Sneaker culture is in constant evolution. The technology and design of the latest Air Jordans,
for example, are completely different from what the first pair in the series had to offer.
Today, innovation is the name of the game, and whether we are talking about sustainable
production lines, speed-boosting technology, or virtual items, brands and artists are changing
the shoe landscape forever.
Sustainable and Vegan Manufacturing
The sneaker industry hasn’t been deaf to the call for more sustainable and cruelty-free
practices. Companies like Reebok have started to restructure their whole manufacturing
process, and other companies have started to experiment with plant-based, recycled, and
For example, the Reebok Forever Floatride Grow uses sustainable materials like eucalyptus
bark and bloom algae. Other examples include the Veja Condor, which is made from oil and
sugar cane, and the Vivobarefoot Geo Racer 2, which is constructed out of recycled plastic.
Carbon Plate-Based Energy Conservation
One of the most exciting advances professional runners have witnessed in the last few years
is how far speed-boosting technology has gone. Most of these running shoes use different
techniques to store energy. In fact, they’ve become so efficient that many believe shoes
like the Nike Vaporfly should be banned from competitions.
While some brands like Adidas focuses on thermoplastic polyurethane pods to allow the
runners feet to bounce back, the most successful technology developed for such ends is the
carbon fiber plate. This structure runs across the shoe and stores energy while being
compressed, only to be released as soon as the foot leaves the ground, and is a prominent
feature in many running shoes.
Sneaker Focused Content Creation
As the industry pushes forward towards innovative manufacturing processes, advanced
performance-oriented technology, and multidisciplinary collaborations, it’s becoming harder
and harder to discern between overhyped models and quality releases.
There were about 120 million podcast listeners in the US in 2021, listening to topics ranging
from movie releases to true crime. And with sneakers becoming increasingly popular as
collectors items, there has been a rise in dedicated sneaker content. The SoleSavy podcast is
a great way for sneaker enthusiasts to keep up to date with the latest trends and discussions
about sneaker culture. It also features guest musicians talking about their sneaker brand
collaborations, and even recent news like Nike acquiring a studio with the intention of
starting to produce NFTs.
With the emergence of virtual economies, even digital items have started to gain value.
Thanks to growing profits in the digital sphere, companies are more open to collaborations
and digital tools. Adidas, for example, is going to release a series of sneakers based on the
characters from the Guardians of the Galaxy video game.
Some designers have even ventured into creating multiverse sneakers— that is, pairs that are
released both in the real world and for the Metaverse. Complex report that the latest Shoe
Surgeon sneaker will be created as a virtual item to be worn while exploring the Metaverse,
and as a real pair that the owner can wear in the real world.
Shoeing in the Future
Sneaker culture isn’t just discussing your favorite colorways and materials, but also
analyzing the latest releases and the trends they follow. As technologies around the world
continue to develop, sneaker enthusiasts will need to keep up with all the changes. With the
way trends are headed now, the future is sure to be full of surprises.