Everybody knows hip hop is all about sneakers. Run DMC put that in cement 50 years ago and it's been on ever since. From House Party to Power Jordans have been a staple in the black man's wardrobe for decades. In the 80 a man could lose his life for stepping on Pumas. The culture has evolved with its occupants. Let's look back on the shoes that shaped a culture's creation never to be duplicated.
1. 1980s - Classic Adidas and Puma: Hip-hop's early days saw artists like Run-D.M.C. embracing Adidas Superstar sneakers without laces. This trend symbolized the growing connection between hip-hop and sneaker culture.
2. Late 1980s to 1990s - Air Jordans: Michael Jordan's line of sneakers, particularly the Air Jordans, became a symbol of style and status within hip-hop. The Air Jordan line's influence was monumental and continues to resonate today.
3. 1990s - Reebok's Influence: Artists like Jay-Z and 50 Cent popularized Reebok sneakers in the '90s, with models like the Reebok Classics and the "The Question" by Allen Iverson gaining traction.
4. 2000s - Nike SB and Skateboarding Influence: The rise of skateboarding culture led to the popularity of Nike SB Dunks among hip-hop artists. These sneakers featured vibrant colorways and unique collaborations.
Present Sneaker Trends in Hip-Hop
1. Continued Retro and Collaboration Trend: The retro trend remains strong, with artists often showcasing classic sneakers from the '80s and '90s. Collaborations between artists and sneaker brands also persist, creating limited-edition releases.
2. Adidas Boost Technology: Adidas' Boost technology gained popularity, with sneakers like the Adidas Ultra Boost becoming a staple in hip-hop fashion due to their comfort and style.
3. Balenciaga Triple S and Chunky Sneakers: The chunky sneaker trend, epitomized by the Balenciaga Triple S, emerged and was embraced by hip-hop artists for its bold and attention-grabbing appearance.
4. Travis Scott's Influence: Artists like Travis Scott have had a significant impact on sneaker culture, with his collaborations with Nike and Jordan Brand, such as the Travis Scott x Air Jordan 1, becoming highly sought after.
5. Yeezy Impact: Kanye West's Yeezy line with Adidas has had a massive influence on hip-hop sneaker culture, with its unique designs and limited releases creating a frenzy among fans.
6. Sustainability and Ethical Choices: Increasingly, artists are endorsing sustainable and ethical sneaker choices. Brands like Allbirds and Veja are gaining popularity for their eco-friendly options.
7. Diversity of Brands: Beyond the traditional giants, artists are exploring a wider range of brands, including New Balance, Converse, and more, reflecting a diverse and inclusive approach to sneaker fashion.
The history of sneakers in hip-hop reflects the genre's ability to shape and be shaped by popular culture. Sneakers have not only become a fashion statement but also a way for artists to express their individuality, pay homage to their roots, and connect with fans on a personal level. Sneakers companies have made millions in partnership with artists to create their own shoes. I mean are you really an A list artist or athlete until you get a sneaker deal?? Remember Darling, the show must go on and in good fashion.