In recent years, sneakers have become luxury items. Nowadays, a good pair is just as fashionable as any other type of footwear.

It’s now common to see people on the street wearing a pair of sneakers as part of a high-fashion look, but it was not always like that. Originally worn only by high-performance athletes, sneakers have evolved at a rapid pace and broken out of the world of sports and into the universe of luxury and mainstream fashion. The first sporting shoes appeared on the scene in 1916 from the brand Keds, and a year later, Converse launched its All Stars. By 1920, basketball player Chuck Taylor was regularly seen wearing these canvas shoes, and the popularity of the brand skyrocketed. In the decades that followed, brands like Adidas, Puma, Nike, and Reebok cropped up, proving just how lucrative this industry could become.

Sneakers’ popularity and transition from athletic wear to lifestyle footwear was due in large part to pop culture. In the 50s, Marlon Brando and Marilyn Monroe popularized wearing sneakers and jeans, and the look became a kind of uniform for young rebels who sought to break free from social norms. By the seventies, sneakers had gone from exclusively being sporting shoes to being the footwear of choice for younger generations, in part because musicians and celebrities like the Ramones, Beatles, and Farrah Fawcett were wearing them. These shoes also found their way into the hip-hop industry, with figures like Kanye, Jay-Z, Run DMC, and LL Cool J showing up in celebrity news wearing cool kicks. In the nineties and at the beginning of the millennium, sneakers were everwhere; social stratum didn’t matter nor did one’s musical tastes, line of work, or age; sneakers were for everyone.

Sneakers’ popularity made them very attractive for the luxury industry. In 2014, sneakers made their debut in the world of Haute Couture at the Spring 2014 Chanel show. This moment showed the world that sneakers had been officially accepted into the highest stratum of luxury wear. Streetwear had broken down that last barrier and become part of the newest trends and inspirations. Since, we’ve seen lots of high fashion brands launch their unique takes on classic sneakers. For example, there’s the Triple S by Balenciaga, the classic Ace by Gucci, and the futuristic Archlight by Louis Vuitton.

Now, sneakers like the Air Jordan III can cost up to $ 4,500.00 USD. The “Sneakerhead” subculture is one of the most passionate and competitive in the world, so scoring a pair of special edition sneakers can be quite a challenge. That’s why a good pair of sneakers is a must in any wardrobe. These are no longer just comfortable shoes to wear on the weekend or at the gym. Now, a pair of sneakers is a statement piece. Here are some of the my favorite options of the season.

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