Clothing is viewed as more than just apparel for covering. Individuals have long chosen clothes based on their functionality and aesthetics. In this context, sneakerheads are people who admire, trade, or collect sneakers and are passionate about making a unique style statement with sneaker match clothing. One common characteristic shared by all sneakerheads is their knowledge of the history and origin of sneakers. Understanding the evolution and historical background of sneakers is considered a membership mark within the sneakerhead community. Thus, knowing about sneakers and how they originated and evolved is essential to be recognized as a true sneakerhead.
If you’re passionate about sneakers, continue reading this blog to learn more about the sneakerhead culture and its influence on fashion.
The origin of collecting sneakers that subsequently created the sneakerhead culture in the USA started in the mid-nineteenth century. The rising popularity of hip-hop music and basketball are the two major sources that set the foundation for the sneakerhead culture. Most individuals credit the sneakerhead subculture’s advent to the release of Nike Air Jordans 1s in 1985. The line of shoes gained significant popularity because of its connection to Michael Jordan. Thus, the extensive range of basketball shoes and the hip-hop movement gave sneakerheads a status symbol and street credibility.
During this time, people started using ‘footwear’ interchangeably with ‘streetwear.’ Notable sneakers such as Pony David Thompsons, Converse Chuck Taylor, Adidas Shell Toes, and Puma Clydes were also introduced. Meanwhile, the Air Jordans continued to gain admiration, attributing to more than half of the basketball shoe industry. Today, the line of shoes includes several collections, such as the Retro Air Jordan, creating within the sneakerhead culture a sense of exclusiveness. To date, over 100 million Air Jordan sneakers have been sold since the first release.
Several other styles and popular brands emerged in the sneakerhead subculture as necessary collector items. These included Nike Air Max, Yeezy, Nike Dunks, Air Force Ones, and Adidas. Millennial sneakerheads also have an affinity for celebrity-endorsed sneakers. Collaborations with Pharell Williams, Kanye West, Travis Scott, etc., marketed and sold sneakers separately from the primary sneakers.
The sneakerhead subculture that originated in the 1980s in the US became global by the end of the nineteenth century. Hardcore sneakerheads in the US, Europe, and Britain bought sneaker match clothing online, went to outlets, and attended sneaker events, parties, gatherings, etc., searching for vintage, deadstock, rare, and limited edition shoes to purchase. The sneakerhead culture quickly extended to the Asian subcontinent by the 21st century. A notable population in China, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Japan started collecting sneakers from various brands depending on their style and preference.
Sneakers and their Influence on Fashion
Sneakers aren’t just limited to sports anymore. They are a must-have item for all sneakerheads and have become a modern fashion staple. Sneakers express personal identity and individuality like no other fashion item. Today, sneakers come in various finishes, colors, and shapes, allowing contemporary consumers to use them for various occasions. Worn by everyone, from kids on the playground to fashion models, performing artists, and athletes, the sneaker culture has established a unique position in the fashion industry.
Sneakers pushed gender boundaries and helped blend the fashion originally considered for men alone. Sneakers evolved as women’s fashion in the late nineteenth century. Women started going to work and participated more actively in exercise and sports. However, sneakers made for women resembled high-heels, giving them a more feminine appearance. They still had to wear skirts and dresses during sports till the 1950s and 1960s. Thus, the desire to shed the restrictions and wear men’s clothing, including sneakers, was a revolutionary step for all women in the fashion world.
By the 1980s, more women joined the workforce and realized high heels didn’t qualify as comfortable shoes. Soon, sneakers became a part of women’s fashion, significantly changing society’s dress standards for men and women.
Today, sneakers have the ability and capacity to change more than just the footwear category. Sneakerheads are all about pairing their favorite sneakers with sneaker match tees and sweatshirts. Sneakers continue to serve women and men who want to make a unique style statement. They are considered an all-purpose item that sneakerheads can wear at any event. Whether you’re working out in the gym, attending a family gathering, going for a walk, or at your workplace, sneakers work everywhere! They complement your wardrobe and help you stand out in the crowd everywhere you go!
The Bottom Line
Fashion has changed significantly from what it used to be. Initially worn by athletes, sneakers were reserved for the tracks. Now, they are a central component in the wardrobes of all sneakerheads. For them, no look is complete without an outfit that complements their shoes. From minimal and retro to high-top and several other designs, choosing the right clothing for your Air Jordans, Nikes, or Yeezys cannot be easy.
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