Why, back in my day, we had the Reebok Alien Stomper. The Nike Mag we featured last week may be the undisputed king of the movie sneaker, and while it is a worthy champion in that regard, I think the Alien Stomper also deserves the same amount of hype.
As with the Mag, the Alien Stomper is a child of the late 1980s, making its silver screen debut in 1986’s Aliens as an almost knee-high hi-top with an appropriately sci-fi (for the time) midfoot velcro shroud, a pair of velcro straps further along the upper and an accordion-style tongue.
But unlike the Mag, and according to Reebok, the Alien Stompers were released in small numbers around the time of the movie’s launch, with ‘production’ versions of the ‘bug killers’ only coming in 2003.
That being said, it’s hard to find any info about the 2003 release, probably because the Internet as we know it today didn’t exist back then. Well, it kinda did, but there definitely wasn’t any GOAT or StockX, and sourcing for hype releases actually meant having to trawl physical stores.
You durn kids don’t know how good they have it these days…
End old man rant.
On the 30th anniversary of Aliens in 2016, an exact replica of the prop shoe was released in (but of course) limited quantities for the remarkably low retail price of USD175. Prices on the resale market are understandably as high as the Alien Stompers themselves, with the going rate now hovering around USD2,000, and that’s if you can locate a pair in your size.
But the best thing about the reissued Alien Stomper, which also was released that year, and last year in a far less desirable but far more wearable mid-top was its attention to detail. Packaged in an iridescent silver Weyland-Yutani Corporation (the original evil space corporation) box, the Alien Stompers were an almost 1:1 replica of the shoes Ripley wore in the movie.
The Power Loader, Alien Queen and the bowel-clenching terror of being hunted by a fast lethal xenomorph, thankfully, were not included in the package.
That said, Reebok did release a ‘Final Battle’ Alien Stomper pack with a Power Loader and Alien Queen motif, the former coloured safety yellow with black stripes mimicking the exosuit used in the movie and the latter a triple black rendition with glossy patent leather echoing the Queen’s skin.
Just a couple of months back another Alien Stomper hit the market in a camouflage colourway, with packaging and details echoing the fatigues worn by the film franchise’s Colonial Marines. The idea behind them, details and materials used are solid as always, the latter featuring neoprene and ripstop fabric, but man, they’re kinda… weird.
Anyway, the best Alien Stomper release, aside from the 2016 OG re-release were the ones that hit shelves last year, as part of 40th anniversary celebrations for the original Alien movie. The only real pity is it was the Alien Stomper Mids, though there’s apparently a story behind that.
Apparently, the story behind them is they’re supposed to feel like long-lost prototypes, issued to crew on board Weyland-Yutani craft even before the hi-tops were made. It comes in a triangular retro sci-fi box and in addition to the shoes, you get some Weyland-Yutani logo hangtags taken from concept art and a xenomorph-killing field guide.
The shoes themselves are packed chock-full of references, from the aged materials (I don’t particularly agree with artificial aging, but it serves a purpose here, so it’s alright-ish), to the insoles that marks out these Alien Stompers as official Weyland-Yutani issue and the yellow tag stitched onto the inside of the tongue that carries Ripley’s ID number.
Yes, the Swoosh’s version of space may be a far less terrifying place than Reebok’s, and while nobody can hear you scream in space, they certainly can see you flex.