punk band nikes
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While most people associate Nike with basketball and hip-hop culture, they’ve taken inspiration from the extreme aesthetics of punk and metal, too. Sure, the Air Jordan 1 is the most recognizable shoe due to the mass association with rappers, but the company has been linked with metal for a long time. Look at any photo of a thrash-metal band such as Metallica or Slayer from the ’80s and ’90s and you’ll see them sporting the iconic check logo on their feet. 

Take a look below for 10 of Nike’s best metal- and punk-inspired shoes. 

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Nike Air Max 270 React

The Nike Air Max 270 React line featured several art period-inspired pieces, including these heavy metal-inspired kicks. Just like a classic heavy-metal album cover from Iron Maiden or Judas Priest, the shoes feature deep and dark yet varied color choices for its aesthetic, with a deep purple and deep royal blue paired with a vibrant green. A gold swoosh that pops with a dark black coating caps it off. 

Shinedown x Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG

Inspired by Shinedown’s 2018 record Attention Attention, these classic Nike AJ 1 Highs are a perfect fit for any fan of the band. They feature a golden yellow with a stark black and white to make the colors really pop, while a black exclamation mark, just like the album cover, is displayed on the side of the shoe. 

Deftones x Nike Dunk High

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Nike Dunk High Deftones || Based in Sacramento, California, Deftones are an American rock band that is made up of Chino Moreno, Stephen Carpenter, Chi Cheng (bass), Frank Delgado (keyboards and turntables), and Abe Cunningham (drums and percussion). The group caused quite a stir in 2003 when Nike featured them on a pair of Dunks dubbed the Nike Dunk High Deftones. Only on very rare occasions does a musical group get their own pair of sneakers from Nike and was the case of the Deftones, which are one of the most sought after Nike Dunk Highs ever to be created. With only 40 pairs in existence Dunk High and Deftones fans must expect to pay top dollar for the sneakers that are made up of black and classic green with the Deftones logo being read across the heel.

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With Deftones’ hip-hop influences in their music, it’s not entirely surprising that Nike paired up with them for a shoe collab. They brought the Dunk Highs a sleek green-and-black aesthetic with a small white Deftones logo etched into the black leather on the bottom of the side of the shoe. 

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Dinosaur Jr. x Nike SB Dunk High

Back in 2007, Dinosaur Jr. got their very own Dunk Highs built for skateboarding, featuring a space-themed silver-and-purple colorway. They also have a small purple Dinosaur Jr. logo on one side of the shoe, while their unofficial Peace Sign Guy mascot is on the other side. 

Melvins x Nike Dunk High Pro SB

Melvins actually got a couple of collaborations, but the Dunk High Pro SBs in charcoal black captured their aesthetic best. The shoes are as punk as you can get with a dark red bottom, all-black outer and skull and crossbones on the toe. 

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Slayer x Nike SB Dunk High

It’s an obvious choice for Nike to pair up with Slayer given the band members’ tendency to sport various high tops from the company in promo photos back in the day. The SB Dunk High “Reign In Blood” is clearly inspired by their iconic Reign In Blood album and features a deep blood-colored shoe with brown suede and a black toe, check and midsection. 

Violent Femmes x Nike SB Zoom Janoski RM

Nike created the ultimate heavy-metal shoe, injecting the genre’s love for studded items with their heavy-metal pack of Terminators and Vandals. The Nike Heavy Metal Vandal high top features a black-and-gold aesthetic with studs all around the back, and they also released other pairs in white, as well.

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Head Automatica x Nike Air Force 1 High

Glassjaw offshoot Head Automatica got their very own Nike collab with a desert brown Air Force 1 High. The shoe features a brown-and-white exterior, while the tongue has a pop of pink. The top of the sneaker contains a subtle green logo from the band etched into it. 

Sub Pop Records x Nike SB Blazer Elite

Nike paired up with Sub Pop Records for a sweet pair of SB Blazer Elites, throwing it back to their history of spearheading punk music, most notably throughout the ’90s grunge scene. The shoes sport a bright yellow paired with a subtle gray-and-black colorway to make them pop as well as their iconic box logo on both the tongue and back of the shoe. 

Nike Heavy Metal Vandal High

Nike created the ultimate heavy-metal shoe, injecting the genre’s love for studded items with their heavy-metal pack of Terminators and Vandals. The Nike Heavy Metal Vandal high top features a black-and-gold aesthetic with studs all around the back, and they also released other pairs in white, as well.