Step into the game with the most iconic sneakers

3 min read
06 Nov 2017
3 min read
726 words
From basketball and tennis courts to sidewalks and skate parks, sneakers are everywhere, and have become popular culture icons in their own rights over the last century

1. 1917: Converse All Stars
Widely popular with top basketball players a century ago (yes, you read that right, a century ago), the iconic All Stars still enjoy high street cred today, and rightfully so.

1964: Adidas Stan Smith
It was Adidas that made the world’s first leather tennis shoes, which were endorsed by the then US champ Stan Smith. Come today, they’re a cultural phenomenon, and the reigning champ of all streetwear sneakers, worn by everyone from A list celebrities to top-notch politicians.

1965: Adidas Gazelle
The next retro phenomenon to follow the Stan Smiths was the Gazelle, favoured by the likes of Oasis and Kate Moss, specifically in the 90s. And it’s absolutely no surprise that they’re having their very own big retro revival this year.

1966: Onitsuka Tiger
The first shoes to ever feature the famous tiger stripes, the now beloved Onitsuka Tiger were first worn at the Mexico Olympic Games in 1968.

1968: Puma Suede
Original and unique in its own right, the Puma Suede was a popular step away from typical leather- and canvas-based shoes of the day. And today, these suede shoes’ popularity sees no sign of waning whatsoever with the likes of the Weeknd and Big Sean rocking limited edition collaborations..

1969: Adidas Superstar
Within a few years of their launch, the shell-toed Superstars were worn by 75 per cent of NBA stars and then were seen permanently on hip-hop moguls RUN DMC. Guess we needn’t say nothing no more.

1977: Vans Old Skool
The first American shoe to be designed exclusively with skateboarders in mind, the Vans Old Skool is best known for bearing the iconic ‘Jazz’ side stripe with its signature low-top lace-up silhouette. Now 40 years later, it’s a global streetwear sensation finding its cult following among Hollywood hotties such as Hailey Baldwin and Kristen Stewart and K-pop royalty G-Dragon.

1982: New Balance 990
After many years in development, the 990s was launched as the industry’s most innovative running shoes for the time and it’s no surprise that it’s still doing very well today.

1987: Nike Air Max
Officially re-released this year, the Nike Air Max first came to light in 1987 and rose to immediate prominence with its original Visible Air system.

1989: Reebok Pump
Innovative in its essence, Reebok’s The Pump was the first shoe to boast an internal inflation mechanism—for a snugger fit.