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The Graveyard: A Compilation of Dead Shoe Collaborations

By December 21, 2022Sneaker News

Dead Shoe Collaborations - AIO BotThere’s a fundamental lesson that sneaker history taught us: shoe collaborations are the key to major success. We’ve had so many legendary partnerships that have become pillars of the sneaker culture. One of the most epic and powerful collabs includes the one and only Nike x Michael Jordan – aka, Air Jordans!

But, not all stories have a fairytale ending.

So, just because a sneaker brand collaborates with another person or brand does not guarantee instant success. And, the year 2022 alone proved how fatal a collaboration could be for both parties involved. Therefore, we’re here to talk about The Graveyard of Dead Shoe Collaborations. We’re going to take you on a walk through the cemetery of the deceased partnerships between the industry’s titan brands, Nike and Adidas.

Both these brands have been notoriously known for their collabs with other artists, brands, and even industries. However, sometimes it’s a hit-or-miss kind of situation. Talk about some sneaker Dramarama! Things can sometimes get… pretty ugly! So, let’s get right into it!



Adidas Dead Shoe Collaborations - AIO Bot


First, we’re starting out strong with the most controversial, dramatic, and public breakups in sneaker history – Kanye West x Adidas. Kanye West had more than one divorce in 2022. However, when shoe collaborations get more buzz than a 2.1 billion dollar divorce, you know there’s tea.

So, the breakup between Kanye and Adidas did not come as a surprise. It was a toxic relationship just waiting to blow over! But, who was the toxic one? That’s up for debate. If you want a full-on breakdown of what happened between Ye and Adidas, click here. But, we can sum it up in a few points:

Shoe Collaborations: Kanye West & Adidas
Date: 2013 – 2022
Status: DEAD


Next, more dead shoe collaborations include the Sean Wotherspoon x Nike partnership that ended in 2019. Unlike the Yeezy breakup, we did not see this coming. In 2018, Sean was teasing a second wave of the Nike Air Max 1/97 on Instagram. Therefore, this was an obvious hint that his relationship with Nike was strong and very likely continuous. However, a month after that teaser, he was spotted sporting Adidas Yeezy 500s!

Sure enough, in 2019, Sean Wotherspoon and Nike announce the end of their partnership. A lot of times we don’t get the real story behind the death of shoe collaborations. All Sean had to say on the topic was:

“I’ve been done working with [Nike], at least on another SW collab, for a while. Still lots of good friends there. I help when asked, but being able to spread my wings again is the best feeling ever.”

However, in 2020, Sean took to Instagram to announce his upcoming collaboration with Adidas. Not the first time that someone leaves Nike for Adidas. But, just because it worked for Kanye, doesn’t mean it works for everyone.

Shoe Collaborations: Sean Wotherspoon & Nike
Date: 2017 – 2019
Status: DEAD

Nike Dead Sneaker Collabs - AIO Bot


So, this one is a little bit of a cheat. Technically speaking, the luxury label Dior has one “ongoing” sneaker collaboration with Air Jordan. However, there was a point where the brand took lengths to put an end to rumors of shoe collaborations. In 2017, Dior announced via a press release that it has NO plans of collaborating with the Swoosh. This is pretty ironic considering they dropped a release with Air Jordan – the Dior x Air Jordan 1.

But, although this is not a dead sneaker collab, it is a dead sneaker collab DREAM. You see, the reason we decided to include this partnership on this list is because of the sneaker Mandela effect. Because of the incidents of 2017, we’ve all had dreams of shoe collaborations between the pair. And, after the Jordan 1, it was basic radio silence.

Shoe Collaborations: Dior & Nike
Date: 2020 – ?
Status: LIMBO


Finally, the last of the dead shoe collaborations include a most recent breakup between Kyrie Irving and Nike. This divorce happened not long after Adidas and Yeezy ended their partnership – around October 27th. And, the strangest thing about Nike’s situation is that they happened for pretty much the same reason: antisemitic comments. The NBA star’s partnership with Nike promptly ended after Irving posted a link to an antisemitic film. You can read all about the breakup here.

Kyrie had a longstanding partnership with Nike that started back in 2014, to expire in October 2023. But, there’s obviously a lot of beef involved in this. Because, although Nike decided to terminate their partnership, the Brooklyn Nets suspended him until November 20th. Make sure to get all the details in the link above! 

Shoe Collaborations: Kyrie Irving & Nike
Date: 2014 – 2022
Status: DEAD