I’ve never been much for sneakers. I often visit my neighborhood and surrounding area shoe lockers just to yawn at the same design I saw occupying the shelf four years ago, but in a different colour or with some celebrity or athlete’s name on it. I began to see the error in my ways when I picked up Art & Sole, written and designed by Intercity.
Intercity’s “sneakers” are sports shoes originally intended for basketball, skateboarding or just strolling, elevated to their own subculture by the skateboarding and hip-hop style phenomena. This detailed and up-to-date sneaker art history features oodles of Nikes, as well as other famous labels including Vans, New Balance, and Onitsuka Tiger. Lesser-known labels like Madfoot!, JB Classics and The Quiet Life also make an appearance.
The book is divided into halves: Sneakers & Art looks at collaborations and projects, while Art & Sneakers is composed of sneaker art, publications, exhibitions and toys, all sneaker-themed. Among the toys featured were Swiss design collective +41’s mini chocolate kicks crafted to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Air Force 1 and Takara Tomy’s Nike Transformer dolls, oscillating between toy-shoes and toy-toys.