The Return of Iconic Sneakers: Fashion vs Performance

Image cred: Pinterest
Under Armour US Project Rock Delta

Everybody’s going the gym! Apart from going green or organic, the new craze is fitness. New gyms popping up everywhere. Personal trainers are in such high demand, everyone’s trying their hand at it. There are tons of do-it-yourself videos coming out daily. They have taken over Instagram. With the increased participation in fitness activities, there came a higher demand for activewear and performance-based sneakers. The major sneaker producers all said they had the best sneaker to get you into shape. The idea wasn’t so much about fashion but functionality. But would this trend really endure? If yes, for how long?

Nike Running Shoes
A little over two years ago, industry analyst Matt Powell reported there was a noticeable decline in sales of performance running shoes, while there was an increase in sales for lifestyle running shoes. Major brands such as Nike, Adidas and Under Armour had their financials showing growth in this particular category up to a year ago. But the sneaker industry is a fickle one and still not many saw what was coming.
Fast forward to July 2018, Business Insider publishes an article with the following headline:
What’s really going on in the sneakers market? Fashion has again regained its place while replacing functionality as the driver for sneaker design. Examine the trends closely and you’re bound to admit that we have come full circle. All of those iconic sneakers of the 80s and 90s are making their way back to mainstream streetwear. The industry is now in a “retro-style cycle”.
Pictures sell. An image conveys a thousand words. The advantages of a performance sneaker would take up an entire paragraph. The design is more about the engineering and not so much the appearance. People are drawn by technology but nothing is more compelling than that iconic look. The success of Instagram is built on this idea. Pictures. No words.

Image cred: Pinterest

Nike’s Air Max is back 

Image cred: Nanno Lenz

The Adidas Continental 80

Image cred: Pinterest 

A Reebok Classic

Image Cred: Pinterest 

Back to Asics

A quick survey of the online fashion connoisseurs for best sneakers of 2018 will leave you nostalgic. You would easily think you’re reading a 1985 issue of Esquire Magazine. From GQ to Esquire to mrporter, it’s all about bringing back those classic styles. After all, this is why we fell in love with these brands. Many of us dreamed about owning a pair of Stan Smith, Reebok Classics or Airmax. At my age you might have had a pair or two of one of these while growing up. Who would think we’d live to see a resurgence of these styles?
Those who deal exclusively in sneaker news are showing a similar pattern. Whether it be complex, or sneakerfreaker, or sole collector, they’re all telling us retro styles are here to stay….for now. Judging from what these major brands are predicted to release for the rest of the year, we’re going to be doing retro for a while. To think you discarded a few pairs of iconic sneakers because they had gone out of style. King Solomon did say, “there’s nothing new under the sun.”

Upcoming sneaker releases:

Air Jordan 13s: Melo

Image cred: Pinterest

Air Jordan V “Bred”

Image cred: Complex

Off-White x Nike Blazer: whooooooo

Image Cred: Hypebeast
Look out for the next article: The Ugliest, most fashionable sneakers.

As always, style is personal. Do you.

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