. This made it easier for them to spot, catch, and fight Pokémon even while playing at night or in a noisy area.

In addition, the shoe could be paired with the Pokémon Go mobile app. By doing so, players could leave their phones in their pockets as they went about their day. When the sneakers would light up, it would indicate that a Pokémon was nearby, allowing players to take out their phones and decide to either attempt a capture or leave the Pokémon alone.

Pokémon x SPINGLE MOVE (2023)


While Pokémon has been part of a great many sneaker collabs, few would’ve guessed just which ‘mons would’ve made an appearance in this collaboration with SPINGLE MOVE.

While fan-favorite Eeveelutions Umbreon and Sylveon inspired two of the six colorways released with a third based on the color scheme of the nearly-as-popular Lucario, the three shoes remaining came from sources about which the casual fan might not necessarily think upon hearing the word “Pokémon”.

The best-known Pokémon of the three “less mainstream Pokémon” that inspired those colorways is probably Tyranitar. The Rock/Dark-type pseudo-Legendary from the second generation inspired a dark green colorway featuring the signature blue diamond-shaped pattern that adorns the kaiju-like Pokémon’s abdomen.

Another colorway was based on Dragapult. Another pseudo-legendary, the red arrow-shaped markings on Dragapult’s chest can clearly be seen on the side of the shoe. Finally, Milotic—a Pokémon that gained notoriety for its extreme difficulty to obtain upon its release in the video games—served as the concept for the last colorway. The red-and-blue scale pattern on its tail reappears on the shoe, giving a touch of character to a mostly red-and-beige sneaker resembling the Water-type serpent’s main colors.

Pokémon x ASICS (2021)

Pokémon x ASICS

With seven colorways based on Greninja, Gengar, Cinderace, Pikachu, Eevee, Lucario, and Charizard respectively, the inspirations for these children’s and toddlers’ shoes spanned seven generations—perfect for appealing to the youngest today while at the same time perhaps giving their parents a sense of nostalgia.

Each sneaker not only came in a color palette matching each Pokémon; they also had a Poké Ball embroidered on the heel to add a bona fide Pokémon touch. Initially, just four colorways were available—Pikachu, Eevee, Charizard, and Greninja. However, the impressive demand for those sneakers as well as that for more Pokémon to be featured led Pokémon and ASICS to expand this collaboration and add three more colorways.

Pokémon x FILA (2018)

FILA’s Court Deluxe sneakers served as the canvas for these reimagined takes on a somewhat underrated shoe. Inspired by Pikachu, Bulbasaur, Jigglypuff, Charmander, and Squirtle, each sneaker was clearly distinguished as a Pokémon collaboration by way of the Poké Ball logo placed on each shoe’s tongue.

Each colorway featured color schemes matching those of their titular Pokémon on their interior lining. Additionally, the heels had emblems or images referencing the Pokémon itself or one of its unique characteristics—a raindrop for Squirtle, a flame for Charmander, a Pikachu face, symbols referencing Jigglypuff’s Fairy-type, and a leaf and a poison symbol for Bulbasaur respectively.

Pokémon x Balmain (2022)

Pokémon x Balmain

Balmain’s collaboration with Pokémon yielded just one sneaker—but it was no less impressive. The lower portion of the sneaker was colored to resemble two Poké Balls while much of the upper portion made use of the same shade of yellow found in the Pokémon logo.

Although this sneaker might not necessarily scream “Pokémon” at first glance, a closer look reveals just the opposite. Of course, anyone interested will have to fork out quite a bit of money since Balmain is first and foremost a luxury fashion house.

This shoe was part of a Pokémon x Balmain collection which also included jackets, hoodies, T-shirts, and a variety of other accessories. Items from this collection also made their way into the Pokémon UNITE video game. Players who logged in for seven consecutive days between 2 September and 30 September 2022 would unlock the BALMAIN Fashion Set Trainer in-game; they could then customize their respective avatars with digital renderings of the collection’s items.

Pokémon x COMME des GARÇONS x Vans Old Skool LX (2022)

Sometimes, a more minimalistic look is what it takes to best portray the Pokémon aesthetic. That’s the approach Comme des Garçons and Vans Old Skool took on this sneaker. The front of the sneaker’s upper sole featured several Pikachu faces (not surprised ones, mind you) with the CDG logo below them. The rest of the upper sole, meanwhile, was adorned with copies of the CDG logo.

This sneaker is among the rarest Pokémon sneaker collabs to date. They were first released at a pop-up in Japan. Following that, CDG proceeded to release them in limited quantities—a fact that made these kicks quite the get for anyone who managed to land a pair.

Pokémon x PUMA (2022)

Pokémon Sneaker Collaborations

PUMA’s collaboration with Pokémon resulted in five striking colorways based on Charmander, Squirtle, Pikachu, Gengar, and Bulbasaur. Each sneaker had a small chain attached; at the end of each chain was a trinket of the face of the sneaker’s featured Pokémon.

These sneakers were part of a wider launch including hoodies, beanies, T-shirts, backpacks, and other clothing and accessories featuring four of the five featured Pokémon. Unfortunately for Ghost-type fans, though, Gengar only got a “signature shoe” but nothing else. That said, the general success of these products might lead to more of the same but with Gengar or other Pokémon if PUMA’s ever interested in future collaborations.

Pokémon x Clarks (2022)

Pokémon Sneaker Collaborations

Among all the silhouettes that Clarks has ever put out, the Wallabee is arguably the most popular. For that reason, when Clarks entered into a collaboration with Pokémon in 2022, sneakerheads and Pokémon fans alike were intrigued about what the end result would be.

The actual product came in two colorways—one in black (adult’s sizing) and one in yellow (children’s sizing). Both shoes were covered in embossed Pikachu prints and sported an embroidered Poké Ball on the heel. They also both had contrasting hanging fobs.

Clarks regarded this collab as a mechanism for wearers’ self-expression and interaction—especially in the case of kids. Clarks also considered it a way to further establish the global status and credibility of Clarks Kids.

To sum things up, almost three decades and nine generations since the franchise’s debut, Pokémon sneaker collaborations continue to be major draws for Pokémon fans and sneakerheads alike. Whatever the next big collab will be, we can all be certain that it’ll make a huge impact.

Wait, did you really think we were done here?!

What’s Pokémon without a bit of “DLC”? After all, that’s how you get your Mythical Pokémon, right?

Just like the Giratina fight straight after the Volo boss fight, we’ve saved a surprise for you for last—but this time, it’s a good one.

Now, let’s show you some of our favorite non-sneaker Pokémon collabs!

Daniel Arsham’s Pokémon Sculptures (2020–22)

Contemporary artist Daniel Arsham’s first Pokémon-themed work titled Relics in Kanto Time (2020) was featured at two Tokyo art galleries: Nanzuka and Parco Museum. The Pokémon sculptures made of a combination of pyrite, selenite, volcanic ash, glass, obsidian, growler rocks, crystal, and bronze have been designed to appear as though the Pokémon depicted are being unearthed centuries after their time.

Following this, Arsham’s Time Dilation (2021) collection was held at Perrotin in New York. Next came his most ambitious project to date. After working with Pokémon anime series director Kunihiko Yuyama, Arsham’s A Ripple in Time (2022) exhibit was displayed at three Nanzuka spaces, a public art exhibition at Roppongi Hills’ 66 Plaza, and a garden inside Sogetsu Plaza.

Having been into Pokémon since his childhood, Arsham saw these sculptures as a way to reconnect with the days of his youth, indulge in his nostalgic memories, and connect with his children—Pokémon fans just like their father. To Arsham (as well as millions of others the world over), Pokémon serves as a near-endless source of imagination.

Pokémon x Gucci x North Face (2021)

The High Beam sneaker isn’t the only Pokémon collaboration linked to Pokémon Go. In 2021, Gucci and North Face released their existing collaborative collection including backpacks, jackets, footwear, coats, hats, and other accessories in their digital forms within the mobile game.

When Pokémon Go players went to one of 100 selected PokéStops while this campaign was active, there would be a chance that players might receive one or more of these items in-game and subsequently customize their avatars with them.

Players unwilling to leave their chances of scoring these items to RNG could instead opt to purchase them by way of in-game microtransactions. This option was also of great aid to players who did not live near one of the 100 selected PokéStops but were willing to fork out the money to score themselves the items from this collab.

And with that, we’ll conclude this list—for real this time. As the Pokémon franchise continues to go from strength to strength, expect more of these to come in future years and generations.

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