I love shoes. Shoes bring me so much joy and happiness, as I’m sure they do for many people. Whether it’s running shoes, basketball shoes, everyday shoes, high tops, low tops, you name it; I love them. I’ve tried many brands, styles, and the like to find the best pair of sneakers. So, here is what I’ve come up with. I hope you learn something about how amazing shoes and shoe culture are. So, without further ado, here are my top 5 favourite sneakers!   

1. Nike Jordan 1s   

In many ways, Jordan 1s and the resulting Jordan Brand sparked the growth of sneakerhead culture. Also referred to as Air Jordan 1s, these shoes go back to 1985. Released during Michael Jordan’s rookie season in the NBA, Jordans went on to create a cultural frenzy and become the most famous shoe Nike has ever made and maybe of all time. A staple in any shoe collection, these are a must-own for wannabe sneakerheads. Since 1985, 35 versions have been released, but we stand by the OG Jordan 1s. It’s a little expensive for people new to shoe collecting, but if you are only going to buy one pair of sneakers, these are it.  Check out all your options at Footlocker!  

2. Adidas Gazelles   

I will never be as cool as Harry Styles, but I’m going to damn well try. Unfortunately, I can’t afford the Gucci x Adidas line, and I’m guessing you can’t either on a student budget. However, the 1991 Adidas Gazelles are just as cool. They have that classic Adidas vibe but with a slimmer body and a little more of a vintage look. A great pair of sneakers that can be dressed up or down, allow for any outfit combination, and give you style no matter what else you’re rocking, are always worth picking up. Plus these shoes look even better once broken in and scuffed up, so you can wear them until your toes poke out of the top. If you’re an adidas lover but on a budget, you’ll want that discount – get 25% off Regular Priced Products +15% OFF sale* with SPC.  

3. New Balance 550s / 574s   

I’m obsessed with my New Balances. They’re so effortlessly cool and stylish that it’s impossible to go wrong with styling around them. If you’re lazy but also care about your appearance like me, being able to throw any outfit together and have it look good is important. The original 550 debuted in 1989 and impacted basketball courts across the United States. After being retired, they were reintroduced in limited-edition releases in late 2020 and returned to the full-time lineup in 2021, again becoming a fan favourite.  

On the other hand, we have the 574s. These are one of the most wearable shoes ever designed. This unassuming, unpretentious versatility of this style is exactly what launched the 574 into the ranks of all-time greats. Some famous wearers of New Balances are rapper Jack Harlow, basketball star Kawhi Leonard, and internet daddy Pedro Pascal. If you want to grab some sneakers from New Balance, you can get 15% off regular-price items, and 5% off clearance items* with SPC!   

4. Converse   

Converse have been classic since the beginning. Coming in at under $100, these are our most affordable shoes on the list. At almost 100 years old, they are arguably the most iconic shoe silhouettes of all time. Many people don’t know that Converse began its legendary career as a basketball shoe. Now mostly worn as everyday shoes, a popular one at that, most people won’t go a lifetime without owning a pair of these. The high tops are the brand’s best-selling product, but the white Leather Low Tops will always be my favourite pair of shoes. Looking their best at about 5 years of scuff, adventure, and wear and tear, these puppies age with style. Your favourite celebrities love Converse too! Yup, Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, Rihanna, Joaquin Phoenix, and Joe Jonas! Plus get $10 off when you buy them at Journeys!   

5. VEJA   

This shoe is a slight detour from the others mentioned on the list. While not super popular in North America yet (I’m here to change that), these shoes are taking Europe by storm. I’m a massive fan of VEJA because their shoes are made with high-quality recycled materials, organic cotton, and sustainably-sourced leather. But even more so because they offer a vegan option. The sleek V design on the side and the durability of these shoes will make them a big up-and-comer in North America very soon. So get ahead of the trend and grab a pair before it’s too late. Some celebs rocking Veja’s are Emma Watson, Meghan Markle, and Emily Ratajkowski. Grab a pair at Altitude Sports!    


You may have noticed a trend in this article. Basketball and hip hop, which are heavily influenced by black culture, have enormously influenced shoe styles and continue to be a driving force for urban trends in almost every realm of fashion. If you are a sneakers fan, you must acknowledge how influential black people have been in shoe culture and fashion in general. From critical players like Virgil Abloh to Salehe Bembury, shoe and black history are forever intertwined. I hope you enjoyed my favourite shoes, and use this list when shopping for your next pair of sneakers!   


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