Though over the years a number of sneaker companies have chosen to dress up their kicks in various foodstuffs—from Newcastle pale ale-patterned Nikes to cheese burger and fries-flavored Asics—ever since 2012, Vans and the Meatball Shop have existed as the quintessential odd couple of footwear.
First, some four years ago, the 50-year-old sneaker company and the New York City restaurant chain placed miniature meat grinders on pairs of its classic canvas kicks. Then, in 2014, the companies teamed up again on a diamond-patterned shoe with one, slightly-more subtle meat grinder placed above the heel.
The release will also mark "Love Vans Day" at Meatball Shop locations throughout the city. Customers who walk in wearing any pair of Vans will be given a free plate of Mini Buffalo Balls with the purchase of another menu item.
"Ever since Steve van Doren came in for dinner and loved our meatballs we've had a special relationship," Holzman, the Meatball Shop's chef and owner, said in a statement to First We Feast. "Getting to work directly with Steve to design the shoes is a very cool experience, he's a great guy with an iconic brand that we're extremely excited to work with. For our fourth edition we decided to play with one of their classics and add a little Meatball Shop love!"
Fans can purchase the Vans x Meatball Shop collabo at the restaurant or online, though word is still out on where we can cop one of these very stylish “Balls” tees.