A cornerstone of casual dressing, and a type of footwear embedded in popular culture, sneakers are a true wardrobe staple. Originally designed for athletic use, and named because they enable the wearer to "sneak" about without making the squeaking sounds associated with leather soles on certain surfaces, sneakers have been designed and reinterpreted By designers since conception. Click through the gallery above to see five pairs of kicks worth coveting.
The Sneaker Timeline
US firm Keds releases the first mass-produced sneakers, which have canvas uppers and rubber soles.
Marquis Mills Converse develops the All Star rubber-soled shoe, and names it after the basketball player Mr Chuck Taylor, starting the enduring association between sports stars and sneakers.
German national Mr Adi Dassler starts making sneakers, and eventually launches the Adidas brand. Mr Jesse Owens wore Mr Dassler's sneakers for competing in the 1936 Olympics, and he won four gold medals.
Sneakers began to make the transition from the athletic to casual wardrobe, particularly as young people emulated the style of Mr James Dean.
Mr Michael Jordan signed a deal with Nike to develop the now-iconic Air Jordan line of sneakers.
Run-DMC release the song "My Adidas", and subsequently send a video to the brand's executives demanding $1m for the publicity. Adidas obliges, and the group create their own products for the label.
With sneaker culture (and prices) on the ascent, Sports Illustrated runs a cover with the headline "Your Sneakers or Your Life", chronicling the rise of violent robberies for victims' sneakers.
In the 29th episode of The Simpsons, Homer's expensive new sneakers (Assassins, described as having "Velcro straps, a water pump in the tongue, a built-in pedometer, reflective sidewalls and little vanity plates") are destroyed By the family dog. The incident is intended to parody "sneakerhead" culture.
The documentary Just for Kicks is released, exploring the history of the sneaker phenomenon.
Lanvin introduces its signature suede and patent leather sneaker, which has been repeated every season since. With it, the high-fashion sneaker is placed firmly on the map.
Mr Kanye West creates several pairs of sneakers in collaboration with Louis Vuitton, affirming the luxury sneaker's place in popular culture.
Everyone from fashion editors attending the Paris and Milan shows to off-duty bankers start incorporating athletic sneakers from Nike and New Balance into their casual outfits.