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Converse unveils depressingly normal DnD sneakers

Cowards can soon buy inoffensive DnD-branded footwear, instead of drawing rad art on their white sneakers with a sharpie, like a hero.

DnD sneakers - a bored emoji superimposed over a white converse shoe, with a red line drawing of a wizard printed on the side

Converse and Wizards of the Coast have teamed up to launch a new limited edition range of DnD sneakers, plus other apparel, in a promotion celebrating the 50th anniversary of DnD. The licensed footwear will be on sale online from April 11.

The new DnD clothing line includes canvas and leather high top sneakers, short and long sleeve t-shirts, and a pair of shorts. There are plenty of retro call backs, like a red screen-print style recreation of Jeff Easley’s DnD Wizard from the second AD&D Player’s Handbook, or art of three 1980s DnD action figures, Kelek the Sorcerer, Warduke the Fighter, and Zarak the Assassin.

Black Converse DnD sneakers with a white print of three old-school DnD characters and the DnD title in green font

The range will be available early from Gary Con on March 21, and can be seen – but not yet ordered – on the Converse website. Prices range from $35 for a hat to $110 for the most expensive sneakers.

Black Converse DnD sneakers with a skeletal hand

Opinion in the Wargamer office is that this line looks tasteful and understated, and that it doesn’t need to exist. The sneakers in particular seem to have been designed to demonstrate the presence of both the DnD and converse brands, with no consideration for how that might actually create something interesting.

Black converse DnD sneakers with an embroidered dnD logo

Black trainers with a big DnD logo, old school characters sharing space with a Converse logo: it lacks Converse’s timeless minimalism, and it doesn’t have the unabashed enthusiasm of nerd art. So what’s the point? Nothing in this range is as cool as a pair of white sneakers with a dragon drawn on using some fabric pens.

DnD Converse t-shit - a pale green t-shirt with a gelatinous cube eating the converse logo

The T-shirts are marginally better, if we ignore the design that’s just a DnD party standing in front of a Converse logo. The Converse logo being dissolved by a gelatinous cube is still just brand cross-breeding, but it is at least unique.

Black DnD Converse T-shirt with an art print of a Wizard and a green dragon pondering an orb

One design is almost pure nerd art – a green dragon and a wizard pondering an orb – which comes close to being something, except the orb is a Converse logo. If we’re going to spoil classic maximalism with a misplaced brand icon, we’d rather wear a meme mashup of a wizard pondering a Dragon Ball.

DnD converse shorts with the classic Player's Handbook idol on the left leg

The shorts from the range feature a reproduction of David Trampier’s cover art for the first edition AD&D Player’s Handbook, a stone idol with jewels for eyes, on the left leg.

This is just so timid: there’s been no attempt to reimagine DnD art history through Converse’s aesthetic, yet the designer didn’t have the conviction to just slap a massive dragon on there. They could at least have put the idol on the ass of the pants to leer at people walking behind you.

DnD Converse t-shit - a white t-shirt with black dice along the left sleeve and an orange print of a dragon

Two pieces in the whole run stands out as having a reason to exist. First, a long-sleeve white t-shirt with a screen-print of an old-school DnD dragon, and line drawings of RPG dice down the left sleeve. This actually achieves something by bringing the brands together, using Converse’s graphic design aesthetic to recontextualise DnD’s pop art, and turning its famous dice into literal icons.

DnD converse hat - a white cap with a black brim, the words "Beware your dungeon master is smiling", and a screen print version of a golem

Then there’s a trucker cap with the motto “Beware…. your Dungeon Master is smiling” in ’70s poster font, along with a grainy photocopied looking reproduction of the stone idol. It’s loud and confident, and the faux-retro graphic design realised with modern production values puts the punky origins of DnD in its modern context.

This is just one of many brand crossovers that DnD maker Wizards of the Coast has organised for its 50th anniversary, including Hawaiian shirts and postage stamps. Regular licensing partner Wizkids is making a range of DnD miniatures based on retro DnD art.

Wargamer rarely has shoe content, but for more DnD news, you can follow us on Google news. We also have handy guides to all the DnD classes and DnD races to help you with your next DnD character build.