The Best St. Patrick’s Day Sneakers Of All-Time
Outside of collaborative works, footwear brands love nothing more than seasonal themes. From Chinese New Year to Halloween and everything in between, sneaker brands are gifted an easy win when a holiday rolls around. Just one of those occasions happens to be today, St. Patrick’s Day, and while this year is dry from special-edition releases, there has been plenty of bangers from yesteryear.
From prolific players like Nike SB to under-the-radar releases, St. Patrick’s Day has often been a go-to theme for sneaker brands. Few measure up to the early Nike SB and Nike Sportswear pairs, but as you’ll see, the last two decades have had their fair share of classics.
So before you dust off that shamrock-laden vest and break out the green attire to celebrate all things Irish today, let’s take a quick look back at some of the best St. Patrick’s Day sneakers of all time:
Nike SB Dunk Low “St. Patrick’s Day” (2005)
The first major entrant into the St. Patrick’s Day series, Nike SB created an ultra-minimal Dunk Low dressed in white and green to honor the annual occasion. Though it lacked any callouts to the holiday, fans were quick to name these after the patron saint of Ireland.
Nike Air Force 1 Low PRM “St. Patrick’s Day” (2006)
In 2006, Nike paid a more obvious homage to Irish culture with the patent-leather-built AF1 Low Premium. Centered around a crisp white and green, the silhouette further emphasized the holiday with a leprechaun’s hat illustration on the lateral heel. Served up at the pinnacle of patent leather’s popularity, the pair became an instant classic — and remains so to this day.
Nike Air Max 90 “St. Patrick’s Day” (2007)
Following the success of the previous year’s release, Nike continued their St. Patrick’s Day theme with the Air Max 90, featuring four-leaf clovers and gold accents. The mudguard of the shoe was adorned with the iconic clovers, while the Swoosh logo was given a striking metallic gold finish, standing out amongst the various shades of green that make up the rest of the sneaker. This design detail adds a touch of luxury and elegance to the playful St. Patty’s Day theme, thus completing an incredible three-year run from the Swoosh.
Nike Air Stab “St. Patrick’s Day” (2008)
Though the market may have forgotten about the Nike Air Stab, we surely haven’t. The Tinker Hatfield-designed sneaker caught its second wind in the mid-to-late naughties, and this “St Partick’s Day” release was just one of several top-tier releases for the silhouette.
House of Pain x adidas Campus 80s (2009)
In 2009, iconic hip-hop group House of Pain collaborated with adidas to create a St. Patrick’s Day-themed Campus 80s. Covered in green and featuring co-branded details, including the band’s logo on the tongue and “Fine Malt Lyrics” stamped in gold on the midfoot, the pair was limited to only 1,500 units. Naturally, the sneaker quickly became a coveted item among collectors and fans alike. Over a decade later, the House of Pain x adidas Campus 80s “St. Patrick’s Day” sneaker remains a rare find.
Saucony Jazz “St. Patrick’s Day” (2013)
Saucony took a unique approach to their St. Patrick’s Day tribute in 2013 with the Saucony Jazz. While most brands had previously worked in white and green, Saucony offered up an alternate black finish to their famed Jazz runner — only subtle green accents in the stitching, laces, heel, and portions of the sole. However, the shoe still celebrated the holiday with heavy-handed usage of shamrock graphics on the mudguard and heel tab, as well as the Celtic cross design on the insole.
Nike SB Dunk High “St. Patrick’s Day” (2013)
After the success of 2007’s Air Max 90, gold became consistent amongst St Partick’s Day sneakers – a good luck charm, you’d say. Nike SB took it in its stride in 2013, when it dropped a seasonal Dunk High, with a two-tone leather build posting a beautiful tumbled gold leather Swoosh. Though there was an absence of overt holiday-themed graphics, it still remains one of the most memorable St Patty’s Day drops of all time.
New Balance 990v3 “St. Patrick’s Day” (2014)
The New Balance 990v3 “St. Patrick’s Day” was released as an ode to Ireland in early 2014, long before the mass market caught on to the Massachusetts-based brand. Rocking a vibrant green mesh and leather upper, a playfully-flecked midsole, and staple grey accents, the pair proves a striking mix. Accents of gold continue on from others on this list, while a clover motif, spotted at the heel, confirmed the brand’s alignment with the holiday.
New Balance 990v4 “New Green” (2018)
Just four years on from its most famous St. Patty’s Day drop, New Balance returned with a striking all-green variant of their fourth 990 model. Though no obvious callouts linked the pair to the holiday, it’s a two-tone green construct, with white and black accents, and it’s release in March left no ambiguity to its intention; after all, New Balance has a strong bond with the city of Boston, home of the Irish settlement.
adidas Dublin “St Patrick’s Day” (2018)
In 2018, adidas decided to pay homage to the holiday by releasing their iconic adidas Dublin silhouette in partnership with Euro retailers size?. The shoe’s design was a nod to the country’s national color and the traditional St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Featuring a classic green suede construct, debossed patent leather on the tongue, creamy overlays and liners, and all-over shamrock graphics on the insole, the shoe was completed with a golden hit of “Dublin” branding, giving it a truly authentic Irish touch.
adidas Handball SPZL “St Patrick’s Day” (Green – 2019)
In 2019, adidas released a limited edition pack of sneakers to celebrate the day of Ireland’s patron saint — and the standout was evidently the green edition of the adidas Handball SPZL “St Patrick’s Day.”. The shoe was designed with the traditional green and orange color palette and featured gold foil detailing on the lateral side branding, complete with a small shamrock graphic.
adidas Handball SPZL “St Patrick’s Day” (Brown – 2019)
Released alongside the previously mentioned “Green” shoe, the adidas Handball SPZL “St Patrick’s Day” (Brown) took a more literal approach to celebrate the nation of Ireland. A clear representation of the Irish national flag, the shoe features a tricolour design in green, white, and orange, which sits on top of a “Clear Brown” suede base. Like the “Green” colorway, the adidas Handball SPZL “St Patrick’s Day Brown” also includes references to St. Patrick himself in Gaelic, making it one of the most authentic and Irish-inspired sneakers on the market.
Nike Air Force 1 Low “Shamrock” (2021)
In 2021, Nike released a new iteration of the Air Force 1 to honor St. Patrick’s Day. It instantly earned the “Shamrock” moniker thanks to a specially-designed quarter panel of debossed clover motifs. The theme was then strengthened by a mix of white and two-tone green leathers that really harnessed the holiday like few before it.
Nike Air Max 90 “Shamrock” (2021)
Also in 2021, the Swoosh delivered a matching Air Max 90 for St. Patty’s Day, complete with debossed mudguards, two-tone green accents, and a simple white mesh base. Clean, classic, and craic — what more could you ask for from a sneaker?
Saucony Shadow 6000 “Shamrock” (2022)
In 2022, Saucony released a new sneaker to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day – the Saucony Shadow 6000 “Shamrock”. The shoe features a prominently embroidered clover on the tongue, which is a nod to the Irish culture and the holiday itself. The clover graphic is also featured on the sockliner, adding another subtle detail to the shoe’s design.
Nike SB Dunk Low “St. Patrick’s Day” (2022)
2022 saw Nike SB jump back into St. Patrick’s Day pride, as it introduced a brand-new SB Dunk Low for the occasion. Ostensibly inspired by their High from 2013, the team delivered another all-green upper and gold-Swooshed set-up, this time switching materials to suede and high-gloss metallics, respectively. An embroidered four-leaf clover at the lateral ankle confirmed the pair’s alignment with the holiday, while a seasonal white and gum sole unit wrapped what would become an instant holiday classic.