Building a sneaker library? Here are some recommendations.
For the past year, I’ve attempted to broaden my knowledge by reading more books. Naturally, this led me to finding various novels and publications that discuss the history of sneakers, the hype that comes with something as simple as footwear, and the overall culture that grew and evolved as a result of the hype. The following are just a few that I recommend, whether you’re looking to learn more about sneakers, if you’re looking for a gift for a friend (or yourself) who loves sneakers and everything to do with it, or if you’re looking for some books to place on your coffee table to add to your overall aesthetic.
Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike
I highly recommend this book for both sneaker heads and up-and-coming entrepreneurs alike. Shoe dog stands out compared to most memoirs, as CEO Phil Knight focuses on the beginning stages of his entrepreneurial journey, long before Nike or Blue Ribbon Sports - he starts off exactly where most budding entrepreneurs begin, with a single question: what do I want to do with my life? As you continue reading, you’ll follow along his many experiences that eventually lead him to creating one of the titans of the sportswear industry.
Simply titled Sneakers, this book from Rodrigo Corral, Alex French and Howie Kahn is one of the most comprehensive guides to the sneaker scene. The contributors list is a who’s who of industry power players, with Patta’s Edson Sabajo documenting a worldwide sneaker hunt, Ronnie Fieg telling the story of KITH, adidas’ Jon Wexler discussing working with Kanye West and Tinker Hatfield looking to the future of footwear. Elsewhere, the book includes exclusive interviews with Virgil Abloh, Alexander Wang and Kobe Bryant.
The Ultimate Sneaker Book
As the name suggests, Sneaker Freaker: The Ultimate Sneaker Book tells the story of the blog of the same name. Since it was set up in 2002 — as a way for founder Simon “Woody” Wood to get free sneakers — Sneaker Freaker has become an established footwear voice. The book mixes commentary on current sneaker culture, historical insight and a focus on minute detail of a number of sneakers. Sneaker Freaker shines a spotlight on more than 100 years of sneaker history and mixes established names and brands — including Air Max, Converse and YEEZY — with more obscure labels including Troop, Airwalk and Vision Street Wear.
Sneakers x Culture: Collaboration
A celebration of the great sneaker collaborations that have reimagined the shoe, elevating this most practical of footwear into the realm of wearable art.
The ubiquitous sneaker is the canvas upon which so many defiers of convention--artists, musicians, athletes, and celebrities--have sought to make their mark and through the sneaker contribute to a unique identity and attitude among sneakerheads everywhere. Collected here are the best sneaker collaborations with the biggest makers--Adidas, Converse, Nike, Puma, Reebok--featuring nearly one hundred famous, infamous, and lesser-known partnerships.
HYPEBEAST Magazine, Issue 20
Made in collaboration with Off-White™ frontman Virgil Abloh, this issue delves into the many forms of charismata. Without an appropriate word to capture this multifaceted appeal, the 20th edition of HYPEBEAST Magazine is simply dubbed “X.”
Guest-edited by Virgil and shot by Mark Borthwick, The X Issue covers individuals whose work has become – or is becoming – an inextricable part of our cultural canon. Rising talents such as BRTHR, Benjamin Edgar, FACETASM and Advisory Board Crystals stand alongside industry veterans Arthur Kar and Chrome Hearts founder Richard Stark.