Nike and NBA star Kyrie Irving joined forces with Nickelodeon to create two special sneakers – SpongeBob SquarePants shoes Nike Kyrie 5 collab and the Nike Kyrie Low 2. The sneaker collab was in celebration of the show’s 20th anniversary.
The Kyrie 5 x SpongeBob SquarePants made its debut in June 2019 at a WNBA match between New York Liberty and Minnesota Lynx. Liberty’s Tina Charles and Lynx’s Odyssey Sims entered the court in the ‘Patrick Star’ and ‘SpongeBob’ versions.
The collection became available globally on August 10, 2019 at Nike.com as well as select Nike Basketball retailers. The Kyrie 5 x SpongeBob SquarePants retailed for $130. After selling out almost immediately, Nike restocked the sneakers in October 2019.
Everybody Knows SpongeBob SquarePants
SpongeBob SquarePants has an enormous fan base. Anyone born in the 1990s will almost certainly remember that yellow cartoon character whose home was a pineapple in the sea. SpongeBob SquarePants is iconic. I still watch episodes from time to time.
So perhaps this was always going to be one of the major options for anyone who was contemplating creating cartoon-themed signature sneakers. Irving himself has been a fan of SpongeBob SquarePants since the first episode came out which made the collaboration a natural move for him.
Irving is Just Right for This Collab
Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving is a bit of an enigma; one who does not shy away from pushing the envelope. When he is not making headlines with his stellar performance on court, he is unleashing statements of his beliefs that few people with his public profile would be as bold about.
But that’s Irving – someone who has no qualms taking stands and holding views that could make those that hear it uncomfortable.
Like when he recently disowned the Kyrie 8 and claimed Nike was planning to release the sneaker without his input or consent. Or when he was shelved by the Nets for their New York games after declining the COVID-19 vaccine. Or the time he voiced his belief that the earth is flat.
He comes across as an all-or-nothing, take-it-or-leave-it kind of guy. So it’s hard to think about any other star athlete who could have thought of a sneaker inspired by the eccentric cartoon SpongeBob SquarePants.
SpongeBob SquarePants would seem somewhat of an odd sneaker collaboration with a basketball star. However, Irving had already demonstrated a quirky approach to sneaker collaborations. He had just released a Kyrie 5 inspired by his favorite sitcom, Friends.
Given the commercial success of Kyrie sneakers, the basketballer certainly seems to have a knack for making the right design decisions. Such success is especially noteworthy given the numerous sneakers available in the market and the need to stand out. Irving is keen on creating sneakers that when seen on the street, are going to spark a conversation.
SpongeBob SquarePants x Kyrie 5 Colorways
While this Kyrie 5 x SpongeBob SquarePants edition’s colorways are inspired by SpongeBob, sidekick Patrick Starr and neighbor Squidward, the Kyrie Low 2 celebrates Mr. Krabs and squirrel Sandy Cheeks.
Each Kyrie 5 x SpongeBob SquarePants comes with Nickelodeon branding on its tongue shroud. The sneaker is available in all sizes from toddlers to men to women. Additionally, the collection includes t-shirts, hoodies, crew socks and kids’ backpacks.
The Kyrie 5 ‘SpongeBob’ version’s colors feature a vibrant yellow upper that contrasts with the brown and red midsole. The yellow color feels almost as porous and absorbent as Spongebob himself.
The bright woven sneaker upper is dotted by ‘sponge holes’ complemented by the lateral side kelp-inspired Swoosh. The ‘NIKE’ text on the sneaker’s heel adopts the show’s title font. It is clear that the design cues draw on the character’s characteristic ensemble.
Meanwhile, the ‘Patrick Starr’ edition has neon green tones accentuating the vivid pink. The bubble pattern and the Swoosh emblazoned with what comes across as a texture that’s consistent with the starfish. The midsole matches Patrick’s favorite swim trunks. ‘Patrick’ is written on the sneaker tongues’ inside.
Finally, ‘Squidward’ goes for that seafoam green hue while the character’s callous expression resides in the heel’s inside.
Kyrie 5 as the Perfect Canvas
The Kyrie 5 is perhaps the perfect canvas for a SpongeBob SquarePants sneaker. In designing the Kyrie 5, Nike had to think of a sneaker silhouette that could match or outperform the successful Kyrie 4. Kyrie 4 had been one of the most worn signature sneakers on the NBA court. It’s success was bolstered by special drops such as ‘Day of the Dad’, ‘Green Lobster’, ‘Confetti’ and ‘Cereal’.
The Kyrie 5’s design was inspired by the venus flytrap. Whereas it has a similar structure as the Kyrie 3, the Kyrie 5 adopted new tech specs. The shoe designer Benjamin Nethongkome introduced upgraded traction pattern, new containment system and articulated forefoot zoom bag (the Air Zoom Turbo).
Kyrie 5 made its debut on November 18, 2018 before it was officially launched November 22, 2018. The special editions of this model such as the Kyrie 5 x SpongeBob Squarepants are all geared toward showcasing Irving’s past passions and current inspirations.
Irving has released multiple signature shoes as part of his collaboration with Nike. His shoes have stood out for their unique inspirations and lively colorways that draw on a wide range of interests and hobbies. These have ranged from skateboarding to breakfast cereal.
Kyries are also usually more affordable than other signature sneakers by Nike. They have been the canvas of several special editions and collaborations such as the partnership between Nike and Concepts.
The Kyrie 5 x SpongeBob SquarePants is a celebration of one of the most popular animated series on television. Each sneaker is well suited for both off-court and on-court use. Irving’s signature sneaker designs have proved popular with not just sneaker fans but also fellow NBA players.
By selling out immediately after it was released, the SpongeBob SquarePants edition showed from the get-go that it would continue with this trend of commercial success. Another slam dunk for Irving and Nike.