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These Awesome Women Artists Made 50 Unique Sneakers to Represent All 50 States

Show some state pride right down to your feet.

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Courtesy Adidas


For a digital auction, Adidas and Refinery29 asked female artists to design a limited-edition line of UltraBOOST X shoes based on all 50 states. Artist Meagan Morrison based the Alabama pair off its state flower, the camellia, she tells Business Insider. (But, we can’t just tell where you’re from based on your shoes—we can also tell where you’re from based on how you say these nine things.)

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The Alaska running shoe design by Mari Orr is reminiscent of snow-capped mountains and ice. Find out if it’s time to replace the running shoes ruining your workout.

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Sophia Chang designed the Arizona pair, which used colors inspired by a desert sunset. Find out how to keep your running shoes stink-free.

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This sneaker, designed by Jordana Schrager, looks very Americana but is specific to Arkansas. The red, white, and blue diamonds represent the diamond mines in the state, which the Arkansas flag also features.

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“The first time visiting California was a few years ago, near the wide open spaces, the water, vibrant country colors, Venice beach. I really wanted the shoe to represent the landscapes that women would be running through,” Morrison says in a video.

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Courtesy Adidas


Aquamarine is Colorado’s state gemstone, which is why Carrie Chan used green-blue colors in her design.

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The cherry blossom festival in New Haven, Connecticut, draws crowds every year, so Morrison used springtime as inspiration for these shoes. Don’t miss these other gorgeous springtime destinations around America.

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The Delaware River runs through five states—most notably its namesake, where it empties into Delaware Bay to head to the Atlantic Ocean. Schrager used the river for inspiration, incorporating flowing textures and bold colors.

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Swiss cheese plant—also known as Mexican breadfruit, hurricane plant, or, scientifically, Monstera deliciosa—is native to Mexican rainforests but also thrives in hot, humid Florida, which is why Jenny K. used it in her design.

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A Georgia peach isn’t just a sweet Southern belle—it’s also a must-eat from the state. Lizzie Darden even added a cute touch with a leaf hanging from the laces.

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Artist Bree Poort hoped the island state’s sneakers would call to mind the earth meeting water. “I feel rooted here, and every symbol on the pair of shoes has a story to tell,” she tells Business Insider. Booking a cheap flight to Hawaii just became easier than ever.

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Courtesy Adidas


Fittingly, Chan used a jewel tone for The Gem State. Specifically, she went with Idaho’s state stone: star garnet. Learn more crazy facts about all 50 states.

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Chang’s Illinois kicks are reminiscent of learning state facts in elementary school. She included the state bird (cardinal) and flower (violet), plus corn to represent its crops.

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Home of the Indy 500, Indiana is hugely into NASCAR. Artist Jen Mussari designed the state’s sneakers with an auto racing flag—just what any athlete needs when getting revved for a run.

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Driving through Iowa, you’ll pass through a patchwork of farmland similar to the design of these Adidas. Orr added 3D elements to the grass to give texture.

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Artist Maria Castillo designed the Sunflower State’s running shoe around the bright plant, but its bright colors are cheery even on cloudy days.

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This sneaker by Mussari is all about the Kentucky Derby. Roses represent the garland given to the winner and the greens are for the herbs in a mint julep. Brush up on these 17 facts about the Kentucky Derby you never knew.

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For New Orleans, Chang spiked the Louisiana kicks with symbols of Mardi Gras: a purple, yellow and green color palette, masquerade masks, and confetti. Check out these must-do adventures in all 50 states.

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Artist Lizzie Darden wanted to use food “as a uniting factor and symbol of community,” she tells Business Insider. What better Maine pick than fresh lobster? We’ll take ours on a roll with mayonnaise, please. Find out what your state looks like designed out of food.

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For home of the Chesapeake Bay, Orr was inspired by slick fish scales and lush waters. e

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“For the Massachusetts shoe, I drew from the varsity theme idea, as well as some Americana iconography and colors like stars and stripes,” says Castillo in a video.

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Poort kept this shoe mostly white to represent the winter ice in Michigan, whose nickname is Water Winter Wonderland. Find out how to keep your white sneakers clean.

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Minnesota got its own ice treatment form Castillo, who wanted to evoke a cheerful, slip-slidey feeling. Make sure your shoes have good tread!

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The Mississippi Petrified Forest is thought to be 36 million years old. An ancient river carried maple and fir down to current-day Mississippi, where the logs became petrified—and became inspiration for Chan’s design.

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Morrison designed the Missouri pair to reflect its landscape—specifically, its “amber waves of grain,” she tells Business Insider. Check out these photos of America’s national parks that will leave you awestruck.

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The Montana design was inspired by its state flower, the bitterroot flower. The herb’s bloom is “known as the resurrection flower because of its perseverance through the dry season,” Jenny K. tells Business Insider.

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Goldenrod, the state flower of Nebraska, are sprinkled over these sneakers by Orr, and the heel ties in its bright colors, too.

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The blue on this Vegas-inspired pair is meant to be “playful and relaxing, just like a vacation in the city,” Chang tells Business Insider.

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New Hampshire

What could be more relaxing than lilac? Jenny K. incorporated the New Hampshire state flower into her design.

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New Jersey

Think the only good pizza comes from New York and Chicago? Au contraire, says Mussari, who tells Business Insider that New Jerseyans are even more serious about their pizza than their neighboring state is. Have you seen this magical fairy trail in suburban New Jersey?

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New Mexico

The bright colors of the New Mexican desert inspired these vibrant Adidas sneakers by Schrager.

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New York

“For the New York shoe, I pulled from my own direct experience with the graffiti culture, brownstone buildings, spray paint, a lot of graffiti elements into it,” says Castillo in a video. New York City is one of the best places to visit if you’re a solo traveler.

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North Carolina

North Carolina is the only place in America with an official state carnivorous plant, so its Venus flytrap made a fun choice for Jenny K.

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North Dakota

In southwestern North Dakota, you can find Nokota horses, a feral and semi-feral breed that runs wild, like the ones in Mussari’s pair.

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Buckeyes aren’t just for Ohio State University. The plant also happens to be Ohio’s state tree, and Schrager used it as a jump-off point when designing these shoes.

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As part of Tornado Alley, Oklahoma sees about 62 tornadoes a year, according to the NOAA. Mussari used wind-blown wheat fields in her design.

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Poort kept this design clean and simple, representing the balance of indoor drudgery and fun work outside. Learn this one-minute trick to make your old sneakers look new again.

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Chang wanted to give ode to Pennsylvanian forests, but kept the look clean with simple black and white.

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Rhode Island

When you put this shoe straight up and down with the heel to the ground, it resembles a lighthouse, says Poort. But look at it from above, and you’ll see a lifeboat-like design.

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South Carolina

The foodie trend continues with Darden’s South Carolina sneakers, which were inspired by shrimp and grits.

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South Dakota

Sure, South Dakota has Mount Rushmore, but it also has the rest of the Badlands, which served as inspiration for Orr’s design. Learn the behind-the-scenes story behind how one man’s father helped carve Mount Rushmore.

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Tennessee isn’t just for music lovers; it’s for foodies, too, which is why Darden was inspired by Memphis barbecue.

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Chan designed this pair around blue topaz, the state gem of Texas.

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The Southwest has landscapes unlike anything else you’ll see in the world. Schrager created this pair to resemble the desert sand, rock formations, and open skies.

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Green mountain maidenhair fern—which Jenny K. put on the toe of this pair—is a rare plant found only in northern Vermont and southeastern Quebec.

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Virginia is for lovers, which could be why these sneakers feels so enchanting. Morrison says she was inspired by the color of cardinals, the state bird.

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For Washington, which borders the Pacific, Poort was inspired by the ocean. Don’t miss these tips for cleaning any shoe.

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West Virginia

Castillo incorporated large peaks into the design for the Mountain State. But instead of sticking with snowy whites and blues, she used splashes of bright color.

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Wisconsin cheeseheads will flip for Darden’s cheesy design, which is complete with a cracker as its vehicle.

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Jade—which can range from almost white to deep green—is Wyoming’s state gemstone, so Chan pulled in its colors for this pair.

Marissa Laliberte
Marissa Laliberte-Simonian is a London-based associate editor with the global promotions team at WebMD’s and was previously a staff writer for Reader's Digest. Her work has also appeared in Business Insider, Parents magazine, CreakyJoints, and the Baltimore Sun. You can find her on Instagram @marissasimonian.