Let’s imagine it’s Saturday morning. You drive up to your local Aldi parking lot, you get out of your car, you walk inside. Mostly to get some cheap groceries, but also partially so you can saunter up and down the middle aisles, perusing the special buys that are currently on rotation. Maybe you’ll see some house paint, or outdoor furniture. There might be some South African spices, or a ramen kit. Or there might be some terrible sneakers.
Which could look like these:
OK so no, you can’t buy those last ones from Aldi, but as my overly-elaborate setup suggests, they have very much the same energy. These are actually the $115, official Sonic the Hedgehog 2 sneakers, from zombie sportswear brand Fila. Fila have taken over the license from Puma—who had some troubles with the first movie—and released something that looks like my aunt would buy them from the orthotic section of an outlet centre shoe store because she has a bad back.
What’s funniest about their basic construction and tired design is that, while they cut kinda close to the overall look of the character’s footwear, these don’t even appear in the movie! The shoes Sonic actually wears in the sequel (which Fila are displaying prominently on the company’s website) are the same he wore last time, which were based on Puma’s budget “Dare Slip-On Sneakers.” So as bad and as cheap as these look (though at $115 they’re hardly discount shoes) they don’t even have the excuse that they’re “replicas,” having had to make changes to avoid looking too much like another company’s shoe.
Note that for the first movie, Puma did have plans to sell a direct replica of Sonic’s original shoe design, but when it was changed along with the rest of him, they had to go for some “inspired by” sneakers instead. (Though the Shoe Surgeon did recreate a handful of pairs of the final design for a promo.) And for the record, just so you know I’m not shitting on Fila for the sake of it, this line of Pokémon sneakers from 2018 were great, so it’s a shame they couldn’t come up with something as tasteful this time around (though who knows, maybe they’ll release follow-up shoes in the months to come).
This being 2022, and these being licensed sneakers, they of course sold out regardless, so I wish everyone among them who bought a pair of them hoping to make a long-term profit the best of luck.