Skip to main content

The Most Iconic Sports Shoes Ever

4_puma_0
(Image credit: Unknown)

Over the past 100 years, sporting footwear has changed an extraordinary amount, with the only similarities between today’s shoes and those of the early 20th century being that they go on people’s feet. Some have gone on to become as iconic as the wearer themselves. Golden Kicks (opens in new tab), a new tome, provides the history behind the most significant sport shoes ever made. Here are five of Coach’s favourites…


Nike Gold Running Spikes

Reasons to buy

+
Empty List

Reasons to avoid

-
Empty List

1_nike

(Image credit: Unknown)

Was it arrogant of Michael Johnson to turn up at the 1996 Olympics wearing gold shoes? Yes. But still to this day he remains the only man to win the 200m/400m gold double, and he did it in glorious golden shoes.


2. Converse All Star

Reasons to buy

+
Empty List

Reasons to avoid

-
Empty List

According to legend, basketball player Chuck Taylor walked into the Converse offices in 1921 complaining that they hurt his feet. The revisions he suggested helped it become the only shoe in town. Although its influence in the sport has since waned, Converse are still omnipresent on the streets.


3. Adidas Copa Mundial

Reasons to buy

+
Empty List

Reasons to avoid

-
Empty List

3_adidas_

(Image credit: Unknown)

While football boots have become more garish with each passing year, the Copa has stood firm, with its classy, monochrome design the same today as it was when first launched in 1979.

RECOMMENDED: The Best Five-A-Side Football Boots


4. Puma Complete Theseus II

Reasons to buy

+
Empty List

Reasons to avoid

-
Empty List

4_puma_0

(Image credit: Unknown)

Running faster than anyone else in history requires a special shoe. Wearing these beauties, Usain Bolt won three golds at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, and when he grabbed three more in Rio this summer to secure an historic triple-triple, he was once again wearing golden Pumas.


5. Nike Air Jordan

Reasons to buy

+
Empty List

Reasons to avoid

-
Empty List

5_nike

(Image credit: Unknown)

It’s tricky to imagine any footwear matching the impact of the Air Jordans. Michael Jordan first pulled on a pair in 1984, and 30 years later, in 2014, his shoes were still outselling the next most popular by eight to one.

Buy Golden Kicks on amazon.co.uk (opens in new tab)

Nick Harris-Fry
Nick Harris-Fry

Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.