5 Sneakers Inspired by South American Culture

By | 26 March, 2020

We all know about South America, right? But how many of you can actually name the 12 countries that make up South America? Often overlooked when it comes to anything related to Latino or Latin American heritage, South America is a diverse continent highlighted by the different aspects of Latin American culture. The twelve sovereign states that make up South America include: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, Venezuela, and French Guiana (a part of France).

When it comes to the sneaker world, the representation of South American culture on kicks could also need a bit of a boost. That said, there are brands out there that have placed the South American countries. Today we give you a short list made up of 5 sneakers inspired by South American culture.

Ronnie Fieg x Asics GT 2 Brazil

Arguably one of Ronnie Fieg’s best collaborations with Asics, this special iteration of the Asics GT 2 is a proud member of the ‘KITH Football Equipment’ collection and is for sure among one of the most amazing Asics shoes ever released. The Asics GT 2 is inspired by the country of Brazil, which at the time was the host country of the World Cup. Dressed in Brazil’s flag colors, the Blue suede upper is accompanied by the Metallic Gold on the Asics branding. Hits of Yellow and Green placed throughout the upper and sole unit complete the Brazillian-World Cup oriented theme of the shoe.

WASAFU x Nike Air Max 1

The Tinker Hatfield-designed Air Max model is given a makeover courtesy of Ignacio Espinoza aka WASAFU. Originally from Chile, WASAFU’s murals can be found throughout the city. The spray paint artist is known for his geometric designs that are executed through a technique known as “garra” (ability to paint in a large area in a short amount of time.)

Part of Nike’s “Los Primeros” pack, the WASAFU x Nike Air Max 1 comes in a canvas upper sublimated by Wasafu’s signature “Wasafism” print. The no-sew skin overlay and canvas swoosh use the primitive Selk’nam inspired print, creating a sense of combined old-world craft. This contemporary design breaks away from stereotypical expectations of Latino expression and challenges the narrative of “what it means to be Latino.”

POMB x Air Jordan 1

Also part of Nike’s “Los Primeros” pack, this Air Jordan 1 was designed by an artist known as POMB from Brazil. Born Thales Fernando, POMB graduated from the University of Brasilia with a degree in Industrial Design. The self-taught illustrator was already making murals around the streets of Brazil at the young age of 13. Once he became an adult, his work went international. His work is inspired by the environment, animals, and their vibrant colors. The POMB x Air Jordan 1 celebrates color in the vibrant mural sublimated on the vamp, tongue and sock liner. Diversity of Latino skin tones are also evident in the mural, highlighting the story of Latino diversity from euro to afro Latinos and indigenous people.

Puma Basket Day of the Dead

Although the Day of the Dead is a holiday that originated in Mexico, several countries in South America observe the holiday in their own way and manner. Brazil, Ecuador, Bolivia and Peru are a few of the countries that celebrate the lives of their loved one who have crossed to the other side. The Puma Basket Day of the Dead is covered in vibrant colors and signature flower and skull graphics to create the beloved theme.

INTI x Nike Cortez

Yet another pair from Nike’s “Los Primeros” pack, this Nike Cortez features a printed canvas upper covered in ancient symbols. Designed by INTI, the Chilean artist takes his name from the Incan sun god and the Quechua word for ‘the Sun; as homage to his Chilean roots. The origins of his work are always closely associated with his Chile culture. Latin music, chaotic cityscapes and less bureaucratic city-planning allow vibrant street art to thrive.INTI has become an ambassador of South American street art worldwide. His work can be seen across walls in Belgium, USA, Slovakia, France, Lebanon, Spain, Germany, Poland, Norway, Turkey, Peru, Puerto Rico and, of course, Chile.


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