One of the easiest ways to take your fashion to the next level is in what you wear on your feet. Whether it be stylistic sneakers, designer boots, or even something as… unique as crocs, shoes have been a good way for people to show off their personality for some time. For years, sneakers specifically have been the go-to for younger generations to showcase their style, and as the sneaker culture begins to take a deeper step into the mainstream, it’s also beginning to invade some parts of the gaming world.
Those in the know can recon back to February 2018, when NBA superstar Paul George partnered with Nike and PlayStation to create the PG-2 x PlayStation. It was a twist on his signature shoe that was themed completely around the PlayStation brand. Along with the teal and red colors of the PlayStation’s controller buttons, the sneaker also sported various PlayStation logos throughout the shoe. When it launched, it was a massive success, with the shoe selling out and becoming a hot commodity throughout the sneaker world ever since.
When the shoes dropped, George said that the inspiration behind them came from his long-time love of video games, and that definitely resonated with fellow gamers and sneaker heads alike. Not only did the shoe sell out almost immediately, but it also showed that the world of gaming and sneakers are much closer than anyone thought. Since then, George also dropped another collar with PlayStation, the highly sought after PG 2.5 X PlayStation. Even Nintendo, a company not exactly known for breaking out of the box, has begun dipping their toes into the sneaker world, partnering with Vans to create a line of shoes themed around various iconic characters from the company.
Thanks to how successful the release of the PG’s were, it’s surprising that more sneaker companies aren’t looking to jump into the gaming space. Throughout the gaming world, players and professionals alike are always keen to show off addition to their sneaker collection, and this is especially true in the world of esports. While the rest of the world catches up to the idea that playing games professionally can be a legitimate career path, everyone else in the esports community is very aware of just how great it can be. Besides all the business aspects of esports, the main reason sneakers companies should begin to look into embracing the world of esports is pretty simple: their players love shoes, and everyone loves looking great.
It’s no secret that we all love sneakers, and that extends out to even our favorite athletes. Professional players across any sport love to flaunt their latest haul, and some Overwatch League teams have even taken to partnering with popular streetwear brands to showcase their flair. Sporting some new kicks is a great way to make yourself look nice, but it’s also an incredible easy way to interact with your community, something many teams are beginning to become aware of.
As more and more teams begin to embrace the sneaker culture, some sneaker companies have already begun to take notice. Last April, K-Swiss announced that they had struck a deal with the esports group The Immortals (which has teams across a multitude of games, including Overwatch) that would allow them to design a pair of custom sneakers for the team. Obviously esports players don’t need much performance from their shoes, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t important. Nice shoes can inspire confidence, make you feel better, and even improve performance thanks to the boost.
Perhaps the biggest benefit sneakers has is that in a world filled with ridiculous fashion choices, sneakers are pretty easy. The right shoe can be extremely stylish, tie an outfit together, and get your personal taste across all in one, so it’s not surprising that so many are beginning to flock to them. Not to mention, they’re fairly inexpensive, especially when you compare them to whatever the latest weird fashion trend is. It might be a stretch to see larger companies jumping into the fray just yet, but it’s not far fetched at all to say that it’s probably time for them to start taking notice. The world of esports is poised to explode in a financial way as well; many experts believe the industry will be raking in billions soon enough. This kind of information is music to companies ears, and with the popularity and money making aspect of esports and gaming only getting higher, it might not be long before you see friends and family rocking a signature Nike shoe inspired by your favorite esports team.