Matt Morand doesn’t carry a lunchbox or three-ring binder anymore, but the Hopkinton dad can still wear a pair of Darth Vader sneakers anytime he wants.
“I’m an engineer, a little bit of a nerd. I think they’re cool,” said Morand, who got new Vader kicks as a gift from his wife to celebrate Friday’s premiere of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”
Designed by Stride Rite, the “Star Wars” sneakers are the Lexington-based company’s first-ever release for the adult sneaker market. Exact replicas of the kids’ Retro Skywalker version, the adult style, cleverly named “Luke I Am Your Father,” features a galactic print, Darth Vader image, Death Star window emblem, and silver “Star Wars” logo.
“Sometimes I wear them with other ‘Star Wars’ stuff, sometimes a T-shirt and jeans. There are probably 15 colors in the sneakers so they’re easy to match,” said Morand, who wears them alongside his 3-year-old son, Dylan, who also scored a pair.
The $100 adult Stride Rites aren’t the only unexpected “Star Wars” offering. Stop & Shop is selling bags of Star Wars apples (though in an unfortunate case of missed marketing opportunity, they are red delicious, not empire). Ugg has an official Heroes footwear collection that includes brown suede Chewbacca slippers with details reminiscent of the Wookie warrior’s ammunition belt.
Morand’s unabashed love for the franchise has run the gamut. He has watched all of the movies hundreds of times each. A Jedi knight for Halloween, the 35-year-old listens regularly to podcasts related to the movies and would wear the sneakers to work if it weren’t at a manufacturing facility.
“I have to wear steel toe shoes on the production floor, but my hard hat is decorated with Star Wars vinyl decals,” he said.