Sneakers have come a very long way. In their century long history, they have gone from a piece of footwear you would wear on the track, to something you'd rock on the catwalk. And along the way, they've impacted everything from sports to music and even movies. Whether or not you consider yourself a sneakerhead, you have to admit that sneaker culture has left a huge mark on modern society as a whole. So, with that said, we've compiled a list of the ten most important sneakers of all time.
The Nike Air Jordan 1 'Banned' arrived in 1985 with rule-breaking bravado. Also known as the 'Bred', the black and red version of legendary basketball player Michael Jordan's first signature shoe was banned from the NBA for violating the league's uniform policy. So every time Jordan wore the infamous shoes on the court, he was fined $5000 per game. The sneaker later re-released in 1994, 2009, 2011, 2016, and 2017.
Developed by Nike CEO Mark Parker and brought to life by legendary shoe designer Tinker Hatfield in 1987, the original Nike Air Max 1 was a shoe that dared to be different. Contrasting a bold red and clean white colour combination, the sneaker showcased the world's first ever visible Air unit, which was previously embedded into the sole. The Air Max 1 also flexed a new midsole foot frame, heel notch, and lace locks, that paved the way for modern sneaker design as we know it.
Originally named the adidas Robert Haillet, after the famous French international tennis player, the adidas Stan Smith is known for being one of the best selling sneakers of all time. It's safe to say that the silhouette proceeded to create a legacy which far succeeded its original intentions though, as not only is it known as a sportswear icon, but also as a revolutionary fashion design.
Created in 1969, the iconic design of the adidas Superstar has gone virtually unchanged since. Dubbed the 'clamtoe', 'shelltoe', 'shell shoes', 'shell tops' and a bunch of different nicknames, the shoe was introduced as the world's first low top basketball shoe to feature an all leather upper and the now renowned rubber shelltoe. Off the court and on the stage, Run DMC was famous for rocking the Superstars without any laces and with the tongue pushed out. They even released a song called "My Adidas"; in 1986 which paid tribute to the Superstar.
In 2012, adidas held an event in New York City with media members from all over the world to unveil Boost technology. Debuting on the adidas Energy Boost, the new technology brought a higher level of energy return by fusing together many TPU particles for a bouncier, more temperature resistant ride. At this point in time, everyone had assumed that this was just another technology that would come and go, and nobody had any idea that it would later change the sneaker game forever.
The Converse Chuck Taylor All Star, also known as just the All Star, has been in constant production for the past one hundred years, and has gone virtually unchanged since 1949. One of the most iconic footwear silhouettes of all time, the shoe has been adopted by numerous subcultures and the subject of countless trends. However, a fact that a lot of people don't know is that the All Star was originally designed to fill a gap in the market caused by the ever increasing popularity of basketball, leading it to become the first mass produced basketball shoe in the United States.
How can there be any list celebrating the most iconic sneakers without including the legendary Nike Air MAGs? The second Back To The Future film is famous for many reasons, and one of them is undoubtedly Marty McFly's self-fastening Nikes. For anyone familiar with the film, Marty's time travelling trips found him in 2015. In order to blend in with this new time period, he swapped out his Nike Bruins for something more of the period. The Nike Air MAG was released in 2016 with a fully functioning Power Lace system.
Onitsuka Tiger Tai Chi
Renowned director Quentin Tarantino loves to pay homage to past cinematic moments and characters, so in Kill Bill Volume 1, The Bride dons an iconic yellow jumpsuit and a pair of bright yellow Onitsuka Tiger Tai Chi. These kicks actually pay tribute to Bruce Lee's similar ensemble from 1978's Game of Death, in which the martial arts legend rocks a pair of Onitsuka Tiger Mexico 66s.
Crowned by Time Magazine as one of the twenty five best inventions, the adidas Futurecraft 4D was awarded due to its production and meticulous design. Using traditional methods, precisely customising a shoe to fit a runner's foot would take days, however, with the Futurecraft's liquid plastic outsole, this process has been trimmed down to just hours. Without a doubt, this shoe will transform the sneaker industry forever.
Before Kanye West collaborated with adidas, he collaborated with Nike to produce a series of some of the most coveted kicks in sneaker history. Debuting the Nike Air Yeezy 1 at the 2008 Grammy Awards, the shoe featured a murdered out colourway paired with a translucent sole unit and a bright crimson lace lock. This crep had the sneaker community buzzing, and many believe that the Air Yeezy was the foundation that the hypebeast culture is built upon.
What do you think of our list of the ten most important sneakers of all time? Do you agree with it or do you think there should be a few more worthy mentions? Let us know down in the comments section below, and as always, keep it locked here at The Sole Supplier for the latest and greatest in sneakers!