No matter how much time goes by, some shoes will never go out of style. Brands, styles, individual sneakers, they come and go, but these shoes thrive through every era. Call them throwback, retro, classic, vintage, or whatever else, but that doesn’t capture what they really are. The shoes we’re talking about don’t belong to a different time—they’re timeless. These shoes are the foundation that brands like Nike and adidas were built upon, and continue to stand.
Most men’s sneaker styles go through revamps and iterations, but some are just here to stay. They’re throwbacks that never left. Retros that still feel new. Shoes so familiar they became classics. They walk the line between vintage and modern, because they belong in both categories.
One of these classic sneaker styles is the adidas Superstars, also known as shell toes or shell tops for the iconic shell-shaped design on the shoe’s toe.
The Superstar, released in 1969, was worn by literal superstars in the NBA and NCAA. Most people think about Kareem Abdul Jabbar when they think about throwback basketball players and the Superstars, but about 75 percent of NBA players were rocking the shell toes soon after their release.
Over time, the Superstar became more associated with vintage street style than basketball, in large part thanks to Run-D.M.C. whose members often wore them onstage and without laces. The Superstars became synonymous with retro hip-hop and men’s throwback streetwear, and that remains true in 2017 as they continue to grow in popularity.
Another throwback-style shoe in the same vein is the Nike Air Force 1. These Nikes come in low-, mid- and high-top styles with a strap. Originally released in 1982, the classic sneakers were actually shelved the following year. The Air Force 1 was brought back in 1986, and since then, the sneaker world’s love affair with the Nikes hasn’t stopped.
The Nike Air Force 1 was originally adopted as the preferred sneaker style for inner-city youth shortly after its release, and moved on to be a staple in classic hip-hop culture and a reflection of vintage street style. If you remember anything about the early 2000s rap music, you remember Nelly and Murphy Lee stompin’ their Air Force 1s.
The men’s classics collection at KickUSA doesn’t just begin and end with Nike Air Force 1 and adidas Superstar sneakers. That was just the introduction, a launching point to bring you into other throwback styles from classic brands. Not all of these men’s shoes were created in the ‘60s, ‘70s, and ‘80s, but that doesn’t mean they can’t have that vintage look.
KicksUSA has retro men’s styles from brands like Vans, Converse, Puma, Reebok and more. Check out some classic looks like the Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars, in both classic and modern colorways, or the Converse Fastbreak 83.
Vans old school shoes, too, have gone through many iterations, but always keep their vintage edge. Mens Vans come low- top styles that kept the throwback look without sacrificing modern style. You can also check out the classic Sk8 Hi if you’re after that retro high-top look.
Remember, there’s a reason these sneakers survived while so many others rose and fell. These are first-ballot inductees to the sneakers hall of fame. So whether you’re looking for a classic pair of Nike shoes, adidas or Jordans, KicksUSA has what you need to bring vintage style into the modern era.