Article by: Selina De Dios
Video by: Harper Sy, Sienna Hagedorn, and Claire Stevens
It’s official, the sneaker epidemic has taken over the International School of Manila. With a growing number of sneaker wearers, it’s hard not to notice the trend. Contrary to the colorful social fabric of the school, it has become an absolute must to own a pair of classic, all-white, relatively bland sneakers, but why? What makes them stand out from the rest? Perhaps the most important question to be answered in order to stay in the game is: among the variety of styles and brands available, which sneakers are truly a step above the competition?
First, one must know the origin of this design. The first brand that arguably pioneered this type of footwear was Adidas, specifically with their release of the Stan Smiths in 1965. Named after a famous tennis star, the Stan Smiths were known for their simplicity. Remaining mostly unchanged, they have offered kids of this generation a taste of the past with their vintage designs.
Nike is another popular shoe brand that has made a classic image for itself. The original all-white sneaker branded by Nike was the Nike Airforce 1. The complex and high-tech design of this shoe is what made it so desirable. However, today Roshes and Flyknits seem to be dominating the appeal of Nike. Although Nike is typically known for athletic shoes, these two styles are not ideal for strenuous exercise. The light-weight and sleek style that they feature offers little support. No matter how athletic they make wearers feel, they are, in reality, shoes for show.
Despite some of these shoes initially being a thing of the past, the recent popularity can be attributed to the number of pop culture icons affiliated with certain brands. These include Pharrell Williams, who has his own line in collaboration with the Adidas Stan Smiths, Taylor Swift, who released her own shoe line with Keds, and Kanye West, who has worked with Adidas to release a shoe line under his name.
Although the influence of these celebrities plays a major factor in this fad, there are other things to consider. Sneaker enthusiast Alejandro M. believes that buyers opt for the all-white shoe because, “consumers like the minimalist look.” Moreover he adds that, “being all white, the design is seen without any distractions.” Another white shoe frequenter, senior Tim Young, also notes that, “since [they’re] so versatile, you can match [them] with anything.”
Whether it be because of the timeless design, classic and clean look, or the ability to express and personalize other aspects of one’s style, all-white sneakers continue to enthrall the shoe crowd. No matter the factors, one thing’s for sure: this trend is something that shouldn’t be kicked to the curb.