Anta seems to be taking a page from its Chinese footwear competitor Li Ning. The latter brand has fully leaned into freak show sneakers, from a wavy basketball-hiking hybrid to a metal-lined sneaker fit for a Terminator. Anta hasn't been anywhere near as exciting to follow, as flagship athletes Klay Thompson and Gordon Hayward are the most it has to offer. That may start to change, however, with the help of Versace footwear designer, Salehe Bembury.
Bembury's moonlighting with New Balance helped turned the 2002R into a rich and textured sneaker inspired by Arizona's Antelope Canyon. He brings an eye for the outdoors to Anta, as well as more of the eccentricity that comes with his Versace creations.
What's cooking? — For months, Bembury has been teasing his Anta collab before finally revealing a full look over the weekend. The yet-to-be-named kicks look to be built for hiking, boasting a beefy midsole with overlapping wires and a rugged tread underneath. Up top, the upper neatly arranges a series of bubble cutouts that bring even more texture into the mix. Rope lacing makes its ties to hiking even clearer, and a whopping seven color schemes signal a lot of fun ahead.
Aside from the all-black and all-pink versions, the rest use colors liberally to enhance the distinct shapes of the upper and midsole. Contrasting colors appear underneath the stacked wires and inside the bubbles, making for some noisy footwear. A few of the pairs become even more chaotic with an additional pattern on the eyelets and heel tab. Some may see it as garish, but it's a hell of a lot more intriguing than anything else Anta has going on.
Stay tuned for more deets — As previously mentioned, the shoe still doesn't even have a given name, let alone a release date. Bembury says he'll release more information through his mailing list, which you can sign up for right here.