Ranking the Best Christmas Sneakers

‘Tis the season for festive looks. Sneakerheads have long been treated to pairs centered around Christmas, resulting in all sorts of unique takes on the theme. From bringing adored characters to life and assembling color coordinated styles, these festive looks continue to serve as some of footwear’s most adventurous releases. To celebrate the holidays, the Hypebeast team has put together a list of sneakers that best bring Christmas spirit.

Honorable Mention – Reebok Shaq Attaq “Ghost of Christmas Present,” 2013

Back in 2013, Reebok tapped into the Christmas spirit with a Shaq Attaq “Ghost of Christmas Present” that bore a Charles Dickens-themed look. Drawing inspiration from A Christmas Carol, the colorway’s name nods to one of three spirits who visit Ebenezer Scrooge and is joined by two other spirits in the “Ghosts of Christmas” — represented by the Reebok Kamikaze II and Question Mid. Its upper kicks things off with a dark green that references the spirit’s signature robe of a matching color. A Grinch-like bright green joins in at the collar and pump-outfitted tongue while a Christmas red appears at the lining and aglets to tie the theme together.

10. ASICS GEL-LYTE III “Snowflake,” 2016

In this celebration of the holidays, ASICS recreated a snowy landscape on several colorways of its popular GEL-LYTE III silhouette. Arriving in red, gray and black looks, the “Snowflake” pack offers a weather-themed approach to Christmas cheer that suits the winter season. Each color covers the upper while white dots increase in density as the colored upper meets the white midsole, recreating a falling snow effect on the shoe. Typical GEL-LYTE III detailing such as a synthetic leather upper and signature split tongue build back the festive sneaker.

9. Home Alone x adidas Forum Low, 2021

The duo’s first collaboration — which has since been followed up with a Home Alone 2 edition — serves as a proper tribute to Home Alone. adidas packed this pair with fun references for fans to enjoy: its color scheme is reminiscent of a pair of adidas shoes that main character Kevin McCallister wore on screen, the sockliners play out notable movie scenes and others are specifically referenced in the colorway’s detailing. Its burn marks are a callback to the “fire scene” while its lace jewels nod to the traps McCallister sets for the Wet Bandits. As Home Alone is one of the most popular Christmas films of all time, it’s only right that it was brought to life on one of the best Christmas sneakers of all time.

8. Nike SB Dunk High “Krampus,” 2012

Sean Cliver and the Nike SB team joined forces for an eerie Krampus-themed release for those on the naughty list back in 2012. Krampus, a creature who scares children that misbehave, arrives on the tongue as a half-goat, half-demon drawn in Cliver’s iconic style. One of many coveted collaborations involving Cliver, the pair sports a black and red color scheme. The base of its upper utilizes a unique pony hair that offers beast-like detailing. While black covers most of the shoe, red hits the Swooshes, collar, heel tab, tongue branding and appears in speckles at the midsole.

7. The Grinch x adidas Forum Low, 2022

After the Home Alone pair, adidas continued to make Christmas magic happen with the Forum Low by providing an official collaboration with The Grinch. An often-visited concept when it comes to Christmas kicks, but one that had never been done with an official license, this pair comes equipped with all of the details that other “Grinch” takes wish they could include. The cynical character’s eyes appear on the right shoe’s tongue while various trinkets such as removable pins, a themed hang tag and collaborative box accompany the release. As for the sneaker’s build, shaggy green suedes light up the typical Forum Low shape.

6. Nike LeBron X “Christmas,” 2012

Nike and LeBron James have outfitted the Nike LeBron series in “Christmas” colorways at various points in the duo’s years together. Our favorite of the bunch is the LeBron X, a shoe that reminds us no color combination says Christmas quite like red and green. The resulting colorway is a vivid red look that features soft neon green accents for the holiday season. A subtle red diamond rests atop a wrapping paper backdrop at the heel to serve as the cherry on top, tying the theme together.

5. Reebok Court Victory Pump “Rudolph,” 2008

In our oldest entry on the list, Reebok celebrates Rudolph, Christmas’ most iconic reindeer, with a Court Victory Pump. Arriving in a holiday pack alongside the Pump Omni Lite “Abominable Snowman,” the sportswear brand cleverly colored its throwback Pump detailing at the tongue in red to recreate Rudolph’s signature red nose. Elsewhere, a light brown base is joined by deep brown suede overlays that wrap around the entirety of the sneaker. The resulting colorway offers a look that, while not obvious on the surface, is undeniably tied to its theme once recognized. For those who may fail to catch on, the sockliner features a Rudolph graphic that serves as a more on-the-nose reference.

4. Nike SB Dunk Low “Candy Cane,” 2015

The tastiest sneaker of this holiday bunch, Nike SB’s striped “Candy Cane” offering of the SB Dunk Low quickly became one of the brand’s most desired holiday desserts. Red and white stripes alternate throughout its festive upper, bringing the sugary treat to life. Supporting the look, white leather Swooshes and matching laces are joined by a Christmas-themed green at the sneaker’s lining. Peeking into the interior, its sockliner arrives with a red brick background featuring a jolly green Nike SB logo with snow on it.

3. Reebok Instapump Fury “Grinch,” 2016

Our second Grinch-themed entry on the list — and by far the hairiest — Reebok did not hold back with its rendition of the popular “Grinch” color scheme on the Instapump Fury. The brand doubled down on chaos with a furry neon green base that protrudes from the shoe’s typical shape. In a time before eccentric shoes such as the CPFM x Nike Air Flea 1, sneakerheads were thrown off by the pair at first glance. Ultimately, it’s gone down in history as one of Christmas’ most fun pairs with its red neoprene overlay cranking up the contrast.

2. Concepts x Nike SB Dunk High “Ugly Sweater,” 2013

You can’t go wrong with an ugly Christmas sweater and, as it turns out, you can’t go wrong with a shoe design based on one either. One of three “Ugly Sweater” Christmas SB Dunk Highs to come from Concepts and Nike over the years, nothing quite captures the holiday spirit like this original pair. Snowmen, mistletoe, snowflakes and poinsettias are printed across its cozy upper in thematic colors of white, green and red. The three shades join the gray base with green at the Swooshes and rubber outsole, white at the midsole and a red trim and tongue.

1. Nike Kobe 6 “Grinch,” 2010

Surprise, surprise, the “Grinch” steals the top spot on our Christmas sneaker list. Despite returning to shelves in 2020, this pair remains one of the most sought-after colorways from the Nike Kobe series. Worn by the late Kobe Bryant in 2010 on Christmas Day against LeBron James and the Miami Heat, the shoe captivated sneakerheads around the world. While many shoes have attempted to replicate its magic, none have recreated the energetic flair associated with the iconic look. Opting to use red accents selectively, the colorway leans on its scaly texture and arrangement of various greens to illuminate the court.

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