Some of the largest footwear brands are celebrating the Year of the Rat. Getting in the festive spirit makes sense for apparel and footwear companies given both the rise of basketball culture (roughly 800 million Chinese watched NBA programming last year) and a growing demand from Chinese consumers seeking exclusive footwear. From a new Nike collection to the recently released kicks from Ugg, you can celebrate a new year with playful designs that nod to Chinese culture. Below are just a handful of the most anticipated Year of the Rat shoes to drop, and how to get your hands on them.
Nike Air Max 1
Instead of drawing inspiration from the Year of the Rat, Nike’s upcoming drop is inspired by New York City’s Chinatown. This update to the Air Max 1 shoe features a black suede upper with pops of pink, yellow, blue, and red on the upper and sole. There is also a gold winged horse called a Chollima, a popular figure in Chinese mythology, on the heel. Nike is releasing an entire collection for the Year of the Rat which you can check out here.
Release date: Jan. 25 at 10 a.m.
Where to buy them: Check back for details on the Air Max 1 SE.
Adidas Stan Smiths
Adidas is putting a playful twist on the Year of the Rat with an old school Mickey Mouse motif. The shoes feature a three-dimensional graphic upper and printed insoles, and come complete with a pair of 3D glasses that turn the shoes into a readable comic strip.
Release date: Thursday, Feb. 20 at 3 a.m.
Where to get them: Check for select retailers on adidas.com
Basketball legend Allen Iverson’s signature sneaker, the Reebok Question, is getting an all-grey reboot for the Year of the Rat. The buttery suede and the color selection are meant to recall the year’s animal namesake, without being too overtly rodent-like. Reebok announced it will re-release the Shaqnosis in China in the same grey color palette for Lunar New Year.
Where to get them: Sneaker Junkies; 268 Newbury St., Boston
New Balance X Racer
Taking a more subtle approach than some of its competitors, the only parts of the New Balance X Racer that are overt nods to Chinese New Year are the label on the tongue and the looping red designs on the shoe’s interior. Otherwise, the charcoal shoe’s royal blue, teal, and gold color palette is meant to stand on its own.
Where to get them: New Balance Global Flagship Boston Landing; 140 Guest St., Boston
Ugg CA805 x 2020
Ugg is branching out into sneaker territory in 2020, with 12 sneaker drops over the next 12 months. They are kicking the initiative off with a Year of the Rat-themed shoe collaboration with sneaker boutique Atmos, featuring a white furry outer meant to evoke the eponymous rodent. The theme is topped off with a small yellow lace keeper shaped like a piece of cheese.
Where to get them: Ugg CA805 x 2020 is currently available in select stores across New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. Check for details on Ugg.com.