Sneakers : the Ugly Duckling

Besides the pretty heels and sandals, I’m sure many of us can not live without sneakers. After posting about sky-high heels a while ago, it’s about time to put sneakers in the spotlight. They’re sometimes ignored, sitting on the very bottom of our shoe closet or maybe in the corner, under your bed, uncovered with fancy shoebag, dusty, simply forgotten, unlike their other ”spoiled sisters” (stilettos, pumps, sandals, flats, boots, etc.). Sneakers are often associated with ugly running shoes, boring trainers, or simply outdated sport footwear. In fact, sneakers come in attractive fun colors and prints. Today, most of them are not even made anymore for running, hiking, nor performing any sport activities. Although most of the time, I abuse and force them to jog and hike *I just can’t stand the look of my boring running shoes and would rather wear my tortured Adidas Melbourne sneakers instead ;p

Sneakers will always be my life saver from a bad blister, morning commute and standing on a concert venue. My first affair with sneakers started around my adolescent years with Converse All Stars. Converse Chuck Taylor, the name behind the legendary sneaker celebrated its 100th Anniversary early this year. I still have my very first Converses till today, they don’t fit me anymore but they’ve been traveling with me everywhere, through every journeys of my life. They were even used on one of my styling assignments in the past with H&M and worn by the kid models. During my junior and high school years, Converse All Stars were definitely the must-have items, besides the Nikes. It looked like we were divided by the Converse and the Nike kids.

Then, in my college years, Puma was all the rage. I put aside my Converse, trading them with the latest Pumas. I was totally into Puma accessories, from shoe, training jacket, to duffle bags. Later came the revival of Adidas original. I instantly felt in love with them and since then, I only go for sneakers who give a retro vibe and vintage feeling. And when I moved to the States and discovered Ebay, I kept on looking for retro Adidas items and found several great treasures from their jackets to their retro bowling bags from the late 70’s. If you’ve read about how Adidas and Puma were born. Then you’d be aware that it resulted from a rivalry between 2 brothers: Adolf (Adi) and Rudolf Dassler. They both started making sport shoes in 1920’s, then went their separate ways after World War II. Adolf founded Adidas (short for Adi Dassler) and Rudolf founded Puma in the late 1940’s. For complete story, click here.

Right after the movie Kill Bill came out, Asics Onitsuka Tigers were high in demand. I helped a friend of mine who was selling sneakers and actually made a living just by selling rare and limited edition sneakers to some kids in Jakarta. Through him, I learnt more about sneakers, from Nike high top, Gola, Le coq sportif, Royal Elastics, Retro Reeboks, Kowalski, Bape (Bathing Ape), Vans, Keds, and a long endless list. I also learnt that some people are willing to spend hundreds or even thousand of dollars for a pair of their favorite sneakers, the same amount (or even more) to get a pair of Manolos or Choos.

I also have a friend who is a total sneaker freak. She prefers sneakers over pumps or heels. Her vast collection of Vans and Keds are thrown inside her crowded tiny closet and on the floor around her apartment. While some of my friends also go for designer sneakers (Gucci, LV, etc.) which I found totally tacky! To me, Gucci sneakers with vecro are a total knock-off of Puma Mostro and I still can’t stand looking at COACH sneakerss.. yikesss ;((. Nevertheless, my favorite sneakers would always be Retro sneakers like Adidas original, Le coq sportif and Converse All Stars, what’s yours??

Sources & images courtesy of:,,,, adidas, converse all stars, asics, gola, kowalski, nike, reeboks, keds, vans, le coq sportif, puma