Nike, Adidas, Puma. The Holy Trinity of athletic footwear.
Calling them global mega-brands is almost an understatement, since they have dominated the sportswear, and well, actually most of the sports industry, for decades.
Sports culture has been transgressing into mainstream fashion for years, and now they are staples of modern society, so much so that it’s rare to find any sneaker-head who hasn’t owned at least one pair of kicks from this trio. You can’t avoid them on the street, and with classic silhouettes like; Nike’s Air Max 1, Adidas’ Superstar, or the Puma Suede, it’s not hard to see why they’re the top selling footwear brands in the world. However, summer is around the corner and there’s so much more to the trainer game than big cats, three stripes, and swooshes.
Plenty of premium footwear brands are looking to catch up with the big three, so tie your laces, pull your socks up, and check out some of these certified fresh trainers:
The Italian brand has been around since the 1940s but has never quite made the impression of their billion-dollar counterparts. Yet they’ve been having a renaissance of recent years, bringing that Italian panache right back to the high street in both their fashion and their footwear.
If you’ve not seen their V.7000 range you’re missing out. Diadora has kept it simple with rubber soles and suede uppers but this shoe is smart, versatile, and comes in more colour ways than an artist’s easel. Being considerably cheaper than any of the big brands, they have become a regular in my weekly lineup, and with so many options you can’t go wrong.
The Athletic Rooster (Le Coq Sportif’s literal translation) has sponsored the Tour De France and a few major European sports teams, so they boast a very respectful and well-documented sporting heritage which has helped them create great fusions of style and comfort in their shoes.
The french brand might not be in the forefront of the trainer market right now, but that hasn’t stopped them bringing their own unique and effortlessly clean look to the floor. It’s the R800 collection that truly catches the eye and coming in varieties like the mineral pack, they make a big statement on your feet.
This quirky Scandinavian sports brand might not be the most well known but they do bring something different to the show. Founded out of a small workshop in Helsinki, they’ve been making original silhouettes since 1916. The brand did gain recognition by being spotted on the feet of none other than Kanye West – Yeezy has himself a pair of Karhu’s Fusion 2.0’s. Their newest release is the Maaliskuu pack, meaning “spring” in Finnish, which certainly packs a vibrant punch. The Fusion 2.0 (pictured) comes with bright yellow or green details making it, for me, a cool idiosyncratic addition to the wardrobe, and a plucky underdog to the big boys of athletic footwear.