Sneaker Fads of the Past

Sneakers That Were Famous

There's a sneaker that defines every era in our lives. In elementary school, we had the infamous strap-on sneaker. In high school, people wore K-Swiss, Cortez or Vans depending on which area code they lived in. And though trends come and go, memories don't. Let's see if any of these sneakers trigger back memories in your life -- based on a sneaker you wore, or that was hot, at that phase in your life.

No other sneaker has managed to surpass the thunder of hype that Jordans have enjoyed upon their release into the market. Air Jordans are still the most popular signature sneaker, particularly amongst men. There are so many editions of this sneaker, but the first classic style that game out is still the most favored model of the bunch. The Nike Jordan is what put Nike on the map in the urban arena and helped it cross the line between athletic and casual sneakers.

Probably one of the world's most popular sneakers ever. Converse offers classic design that hasn't changed in years. These kicks can be found on people of all ages and across many subcultures. As infamous today as they were 10 years ago, these kiddies aren't going for shelter anytime soon.

The Campus was originally a basketball shoe that became a hip-hop phenomenon. Now this 80s classic is required footwear for any student of sneakerology. Suede upper for luxurious comfort and good looks. Adidas Gazelles are equally as good.

K-Swiss first appealed to the ultra-preppy during the high school phase, but then became popular in local hip-hop scenes as well years later. So whether your flavor of choice is urban or suburban, if you like the look of white leather kicks with a preppy polished feel, K-Swiss is your choice. Back then, K-Swiss was simply the leather version of its cotton siblings, Tretorn and Keds.

Prominent in international street scenes since the early 80's, the Nike Cortez is a true star classic and takes the reign for defining retro. More visible in urban settings, the Cortez once ruled the west coast and midwest as the gangster's sneaker of choice. Featuring a durable bottom and a lightweight nylon upper for easygoing comfort, the Cortez is clean cut, has cleaned up its image, and is ready to accommodate any outfit.

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Reebok Pump

The Reebok Pump was the first shoe to have an internal inflation mechanism that regulated a unique fitting cushion in the upper tongue. Widely popular in the early 90s, it was first released as a basketball shoe which was quite expensive compared to other retail athletic shoes at the time. And because of that, it became something of a status symbol on urban basketball courts and eventually in suburban high schools.

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Shelltoe Adidas

The original Adidas Superstar basketball shoes, also known as shell toes, were the first low tops with an all-leather upper. Shell toes were first made popular by hip-hop legends Run-DMC and have been a constant hit ever since.

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Vans SK8 Hi

These old school sneakers by Vans are one of the longest running skateboard shoe models ever. The Vans Authentic Core Classic casual skate shoe is THE original classic. It is the shoe that started it all for Vans and has remained a favorite since 1966. From pro skateboarders to the clerk behind the counter at your local 7-11, the Authentic casual is flexible, versatile and good for skate and/or street wear. Vans Slip-Ons, Vans Authentic, Vans Core Classics, an Vans Old Skools all fit in the  same category and are equally popular. Also called Van Old Skools, find these in a variety of cool colors and prints!

 

Mostly popular amongst girls and women, Keds sneakers became a suburban hit in the mid 80s. They were very trendy in highschool gyms, fairs, bingo halls and malls. You could find them on the feet of cheerleaders and soccer moms alike. They appealed to the preppy, the conservative and/or the dainty. Though still popular today, the Ked Champion has seen its better days as prom queen.

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Puma Suede Clydes

Timelessly cool, this low-cut sneaker features a soft, suede upper with perforated side and contrast line detail. I think it is safe to say that many sneaker fanatics first started collecting Puma Suedes in various colors before moving on to other brands.

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Converse One Star

The Converse One Star is simply a suede version of the low top Chuck Taylor with one star cut out of the side. The One Star enjoyed a brief stint of success then quickly faded as quickly as it faded in.

As popular in high school as K-Swiss and Keds were to the preppies, Tretorns were equally as famous. An old school name with an old school tennis player's name attached to it, Tretorns first came through the teen scene through the tennis jocks. These super casual trainers were commonly worn without socks.