The Hi-Speed Shoes greatly resemble Sonic's shoes. Featuring more foot-shaped proportions and outlines, they are mostly red with tongues, solid white cuffs, and thin white straps with golden fasteners on each end over their middle. The outsoles are yellow, red and grey, highly detailed, and have a red recess below the in-steps. The rims on the front of the outsoles are white, while the heel rims are grey and the rims on the middle have yellow and white arches.
Features and abilities
Like Sonic's shoes, the Hi-Speed Shoes appear virtually friction-proof, showing no wear from being used to run at the speed of sound. In addition, they are specifically made for the grinding maneuver, thereby ensuring high-speed movements on Grind Rails.
In the 2012 release on Xbox 360, the Hi-Speed Shoes are available as an award for the Xbox Live Avatar. These shoes are dubbed "Sonic's 2G Hi-Speed Shoes" and can be unlocked by amassing a total playtime of 10 hours in Sonic Adventure 2. The shoes, however, are not as detailed as their in-game counterpart.
The Hi-Speed Shoes are derived from the real-life Soap shoes, which are shoes made for grinding. They were introduced by Chris Morris of Artemis Innovations Inc. with the brand name "Soap" in 1997. They have a plastic concavity in the sole, which allows the wearer to grind on objects such as pipes, handrails, and stone ledges. The company and their product rapidly gained popularity through fansites, a video game, and live demonstrations. Soap fell to legal vulnerabilities and was readministrated twice, eventually bringing the brand to Heeling Sports Limited. The act of grinding on rails and ledges specifically using Soap shoes has been dubbed "soaping," with the "soaper" being the one performing said act.
Soap in Sonic the Hedgehog
Sonic Adventure 2 presented many billboards, blimps, and benches advertising Soap due to a partnership to promote the product and the new extreme sport, freestyle grinding, that Soap's shoes were made for; the Hi-Speed Shoes in Sonic Adventure 2 were conceptualized for this purpose. Although grinding has remained a core gameplay element in subsequent Sonic games, officially licensed Soap shoes have given way to generic grind shoes. Pending the sale of Soap to In-Stride and later HSL, no actions were taken for the continuation of the partnership.
Sonic was supposed to use his normal shoes in Sonic Adventure 2, but they were replaced by the Hi-Speed Shoes late in development. Early pictures of the Neutral Garden and Sonic Adventure 2 Trial shows Sonic with his normal shoes.
In the opening cutscene in Sonic Adventure 2, Sonic's normal shoes are seen as he jumps out of the helicopter. However, in the next shot of Sonic, he is wearing the Hi-Speed Shoes. This is only seen in the Dreamcast version, as it is fixed in the Sonic Adventure 2: Battle ports.
Interestingly enough, the Soap brand has two shoes named CHAOS_6028 and CHAOS_6029. Whether this is a reference to the Sonic the Hedgehog series is not known.
In one of the early images released for Sonic Heroes, artwork of Sonic wearing his Hi-Speed Shoes from Sonic Adventure 2: Battle was used. However, they were replaced with his regular shoes in the final game.
↑Xbox Live. Awards. "Sonic's 2G Hi-Speed Shoes description: Slip into Sonic's Hi-Speed Shoes and experience the ultimate level of record smashing speed."
↑ 2.02.1Sega of America. Sonic Q and A. Sega of America. Archived from the original on 13 June 2004. “Darrell C: Why did you change your shoes in Sonic Adventure 2 Battle? / Sonic: Those were special shoes that were specifically made for grinding. It was something that I've always wanted to try and it sure came in handy! Look forward for some more intense and extreme grinding in my next adventure, Sonic Heroes.”