Tennis shoes. Trainers. Gym Shoes.
Whatever you call them, a sneaker by any other name is just as stylish, functional, and versatile! Did you know there is a dedicated culture surrounding the coolest, rarest footwear on the market?
The name for the type of shoe fanatic who collects funky kicks is a “sneakerhead,” and you might already be a sneakerhead in the making! It all begins when you curate a sneaker collection full of the best sneakers to come out of the thriving footwear industry. There are many types of sneakers on the shelves, however, and you’ll need to know where to start if you’re going to build the ultimate collection!
Athletic footwear truly runs the gamut from high-fashion to high-function. Keep reading to learn about the different types of sneakers you need to collect to round out a diverse closet. By the time you finish reading, you’ll be ready to run to the store and get started!
High-top sneakers are frequently considered the original basketball shoe. The most famous variety might be the classic “Chuck Taylor” high-top basketball sneaker. Commerce records suggest that a full 60% of all Americans have owned or will own a pair of Chuck Taylor sneakers in their lifetime!
The first high-top sneaker appeared on the market in 1917 and became the first mass-produced athletic shoe in the United States. They featured a rubber sole and a canvas or leather upper that came up above the ankle. You secure them to your feet with their iconic thick laces.
Why are these sneakers frequently called “Converse All-Stars?” That was the name of the basketball team that brought these sneakers into the public eye. Charles H. Taylor was the owner of the team – the “Chuck Taylor” who now gives the shoe its name!
Over time, the Chuck Taylor basketball sneaker would lose its close association with sports. The counter cultures of the 1970s and beyond latched on to the style and haven’t let it go. They became so popular with such a diverse range of buyers that the company began to produce a low-top style.
Essentially, a low-top sneaker is a shoe with the thick rubber soul of a high-top sneaker. Instead of rising above the ankle, they stop at the ankle. Many brands now manufacture sneakers in the style, and they have surpassed the high-top variety in general popularity.
When companies produce a low-top style sneaker made out of canvas material, we call them “plimsoll sneakers.” For the most part, plimsoll-style shoes are not worn for athletic purposes. They are simple shoes with supportive soles that look great with any casual outfit.
Today, you can find plimsolls with and without laces. They frequently come in laceless slip-on styles. Sometimes manufacturers swap the thick sole for a thinner, sleeker base.
For athletes, a good pair of high-quality sneakers is a matter of safety. Athletes are frequently scaling difficult terrain, running long distances, and performing unique feats. They need a pair of shoes that will provide the precise amount of support they need to accomplish this without injury.
People often categorize athletic sneakers based on their intended purpose. You will find dedicated sneakers for running, walking, hiking, and more. You may need to go to a specialized shop to be fitted for shoes designed to support the shape of your unique foot.
Many individuals enjoy the look of athletic sneakers but don’t necessarily plan to run a marathon. In those cases, the weight and shape of the shoe itself might be less important. Often, we call athletic shoes chosen for their style “fashion sneakers.”
Some of the most popular athletic sneaker brands include Nike, Adidas, New Balance, Saucony, and ASICS. These brands often sponsor famous sports teams and provide their equipment. Choosing athletic sneakers can be a fun way to show support for your favorite players!
Another popular fashion sneaker is the slip-on sneaker. Essentially, a slip-on sneaker has a traditional plimsoll construction but does not lace up. These sneakers contain some amount of elastic so that they secure tightly to the foot without laces, velcro, zippers, or straps.
The most popular iteration of the slip-on sneaker is Style #98 by the company Vans. Vans released the unique style in 1977, and they quickly became popular with skaters in Southern California. They have a waffle-style sole, which holds up well to heavy use during extreme sports.
They remain the most popular style worn by skaters today.
The type of sneaker that sneakerheads crave is the designer sneaker. Fashion brands are responsible for producing these desirable shoes, which often have interesting bespoke designs. They serve as both collector’s items and fashion accessories.
Often, designers release these shoes in limited numbers. They may produce only a few pairs in each colorway. This creates demand and interest in these unique art pieces.
Designers produce these high-quality sneakers in all shapes and sizes, and many incorporate unique construction or materials. Often, designer sneakers are co-created with a celebrity or famous designer. Rare, high-end designer sneakers can cost thousands of dollars!
Many designer sneakers are a lot more affordable, so you don’t need to feel guilty when you wear them out and about. They’re often included as part of collections. You can click here to check out some great examples.
What Types of Sneakers Keep You Running?
From the trail, to the court, to the frozen food aisle at the supermarket, your favorite sneakers are your constant companions. Now that you know what types of sneakers are out there, slip on your favorite pair and head to the shoe store today! If you love fashion, then the right pair of kicks might be the thing that keeps you running!
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