Sneakers The Complete Collectors’ Guide
Author and Designer: Unorthodox Styles (Udox)
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Date Published: 2005 (First Edition), 2006 (Reprint)
ISBN: 0500512159, 9780500512159
Released in 2005, with a second printing in 2006, Sneakers The Complete Collectors’ Guide is written and designed by Unorthodox Styles, a London-based creative consultancy that is now U-Dox Creative. The minds behind Unorthodox Styles are the same ones that published and ran the Crooked Tongues site, so it’s a given that the information between the covers is impeccably researched and unquestionably apropos for everyone from the serious sneaker collector to the inquisitive mind in search of knowledge.
The book highlights “180 designs which we feel have made a mark on the world” from 11 brands – adidas, Converse, Fila, New Balance, Nike, Onitsuka Tiger, Pony, Puma, Reebok, Vans – as well as a few by Saucony, K-Swiss, Ewing, Troop, Diadora, Lacoste, Tretorn and A Bathing Ape. Each brand has a 1 page history, followed by a series of models (adidas, Nike and Puma have by far the most). For each sneaker design/model highlighted, there are beautiful, high-quality photos, a description of the shoe itself (year released, technology, colorways, reason for release, when/if it was re-released etc.) and the historical significance of the model.
In the last few pages of the book, there is a Collector’s Guide with comprehensive info and tips on where and what to buy, how to care for your sneakers and tips about verifying a sneaker’s authenticity, a Resource section with a list of sneaker stores, and a very useful Index (which is something that every single sneaker book should have). Of particular note, the Collector’s Guide includes a large photo of a room littered with sneaker paraphernalia that’s something of a Where’s Waldo for the sneaker-obsessive (if you have the book, see if you can find the following: 1 of 1 C-Law NB 577’s, both the Hater’s and subsequent Lover’s edition of Deadstock Magazine and Nike’s Irreverence Justified book).
Sneakerature’s Take: If you would like to learn about the history of sneakers, in particular those that played a significant role in the diaspora that is sneaker culture, then you should read this book. If you plan on writing a book about product that chronicles the history of various items, and you’d like to see an example of how to hit the sweet spot on the efficiency frontier curve of technical info, historical info and cultural significance, then you should read this book. Do yourself a favor and just read this book. It’s really good.
Sneakers The Complete Collectors’ Guide is available on Amazon