A professional wrestler’s entrance done right is nothing short of captivating. Stone Cold’s glass shattering. Undertaker’s gong. The pyro shooting off as Shawn Michaels drops to his knees after dancing down the entrance ramp. Each provides an instant shot of adrenaline that fans cannot keep their eyes off of. These days, the catchy music and pyro is still important, but another element of the entrance has become just as important for certain superstars in recent years. What pair of sneakers are they wearing tonight?

Over the past decade or so, sneakers have continued to gain popularity within professional wrestling. Wrestlers aren’t just walking down the ramp in traditional boots anymore. Now, more and more superstars are choosing to add a new layer to their character by wearing rare sneakers. In some cases, it’s a classic Air Jordan, like the “Bred” 4s. In others, wrestlers like Kofi Kingston have laced up custom pairs from Mache for the biggest moments of their careers. In 2022, you even have some people wearing one-of-one hybrids. Liv Morgan’s knee-high Air Jordan 1 customs by Mache are a perfect example. 

There’s no denying that sneakers are bigger in pro wrestling right now than they have ever been before. But despite the Young Bucks claiming they started the whole sneakers in wrestling trend, that doesn’t mean this is all new. We know you probably remember John Cena wearing Reebok Pumps throughout the 2000s. But how about Jim Ross interviewing Stone Cold in some Air Jordan 12s or the Killer Bees wearing “Iowa” Dunk Highs back in 1987?

Ahead of the Royal Rumble this weekend, which is sure to feature its fair share of memorable sneakers, we decided to take a deeper look at the history of sneakers in pro wrestling.