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Sneaker Hype: What’s The Big Deal With The Sneaker Trend?

Have you heard the hype? Sneakers are in big time, and they’re here to stay. From high fashion runways and street style blogs, sneakers are everywhere. But what is it about sneaker culture that has taken over the fashion world? Why have they become so popular?

We’ll try and get the root of where this trend started and why it’s taking over the world, one step at a time. From sneaker history to highlighting the most iconic footwear revered by sneakerheads across the globe, by the end of this post, you’ll be pining for a fresh pair of kicks.

sneaker culture of sneakerheads

A Brief History Of The Sneaker

Let’s go back to the beginning – the true beginning.

Rubber-soled shoes have been around since the 1870s, and although they looked more like plimsolls, they could be considered the first ever sneaker or trainer on the market. Plimsoles were popular with people playing sports and wouldn’t be amiss on tennis or croquet courts.

Because they were lightweight and comfortable, people would also wear them on vacation, giving them a break from the tough leather shoes or boots they would normally wear to work.

Fast-forward 25 years, and JW Fosters & Sons released the first-ever running shoe helping runners win multiple events and medals thanks to the unique design and composition of the shoe.

In 1907 we started to see the first basketball shoes hitting the scene, and in 1936 the first-ever canvas tennis shoe with a rubber sole came onto the market.

The sneaker as we know it today first came on the scene in the 1970s when athletic companies like Nike and Adidas began to produce stylish yet comfortable shoes for everyday use. The marketing campaigns around these products pushed them into the mainstream, and sneaker culture was officially born.

Now, sneakers are a fashion must-have, and they can be spotted everywhere, from the catwalk to the street, with variations on the theme, including sneaker slippers, slip-on sneakers and high-performance sneakers for sports like fell running, rock-climbing and mountain biking.

What Is Sneaker Culture?

Sneaker culture is a way of life. It goes beyond simply wearing and collecting sneakers; it’s about appreciating their history and design, as well as understanding their relationship to fashion trends and streetwear.

Sneakerheads have their own language, talk about different silhouettes and colours, and obsess over new releases from designers.  Finding the perfect fit, looking for rare and limited edition sneakers, and staying ahead of the trends are integral to sneaker life and the very nature of sneaker culture.

In recent years, sneaker culture has exploded with the rise of social media and influencers showcasing their outfits and talking about which sneakers are worth investing in. This has made it easier than ever for people to access information and keep up with what’s new in the industry.

Most Famous Sneakers & Their Origin Stories

Heard of Air Jordans?  Nike teamed up with basketball superstar Michael Jordan in 1985 to release a limited-edition shoe. This collaboration would go on to become one of the most popular and sought-after sneakers ever released, leading to an entire culture being born around these shoes.

Nike Air Trainer 1

In 1987 Nike’s legendary designer Tinker Hatfield released the first-ever Nike Air Trainer 1, which revolutionised running shoes with its unique design and colour palette. With it, Hatfield created an entire subculture dedicated to sneaker collecting and customisation. It was endorsed by athletes like John McEnroe and Bo Jackson, which further elevated the shoes to cult status.

Vans Half Cab

Roll on to 1992, and another game-changing sneaker hits the market. The Vans Half Cab, a skate shoe designed by pro-skater Steve Caballero, has become an iconic staple in skateboarding and streetwear culture and is the first-ever signature skate shoe.

Combining comfort with style, it has become one of the most recognisable shoes around the world and is loved by skaters, young and old.

Adidas Samba

We can’t go any further without mentioning the Adidas Samba.  This iconic shoe was first released in 1950 and has since become a classic silhouette.

It’s beloved by style-seekers on both the street and the court, with its minimalistic design being much-loved for decades. The classic three stripes on the side that signify an Adidas product are still a popular feature to this day.

Adidas Stan Smith

Last but certainly not least is the iconic Adidas Stan Smith which has been around since 1971 when French tennis champion Robert Haillet was featured in the sneaker’s first ad.

The shoe was named after tennis legend Stan Smith, who started wearing it in 1973 and gave the sneaker its signature look with a simple green heel patch. Since then, it has become a symbol of timeless style worn by fashion icons from all walks of life.

Can I Kick It? Why Sneakers Hold a Special Place in Streetwear History

From its humble beginnings to the sneaker phenomenon of today, it’s fair to say that sneakers have firmly cemented their place in streetwear history. They’ve evolved from being a performance shoe to being an essential part of any wardrobe, with many people now using them as a way to express their personal style

Sneakers are constantly changing and evolving, and with new technologies continually being developed, the future for sneaker culture is looking brighter than ever. As the world of sneakers continues to diversify and expand, it’s clear that they will remain a staple in streetwear history for many years to come.


Read More:

Why Nike is so popular? How and why they dominate the market

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