Converse All Star
If there is one sneaker that crosses all boundaries, it is the Converse All Star "Chuck Taylor"
. While the original All Star was produced in 1917, the "Chuck Taylor
" was born in 1932, named after a basketball player, as a basketball sneaker. In the 1940s and 1950s, Chuck Taylor All Stars were the first choice basketball
sneaker in the US and it is the number one-selling sneaker in the world today. Over 75 years and 800 000 000 sneakers later, Chuck Taylors are still rocked all over the world. The classic black and white hi-tops are as popular as ever.
Nike Air Force 1
AF1s, initially produced in 1982, discontinued in 1983 and re-released in 1986, are truly classic sneakers that were born out of and celebrated within the basketball and hip hop scenes in the US, in particular the hi-tops. While there have been over 1 700 colour variations produced, it is the solid white and solid black AF1s
that carry that essence and emotional connection with fans. The connection is so strong that, over 25 years later, Air Force Ones
still look very much like they did when they were first designed.
is one of Adidas' best-selling sneakers ever and is beautiful in its simplicity. First produced in 1950 and available in a range of colours, the black with three white stripes
classic stays the ideal companion to any outfit. It was actually initially produced for football
players, particularly when playing on slippery surfaces, but it has long made the transition to a "dress" sneaker. The primary difference from other Adidas shoes was the tan gum-rubber
sole. This has changed as they added additional colours, but classic is still classic.
Initially produced by BF Goodrich Company of Canada
in 1935 by Canadian World Champion badminton player John "Jack" Purcell
, Jack Purcell sneakers were bought by Converse in the 1970s. Worn more as casual dress sneakers as opposed to sport, the trademark black stripe on the toe has been seen beneath many a pair of jeans or Dickies
The first endorsement deal between a brand and a rap group was the Adidas/Run-DMC deal in the mid-1980s. It was a natural progression considering the mileage Adidas got out of the track "My Adidas". Run-DMC
rocked the Adidas Superstar
- which is probably more known by its "shell-toes" nickname - and created a global phenomenon
. Initially worn without laces and the tongue sticking up, b-boys brought in the fat laces and now, 40 years since their first introduction, Shell-Toes continue to sell in stores worldwide with the bright extra thick laces.
Nike Air Jordan
The relationship between Nike and Michael Jordan
changed the face of sneaker endorsement and, in 1984, gave birth to a cult sneaker that continues to form a strand in the fabric of our lives. The Air Jordan
has represented excellence, functional design and innovation reflecting both the man himself and his inputs into the design of the sneaker. Initial incarnations are collectors' items, while those that have followed are prized additions to any sneaker collection.
Puma Clyde, first produced in 1973, existed comfortably within the hip hop and skater culture, in addition to being perfect for casual wear. They haven't garnered as much of an obsessive following as others, but are definitely classics.