Sneaker fever

After winning the hearts and feet of athletes worldwide, sneakers are now stepping onto a whole new playing field.

Long, long ago, sneakers were regarded as suited for only one thing: the feet of Sunday joggers. Training shoes have since exceeded all expectations in terms of social ‘acceptability’, freeing themselves from the confines of “sportswear” and sweaty hour-long gym classes. In fact, they are now sported on every occasion by all walks of life! Out of the gym, into the streets... and beyond! Adidas’ classic Stan Smith sneaker, worn by the likes of French actor Vincent Cassel in La Haine (1995) and Rap group IAM in their videos, can now be worn at the office, at weddings (both guests and groom) and wouldn’t seem that out of place at a job interview. ‘Dad shoes’ (commonly seen on your average middle-aged American man on Sunday afternoons) have made it to the catwalks, thanks to Balenciaga, Pierre Hardy, Louis Vuitton and others. Only one rule applies: the puffier (and more expensive) the better! Today, these shoes can walk any walk without seeming banal. In 2019, sneakers have become a true art form. Clashes among rival brands are on par with the legendary battle between Apple and Samsung. Take Nike vs. Adidas or, even better, Air Jordan vs. Stan Smith for example: when it comes to bringing back legacy sneakers, these two are on top of the podium. Originally designed in 1978, the Stan Smith sneaker - named after Stanley Roger Smith, a tennis player in the 1970s - was taken off the market in 2011. Adidas quickly revoked their decision in 2014: Stan Smith sneakers were reborn. The German brand even launched Adidas Originals, bringing back a number of its iconic designs such as the fantastically successful Americana Hi. The target audience for this shoe includes nostalgic souls, compulsive collector and, of course, sneaker heads. These sole- full sneaker specialists can tell you every historical detail behind each design… Their bible is the latest edition of Sneaker Freaker, an Australian magazine launched in 2002 by Simon “Woody” Wood... Their daily grind is a fight for the latest creation by Jeremy Scott, or signing up to the prize draw competition that allows you to enter the prize draw competition to even be allowed to buy a pair of Yeezy shoes... a genius marketing scheme signed Kanye West. Sneakers may have left the sports field, but you still have to run for them!