TOP 10 CASUAL CLASSICS TO COMPLETE YOUR COLLECTION
In order from oldest newest styles:
1. Converse All Star Hi
Introduced in 1917 as a basketball shoe.
While it didn’t officially become a “Chuck Taylor” until 1923, the Converse All Star was instantly popular in the basketball world. Most people can’t even picture the All Star being worn on the hardwood today (can you imagine seeing LeBron James or Kobe Bryant in a pair of them during a championship game?), but in the first decades of its existence, the All Star was the “it” shoe to own if you stepped foot on the court. Many years later (93 years, in fact), it’s evident that the All Star has dominated the shoe scene. Worn by musicians, actors and celebrities alike, it has become a true mainstay in popular culture. Available in hundreds of different colors, patterns and designs, you’re sure to find a pair that fits your personality. In the end, no other style transcends time and fashion like this one does.
2. adidas Originals Stan Smith
Introduced in 1965 for tennis pro Stan Smith.
Interesting fact: the adidas Originals Stan Smith was first designed for tennis pro Robert Haillet, then swapped with Stan Smith’s name once he captured the attention of fans everywhere. “Stan Smith” seems to roll off the tongue a bit better, don’t you think?
The Stan Smith has a rich history, but that’s only part of the reason people still love it today. With a sleek, clean look and pops of color in the perfect places, this classic style can be worn with just about anything, making it a permanent piece for your collection.
3. PUMA Suede
Introduced in 1968 as a basketball shoe.
It started out as a basketball shoe, then became a fashion statement when it was worn with big, fat laces in a rainbow of colors – everyone tried to set themselves apart with unique color combinations and the coolest look. The PUMA Suede has reemerged quite a few times since then, always offering new takes on the original and fresh colorways that fill up the archives of sneaker collectors everywhere. Of course, one can’t forget that the Suede has been worn by the likes of Olympic athlete Tommie Smith (in the 1968 Olympic Games) and break-dancing crews like the New York City Breakers and Rock Steady Crew.
4. PUMA Basket
Introduced in 1968 as a leather version of the PUMA Suede.
It might be a remake of a different PUMA style, but the Basket has its own merits that keep it on the must-have list for sneaker lovers. The clean, simple look that landed it in closets everywhere has been constant over the years, from the durable material to the recognizable PUMA stripe along the side. The Basket has been reengineered to give it new life and a modern appeal, but the original, classic silhouette remains the same – it’s a style that isn’t going to fade away.
5. adidas Originals Superstar
Introduced in 1969 as a hoops shoe.
The rubber shell toe. The three stripes. The Trefoil logo. It’s a shoe that’s an obvious pick for the “Top Ten” list. The adidas Originals Superstar is one of the most popular adidas shoes of all time, boasting over 40 years of heritage and a trendsetting style. Athletes wore them, hip-hop artists rocked them, and now they hold a highly coveted place in most fashion-lovers’ collections. If you haven’t already made them yours, there’s still time to jump in on the trend – these classic kicks aren’t going out of style.
6. adidas Originals Campus
Introduced in the early 1970s as the adidas Tournament, then renamed the Campus in the ’80s.
Some may argue that the Campus is one of the best adidas styles ever made. Considering the obvious competition, that’s a bold statement – but it certainly deserves a spot on the “Top Ten” list. The adidas Originals Campus may look familiar to anyone who grew up in the ’80s – as well it should. The Campus’ claim to fame can be traced back to the moment when the Beastie Boys started wearing them, even showcasing the shoes on one of their album covers. After that, the demand never faded – the Campus has been reintroduced year after year in almost every color imaginable – though always staying true to the materials and design that started it all.
7. Nike Cortez
Introduced in 1972 as an innovative running shoe.
The Nike Cortez is arguably one of the most recognized shoes Nike has ever made. It was created in 1972 by legendary designer Bill Bowerman, when he grafted a pair of flip-flops onto a pair of training shoes, creating a hybrid design that would change the world of running forever. It’s been updated, remixed and redesigned numerous times since then, including the newest version that features Nike’s latest technology: Flywire. However, nothing will ever top the original – it’s a style that truly defines “longevity.”
8. Nike Air Force 1
Introduced in 1982 as a premiere basketball shoe – the first to use a full-length Air-Sole®.
Although the first intended purpose for the Nike Air Force 1 was basketball, sneakerheads everywhere seek the AF1 as a style that’s strictly for show. AF1s are prized possessions, and owning it in every color combination isn’t unusual for collectors. Black-on-black and white-on-white are the two most popular colors of the Air Force 1, though it’s been issued in thousands of different colorways over time. Some of the most highly coveted versions are the unique artist collaborations, limited-edition models and athlete-specific styles that are produced in small quantities – and as a result, the hardest to come by. The AF1 can be summed up by saying: it’s been there, done that, and will be around to see it all in the future.
9. New Balance 574
Introduced in 1988 as a running shoe.
The 574 is New Balance’s most popular silhouette. Why? Partly due to the history behind it, and also due to the reasonable price and extensive range of sizes available. It started as a running shoe, but evolved into a lightweight and comfortable casual style that fashion followers collect in a variety of different colors. After over 20 years of existence, the 574 remains one of the few casual kicks that doesn’t compromise comfort for style. Wear ‘em anywhere, for any amount of time, and you’ll be hooked.
10. Nike Air Max 95
Introduced in 1995 as an attention-grabbing running sneaker.
Is it the greatest shoe in the history of Nike? Some would quickly answer “yes.” While that may or may not be the case, the Air Max 95 did make its mark in sneaker history. The concept behind the design of the 95 was to create a style inspired by the human body: a midsole that represents the spine, panels that represent the muscles, loopholes and straps that represent the ribs and mesh that represents the skin. That concept, along with the unique look of the 95, rocketed the shoe to instant fame. Retro versions of some of the original colorways from the ’90s are available now – stock up while you can!