We all know what our state’s official bird or flower is, that’s EASY (Full confession: I have no idea what my state’s bird or flower are….), but a true state fact aficionado can also tell you what your state’s Adidas sneaker is. Or at least, as of mid-July they could tell you. Adidas and Refinery29 recently partnered up with 12 female artists to create one-of-a-kind UltraBOOST X sneakers for each of the 50 states. And the shoes they came up with are gorgeous. For some, the inspiration is pretty obvious (like a giant piece of pizza), while others are more esoteric representations of their states. All of them are unique.
The custom designed shoes were created earlier in the month, and then auctioned off with 100 percent of the proceeds raised donated to Women Win, an organization that empowers girls to build leadership skills and address gender equity through sport. The idea to have women artists create empowering designs of women’s athletic shoes to benefit gender equality in sports is pretty great. The artists were excited to be a part of the project and felt that the diversity they were able to highlight was one of the really special aspects of the collaboration.
“It’s not about competing with each other, but lifting each other up and celebrating the diversity of this country,” said fashion illustrator Meagan Morrison who designed sneakers inspired by Alabama, California, Connecticut, Missouri and Virginia.
The artists drew from various aspects of each state to make their shoes from the landscapes and nature to the culture and tongue in cheek stereotypes. The result is a hodgepodge of pretty special sneakers.
“We can find beauty despite diversity and, more importantly, because of diversity, from shorelines to glaciers, from farmland to mountaintop to prairie. If everything was the same, nothing would be remarkable,” said chemist turned artist Mari Orr who designed sneakers inspired by Alaska, Iowa, Maryland, Nebraska and South Dakota.
If you missed the auction for your state, you can still buy a pair of the adidas UltraBOOST X for $180 — they just won’t be a bespoke masterpiece that show once and for all, you’re from Wisconsin, and you have the cheese shoes to prove it.
Check out your state’s shoe below. Did the artist totally capture your essence? Or did they miss the mark?