Peep Insights: Sneakerology 101

Sneakers can speak volumes, both about their owners and the times. In fact, in many countries sneakers are considered cultural artifacts. It’s no surprise that people around the world collect, critique, and obsess about kicks. But the lengths some sneaker fans will go, and then spend, often seems a mystery. Mysteries make us curious, and […]


Sneakers can speak volumes, both about their owners and the times. In fact, in many countries sneakers are considered cultural artifacts. It’s no surprise that people around the world collect, critique, and obsess about kicks. But the lengths some sneaker fans will go, and then spend, often seems a mystery. Mysteries make us curious, and beg decoding.

Peep Insights recently conducted a global sneaker culture immersion, talking to sneakerheads in key cities like Tokyo, London and Sydney to get an insider’s perspective on trends and attitudes. We got the chance to talk with the owners of some of our favorite sneaker boutiques including Le 9 Bis in Paris and Sole Box in Berlin.

Peep was particularly lucky to sit down with the famous sneaker historian Bobbito Garcia. The man is a veritable encyclopedia of sneaker knowledge — author of “Where’d You Get Those?: New York City’s Sneaker Culture 1960-1987” and host of ESPN’s It’s the Shoes, Garcia has helped design limited editions for Nike’s Air Force I , Adidas and has an upcoming collaboration with Pro-Keds, the Royal Flash, coming in Fall 2009.

We are excited to hear that Carnegie Mellon University is now offering the world’s first-ever college course in sneakers, Sneakerology 101. The course uses Garcia’s book as the main text and covers the history of sneaker culture, the influence of hip hop and technology on sneaker design and branding, and the sneaker’s global reach. This spring the world-renowned sneaker connoisseur will be guest lecturer.

We wish that was an option when we were in school and eagerly await the Masters class. Who knows, maybe there will be a Ph.D. in Sneaker Studies one day?

- Contributed by Peep Insights

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