July 16, 2022

Sneakers have sneaked into popular culture with the help of heavy marketing and celebrity endorsements. The sneaker market is valued at $79 Billion in 2020 and is estimated to grow to $120 billion by 2026. Let’s see how sneakers have transitioned from athletic shoes to luxury fashion items.

From Function to Fashion

Initially designed for athletic activities, Sneakers have transcended into more than just a pair of shoes. The shoes have gained cultural significance and have become fashion wear. 

High commercialism, marketing campaigns, celebrity endorsements and the underground hip-hop scene have contributed to the sneaker culture.

In the ’70s, the emergence of hip-hop led to the rise of underground sneaker culture. The 80’s Run-DMC song My Adidas strengthened the sneaker’s place in pop culture.

Celebrity and athlete endorsements have made sneakers a cult fashion product. Shoes like the Nike Air Jordans and Adidas x Kanye Yeezy have made a mark in the world of sneakerheads.

The biggest factor leading the sneaker culture is the customers themselves. Sneaker brands dominantly target and cater to millennials. This has translated into the usage and design of sneakers globally.


Millennials Prioritize Comfort

Sneakers have a great impact on how we express ourselves. Millennials and Gen Z are known for their easy-going and outspoken nature. Sneakers were thought to be only for athletic activities but now they are acceptable footwear for smart casual occasions.

Sneakers as Luxury Collectibles

The launch of Nike Air Jordans shifted the sneakers’ image from simple footwear to status symbols. This resulted in a community of sneakerheads in the US, which has become global. Sneakerheads collect sneakers as a hobby, especially limited editions. They even lineup through the launch night to get their hands on a pair.

Source: Sports Illustrated

The internet and the release of limited editions by Nike and Adidas have created a large sneaker resale market. The global resale market was around $6 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow to $30 billion by 2030.


What’s Next?

The rise of the metaverse and NFTs will hopefully bring new trends to the sneaker market. We might be able to try on our favorite pair without even stepping foot in a store or a pair. The collection and resale processes will hopefully become more smooth and fun. Let’s wait and see.


Check out our bestsellers here if you’re looking for a pair of sneakers from top global sneaker brands.