Changing the game one step at a time, sneakers are the most copped and the shoes of the moment. No longer just for tennis and b-ball courts from which they came from, nowadays sneaks are repped for every and any occasion. Whether you’re steppin’ to the streets, hittin’ up an event or even going to work, sneakers are the fave footwear choice thanks to the fuse of fashion and function.
Peep below to take a look at the most influential sneaker brands in the world RN. And guess what? You can grab ‘em all at JD.
Nike: The Bosses of Hype
Nike has a long track record of world-beating performance sneakers as well as next level tech innovation. Their footwear designs have continued to stand the test of time and more than that, Nike knows how to create footwear that live up to their considerable hype.
It has more icons in its archive than any other sneaker brand. Air Max and Air Force 1 are both part of the Nike fam and dominate the sneaker scene in their own right. Throw it back and you’ll find the classics like the Blazer and the Cortez – legendary! Nike are still the ones to turn heads, the most wanted and the ones to beat.
adidas: The Scientists
adidas has a rich history by way of innovative designs and cultural relevance. What’s stands out with the 3-Stripes is how ahead of the curve so many of their silhouettes are. Yes, there are OG classics — the Superstar, Stan Smith and Gazelle — and they’ll always be in the hall of fame, but in recent years the brand has changed the game with the likes of the Ultra Boost and collabs with Kanye and Pharrell Williams.
The German sports giant has also been experimenting with 3D printing to create next level webbed sole units – our tip to any sneakerhead, don’t sleep on the 3-Stripes.
New Balance: The OG Dad Shoe Founders
New Balance is one of the best in the game. Not only is the Bostonian firm responsible for some of the comfiest and most iconic running silhouettes ever made, they also create their premium range half in the US and half in the UK’s Lake District with highly trained craftspeople.
When it comes to sneakers and sports shoes, this innovative label is at the forefront of modern design. Blending the performance tech you need with the style you want, New Balance offers fashionable footwear that doesn’t compromise on function. It’s because of this approach that NB has a glowing rep with athletes, sneakerheads and just everyday wearers, rightly earning themselves a spot in the JD hall of fame.
Puma: The Comeback Kid
Puma may not make as much noise as some of its rivals, but while they’re all battling it out trying to come up with the next big thing, Puma is quietly working away in the background, perfecting the back catalogue of classics. And inventing a few new creps, too.
Cue the chunky sneaker trend. Puma has taken the look, put its own stamp on it and made it accessible to those who may not be able to cop a pair of Balenciagas that cost as much as a month’s rent. With modern upgrades to a heritage trainer, the Rider silhouette brings a bulky-but-athletic shape to your collection. Not only is the Rider ready to turn heads, but the medley of retro-esque hues makes the sneaker the ideal style bestie.
Vans: The Reliable Runner
From riding roads in LA to being repped by rap icons on stage, Vans has earned itself a deserved reputation as the sneaker brand of choice for alternative lifestyles.
Cool and unconditionally comfortable, Vans kicks are a classic for a reason. Its appeal? Simple styling, timeless appearance, of course, the plethora of colourways. The Old Skool, Sk8-Hi and Era are all instantly recognisable styles that haven’t changed in decades. Why? They don’t need to!
What has changed is how people rep them. Once a sneaker for skaters only, it’s now seen on rock stars and hip-hop icons, with casual wear and stepped up suiting. From the mid ‘60s right up to now, Vans have always added a dash of colour to a ‘fit without breaking the bank.
Air Jordan: The King of Collabs
The lovechild of sportswear gods Nike and NBA superstar Michael Jordan – The Air Jordan. Since ‘85, we’ve seen over 30 Jordan models that have acted as sneaker culture’s backbone. With designs that scream 90s, Jordans to this day have a distinctive look.
The Air Jordan brand is deeply rooted in the sneakerhead movement and is the birthplace of collector culture. Always bringin’ a luxe element to sneakers, Jordans are often made from suede and tumbled leather making the Jumpman just as iconic as the Swoosh.
Wanna refresh your rotation for Summer? Check out the latest from the Undisputed right here.