Normally you need a ticket to ride the Berlin subway. But the city’s transit authority BVG is releasing a pair of sneakers that will double as a subway pass, letting you catch the metro for free for most of 2018.
The shoes, which were created in collaboration with Adidas, are a flashy set of kicks that feature the neon squiggly pattern that covers the transit system’s upholstered seats, with black and yellow laces that mimic the external shell of the trains. But you wouldn’t wear them for looks alone–sewn into the sneakers’ tongue is a fabric annual pass, typically worth $869 to travel in the the two central transit zones of the city.
That makes the shoes a steal for $215. It’s a limited offer–only 500 pairs will be on sale in two Berlin-based shops. But if you’re one of the lucky few who snag the sneaks, there’s a catch: you’d have to wear them every single day, rain or shine, to take advantage of the transit pass. Or, as Feargus O’Sullivan at CityLab suggests, you could tie the laces together and wear them as fashionable neckware, or if you wanted to be boringly practical, you could just lug them around in a bag.
This isn’t the first fashion-transit system collaboration. In 2017, New York’s MTA partnered with the clothing brand Supreme for limited-time subway cards (which caused mayhem as people scrambled to acquire one). Nike previously collaborated with the London Underground to create sneakers that similarly used the pattern from the system’s seat upholstery. But the BVG’s project, with its fabric annual passes, is perhaps the most ambitious. Who wouldn’t want to ride the subway for free in such high-tech, stylish kicks?KS