Trainers have gone from an item carried around in kit bags and worn on sports forecourts, to a fully fledged fashion staple. They’re regularly donned in bars, at the gym, on holiday, at home and at work. One of the best things about trainers is that they come in such a staggering array of varieties – they can be as classy or as understated as you want them to be.
Billions and billions of pairs are sold around the world every year, an example of this are the designer cool trainers from Choice Store. Some are your run of the mill, wear them out and throw them away sort of footwear. Others are the type footwear that you save up for two years to buy and only ever wear on the most special of occasions – you might kiss the box from time to time too. Over the last century, only ten pairs of trainers have managed to do the impossible and become culturally iconic. Here’s a guide to the most recognisable pairs of trainers in the world.
The Puma State is a trainer with a long and very important history. According to newspaper L’Humanité In English, Tommie Smith made his infamous black power salute at the 1968 Olympics whilst wearing a pair and their popularity immediately skyrocketed. Their unusual suede skin and classic white stripe have been a hit with hip hop fans, street crews and skateboarders ever since.
Nike Air Max
Nike Air Max wasn’t the first trainer to use the technologically advanced ‘air cushioning’ system. It was the first trainer that dared to let fans see how it worked with that now iconic ‘visible air’ window.
Reebok Omni Lite
Released in 1991 and worn by basketball player Dee Brown in that year’s NBA Slam Dunk Contest, these trainers are iconic. These days, they’re very difficult to get hold of and can be extremely valuable, say the experts at Natterjacks.com.
Legend says that Blue Ribbon founder Bill Bowerman ripped the sole from a flip flop and grafted it to the bottom of a running shoe in order to create the Cortez. He then renamed his business Nike. This isn’t the prettiest of the bunch, but it is easily the most iconic. It launched Nike and kick started nigh on forty years of market dominance.
The Superstar might just be the most recognisable trainer on the planet. Its low top, shell toe and cushioned sides are as famous today as the New York hot dog or the Coney Island pizza pie. Again, it’s a beautifully simple design with few frills. If there ever was a trainer for the ‘everyman,’ this would be it.
Converse All Star
Converse All Star’s are officially the best selling trainers of all time. Created in 1932, by basketball player Charles ‘Chuck’ Taylor, Converse were the first cool trainers to become popular worldwide. They were the footwear of choice for many counter culture icons, says Short List magazine. Their wide rubber toe and hi-top ankle are still a hit with musicians and artists today.
Adidas Stan Smith
These trainers are an example of truly beautiful design. They’re known for their simplicity and understated nature – right down to the perforated design where the three Adidas stripes would usually appear. The original shoes only ever came in black or white, but nowadays you can buy Stan Smith’s in red, blue, grey and even mocha.
The Vans Checkerboard trainer was launched just seven years after the first commercial skateboard was released on to the market and became the world’s first unofficial skate shoe. Its black and white checkerboard design was a massive hit with teenagers in the late 1980’s. Even now, young people still graffiti on the shoe’s white patches.
Nike Air Force 1
Nike Air Force 1 trainer was released in 1982 and instantly became known for its soft cushioning system and hi top ankle. It was a big hit on the basketball scene before it was adopted by the masses. The Air Force 1 continues to be popular with fans of street fashion and hip hop music.
Nike Air Jordan
Now officially the most collectible trainer of all time, the Nike Air Jordan started life as a £1.4 million sponsorship deal between the retailer and a little known basketball player called Michael Jordan. According to MentalFloss.com, they became famous the world over after Nike vowed to pay a £5,000 fine every time Jordan wore the shoes in competition. Back then, the rules stated that all competition footwear must be white.
Author Bio: Samuel Sondheim is a former shoe designer and sports journalist. He recommends designer cool trainers from Choice Store as they have a wide range for you to choose from. Samuel can also be found blogging about up and coming mens fashion trends.