The most iconic sneakers did not come out of nowhere. They had muses, legends who inspired them. Thanks to their accomplishments, career, endorsement, contribution to their discipline. While the most famous remains Air Jordan inspired by Michael Jordan, a lot of other styles have been inspired by other legends!
1. Michael Jordan
No need to introduce Michael Jordan. Basketball legend, sneaker legend. A brand wears his name. Or he gave is name to a brand. Both work. Yes, Jordan brand takes from him. And so do most of the styles that came out since he became the face of the Jordan line.
Born in February 1963, MJ played 15 seasons in the NBA. He won Six championships with the Chicago Bulls. MJ wore first Air Jordan ever produced in 1984. It has since known a lot of new designs, shapes and colorways. Low, mid or high, Air Jordan releases are always highly expected.
They are so popular, they sell out in no time. Air Jordans are some of the most sought-after rare sneakers in the industry! Many of them actually refer to some key defining moments in Michael Jordan's life.
2. Chuck Taylor
I bet you've all heard about Chuck Taylor All-Stars from Converse. Quite an iconic style and silhouette. How did they even start? When Chuck Taylor asked Converse, a Nike subsidiary, to create better shoes with more support and flexibility.
Then shoe became quite popular early on. It was meant to be a basketball shoes, just as Chuck Taylor with a basketball player himself, but became a fashion item. After Converse added Taylor's signature to the ankle patch they became known as Chuck Taylor All Stars.
The silhouette went through a lot of redesigns and new styles. Colors, fabrics, material, low or high, it is quite the versatile pair. Even though by 1979 they vanished from the basketball scene, they remained as a high street item. A fashion essential.
3. Stan Smith
The funny thing about Adidas Stan Smith is that it is inspired by a tennis player. Yet, the shoe is not recommended for modern tennis playing. It does not matter though at it is now a widely recognized fashion essential and wardrobe staple.
Other funny thing is that upon its launch in 1965, it was called Adidas Robert Haillet. It was after the brand endorsed the French tennis player Robert Haillet. They were renamed Stan Smith in 1978.
The Adidas Stan Smith have many versions, the three most common being: the classic Adidas Stan Smith, the Adidas Stan Smith II and the Adidas Stan Smith 80s. A few limited editions have also come to be and are a dream's collector. Even the classic design sells out in no time each time a new colorway comes out.
4. Walt "Clyde" Frazier
Born in March 1945, Walt "Clyde" Frazier is a former basketball player in the NBA. He led the New York Kicks to the franchise's only two new championships (1970 and 1973). In 1987, he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall Of Fame.
The Clyde Puma changed it all. Puma, a German brand, was looking to break into the American basketball market. The problem? Adidas and Nike already took most of the space. The biggest basketball players were already taken. Puma reached out to Knicks guard Walt “Clyde” Frazier and offered him $5,000 and free shoes.
Initially, Puma didn’t have the right design for a shoe that Frazier could actually wear on the court. So they asked Frazier for suggestions. He wanted a lighter, more flexible shoe with inside padding. The Clyde Puma was born.
5. Allen Iverson
Reebok also is allowed some spotlight. So here comes Allen Iverson. Nicknamed "The Answer" and "AI", Allen is born in 1975 and is a former professional basketball player. He played 14 seasons in the NBA and was an 11-time NBA All-Star. Turns out, he was also a Reebok athlete.
He did start with Nike, but ended up with Reebok in 1997. Being already a star player, he received his signature shoe straightaway. The first official Allen Iverson shoe with Reebok was the Reebok Question. He wore this shoe while crossing over Michael Jordan in their first matchup after All-Star break.
Reebok's line flourished while Iverson's career did. The first Reebok Answer debuted shortly after the Reebok Question. And Allen received many accolades while wearing the Reebok Answer 4. And iconic line for an iconic player.
What legend inspired your favorite kicks? Michael Jordan? Allen Iverson? Someone else?
What are your favorite sneakers?
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