Kicks by Nicholas Smith


Nicholas Smith

Nicholas K. Smith carries us through the twentieth century, introducing us to the sneaker’s surprisingly influential, enduring, and evolving legacy.

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Advance Galley Reviews

An interesting history. I haven't spent much time thinking about it but I found the book making me google and learn new things. Thanks for the opportunity!

"How one runs probably is more important than what is one one's feet, but what is on one's feet may affect how one runs." I received a copy of this book from in exchange for an honest review. This was an interesting dive into the world of American sports shoes. This book talks about the rise of Nike and how shoes meant for sports turned into athleisure wear and how celebrity endorsements shaped shoe sales. The book briefly touches on issues of class such as kids being killed for their Air Jordans (and how Jordan wasn't initially on board with Nike) and goes back to the early days of sneaker sales. This book gives some context as to why it's so hard to break into the shoe world now and the importance of branding as many popular shoe companies began. It's a fairly easy read that you learn a few things from.

I first would like to address Frank Ocean being called a rapper. He is not. He is an R&B singer. As for the rest of Kicks, it was excellent storytelling by Nicholas Smith. It is an original work and it was well researched. I am not a Sneakerhead and I don't understand the culture. I have a son and I won't pay over $100 for sneakers but that probably will change as he gets older. I actually Googled the chicken and waffles sneakers. I used to wear Reeboks and then I started liking New Balance. I never followed trends. I just buy what I like. My current sneakers are Vans. This book is worth a read.

Kicks: The Great American Story of Sneakers by Nicholas Smith Loads of fun to read! Great look into how most of today's major sneaker companies like Nike, Adidas, Puma and such rose to prominence. Learn a bit of the history of sneakers and business history while reading. That said, this book goes well beyond the history and into the culture of the popularity of, dare I say it, “Sneakers” (a word from my era). If you have any interest in sports history (especially running or basketball) as well as their stars, engineering and evolution of shoe design and sports marketing or even if you don’t, I’d recommend reading this book. Great book!

This was an interesting cultural history of sneakers. I'm not a sneaker connoisseur, the Adidas Superstar has been my favorite sneaker as long as I can remember (gotta have the shell toe!) I expect that the book might be slightly redundant for someone who is super into sneakers and can list brands and details from memory. There was a lot that I didn't know, and this gave me a better understanding of the athletic shoe business from before I was born; and reminded me of some big sneaker events I can remember in my lifetime that may have been turning points in our culture. I enjoy a Book that delves into the history of ubiquitous items I see every day.


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