The sneaker industry is one of the largest industries in the world with the richest ever-growing sneaker culture. People have grown up with sneakers, established a passion for them, and made a business out of reselling them. So, you can only imagine the vast change of sneaker styles in the past 60+ years!
As time changed, sneaker trends shifted and twisted into different models that fit into the fashion standards of the year. You might have thought that your dad’s style of old New Balance 990 paired with his higher-waisted jeans is HILARIOUS. But, your old man might have been the absolute trendsetter of his times! Therefore, just to appreciate our folks a bit more, here’s a blast from the past! We’ve got the top trending sneaker styles of the past SIX decades!
SNEAKER STYLES OF THE DECADES
The 60s were definitely an eventful time. Of course, odds are most of the people reading this weren’t really alive back then! But, it sure does look groovy! And, besides, it’s not the political movements or the moon landing that we’re interested in. All we wanna know is what sneaker styles were in season during those protests!
Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars
Back then, every college and professional basketball player started out wearing Converse Chuck Taylors! Even Michael Jordan played in them back in 1984. His game-worn pair is now one of the most expensive kicks in the world!
Keds Canvas Sneakers
Keds experienced a SURGE of popularity in the 60s because of how many celebrities started wearing them. Obviously where Kanye got his epic marketing strategy. Celebs like Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn wore Keds in “Clash By Night” and “Two for the Road”. This made them the definite sneaker styles of the decade!
Conservative backlash, environmental movements, women’s rights, and sneaker styles! That’s the 70s for you, dear friend. It was the decade where lots of things were happening at the same time. So, naturally, lots of sneaker styles had a chance to sit in the spotlight! They’re starting to become even more familiar!
Adidas Stan Smith
Right around the time that Adidas came out with its trefoil logo (1972), they also released the Adidas Stan Smith! It was a sneaker collaboration of a lifetime with tennis player Stan Smith! The sneaker is still popular to this day and is very much a CLASSIC.
That same year, Nike decided to turn up the heat by releasing the new and improved Nike Cortez shoe. It had innovative sneaker cushioning composed of rubber and foam for advanced shock absorption!
Next up, basketball player Walt “Clyde” Frazier endorsed PUMA Clydes – making it one of the season’s sneaker styles! He wore them so much that he was the reason to put PUMA back on the map at that time.
Nike Air Tailwind
The Nike Air Tailwind was the first Nike to ever use the Air Technology. It was co-developed by former NASA engineer M. Frank Rudy! It used a ‘blow rubber molding’ technique that was used in astronaut helmets. Like running on AIR
New computer technologies, blockbuster movies, MTV reshaping pop culture, AND new sneaker styles. Now, the 80s sounds like a decade we can totally fit into! And, it happens to have one of the most iconic times in history: the beginning of Air Jordan history.
Gucci Tennis Shoes
In 1984, Gucci came out with their very first luxury tennis shoes. And, they unknowingly started the entire luxury sneaker trend-making sneakers acceptable in a high-end fashion! It was a clean white shoe with specks of green and red accents!
This doesn’t even need too much of an intro. The industry GOAT, Michael Jordan with a six-figure endorsement deal with Nike, and a sneaker. Next thing we know, it’s 36 silhouettes later and MJ’s still going strong!
Nike Air Force 1s
On the other hand, basketball players who were not rocking Jordans were rocking Air Force 1s! They were EVERYWHERE! A true classic sneaker – obviously why Drake went for the Certified Lover Boy AF1!
WHERE ARE OUR 90s FAM AT? If you still weren’t born by the end of this decade, you are way too young to be here. If so kiddo, this was the prime time of living! We got to watch FRIENDS, get into pop culture, fast food, video games, and the best sneaker styles! Although we all love us some Doc Martens action, these are the sneakers in the prime:
Air Max 90s
When we say the Air Max sneakers are taking over, we mean it. Just like they took over the 90s! It was the sneaker of the year – literally right there in the name! There was no way it wouldn’t be on the list!
No, this is not a brand or colorway of Converse. Literally dirty converse was the thing of the 90s – the dirtier the better! Kurt Cobain of Nirvana had conversed on. In short, there is no way in HELL they wouldn’t become THE best of all sneaker styles.
The Samba design had a few cameos in the 90s some British and American movies which gave it a push. It also has a slick and classic design to it which makes it pretty easy to style on a daily! Something that everyone in the 90s wanted!
Towards the end of the 90s, there were some sneaker styles that we prefer not to get into. Like them Spice Girls platforms and chunky-ass shoes. No. Ain’t it. As for the 2000s, THAT was the time for the fun sneaker styles! We had the Heelys and that was fun! But, we also had a few other kicks in the limelight.
Not any slip-on Vans though – the CHECKERED slip-on Vans! Remember those? They were literally everywhere. If you didn’t own a pair of checkered Vans, you didn’t make it in the 2000s. The sign of a true hipster!
Maybe Lanvins are one of those underrated sneaker brands that got their time in the spotlight a decade ago. They were simple and elegant! And, they even made it to the business-casual part of sneaker fashion!
Does anyone remember the years between 2010 and 2020? Those were the good days. For real fam! Although lots of shit did go down in this decade, we still got to fuel tons of sneaker styles! AND, it was the era in which Kanye West sneakers came to the stage!
Nike Flyknits made their big debut in 2012 when all the athletes and Olympians started wearing them. They were light and form-fitting – which made them very coveted kicks!
So, as you already know, Yeezy history kickstarted with a very short and brief collaboration with Nike in 2014. But, after a sudden fallout, Kanye found his calling with the competing brand – Adidas. Since then, Kanye has not failed to drop Yeezy after Yeezy, making us ALL scramble for a kick at retail. This is also around the time that sneaker bots gained so much popularity. Click on the button to learn more!
The dark days. The days of pandemics, lockdowns, and virtual takeover. Although we can not be more grateful to be alive in 2021, we still gotta admit: 2020 SUCKED! But, we did gain a lot of the sneaker styles of this ongoing decade!
For starters, we know the sneaker reselling is officially a formidable business! Plus, these days, you can even start your own streetwear brand without too much work. AND, the best part is, you can do it all from home! Now that’s something we couldn’t have managed in the past decades! Also, we had a lot of epic sneaker highlights! Including:
Nike Dunks Takeover
The most memorable of all sneaker styles from 2020 to this day happens to be the Nike Dunk takeover. Every time we thought that the Dunks were dead, Nike found a way to bring them back stronger than ever!
Yeezy Slides & Foam Runners
We’ve finally figured out why Yeezy slides are so popular: the pandemic. It’s safe to say that we’re blaming everything on the pandemic. Dressing up in sneakers that are comfortable and easy on the go is THE THING in this decade. We have no time for laces, barely any time for socks. And definitely no time for shoe care. So, slides and foamies are the way to go!
Air Jordan Retros
The Jordan brand has really been busy, up to their elbows in retros! We’ve got so many throwbacks and colorways revisiting from past decades. And so, we have no doubt that we’re gonna be seeing a lot more retros in the months to come. Check out the upcoming Jordans for the remainder of the year 2021 here!