Run, Forrest, run: 10 iconic pairs of sneakers in the movies

The shoes of the main characters that we dreamed of

The American brand of sneakers, in which Forest from the Robert Zemeckis film made his long run, has left Russia. On this occasion, ELLE remembers exactly which sneakers the hero of the film wore and in which other pictures it is worth paying attention to the shoes of the heroes.

Nike Vandal Highs in «Terminator» (1984)

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James Cameron’s «Terminator» can be considered a phenomenon film — it has become so firmly entrenched in the history of cinema. According to the plot, a terminator robot from 2029 arrives in Los Angeles in 1984 to kill Sarah Connor, whose child in the future will be the key to humanity’s victory in the war against machines. A soldier from the XXI century, Kyle Reese, is sent to save Sarah.

In a memorable scene of arrival in the past, the Terminator, played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, turns out to be naked. The same thing subsequently awaits Kyle Reese — he also has to get himself clothes, including black and white Nike Vandal sneakers. In the sequel to The Terminator, these sneakers returned together with their owner character.

Onitsuka Tiger Mexico 66 in «The Game of Death» (1978)

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The last film of the legendary Bruce Lee was doomed to become a cult, including because Lee died before the end of filming — the producers finished the picture with the help of understudies. In his action movie, Lee played the main role of martial arts veteran Billy Bo, forced to compete with the Korean mafia, who kidnapped his sister and brother.

For a significant and most dramatic part of the film, the main character walks in a yellow and black set of longsleeve and sweatpants and sneakers. Shoes on the screen can be seen in two color variations — yellow with black and white with black. This was not the first appearance of Bruce Lee on the screen in Onitsuka Tiger sneakers, so we can say that the actor significantly contributed to the popularization of the brand, including abroad. After all, his fighters were exported to the United States and even to the USSR. By the way, later the image from the «Death Game», and the film itself inspired Quentin Tarantino to «Kill Bill».

adidas Samba in «On the Needle» (1996)

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Another cult film on the list is Danny Boyle’s British comedy drama based on the novel of the same name by Irvine Welsh about a quartet of friends who are drug addicts and idlers. The story is told from the point of view of one of the main characters — 26-year-old Scotsman Mark «Red» Renton, played by Ewan McGregor. Renton can’t quit in any way and constantly gets into ridiculous adventures because of drugs and his own infantilism. One of the notable details of the wardrobe revealing the character of the character is maroon adidas Samba sneakers (presumably Samba Super).

The sneakers first appear in the scene when Renton goes on a robbery that will take him to court— and get several close-ups at once. After that, the character walks in them until the very end. The choice of brand and model is not surprising: in the 1980s, with the growing popularity of the football culture, adidas sneakers became an integral part of the hooligan movement, along with Stone Island jackets and Burberry plaid scarves. And the «football» Samba, which appeared back in the 1950s— is one of the best-selling models. The adidas brand has become so firmly entrenched in British culture that it is still associated with britpop, no wonder Noel Gallagher from the Oasis group collects sneakers from this particular company.

Onitsuka Tiger Tai Chi in «Kill Bill» (2003)

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As mentioned above, one of the main sources of inspiration for Quentin Tarantino was Bruce Lee’s action movies. And the main character of «Kill Bill», the former killer Beatrix, played by Uma Thurman, spends almost all her screen time in a yellow and black suit and reissued Onitsuka Tiger Mexico 66, which completely repeats the clothes of the main character in «The Game of Death».

As the name of the model suggests, its prototype was the shoes worn by athletes practicing taichi, a martial art, a kind of wushu. In September 2019, Asics, of which the Onitsuka Tiger brand is a part, announced the release of an updated model of these sneakers, which simplified the opportunity to purchase such a pair.

Nike Cortez in «Forrest Gump» (1994)

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The touching drama directed by Robert Zemeckis based on the novel of the same name by Winston Groom tells the story of Forrest Gump — a man with a mental retardation, but with a kind heart. As a child, Forrest becomes a victim of bullies, but runs away from them to the screams of his school friend Jenny: «Run, Forrest, run!». Jenny and running remain forever in Forrest’s heart and help him move forward and cope with difficulties. And an adult Jenny, with whom he is hopelessly in love, will give Forrest a pair of Nike Cortez sneakers.

«Forrest Gump» received six Oscars, including a victory in the nominations «Best Director» and «Best Actor», where the latter is the merit of the permanently charming Tom Hanks. The moment when Jenny gives Forrest sneakers, which appeared in the Nike line in 1972, is still considered one of the best episodes with sneakers in the cinema. By the way, the Nike Cortez model is almost an exact copy of the Onitsuka Tiger Corsair sneakers, which today can also be bought in the same colors as Forrest Gump.

Reebok Alien Stomper in «Alien» (1979)

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Ridley Scott’s Alien is a recognized classic of science fiction, which won an Oscar for best visual effects. Almost all the events of the picture take place on the space cargo ship «Nostromo», the crew of which catches a strange signal from the planet LV-426 and, according to the instructions, goes to find out what is happening there. As a result, a previously unknown life form penetrates the ship, and only officer Ellen Ripley, played by Sigourney Weaver, manages to escape.

The original red-gray-beige Alien Stomper sneakers were created specifically for Ripley, who at the end of the film effectively deals with a Stranger, being in this pair. Last year, this model was reissued in honor of the fortieth anniversary of the picture, but even before that, Reebok periodically made releases for fans of the franchise about strangers.

Nike Air Mag in «Back to the Future 2» (1989)

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Probably the most famous and most expensive Nike sneakers are the self-lacing model worn by Marty McFly in the sequel «Back to the Future». The year 2015, in which supposedly everyone wore such sneakers, seemed very far away at the time of filming in 1988. In the future, as the director of the film Robert Zemeckis imagined, in addition to the incredible sneakers, holographic advertising, flying cars and flying skateboards (hoverboards) were attached.

In 1988, Nike specially created a unique model of sneakers, making the most memorable product placement in the history of cinema, and Robert Zemeckis then returned to the tradition of impressive product placements with the same brand in his film «Forrest Gump». For many years after the release of «Back to the Future 2», fans of the film and sneakers sighed that they would like to get such a pair, but Nike was able to release real Air Mag only in 2015 and only in a limited edition.

Nike Air Jordan 4 in «Do It Right!» (1989)

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Sneakers are an important part of African-American culture, once valued very highly in disadvantaged areas. Largely because for many years sport has been the main social elevator for the black population of the United States — young African Americans could make a bright career either in crime or in basketball. It is not surprising that the films, the plot of which revolves around basketball, are stuffed with variations of Nike Air Jordan. However, the finest hour of these sneakers does not necessarily have to be associated with basketball players. Director, screenwriter and actor Spike Lee is one of the main film singers of black America, and although he also has basketball films, Air Jordan is worn by people who are far from sports.

«Do It Right!» tells about a young unambitious African American Mookie, played by Spike Lee himself. Mookie lives in Brooklyn and works at a local pizzeria to provide for herself, her son and his mother. Everything would be fine, but the son of the pizzeria owner is rude and intolerant, which does not contribute to a peaceful atmosphere. Mookie has a friend nicknamed Buggin Out (Giancarlo Esposito), walking around the neighborhood in brand-new white Nike Air Jordan 4, and it is he who finds himself in the center of one of the most memorable episodes of the film, when he is annoyed by a passerby who stepped on his sneakers and left a dirty footprint on the fresh white surface of the hero’s favorite shoes. Later, Buggin Out sneakers were released with a special release with this very trace.

adidas Stan Smith in «Blade Runner»

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In the breathtaking «Blade Runner» director Ridley Scott crossed noir with Sci-Fi, and in the image of the main character of the film, retired detective Rick Deckard, this is also read. The character who lives between humans and android replicants, played by Harrison Ford, wears a trench coat, tie and trousers that are quite canonical for noir, but complements this ensemble not with shoes, but with absolutely black unmarked sneakers that resemble them very much from afar.

Despite the absence of visible markings, it is known that Deckard’s utilitarian sneakers for a gloomy future are tennis adidas Stan Smith, one of the most popular models of the brand, which has long become independent relative to the athlete whose name it bears. After all, the fame of tennis player Stan Smith, albeit a great one at the time, remained in the 60-70s of the XX century, but the sneaker model existed before his name was applied to it, and continues to be successfully sold today.

adidas Rom Zissou in «Water Life» (2004)

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Director-visual perfectionist Wes Anderson is a well-known fan of the adidas brand, so it is not surprising that the company made a pair of sneakers specifically for one of Anderson’s films, especially since it is not worn by anyone in the frame, but by Bill Murray himself, who played the main role in «Water Life», Captain Steve Zissa — a charming, but sometimes not very pleasant man at the zenith of fame, and also, paradoxically, a loser.

In fact, Steve Zissou’s sneakers are not super-unique: they are based on a standard Rom model, but the stripes on it are in different shades of blue, and the laces are yellow, all matching the color of the Zissou ship’s crew uniform. Also, in place of the inscription «Rom» on the sneakers, the inscription «Zissou» is emblazoned. As is often the case with special models of sneakers for cinema, fans of the film wanted a pair from the screen, and in 2017 adidas still released one hundred pairs of adidas Rom «Zissou».

Agliullina Marina

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