Not so long ago, it was a surefire way to report to your peers with shiny shoes as costume jewelry Paria. However, attitudes have changed in an unforeseen way, and what was once the scruffy runaway is now the gold standard for shoes.
The transition from the runway to the runway was slow and gradual, but has reached a crescendo in recent years. A crescendo that will last indefinitely.
This is not least thanks to a number of important designers and sneaker brands that have pushed footwear to its limits in all possible directions.
Some have created white leather kicks that look at home with tailoring. Others invent technologies that might as well come straight from a lab in Area 51 (or simply back to the future). There are now those who have raised the sneaker from its useful roots to the absolute pinnacle of today's high fashion.
Here we take a look at what are currently the most influential sneaker brands in the world and what they are doing to make the world's most popular shoes.
The Undisputed Masters of Hype
Yes, in 2016 Nike really went back in time and produced Marty McFly's self-lacing sneakers. However, this is only a case where the brand appears to have been reached through a crack in space-time and brought us something straight from the future. It is the biggest trendsetter in sneakers and a reliable barometer for what is just around the corner.
The brand has a long history of success with the world's best performance shoes and technological innovations (Flyknit upper and NikeID personalization over the past decade). In addition, Nike knows how to develop products that live up to their remarkable hype. The catalog contains more symbols than any other sneaker brand. Air Max, Air Force 1 and Air Jordan are all independent sneaker dynasties. If you go back even further, you'll find even more classic retro sneakers like the Cortez and the Blazer.
Still the best known. Still the most wanted. Still the ones to beat.
The brand from which sneakers became a science
The continuing technological arms race between the world's major sportswear companies has spawned some of the most daring innovations in footwear. Fortunately, there are no signs of waning.
Ask a sneakerhead on the street who is in pole position and he will tell you that it is Nike. With feather-light materials and stunning sole technology, however, it could easily be argued that good old three-strips maneuver for overtaking.
Yes, there are popular classics – Superstar, Stan Smith, and Gazelle Remember – and they don't go away, but in recent years, the brand's research and development lab has become the Q branch of sneakers- World developed. Forget about working with Yeezy, it was the Ultra Boost that changed the game, and most recently the German sports giant has been experimenting with 3D printing as a production method for groundbreaking webbed sole units. Don't let her out of your sight for a second.
The 100 Year Old Design Icon
It is incredible (and a little terrifying) to think about how much the world has developed in the last 100 years. Commercial flight, television, cell phones and the Internet are just a few of the inventions that have revolutionized our way of life.
In this sense, it is a real triumph of design if something that was introduced a century ago is still in use today worldwide.
Conver's famous high-top, the Chuck Taylor All Star, is one such item. The legendary basketball shoe, which was born in 1917, has remained 99.9 percent unchanged and is today the best-selling shoe in the USA, Great Britain and far beyond. Yes, the brand has other excellent shoes, but this is arguably the most iconic sneaker ever made. And besides, it is there for everyone.
The Luxe Trendsetter That Minimalism made cool
When the New York luxury sneaker brand Common Projects introduced their Achilles Low model in 2004, the world of men's fashion was crazy about it. But why? Was it innovative? Was the next level comfortable? Barely. Did it come at bargain prices? On the contrary.
This shoe was nothing more than a simple leather sneaker. What was special about this minimalist trainer, however, was that every little detail was meticulously executed down to the nth degree. This was a sneaker made like an Oxford shoe handmade in Northamptonshire.
Buttery Italian leather, exquisite, streamlined shape and timeless portability that made each pair the perfect companion for everything from suits to shorts. It must have created today's thriving luxury sneaker market, and all of this cannot be taken for granted in a world now dominated by beetle breakers from Balenciaga.
Ugly Trainers Must Make
Balenciagas Output under the direction of Georgian fashion outsider Demna Gvasalia might be the fashion equivalent of Marmite or Björk, but whatever you think about his work, there's no denying that he's changing the face of fashion, one broken ankle at a time .
The sleek, minimalist speed sock was the label's first outstanding sneaker with Gvasalia in Das Ruder, but it was the now inevitable Triple S that really took things in a new direction.
This shoe animal single-handedly rebuilt the fashion shoe landscape and made large, bulky silhouettes the new gold standard. Minimalism gives way to maximalism, and this Spanish fashion house takes center stage.
Still the choice of the purist
Over time, there are fewer and fewer brands that are ready to hit a financial ball in the name of quality art and have products made on home turf. When it comes to sneaker companies, the numbers are even lower.
This makes New Balance one of the best in the game. In addition to being responsible for some of the most comfortable and iconic running shoes ever made, the Boston-based company also produces half of its premium series in the United States and half in the British Lake District in factories with highly skilled artisans.
Because of this manufacturing approach, New Balance has an excellent reputation among athletes, sneakerheads and everyday people and thus deserves a place in the FashionBeans Hall of Fame.
The veteran quietly breaks new ground
It may not make as much noise as some of his contemporaries. But while they're all struggling to develop the next big thing, Puma works quietly in the background, perfecting the classics. And invent some new ones too.
A prime example of this is the takeover of the chunky sneaker trend by the brand. Puma took the look, stamped it on it, and made it accessible to those whose wallets might not be able to withstand the strain of a pair of Balenciagas that could cost up to a month's rent.
Contact the Thunder Electric for a bulky but athletic shape and bold splashes of color in the style of the 1990s, or the desirable Tsugi line for a striped blend of mesh and neoprene on one to get thick cushioned midsole.
The Old Reliable Of Footwear
From driving in empty pools in a suburb of LA to jumping around on the Warped Tour. Over the years, Vans has earned a well-deserved reputation as the shoe brand of choice for alternative lifestyles.
Its attractiveness is due not least to the simple design, the timeless appearance, the modest pricing and of course the ample color options offered by its designs. Old Skool, Classic and Authentic are instantly recognizable designs that haven't changed in decades, mostly because they're not needed.
What has changed is the way people wear them. Formerly just a shoe for children and skaters, it is now equally comfortable for rock stars and hip-hop icons, with jeans or casual suits. From the mid-1960s to the present day, Vans has always offered people the opportunity to add a touch of color and charisma to an outfit without breaking the bank. Something whose products have remained relevant over the years regardless of the temporary sneaker trends.
The Strongest Collab Game in the Industry
Can you call yourself a sneakerhead if your wardrobe isn't filled with Jordans? Maybe not.
Technically, the story is a Nike creation, but also an independent brand. It is one of the most successful examples of sports marketing in history. After Nike designed the first Air Jordans exclusively for the basketball legend, Nike opened production in 1984 and brought their new creation to the masses. People were crazy about what led to a wave of crime in the US People were stripped of their sneakers.
One of the main attractions of the shoes for some is the collector's item, with many special publications and collapses being published in very limited editions. Recent partnerships have included Supreme, Off-White, Levi & # 39; s and Kaws, to name just a handful. This is a case where you should definitely believe the hype.
Retro bring back
Okay, es So it’s not shaping the future with its footwear offerings, but if you do classics (and classics) so well, why would you need that?
The UK-born company, now a subsidiary of Adidas, is one of the oldest British sneaker brands. Something that is obvious when you look at the retro silhouettes.
The best sneakers like the Club, the Classic and the Workout are downright iconic and exude a lot of the relapse magic that we all love so much. They may not be knitted mesh and are 3D printed, but they look great, are undeniably comfortable, and will never go out of style.
Set the luxury sneaker benchmark
Gucci's sneaker game has made leaps and bounds in recent years, not least thanks to a bit of TLC from creative director Alessandro Michele.
Indeed, one could argue that the Italian house's offerings with the clean lines and striking embroidery of Ace manufacture have set a new standard for luxury sneakers. It is the new white favorite of the fashion elite.
And it's not just classic styles that Gucci turned his hand to. The brand has also combined two of the most important trends of the moment with its chunky Rhyton trainer, which also has oversized Gucci branding.