We do a lot of list features here at GamesRadar, and each presents its own obstacles. So, just when we think we’ve done it all, a fellow editor throws the gauntlet down with an insurmountable challenge. “Does gaming have a greatest shoe?” Surely.
“I dare you.”
Above: It would seem nearly every icon shops at the Black and Brown Boot Emporium
But ask any lady in the vicinity: Not all shoes are created equal. Some carry innate abilities. Some offer a momentary power boost. Some are just fabulous! So whip out those charge cards kiddies, because we’re not only going to highlight gaming’s most iconic shoes, we’re also going to provide you with a purchasable, real-world equivalent.
Let’s get Mario out of the way. You don’t want Mario’s shoes. In fact, leaving the house dressed like any resident of the Mushroom Kingdom will likely land you on one of those Bravo makeover shows where some effeminate guy with lacquered hair will mock you into buying a tailored suit.
What you are really trying to say is “I’m a big fan of Nintendo, dating back to the early days.” And that’s fine - there’s a shoe for that:
Above: Nike Air Max Classic BW – $85-$125 eBay
Mega Man Boot
Similarly, we all desire any stitch of clothing that recalls the glory days of Mega Man. Although, deep down what you’re really envious of is the Man’s matching kicks in every color of the rainbow, and not necessarily interested in dressing like a palette swapped robot every day.
Having a pastel boot for every occasion is exactly the kind of thing that makes the terrorists hate us. Do the math and you’ll find Mega Man has accumulated 70+ shoes from his nine classic outings alone, and that’s the kind compulsivity that’ll land you intervention with the quickness. Just go with the classic blue. We assure you, people will get it.
Above: It’s official - Puma 917 Lo Mega! - $65
Faith’s shoes - Mirror’s Edge
When is a shoe iconic? When your protagonist is a nubile urban acrobat with an eye tattoo, yet still more memorable for her footwear. These kicks may look like a Depression era clothespin, but since they give Faith the ability to use a skyscraper like Pommel Horse, almost any other shoe seems just plain silly.
This isn’t an altogether new concept, mind you. Ninjas have been incorporating the “spreadfoot” technique for years in the form of Tabi shoes. How exactly reducing your feet to two toes apiece heightens your agility is a mystery to us. But it worked for Faith, and more importantly, the Ninja Turtles, and that supersedes anything science or physics could possibly say on the matter.
LEFT: Short Tabi Boot - $22.95
MIDDLE: Co-developed by Asics and Japanese astronauts!
RIGHT: NIKE Rift Women’s Shoe – $58.99