Call them what you want, trainers, sneakers, creps, kicks, but all men need a couple of pairs in their wardrobe. Here is what I believe is the definitive list of the best 15 trainers of all time. I’ve avoided mentioning specific colourways or limited editions, and stuck purely to exact styles.
15. Adidas Americana (1971)
Originally the official trainer of the ABA, before its merger with the NBA in 1976. The classic red, blue and white makes this an iconic shoe.
14. Puma Suede (1968)
These trainers have seen it all, they’ve been used for basketball, assimilated into b-boy culture and have now found a place on the football casuals feet.
13. Nike Air Jordan 1 (1983)
The sneaker that started it all. When Nike were convinced to give Michael Jordan his own signature shoe they had no idea how successful it would be. The Air Jordan changed and developed through the years, as it gained popularity, but the original design is still the most iconic. On the down side they must be blamed for Riff Raff’s awful track ‘Tip Toe Wing In My Jawwdinz‘.
12. Converse Chuck Taylor All Star (1923)
Unchanged for almost a century, with their stitched upper and rubber toe, these shoes have graced sportsman and rockstars and have always been in fashion.
11. Nike Bruin (1972)
Basic, yes. Iconic, certainly.
10. Reebok Classic (1983)
The archetypal British trainer. No piece of footwear says Great Britain like a pair of Classics. Through no fault of their own these trainers have come and gone in terms of fashion, having been identified with ‘chav’ culture. However the clean design and Union Jack will always make these a true British icon.
9. Adidas Superstar (1969)
A lot of sneaker-heads would place these Run DMC approved trainers higher, but despite their great styling and place in hip-hop history, they’re not just quite good enough to be at the top.
8. Nike Roshe Run (2012)
The only recent trainer in the list. The Roshe is minimalistic, with clean lines, a variety of colourways and dynamics suited to running. It is the ultimate millennial shoe, that prides comfort and purpose along with style.
7. Adidas Forest Hills (1979)
Just. Look. At. Them.
6. Adidas Samba (1950)
Originally designed to play football on hard ground these are the epitome of cool, and the second most highly sold Adidas trainer, selling 35 million pairs.
5. Adidas Spezial (1979)
Originally designed for handball these are just a stunning pair of trainers.
4. Nike Air Max 1 (1987)
So iconic that they’ve spawned their own celebratory day and customary hashtag #AirMaxDay. Designed by Tinker Hatfield, who also designed Air Jordans, these are known for their incredible mix of comfort and style. The iconic look of the air pocket has spawned a million imitators but there’ll only ever be one Air Max 1.
3. Adidas Gazelle (1968)
A football fan favourite. You’ll see these on the feet of hall of the terrace, and with a variety of colour schemes, and a clean design they can coordinate well with anything.
2. Nike Air Force 1 (1982)
The Air Force 1 was the first basketball shoe to use Nike’s Air technology, and its silhouette, with it’s large sole, has become iconic. The shoes have been referenced across the hip hop world, from Nelly to Dizzee Rascal.
1. Adidas Stan Smith (1965)
Our number one, and the highest selling Adidas trainer of all time. What more can be said about these shoes than has already been said? No need for words just take in that clean design and the iconic touches of green. A true classic.
Do you agree? Let me know in the comments, or on Twitter.