Whether you’re looking to slip into the hi-fashion sock styles of Balenciaga and Fendi, or the more traditional shapes or Nike, Adidas and Puma, be certain that the sock sneaker trend is here to stay...
WORDS BY RYAN THOMPSON
Some years back, Tony Bignell, Nike’s VP of footwear innovation, gave his design team a challenge: how do you build a trainer that feels like a sock but still supplies all the support and confidence of a shoe? Well, they rose to the challenge, and ever since the Flyknit model’s 2012 release, sneakers have been evolving in decidedly more sock-like shapes. To the point, right now, where we find ourselves drooling over an entire new genre of kicks.
So what’s the allure? Well, there is something decidedly futuristic about the sock sneaker’s design: the minimalist contours and the paucity of hardwear which neatly complements fashion’s current leaning towards technical fabrics and space-age motifs. But more than that they represent a kind of landmark moment in the trajectory of sneakers, because it’s no longer just the likes of Nike and Adidas doing all the innovating. The generation of designers who grew up wearing sneakers are now coming of age at the helm of the big fashion houses, and creating a whole new luxury platform for exploring sneaker design.
But enough of the history lesson. What about the kicks? (Can we even call sock sneakers kicks? Sicks? Snockers?)