Sneaker Books cover feature
LIVING Published: April 3, 2020 Updated: April 24, 2020  |  WORDS: Eshwaran Subramaniam

Books that will school you on sneaker culture

Just like any community, sneakerheads have a story and culture that bind us together.

Sneaker Books Sneaker Freaker Open

It’s time to do your Home Work and dive into these sneaker books to learn about what made sneaker culture such a global phenomenon.

As we settle into the new circuit breaker measures, we already foresee having big empty spaces of time to fill up. We suggest using that time to get some Home Work done – in this case, to learn more about sneaker culture and the kicks that have defined the community. Scroll on to see our recommended sneaker books.

The Adidas Archive

Sneaker Books The adidas Archive. The Footwear Collection

The Adidas Archive tells the brand’s history through its archive of over 350 sneakers. It showcases the evolution of their design and the groundbreaking models that put Adidas on the map. It also recounts the social influence their sneakers have had, focusing on icons like Lionel Messi, Run-DMC and Madonna who helped give the brand its street cred. Fans of the three stripes also get access to never before seen samples and designs from Stella McCartney, Yohji Yamamoto, Parley for the Oceans and more.

Buy here: Taschen

Sneaker Freaker: The Ultimate Sneaker Book

Sneaker Books Sneaker Freaker

Every sneakerhead needs to read this 672-page book at some point in their lives. It is one of the most exhaustive histories of sneaker culture, recounting some of the biggest sneaker launches in crazy detail. The book is the brainchild of Sneaker Freaker, an Australian sneaker magazine that has been at the forefront of sneaker culture for the last two decades. As the name suggests, it offers the most comprehensive commentary on sneaker culture that reflects on the past, discusses where it stands today and where it’s headed in the future.

Buy here: Taschen

Sneakers: The Complete Limited Editions Guide

Sneaker Books Limited Edition Sneaker

This book is for all the grail hunters out there. “Sneakers: The Complete Limited Editions Guide” showcases some of the most exclusive and rare sneakers ever released. Over 300 sneakers are featured, alongside detailed explanations about their cultural significance and how their histories make these sneakers valuable today.

Buy here: Amazon

Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of NIKE

Sneaker Books Shoe Dog

Written by Nike’s co-founder Phil Knight, Shoe Dog recounts the early days of Nike. The book starts with Phil at age 24, and recounts his journey over the last 50 years. It showcases his transition from selling Japanese imported sneakers out of his car to being the head of one of the biggest brands in the world. The book gives first-hand accounts of the struggles and setbacks faced by Phil Knight to build the billion-dollar sporting goods giant we know today.

Buy here: Ubuy

Nike SB: The Dunk Book

Sneaker Books Dunk Book

Nike SB is clearly seeing a revival in 2020, and for those who are new to the brand, this book is for you. The tome offers a detailed history of the Nike SB line, showing how it transitioned from a basketball sneaker to a skate sneaker, eventually becoming one of the most important skate sneakers of all time. The 350-page book features some of the most sought after SB Dunks to release, including the Staple Pigeon Dunks, Paris Dunks and Supreme Dunks. An added bonus is the personal anecdotes from Futura and Paul Rodriguez about the significance of the SB Dunk line.

Buy here: Amazon

Stan Smith: Some People Think I Am A Shoe

Sneaker Books Stan Smith

Stan Smith is one of the most famous sneakers out there. Even non-sneakerheads gravitate towards the super clean, all-white leather sneaker. The book is written by Stan Smith, the former number one tennis player who is best known for his creation with Adidas. With input from Raf Simons, Pharell and more, this book is your guide to understanding how this tennis sneaker became a fashion mainstay.

Buy here: Rizzoli 

Where’d You Get Those?: New York City’s Sneaker Culture: 1960-1987

Sneaker Books Where'd you get those

Written by Bobbito Garcia, “Where’d You Get Those?” explores the early days of sneaker culture in New York City. The book explains the growth of the community from the 1960s till 1987, looking back at the sneakers that were released and their cultural significance. The book also highlights the communities and sneakers that set the foundation for sneaker culture, enabling us to appreciate it like never before.

Buy here: Amazon

Sneakers

Sneaker Books Sneakers

Regarded as one of the most comprehensive books on sneakers as a whole, “Sneakers” is a guidebook to everything you need to know about the scene. The book features stories and quotes from some of the biggest names in the game – Edson Sabajo from Patta, Ronnie Fieg from Kith, Jon Wexler from Adidas and, of course, the legendary Tinker Hatfield. Each of them provide a different perspective on the growth and future of sneaker culture. The book also has some of the most exclusive interviews with current tastemakers like Virgil Abloh, Alexander Wang and the late Kobe Bryant.

Buy here: Amazon

Which of these sneaker books are you picking up first? Share your shopping cart in the comment section.

The products featured above are from our affiliate partner Taschen. We do our best to curate recommendations that are relevant to you.

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