20 Inspired Sneakers That Are Straight Copies


Imitation is always the sincerest form of flattery and we take a look at 20 sneaker inspirations that are basically straight copies of an original. Copying can be both good and bad. Not everyone can afford to drop two bills on kicks every week. So sometimes, it’s nice to have the options there. And, when you’re stunting, you can get down on some really dope kicks too. Because as you’ll see in this feature, the imitations aren’t just limited to $30 kicks at a department store.

Champion Ingage Runner

Copy Inspiration: Nike Roshe Run

Champion’s Ingage runner is an interesting mashup aimed at the sneakerhead on a budget. Part Roshe Run, part Nike Free, truthfully, the Ingage isn’t a bad looking shoe. And all for under $30!

Fubu Wrath

Copy Inspiration: Jordan Spiz’ike

Oh, you forgot about Fubu, huh? Well don’t sleep on their shoes homie! If you missed out on those Jordan Spiz’ikes, the Fubu Wrath might be right up your alley. You’d even have a little cash leftover too.

Champion Layup

Copy Inspiration: LeBron 11

Recently brought into our collective consciousness by Complex’s Russ Bengston, these Champion Layup kicks seem to bear a striking resemblance to that of LeBron’s most recent silo, the LeBron XI.

Hender Scheme Manual Industrial Products 10

Copy Inspiration: Jordan IV

You’d be forgiven if you’ve never heard of Japanese brand Hender Scheme. But they make some really dope, high-quality takes on some of the sneaker game’s most iconic kicks. The only difference between these beauties and a normal set of IVs is the color and quality. Well, that and about $850.

Champion Viktor

Copy Inspiration: LeBron 10

Looking at the evidence, it’s easy to see that Champion takes it’s inspiration from Nike’s top tier basketball signatures. So, while they took some cues from the LeBron XI for the Layup, it wasn’t the first time they’ve drawn from the LBJ line. Here is the Viktor; clearly a take on the LeBron X.

Hender Scheme Manual Industrial Products 04

Copy Inspiration: Vans Era

It’s crazy because these “copies” come in two varieties: budget and extremely high-end (re: ridiculously expensive). As is the case for the $800 Hender Scheme Manual Industrial Products 04, that bears the likeness of a plain old pair of $45 Vans Eras.

Avia Breathe

Copy Inspiration: Nike Roshe Run

The Roshe Run was supposed to be Nike’s stylish, low-cost silhouette. And, due to it’s huge success, it was just a matter of time before we saw even cheaper versions floating around shops like Walmart and Payless Shoes. Here is Avia’s Breathe…look familiar? They’re not even bad for under twenty bucks.

Starter Force

Copy Inspiration: Nike Free Run 2

Oh, you thought Starter just made hats and jackets? Well get down on these Force running shoes. They’re the spitting image of the popular Nike Free Run 2. All for under $20! Heck, you can even hit up the dollar menu on the way home!

Hender Scheme Manual Industrial Products 01

Copy Inspiration: Nike Air Force 1 High

The appropriately numbered Hender Scheme Manual Industrial Products 01, is a beautiful shoe. This luxurious take on the Nike Air Force 1 High makes us wish we had a few extra zeroes in the ol’ bank account. These are baller.

Champion Gusto

Copy Inspiration: Nike Free Run 4.0

In one of the more obvious copies on this list, the Champion Gusto runner bears an uncanny resemblance to that of the popular Nike Free 4.0 model.

Air Speed Skate Shoe

Copy Inspiration: Vans Era

The Vans Era is such a simple, classic sneaker, it’s no wonder there are so many kicks out there that look just like them. Just look at these generically named “Skate Shoe” from a Walmart brand called “Air Speed.”

Avia Noah

Copy Inspiration: New Balance 993

Just like you, we figured that Avia went out of business a long time ago. But, turns out, their still spitting out sneakers left and right. Check out the Noah, which is a dead ringer for the New Balance 993.

Hender Scheme Manual Industrial Products 09

Copy Inspiration: adidas Micropacer

This is an interesting one. HS’s Manual Industrial Products line typically reproduces kicks that have more mainstream appeal (see their takes on the AJ IV or AF1). But MIP 09 takes it’s inspiration from the curious adidas Micropacer. It’s not that we don’t like the Micropacer. We just find it odd to see a “luxury” take on them.

Nike WMNS Dunk Sky High

Copy Inspiration: Isabel Marant Bekett

As evidenced by the majority of this list, typically Nike is the one whose designs are being copied. But the tables were turned in the case of the ladies Dunk Sky Hi. High-end French designer Isabel Marant actually started the so-called “high-heeled sneaker” wave you’ve seen all the hottest female celebs on, with the super-dope Bekett silo. The biggest problem? Her kicks usually run north of $600. So, back in 2012, in came Nike with the excellent high-heeled take on the iconic Dunk High. That’s a good look!

Shaq Platinum 3 Ball

Copy Inspiration: LeBron 11

When you think about Shaq shoes, you probably think about the Shaqnosis, Shaq Attaq, or one of his other remarkable popular Reebok kicks. However, what many simply don’t realize is that, for well over a decade now, Shaq has owned a company that produces low-cost athletic shoes for retailers like Walmart, Payless and the like. Throughout the label’s history, they’ve been shameless in the replication of popular Nike designs. Here is an example of their LeBron XI-inspired “Shaq Platinum 3 Ball.”

Hender Scheme Manual Industrial Products 02

Copy Inspiration: adidas Superstar

Oh, we’re not done with the Manual Industrial Products line just yet. Here we have 02, a high-end copy of the legendary adidas Superstar. These are dope.

Nike Cortez

Copy Inspiration: Onitsuka Tiger Corsair

We’ve documented the story of the Nike Cortez and Onitsuka Tiger Corsair on the site several times, so we won’t bore you with the details here. But, suffice it to say that the Nike Cortez may go down as the most famous sneaker “copy” of all time. The success of the Nike Cortez in the late ’60s and early ’70s helped Nike begin to establish a foothold in the US sneaker market…one they (obviously) still hold to this day.

Saint Laurent SL/10H High Top

Copy Inspiration: Air Jordan I

Look familiar? While many of Saint Laurent’s designs could have made this list, we’re partial to the SL10 High Top because of it’s uncanny resemblance to our beloved Air Jordan Is. They even come in the exact same colorways! Well, think of it this way, you can either pay resale on those Royal Is, or you can try and catch these SLs on clearance! It’s always nice to have options.

Lagerfeld Trainers

Copy Inspiration: New Balance 410

This one was interesting because of the recent legal battle surrounding the “inspiration.” German fashion mogul Karl Lagerfeld is known worldwide for his high-end designer label. But it was the recent Lagerfeld Trainers that made waves of late when none other than New Balance hit him with a lawsuit, alleging trademark infringement. And, when you compare the Lagerfeld Trainers to a sneaker like the NB 410, it’s no wonder New Balance got the lawyers involved.

Shaq Back Door

Copy Inspiration: Jordan CP3.VI

And don’t forget the Shaq “Back Door,” which looks remarkably similar to the Jordan CP3 VI. Not bad for just $30! It’s all about ballin’ on a budget, er, lasting more than one run up the court.


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  • jacob paul

    this list sucks

    • P3rry

      you mad cause this is what your closet consist of?

  • P3rry

    Hender scheme should not be on here.


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