Japanese sportswear company Mizuno has collaborated with Naruto to create a series of sneakers inspired by characters from the Shonen juggernaut.
Mizuno fashioned its line of "Contender" sneakers to represent main characters Naruto Uzumaki, Sakura Haruno and Sasuke Uchiha. Each pair of sneakers is designed to reflect the style and color scheme of the character they are based on. For example, the outside of Naruto's sneakers are bright orange and black just like his iconic Shippuden jumpsuit, while the inside of the shoe is bright yellow as a reference to his hair. Sakura's sneakers are indicative of her affinity for pink, with both shades used on the shoe echoing her iconic bob and qipao dress. Sasuke's pair has a far darker color scheme than the other two, its deep blues and purples reminiscent of the Uchiha's hair, shinobi gear and brooding personality.
世界的人気アニメ『#NARUTO-#ナルト- 疾風伝』と初めてコラボレーションした #スニーカー「CONTENDER NARUTO（コンテンダーナルト）」を 1月8日から順次発売するってばよ！— MIZUNO JP（ミズノ株式会社） (@mizunojp) January 6, 2022
デザインは、『うずまきナルト』『うちはサスケ』『春野サクラ』の3人のキャラクターをイメージしています‼️#ミズノ #アニメ pic.twitter.com/7KqexxP6hg
There is also special detailing on the tongue and heel of the shoe. An Uzumaki crest and Uchiha fan are embroidered on each heel of Naruto's and Sasuke's sneakers, respectively, to represent their clans. Sakura's sneakers have a white circle emblem on their heel, a symbol that is present in most of the outfits she wears throughout the series. All three pairs also have the leaf symbol of the trio's village Konohagakure etched at the top of the tongues of the shoe.
The Naruto franchise continues to be immensely popular, its manga being the fourth best-selling manga series of all time. It follows gutsy young ninja Naruto Uzumaki on his quest to become Hokage, one of the highest honors a ninja can achieve, to gain recognition in a village that ostracizes him. Naruto forms a part of Team 7 alongside classmates Sakura Haruno and Sasuke Uchiha, and together with their sensei Kakashi Hatake, they embark on various missions and battle dangerous foes.
While the anime's main storyline concluded in March 2017 after a combined total of 720 episodes, the continuing lives of the trio can be followed in Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, which stars Naruto's son, Boruto Uzumaki, and the other children of the shinobi present in Naruto such as Sarada Uchiha and Shikadai Nara.
The Naruto Contender sneakers will be available starting on Jan. 8 and each pair will cost around $115 USD. They can be purchased from Mizuno's website and select Japanese retailers.