The Air Shoes, also referred to as the Hover Shoes, are objects that appear in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. They are the trademark shoes worn by Shadow the Hedgehog. Their origins are unknown, although Shadow has worn them since his awakening on the Space Colony ARK.
The Air Shoes are mainly white and smooth with black heel regions. Above the topline, each shoe has a red tongue and black collar encircled by a single Inhibitor Ring. Around the rim of the soles, the Air Shoes have red strips of metal on the rear and front of the bottom, broken below the in-steps. Over time, these strips have been depicted with spots where the red paint has been scratched off, pertaining perhaps to either Shadow's longevity or battle scars. On the bottom of each sole is an orange-yellow line of five small "jets" (three up front and two on the heel).
Features and traits
The Air Shoes (as their name suggests) can expel air from their jets to create a cushion of air, which lets Shadow hover just above the surface of the ground. This allows him to glide just above the surface on seemingly any terrain, much like a hovercraft. For Shadow, the Air Shoes are the primary source of his speed. With them, he can achieve speeds rivalling (and supposedly even surpassing) Sonic the Hedgehog's running speed.
The Air Shoes' jets are controlled by Shadow at will. By increasing their intensity, Shadow can produce fire from his Air Shoes' jets to attack opponents or provide extra power to jump. The Air Shoes can also produce strong enough propulsion to let Shadow hover in midair (though they have no flight capabilities) and boost forward at speeds matching the Boost at a hovering height just above the ground.
In other media
In the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by Archie Comics, the Air Shoes are called rocket-skates. They are worn by Shadow the Hedgehog and allow him to travel at near-Sonic speeds.
In the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by IDW Publishing, the Air Shoes are called rocket skates. They are worn by Shadow the Hedgehog and allow him to travel at near-Sonic speeds.
In the Sonic Boom franchise, a version of the Air Shoes appear, where they belong to Shadow the Hedgehog. In this media, the shoes keep much of the same appearance, with the only change being that they have larger cuffs and the red goes onto the shoes as well.
- Prior to his transformation into his crystalline form, Mephiles wore Air Shoes identical to Shadow's, although he never used them.
- The only time Shadow has not worn his Air Shoes is in the Sonic Riders series, as he wears shoes similar in design. Though in the first Sonic Riders, his signature gear was Darkness which are similar to his Air Shoes.
- It should be noted that the light of Shadow's Hover Shoes has differed in games, as in Sonic Adventure 2 and Sonic Heroes it was white. In Shadow the Hedgehog onwards, their light is yellow, occasionally with an orange hue, and it was red in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006).
- In Sonic and the Black Knight, Sir Lancelot also has Air Shoes styled as sabatons.
- Sega (13 November 2011). Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Wii. Sega. Area/level: London Party. "Shy Guy: The shoes that Shadow wears are called Jet Shoes, right? [...] They're Air Shoes! They let him glide across the ground as he runs."
- Sonic Team, Sonic Team USA (27 February 2004). Sonic Battle. Game Boy Advance. Sega. "Shadow Run: Shadow's running skill. With help from his Air Shoes, he can run faster than Sonic."
- Sonic Rivals 2 (PlayStation Portable) United States instruction booklet, p. 8.
- Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood official website. Characters: Shadow the Hedgehog. Sega. Archived from the original on 24 July 2008. Retrieved on 4 July 2016. “Shadow is an artificially-created life form designed by the renowned scientist, Professor Gerald Robotnik, at the height of his career. His trademark hover shoes propel him at extreme speeds that rival those of Sonic and he has the ability to distort time and space using "Chaos Control."”
- Sonic Team (18 November 2005). Shadow the Hedgehog. PlayStation 2. Sega. Area/level: Final Haunt. Cutscene 5.
- Sonic Team, Sonic Team USA (27 February 2004). Sonic Battle. Game Boy Advance. Sega. "Shadow Slider: Shadow's dash attack. He uses the fire from his Air Shoes to attack opponents."
- Sonic Team, Sonic Team USA (27 February 2004). Sonic Battle. Game Boy Advance. Sega. "Shadow Jump: Shadow's jumping skill. He uses the power of his Air Shoes to jump."
- Sonic Team (4 November 2011). Sonic Generations. PlayStation 3. Sega. Boss: Shadow the Hedgehog.