Chinese New Year is coming up just around the corner, and whether or not you celebrate this occasion is completely up to you, but there’s no denying the fact that there are some absolutely phenomenal themed sneakers out there. Over the past few decade, the industry has been blessed with some seriously spicy CNY-inspired kicks from a massive selection of brands, including adidas, New Balance, and of course, Nike.
So, with the Year of the Dragon landing on February 10th, Captain Creps is taking this opportunity to show off some of the most greatest ones of all-time. Be sure to hit us up on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and let us know which Lunar New Year trainers you have in your collection, as well as which ones you dream of owning one day!
Without a shadow of a doubt, the Air Jordan 1 Low OG “Chinese New Year” is one of the best LNY-inspired sneakers of all-time. Taking on Michael Jordan’s low-top flagship, it boasts a premium leather construction and is decorated with traditional patterns and motifs throughout. You’ll even find a traditional Chinese knot here, and the winged basketball insignia around the heel has been finely embroidered in a lucky gold hue that’s sure to turn heads wherever you go.
One of the biggest things about CNY are the fireworks and firecrackers that blast off all season long, and to pay homage to this, Nike took the wraps off the Nike Dunk Low “Firecracker.” Featuring a mostly blue colour combination, it’s decorated from heel to toe in little characters having fun, and a bunch of warning signs. While we have to admit that these weren’t particularly popular when they were first announced, prices are slowly but surely going up as more sneakerheads begin to fully appreciate them.
Year of the Ox fam, we got you. While not many people paid attention to the New Balance 2002R “Year of the Ox” back in the day, you’d be hard pressed to find one in your size nowadays considering how hyped this retro silhouette is. Crafted from black, navy, and olive suede, it’s also accented with metallic silver shades throughout for a show-stopping aesthetic. We’re not entirely sure how this colourway relates to the second animal in the zodiac, but we’re digging them anyway.
If you’re looking for a pair of Lunar New Year sneakers that were destined to turn heads, the Nike Air Force 1 Premium “Chinese New Year” has your name written all over them. Unveiled at the start of 2022, it’s packed with countless cool details throughout. Ornate floral patterning decorates the toebox, while faux snakeskin wraps around the heel. You’ll also find buttery black suede on the lacing system and a stitched-on Swoosh that makes the colours pop even more.
The New Balance 1906U “Lunar New Year” is just one of those sneakers that you need to see up close to be able to fully appreciate. Straying away from the traditional red and gold palette, it opts for a pastel pink colour scheme instead. The upper is crafted from a combination of nylon and leather, and all of this rests on top of an off-white ABZORB midsole. Hands down the most underrated shoe in this list, these will definitely be the topic of every conversation.
The Nike Dunk Low “Year of the Rabbit” is actually inspired by White Rabbit Candy. One of the most delicious LNY sweets ever, if you’ve never tried them before we can confidently say that you’re missing out. The perfect tribute to the Year of the Rabbit, it features a premium leather and suede construction with fluffy fabrics that nod to a bunny’s fur. You’ll also find special CNY detailing across the tongue and heel, as well as a secret message underneath the shoe that you need to see to believe.
Back in 2019, Pharrell Williams introduced the Solar Hu Glide ST silhouette in style when he took the wraps off the Pharrell x adidas Solar Hu Glide ST “Chinese New Year.” Part of a much wider collection, this Ultra Boost-inspired model perfectly balances comfort and aesthetics in one festive package. You’ll also find “Hu” branding around the collar and toebox, as well as a full length Boost midsole that easily makes these one of the most comfortable kicks on this LNY-themed list.
Looking for a Chinese New Year sneaker that not everyone will have? Then end your search with the Air Jordan 1 Low OG “Year of the Dragon.” Painted in a green, red, and white colour palette, you’ll also find metallic gold accents throughout as a symbol of luck and prosperity. From the scale-like detailing to an icy blue outsole, there are plenty of details here that pay tribute to the fifth animal in the Chinese zodiac. What’s more, these are super limited, with only 5,000 pairs available globally.
If you thought the “Protection Pack” was cool, New Balance somehow made it even cooler with the New Balance 2002R Protection Pack “Lunar New Year.” Part of a much wider collection, this is, no doubt, the highlight of the range. Bearing a striking resemblance to the coveted “Rain Cloud,” the mesh has been dipped in a slightly rosy pink tint for extra luck points. You’ll also find a creamy ABZORB midsole underfoot which gives us nothing but vintage vibes.
Earn your stripes this CNY with the Nike Air Force 1 Low “Year of the Tiger.” Walking on the wild side, while this Air Force 1 is world-renowned for its clean suede exterior, it’s stuffed with plenty of cool details throughout that are inspired by the big cat. From the stripes Swoosh across the sides to the embroidered character around the heel, this special edition shoe was made for all those Tiger Kings and Queens out there.