Guardians of the Galaxy was one of the more unexpected hits in the video game space in 2021 and now Square Enix is trying to move that success to the footwear space. The publisher announced it was collaborating with Adidas for a shoe collection based on the game that is set to release sometime in the first half of 2022 for an undetermined price.
Square Enix gave more clinical details on the 2021Shoes line while Marvel provided perspectives from Eidos-Montréal and Adidas. Each Guardian — even the shoeless Groot — has one shoe that is inspired by them, except for Star-Lord, who has two. All six can be found below in the gallery and were all designed by Adidas Senior Designer James Liu.
The deal came about when the team was designing young Peter Quill. Given how shoes Adidas are synonymous with ’80s footwear, the team wanted to incorporate that in his design, which can be seen in the above picture. That led to talking to Disney and Adidas. Art Director Bruno Gauthier Leblanc said that the team thought of the shoe line while making the game and the desire to take that collaboration outside of the game, too.
“When we started designing young Star-Lord, we thought it would be fitting he’d wear a pair of adidas,” he said. “I believe them to be iconic to that era. Afterwards the team started saying how great it would be if we’d actually get to make a real pair. Well, lo and behold, our creative director pitched the idea to Marvel and they loved it and the rest is history.”
Liu gave more insight about his process making the shoes, saying that he started from the “unique visual cues” of the characters like Drax’s tattoos and their silhouettes and went from there, working with Eidos-Montréal along the way for authenticity’s sake.
“We wanted to inlay various design discovery elements that helped further bring the story of each character to life,” he said. “Bringing it all together across the collection are unique signifiers of the Guardians of the Galaxy as a Super Hero team – 2021 Yeezy Boost with matching sockliners, hang tags, labels, and packaging.”
Liu even detailed each hero’s shoes. Star-Lord’s “old-school charm” was a big influence for his retro shoes. Liu wanted strength, speed, and skill to be present in Gamora’s shoe, something he tried to represent in the color scheme and sleekness of the ZX 2K Boost shoe. Drax’s shoe is more brutish thanks to the characteristics of the Ozelia shoe. Rocket’s affinity for tech resulted in the ZX 1K as its design is the result of “the latest technology.” And, finally, Liu chose the “rugged trail version” of the NMD R1 for Groot because of his natural origins.