The sneaker world today follows several trends, and among these are classic shoe trends. Copping a classic shoe is like sipping a fine wine; it gets better as it ages. The classics have a simple style and a timeless look. Despite that, it does not come off looking like a cheap classic sneaker. In fact, these sneakers are still so influential that their silhouettes are used to create new shoes. In other words, they are the foundation of the shoes today.
Best classic shoes by brands
There are plenty of sneakers that have been identified by RunRepeat as a classic. Usually, iconic silhouettes like the white Adidas Stan Smith with a touch of green on the heel and a “Stan Smith” label on the tongue and the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star that was named after “Chuck Taylor” are associated with the word “classic”. Other than these two popular pairs by Adidas and Converse, below is a list of the best classic sneakers by brands.
The Bermuda sneaker from the Three Stripes brand is among the brand’s most praised sneaker. The re-release of this classic silhouette in January 2017 revived the legacy of its series, the Island series, from the 70s and 80s. Included in this series are Samoa, Hawaii, Tahiti, which have Pacific island silhouettes. Caribbean island silhouettes are seen on the Adidas Jamaica, Cancun, and Trinidad & Tobago.
The Adidas Bermuda has a full suede upper.
One of its most notable features is its midsole with the brand’s famous “Trefoil” logo embossed on the lateral side
Proving to be timeless, the Adidas Superstar never goes out of style no matter the trend. This history-rich sneaker was re-released in 2015. It is a shoe that was initially made for basketball, but over time has become a lifestyle shoe. Its popular renditions include Adidas Superstar 2, Superstar 80s, and Superstar Foundation.
It is well-known for its rubber shell toe.
The pair features a full-grain leather upper and a textile lining for extreme comfort.
Nike Air Max 95
After overcoming resistance, the Nike AM 95 was finally first released in 1995. After being made available in the market, this sneaker stayed ahead in the game both in the street and track. Today, its silhouette continues to be the inspiration of numerous models. Additionally, it has released over 150 colorways. Despite being in the market for two decades, it has not shown any sign of dying away.
For superior traction, enhanced flexibility, and smooth transition, which are the minimum for good track shoes, the Nike Air Max 95 is designed with a rubber outsole with waffle pattern and flex grooves.
Nike Classic Cortez
First released in 1972, the Nike Classic Cortez remains relevant today. Its straightforward design does not go out of style. The Cortez’s silhouette extends its influence from the running world up to the street fashion of the modern days. Plenty of well-known stars are seen donning this pair, which further enhanced its popularity.
The Nike Classic Cortez already has countless colorways, iterations, and notable collaborations despite its simple design.
Customers are allowed to customize their version of Nike Classic Cortez.
New Balance 530
The classic New Balance 530 was first released over two decades ago, and after being re-released, it has not failed to claim its spot as sneaker lover’s favorite. For some reason, it has become even more popular after its comeback. Included in the NB 530 line are the New Balance 530 Suede, New Balance 530 Summer Waves, New Balance 530 Running, and New Balance 530 Deconstructed.
The New Balance 530 flaunts a simple yet memorable appearance of a 90s running shoes using a mixed suede leather and mesh material for the upper.
It features the ENCAP midsole technology for support and durability.
New Balance 997
Showing off a nineties vibe, the re-issue of the New Balance 997 in 2015 still receives a lot of recognition. Due to its popularity, it has released several colorways and collaborations. And believe it or not, even the former US President Bill Clinton used to wear the pair in its OG tonal grey colorway.
The materials used for its upper is a combination of pig suede and mesh material, which gives a retro vibe to its design.
It retained the ENCAP midsole technology added with the REVlite cushioning for stability and comfort.
Reebok Classic Leather
Initially released in 1983 as a running shoe in the 80s, the Classic Leather from Reebok can now be used as a lifestyle shoe. Some even tagged this shoe as underrated as it has more to offer compared to the other hyped sneakers. Despite the long run in the market, it has not faltered and continued to grab a fair share of different yet significant collaborations.
The newer version of the Reebok Classic allows its buyers to customize and personalize it according to their liking.
Its most notable feature is its underrated and straightforward silhouette.
Reebok Workout Plus
On the silhouette’s 25th anniversary, the Reebok Workout Plus released a fresh-looking sneaker designed by the Reebok brand team and a Swedish denim label and also had a collaborative release. Since then, it continued to release several collaborations.
The Reebok Workout was initially released as a multi-purpose gym wear to accommodate the more challenging fitness program. The Reebok Workout Plus was born from this shoe.
The sneaker’s patented H-Strap in the midfoot gives its distinctive feature.
The Authentic sneaker from Vans was first seen in 1966. Despite being around for over 50 years, it remains to be one of the most popular sneakers, especially in the skateboarding community. One of the reasons why it is still so influential is because skaters dig this pair so much since it allows them to perform tricks with ease. Over time, this pair, from being strictly a skate shoe, has now become a lifestyle sneaker.
The most noticeable feature of the vans authentic is its vintage look.
It has a simple layout with a canvas upper and a thick vulcanized rubber sole with the signature waffle tread pattern for better traction.
Ever since appearing in 1978, the Vans Sk8-Hi remains relevant in today’s fashion world. Together with the Vans Old Skool, they are the most sought sneaker in this brand. This pair is a skater’s best friend, and eventually, it has turned into a staple footwear in many wardrobes. Its popularity even reached well-known celebrities like Kristen Stewart, Logan Lerman, Justin Bieber, and Lucy Hale.
Its quilted canvas collar is the focal point of this silhouette.
There are no hidden technologies used in this shoe, but it remains reliable for the skaters and well-loved by its wearers.
Vans Old Skool
Originally named as “Style 36” during its debut in the mid-1970s, the Vans Old Skool is now among the most-favored sneakers, not only for the skaters but also for casual wearers. Ever since it was released in the market, the shoe became a stable wardrobe staple. The versatile and straightforward style of this low-top sneaker started to get famous when it became an integral part of the hip-hop culture.
The Old Skool is the first to bear the famous symbol of Vans.
The outsole of this sneaker is made of durable rubber that gives it superior traction.
Frequently asked questions
What is a classic sneaker?
The silhouette of a classic sneaker is what is used as a primary model. Many designers use these to create a new design. A classic sneaker is timeless. It is almost untouched, with none to little changes ever since it was released. They are simple in style, which makes it a staple footwear in many peoples’ wardrobes.
Where to buy classic footwear?
Classic sneakers are both available in physical stores and online shops. You can check it out on local brand stores and ask assistants to show you classic sneakers. On online shops, it can either be on the brand’s site or other retailers like Urban Athletics, Amazon, and many more.
How to tie classic sneaker’s laces?
There are several ways to tie a lace. Usually, shoes come out of the box with a tied lace already, but they are often uneven or twisted. It is recommended that before wearing new sneakers, you lace it up on your own. Before anything else, make sure that both ends of the lace are even. Below is a list of some of the different ways to lace your sneaker:
Diagonal-and-under lace pattern - Lace them criss-cross style with the first lace going over and under rather than coming up through the eyelets.
Diagonal-and-over lace pattern - Almost similar to the diagonal-and-under lace pattern but it should go through the top of the eyelets instead of the bottom.
Loop-back lace pattern - The pattern consists of intertwined loops going up both sides of the shoes. Create a loop on one side of the shoe, then put the other lace through the loop and bring it back to the next eyelet on the same side.
Where to buy extra laces?
Whether the purpose of buying is to change a beat-up lace or just to be playful, Amazon is one of the best places to get your extra laces. However, some of your local footwear stores also sell extra laces.
How much room should there be?
Front: Allowing the toes a little movement is recommended to avoid deformed toes and calluses. There should be about a half-inch space between the end of the longest toe and the end of the front shoes.
Back: You would want to put a small space between the back of the heel and the shoes so that it would not rub against the heel as it may cause blisters and irritation. A one eighth inch distance is good enough already.
What socks to wear?
Some people assume that the available socks in the department store are suitable to wear for any shoes. However, the material used in making a sock really matters.
Wool - An excellent option to use on your next game or just casual wear. It provides enough cushioning for extended wear and to avoid blisters. It also absorbs sweat. However, socks made of wool should only be hand washed.
Acrylic - One of the most popular materials as they are widely used by men, women, children, teens, and adults. They are affordable, comfortable, and lightweight. It also absorbs sweat, which keeps the feet dry. Socks made of acrylic are suitable for casual use.
Cotton - Even though they are comfortable, it retains moisture too much, which may lead to blisters and soaking wet socks. Thus it is recommended to blend it with synthetic materials.
How to style classic shoes?
Due to its uncomplicated design, classic sneakers go with almost anything. Ladies who want to give off a cool vibe can wear their dress with a classic sneaker. For both men and women, it goes well with any denim and shorts, no matter the color and shade.
You just have to make sure that you wear it on the right occasion. For a street style, pairing it with a plain or printed shirt works well with the classic sneaker. To have a sleeker look, you can wear a blazer with it.
15 best classic sneakers
Adidas Grand Court
Adidas Stan Smith
Adidas Samba OG
Reebok Workout Plus
Nike Air Force 1 07
Onitsuka Tiger Mexico 66
Nike Air Max 97
New Balance 501
Nike Air Huarache
Vans Old Skool
Puma Suede Classic
Asics Gel Lyte III
Adidas Rivalry Low
Danny is a sneakerhead turned sneaker industry expert that believes a good outfit begins from the feet up. His aunt currently isn't speaking to him for wearing a pair of kicks at his cousin's wedding. He spends most of his time trying to keep on top of the latest releases, hitting up his contacts and doing what needs to be done to secure his next pickup. Danny has been featured in prestigious publications such as The Washington Post, The Irish Times, Footwear News and the like.
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