Whether you're a die-hard sneakerhead or just someone who appreciates the comfort and style of a good pair of trainers, there's a timeless appeal to iconic sneakers that goes beyond trends. From the basketball courts to the city streets, certain trainers have left an indelible mark on fashion and culture. In this list, we'll take a stroll down the memory lane of iconic trainers, exploring the stories and impact behind each pair.
1. Nike Air Jordan 1
No list of iconic trainers could be complete without the Nike Air Jordan 1. Launched in 1985, these kicks were a game-changer, not just in the basketball world but also in street fashion. Designed for Michael Jordan, the AJ1s combined performance and style, birthing a cultural phenomenon that shows no sign of fading. The sleek silhouette, bold colours, and the iconic winged logo make the Air Jordan 1 a symbol of athletic prowess and street credibility.
2. Adidas Stan Smith
Created in 1971, the Adidas Stan Smith has seamlessly transitioned from sports essential to fashion icon. With its clean lines and minimalist design, the Stan Smith remains a wardrobe staple, embodying understated elegance. This shoe's simplicity is its strength, making it the go-to for those who appreciate the beauty of uncomplicated design. In case you didn’t know, the Adidas Stan Smith is also the first ever sneaker to feature a smooth toe box made of a single piece of leather!
3. Converse Chuck Taylor All Star
The original American sneaker! Designed for basketball in 1917, the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star has transcended the court to become a symbol of rebellion and self-expression. Worn by rock stars, artists, and athletes alike, the Chuck Taylors are more than just shoes; they're a canvas for personal style. The unmistakable high-top design and the iconic star logo have cemented their place in sneaker history.
4. Vans Old Skool
Born out of the Southern California skate culture in the '70s, the Vans Old Skool is a symbol of laid-back coolness. With its distinctive side stripe and leather panels, these sneakers effortlessly blend style and functionality. Fast forward to recent years, and the Old Skool has not only stood the test of time but has catapulted back into the limelight, finding a prominent place in the wardrobes of rappers like Wiz Khalifa and Kanye West. As a result, this trainer has emerged as an iconic bridge between high street and designer fashion.
5. Nike Air Force 1
Debuting in 1982, the Nike Air Force 1 brought a breath of fresh air to the sneaker scene. Named after the U.S. president's aircraft, these trainers were the first to feature Nike's Air technology. The Air Force 1s' chunky silhouette and clean design have made them a symbol of street style, influencing fashion and music across the decades. Available in five variations, from superlow to superhigh, this trainer also holds the distinction of being one of the most customised shoes of all time.
6. Asics Onitsuka Tiger Mexico ‘66
Originally founded in the 1950s by Japanese Military General Kihachiro Onitsuka, Onitsuka Tiger partnered with marathon runners to craft top-tier athletic shoes. The iconic Asics stripe logo debuted on the leather upper in 1966, birthing the renowed Onitsuka Tiger Mexico ’66. Just in time for the 1968 Olympics! The shoe gained pop culture status after it was featured in the movie Game of Death. Its yellow and black appearance, donned by Bruce Lee, propelled the shoe beyond the running track and into mainstream fashion.
7. Adidas Superstar
Originally designed in 1965 as the first full leather basketball shoe, the Adidas Superstar burst onto the scene in the '80s, quickly becoming a symbol of hip-hop culture. Worn by rap legends like Run-DMC, these trainers brought urban flair to mainstream fashion. The iconic shell toe and three stripes on the side have etched the Superstars into sneaker history, ensuring their place as a cultural touchstone.
These seven iconic trainers have all left an indelible mark, influencing fashion, culture, and self-expression. Each pair tells a unique story, representing an era, a sport, or a movement. As you explore your personal style, consider the impact these trainers have had on the world around them. And if you're in the market for the latest in cutting-edge and affordable trainers, why not check out Finily? A family-owned fashion brand from London, Finily is committed to providing comfortable and stylish footwear that stands the test of time. Step into the future of fashion with Finily – your feet will thank you.