Sneakers got their original cultural association through the athletes that wore them. However, as both their attractive appearance and comfort became more desirable for all people, sneakers grew into a cultural association of their own. Dubbed “Sneakerhead Culture,” a recent Brooklyn Museum exhibit called “The Rise of Sneaker Culture” helped to ring in the idea of this culture. The exhibit emphasized much about the shoes themselves, presenting some historical points as well as reflections on Sneakerhead Culture.

The Spread of Sneakerhead Culture

The spread of this culture and the subcultures that encompass it include many speaker enthusiasts. Some are interested in sports, others want to own and wear the best sneakers, and still others pursue sneakers as a fashion statement. With over 150 different types of shoes on display, “The Rise of Sneaker Culture” exhibit presented many types of shoes that forms this culture.

The Brooklyn Museum exhibit did offer a historical take on sneakers, presenting a take on shoe designs originating in the early 1800s. It also covered historical markers that affected the evolution of shoes, like industrial advancements in rubber. Furthermore, the creation of the athletic shoe was also worth mentioning in the exhibit, since that cultural staple has been known as a reflection of one’s wealth since the 1900s.

The Shoes Responsible for Sneakerhead Culture

One important historical marker in Sneakerhead Culture presented by the exhibit were the two shoe styles the exhibit interpreted as those that paved the way for the creation of Sneakerhead Culture. First, the introduction of the original Nike Air Jordans in 1985, followed by the 1986 idea of Run-DMC’s hit “My Adidas” seemed to create the combination effect of cementing Sneakerhead Culture into mainstream society.

Since then, many people have used sneakers to place emphasis on their individual personalities and styles. As a well-known fashion statement that reflects wealth, comfort, and uniqueness, the recognition of Sneakerhead Culture nationally helps us all to understand just how important sneakers are to Americans.

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