Why Are Sneakers Considered an Art Form?

Why Are Sneakers Considered an Art Form?

Sneakers have been around since the late 1800s when athletes and sports enthusiasts first wore them. But it wasn’t until the mid-20th century that they became a part of mainstream fashion. During the 1950s, sneaker companies started creating shoes with distinct designs and bright colors that appealed to the younger generation. This was followed in the 1970s by hip-hop culture, which further propelled sneakers into popular fashion trends.

Today, sneakers are no longer seen as just shoes but as artwork that can tell stories through their design and color palette. Let’s explore the reasons why sneakers are now being recognized as art.

 It’s all about the artists

Many sneaker companies employ talented designers who create one-of-a-kind works of art that can be worn as shoes. This allows artists to express themselves through their designs while also giving people an opportunity to purchase a piece of wearable art. Some sneaker companies have also created limited edition collaborations with fashion houses, giving customers access to unique designs from renowned designers like Virgil Abloh, Pharrell Williams, and Kanye West.  

rare sneakers

Sneakers are avant-garde

Sneakers have become a form of avant-garde art, allowing people to express themselves with edgy and innovative designs. Recent advancements in technology and material engineering provide an ever-evolving range of styles that look unique and stylish and provide superior comfort and support for all kinds of activities. The combination of eye-catching aesthetics, advanced materials, and comfortable construction provides individuals with the latest fashion trends and reliable support for their feet. With the continued development of design elements like 3D printing and Flyknit fabric, sneakers will remain at the forefront of fashion for years to come.

Some sneaker designs are rare

Finally, sneaker designs are an undeniably unique art form, possessing a value and aura that extends beyond merely the materials used to craft them. A huge part of this is down to the fact that these shoes can often be incredibly rare. Certain sneaker designs are extremely limited edition, making them hard to find even in the secondary market, where they often sell for thousands of dollars. For example, Nike’s Off White x Air Jordan 1 release in 2017 was restricted to just 72 pairs at a retail price of $190, yet today, those same sneakers command prices of up to $20,000 on the resale market. This astounding example shows how such limited-edition releases turn sneakers quickly and drastically into highly sought-after works of art.


Sneakers have become so much more than just a functional item of clothing in the modern world. They represent a high level of creativity, symbolism, and emotion for wearers and collectors alike. The different cuts and shapes of sneaker designs speak volumes about an individual’s values and tastes, enabling people to express their style uniquely. After all, much like art itself, there is uniqueness in each sneaker that speaks to the collective consciousness associated with different generations and cultures. It’s clear why some consider sneakers to be far beyond just an object to cover your feet. They engage us on an aesthetic, emotional, and creative level all at once.

Photo Attribution:

1st and featured image from https://www.ultra5280.com/lifestyle-1/2021/9/27/adidas-releases-yeezy-foam-runners-in-ochre

2nd image from https://solecollector.com/news/2017/07/the-rarest-release-of-every-air-jordan/

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