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Sneakerheads and their influence on fashion

Annabella Mireles
Many who engage in sneakerhead culture use them as a form of self-expression and art in addition to also being knowledgeable of their history

Clothing and shoes have become more than means of warmth and protection from the sun or cold. From being worn by athletes as a form of self-expression to being the top accessory in prominent red carpets, shoes are considered by some people to be a form of art.

Sneakers are fashion’s latest trend and “sneakerheads” might just be responsible for this rise in popularity.

In a scholarly article “I wear, therefore I am: investigating sneakerhead culture, social identity, and brand preference among men” by Delisia Matthews, Qiana Cryer-Coupet and Nimet Degirmencioglu, “Sneakerheads” are people who collect, trade, and/or admire sneakers.

The article stated that sneakerheads are also knowledgeable about the history of sneakers, and passionate about sneaker nostalgia. This subculture came from the early 1980’s and the introduction of the hip-hop era. As streetwear became trendy during the ‘80s so did sneakers.

Brands such as Puma Clydes, Adidas Shell Toes, and Converse Chuck Taylors have been the fan favorite brands since the 80’s, and established their residency in the market, as it became popular not only within the sneakerhead community, but for the general public.

The top-selling shoe in 2021 was Nike Air Force 1’s according to HypeBeast. Some sneakers have seen an increase in price. In an article by Complex magazine “The Forgotten History of the White on White Air
Force 1, Nike’s Perfect Sneaker” Nike Air Force 1’s original price of $60 in 1997 according to Complex magazine.

Now Nike Air Force 1 retail for $100 as seen on their website.

In 2019 according to the Adidas website the price for a pair of “YEEZY BOOST 350 V2 BLACK” adult sizes at retail recommended price was $220. Now, 2022 resale prices are around $400 to $500 dollars.

In today’s light, sneakers are a means of bringing people together. In an article by Joseph H. Hancock “Fashion, style, and global culture with sneakers uniting us” Hancock states that sneakers are important in our cultural and social landscape.

Sneakers emphasize the need for more minorities and women to become involved in the sneaker industry as it is still dominated by Caucasian men, the article read.

The article also states how sneakers are one fashion item almost every person in the world understands or has seen.

“Whether high/low culture, urban/country, Western/Eastern, fashion/utility, collector/ athlete or just some who needs a comfortable shoe, it is almost certain that most people own or wear sneakers,” Hancock said.

Julia Lucero is a contributor and may be reached at [email protected]

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About the Contributors
Julia Lucero
Julia Lucero is a senior majoring in Multimedia Journalism. She is a contributor with The Prospector, member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, and writer for Borderzine. She has experience editing/producing audio and visual projects.
Annabella Mireles
Annabella Mireles, Photo Editor
Annabella Mireles is a junior at the University of Texas at El Paso majoring in digital media production and minoring in film. She is the photo editor at the Prospector newspaper and Minero magazine as well as owning her own photography business. She plans on pursuing photography full time.
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Sneakerheads and their influence on fashion