Sneaker culture is a driving force in the shoe market and plays a
huge part in pop culture.
One of the most iconic sneaker deals ever made, one which could
be categorized as the shoe that kickstarted modern sneaker culture;
this was none other than the deal between Nike and one of the
most legendary basketball players of all time, Michael Jordan. At
the time, the NBA banned the wear of the extremely popular newly
released shoes, but due to the exposure that Jordan gave the
brand, Nike decided to pay the pricey fine each game so he could
continue to wear them.
As sneaker culture got more popular, it has continued to become
more mainstream throughout a wider range of ages, especially in
the past couple of years. From camping out and waiting in lines
outside of stores like Supreme, Kith, and Flight Club, to buying bots
online that will secure the desired pair, sneakerheads have gone
above and beyond to get the newest and coolest drip. The pure
dedication and love for the culture created a tight community that
showed appreciation for the art of the shoes themselves.
There were always collectors, going back as far as sneakers have
been around, but now these companies had a vehicle to reach the
masses directly. Now, what was once a nuanced, underground
street culture had turned into an emerging mass-consumer
business with levels to it. Rappers were getting in on the act,
becoming brand ambassadors and starting their own clothing lines
and sneaker collaborations. Shops had exclusives, and the
evolution of the camp-out and release-day madness would soon
occur. It would set the tone for the way things are handled a decade
later, for better or for worse.
With social media rising in popularity and big budget commercials
on the decline, the shoe game saw an influx of social media
influencers. Now, the seed list is as elusive a spot as being the first
in line. Send a guy a box and tell him to throw the product on Instagram. It’s the way the game is played now, and since it’s cost
effective, it’s unlikely that it will go away.
With message boards came smaller, localized groups who would
eventually meet up. They’d even make events out of camp-outs for
heads who obviously had similar interests. Some may recall that
those summits were special occasions where you brought out your
most fire pair of Jordans, Dunks, or Forces. These days, sneaker
events are held in convention centers and gyms where there are
contests, resellers looking for a come up, and buyers looking for a
However for the Morden day citizen The continued dominance of
athleisure trend has had a significant impact on the growing sales of
sneakers – along with the pursuit of comfort. This only grew more
during the pandemic as lockdowns made people further prioritise
comfort , which resulted in a rise in sales of loungewear, athleisure
and flat shoes, alongside sneakers.
High fashion brands from Gucci to Balenciaga are setting the pace in
the luxury sneaker market. In 2017, Balenciaga’s Triple S became the
biggest seller in the luxury sneaker market and its popularity seems
To understand how the sneaker has emerged to become a footwear
phenomenon, it is important to trace its legacy from function to cultural
icon. From sport to fashion, sneakers dominate the consumer market.
Yet, despite their adoption by the mainstream, sneakers retain their coolness as cultural icons