Sneaker collecting has become mainstream and that means more and more to choose from with every turn of the calendar page. While it would take forever to compile a list of the greatest sneakers of all time (literally hundreds or thousands would have to be included), when it comes to collecting sneakers there are some basic necessities that any aspiring collector should start with. Like black and white for your wardrobe, these sneaker styles will remain timeless and making a personal statement with any of them is as simple as choosing a colorway. Scroll down to see The Basics: 10 Sneakers Every Collector Should Own and get started on your collection today.
The Puma Clyde, also known as the Suede, was originally created for Walt “Clyde” Frazier back in the 1960s. It became a huge part of hip hop culture in the late ’70s and ’80s thanks to B-Boys and artists like MC Shan who swapped in “fat laces.” The Puma Suede’s iconic nature has made it popular amongst collectors for over ten years.
As RUN DMC would say, “my Adidas and me, close as can be, we make a mean team, my Adidas and me.” adidas Superstars were originally intended for basketball but they become a staple in hip hop fashion in the 80s. The number of color choices are limitless and include collaborations with Pharrell Williams one of the more popular recent releases.
Like others on this list, Allen Iverson’s first signature sneaker with Reebok is an all-time classic. After he wore the Jordan 11 at Georgetown, the world was ready and waiting for the Reebok Question. This year it celebrates 20 years with a number of new variations and timeless retro colorways.
The adidas Ultra Boost is only a year or so old but this running shoe has taken the sneaker world by storm. Not only for aesthetics but because many are calling it the most comfortable shoe they’ve ever worn, thanks to the innovative Boost cushioning system.
The Air Max running shoe line is loaded with former performance shoes that have been repurposed with new releases designed for casual wear. You could go with an Air Max 90 or the gradient color palette of an Air Max 95 but the Nike Air Max 1 is the one that started it all back in 1987. This design is still one of the most popular sneakers available today.
Kanye West’s collection for adidas is one of the most popular sneaker lines ever. Before that he had collabs with Nike and Louis Vuitton. And even before he was creating his own sneakers, he was wearing fresh sneakers. His passion for style may not be for everyone but it’s genuine. We think any of the Yeezys he’s designed will stand the test of time.
The Nike Air Force 1 has been reworked in thousands of colorways since it first released back in the early 1980s. Whether you choose to be bold, or keep it classic with the all white high top AF1 is up to you.
8. Reebok Pumps
When Reebok created “The Pump” cushioning system in the late 1980s it made quite an impact on the sneaker business. Nowadays there are dozens of Reebok Pump styles to choose from, ranging from the original basketball shoes to the newer ZPump running shoes and the Dee Brown Pumps pictured above will have man feeling nostalgic.
You don’t need to be a sneakerhead to understand the greatness of the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star. Chucks are timeless and fit any and every type of person out there. The only hard part is choosing a colorway, but you can’t go wrong with the Andy Warhol collection pictured.
10. Air Jordans
With 30 Air Jordan models and counting, this entire list could be made up of Air Jordans but what fun would collecting sneakers be without some diversity. Sneakers like the Air Jordan 3, Air Jordan 11, and Air Jordan 1 are all head-turners and that’s what makes them so good.
Want more sneaker inspiration? Read our piece on 5 College Basketball Sneakers Every Collector Should Own.