Sneakers and Streetwear go hand in hand. The casual look of a sneaker allows it to blend perfectly with the informal, comfortable looks that tend to appear in street fashion.
However, there’re so many sneakers out there that if you want to become knowledgeable on the subject then it’s hard to know where to start. I intend to keep it basic.
I’ll be talking about the types of sneakers, popular sneaker brands, and where to get them.
When it comes to sneakers, there are three main categories that they can fall into, low-top, mid-top, and high-top.
Low-tops are sneakers that do not cover the ankle.
Traditionally, they’ll be relatively lightweight and slim, making them better for summer than winter.
This is probably the type of sneaker you’ll see the most in day to day life.
Types of low-tops:
Runners: Runners are quite possibly the most popular sneaker type on the market right now. Runners really just blew up in the last 5 years thanks to the popularity of the Nike Roshe Run.
This shoe caused almost every sneaker brand under the sun to create some sort of athletic sneaker that was more geared towards fashion than sports.
One of the primary advantages of these shoes is the comfort.
Skate Shoes: Skate shoes are typically quite lightweight and made of canvas or leather.
They also often have thick soles which make them rather durable.
These definitely aren’t as comfortable as running shoes but they provide a completely different look that may appeal more to some people.
The most popular skate shoe brand by a mile is Vans.
They make a huge variety of shoes, but the Old Skool and the Era are probably the most iconic.
Other low-tops: Obviously there’s a lot of other types of low-top, but the categories are a little too specific to go into in much detail, so here’s some examples of popular low tops that I haven’t yet mentioned
There honestly isn’t much to say about mid-tops. Basically a mid-top is anything between a high top, which cover the ankle, and a low-top, that doesn’t.
This is still a really unexplored area but we are seeing more and more really awesome sneakers coming out in mid top like the latest Nike Air Presto x Acronym and Yeezy Boost 550.
High-tops are sneakers that do cover the ankle.
Traditionally, they’ll be relatively bulky and a bit heavier on foot, making them better for winter than summer.
High-tops are not often seen outside of streetwear. They’re usually less understated than a nice, clean low top, and they don’t really look right with more formal outfits.
You’re not likely to see many high tops in menswear.
Types of high-top:
Basketball Sneakers: These are essentially the running shoes of the high top category.
Very casual, very comfortable, and they have a very athletic look.
Without a doubt, the most popular basketball sneakers in streetwear are Air Jordans. Most notably the 1’s, the 3’s, the 4’s and the 11’s.
Other High Tops: High tops come in a variety of different forms. Often a certain basketball inspiration can be seen, but the styles are so vastly different that they are hard to categorize.
You have very simple high tops like Converse & Sk8 Hi’s, you have Nike’s non-basketball related offerings such as the Blazer, you have crazy designer high tops like the Margiela Future &
the Geobasket, and you have so much more options that it would be impossible to list them all.
Nike: Nike are without a doubt the most successful sneaker brand of all time because they make shoes for absolutely everyone.
I’d be very surprised if you couldn’t find at least one Nike shoe that you like. Additionally, they created the most successful line of basketball sneakers of all time, the Air Jordans. Basically, Nike
do it all, so if you’re looking for a dope sneaker, they probably have the shoe for you.
Adidas: Although I said Nike are the most successful sneaker brand of all time, Adidas probably have more appeal in the fashion world right now.
With their countless designer collabs and the increasing popularity of shoes featuring their boost technology, their definitely killing it right now and the streetwear scene is showing its appreciation.
Vans: Vans, although they predominantly just make skate shoes, have a huge presence in streetwear.
This is thanks to their knack for creating sneakers with a simple, versatile, but attractive silhouette.
If you’re looking for a basic, durable pair of shoes, then Vans are for you.
Other Brands: These three are probably the biggest, but there’s plenty other great brands out there. I’ll list a few below.
Designer Sneakers: If you have the money, plenty of designers also make great sneakers. I’ll list a few below.
Fear of God
Dolce & Gabbana
Where to buy
There’s countless sneaker stores out there, but some are significantly better than others. Below, I’m going to list what are, in my opinion, the 10 best sneaker stores right now.
End Clothing (Although its more so a clothing store, their sneaker selection is amazing and they get all of the high profile releases)
Flight Club (Easily accessible exclusive sneakers)
Hanon (Good variety, excellent sales)
Footpatrol (huge variety, occasionally decent sales, slightly higher end)
Footlocker (Its popular for a reason, it has one of the biggest selections of athletic sneakers out there)
Sneakersnstuff (Really nice collabs, good selection of sneakers ranging from affordable to high end)
Size? (Massive affordable selection, nice collabs)
Kith (Amazing collabs, decent selection of mid-high priced sneakers)
Concepts (Amazing collabs, huge range of sneakers from low-high end)
Extra Butter (Super nice physical location, decent selection)
So, there you have it, my introductory guide to sneakers. Obviously, there’s a lot more to know about than just what is here, but this covers most of the basics that you’ll need to know to start getting into sneaker culture!