The Sneaker Boom of the 1980s

I really loved this thread that you did on sneakers of the 80’s it gave me a real inside feel on how style was so original back in the 80’s and it backed up what my mother used to tell me who was born in 1963 came up in the 80’s about how they were different back then and didn’t like to wear everything everyone else did. I came up in the 90’s I was born in 1985 so I missed the good old 80’s (but I’m trying to bring them back due to my trendsetter status now)

Coming up in the 90’s we were conditioned by our peers heavily and basically the popular kids determined what was considered the “hot kicks” and they were pretty much following the hottest athlete or rapper at the time. At that time if you had anything less or too far from what the popular kids had on you were getting laughed at or picked on or weren’t considered cool and 9 times out of 10 the majority followed the popular kids which made you a minority if you were trying to go against the grain and be different or stand out. This is how the whole “love what everyone else loves or possess it first, to sell or horde it” started. In these times in the 90’s popular kids were the off springs of drug dealer parents who had disposable income who could affordable multiple shoes a year or really successful wealthy parents who lived prestigious lifestyles. Back in the 90’s the average kid could who only get one pair of sneakers for the whole school year (two if you were lucky and I mean lucky) so you had to pick a damn good shoe to represent you for the whole school year unless you were apart of that percentage of kids who were fortunate to get two pairs for the year.

I was that kid that always wanted to be fly and appeal to the girls but sadly I was apart of large precentage of those kids who grew up poor and could only afford to get one pair of shoes for the year. My mom like said before was was in high school in the 80’s and was considered popular even though she didn’t try to be but it was due to her originality and trying to always be unique. She would tell me that back her day the rappers wanted to be like them and now a days we want to be like the rappers. When I was growing up the popular sneakers at the time were NIKE and the Jordans as well as Penny Hardaways, the Ewings shoes by Deion Sanders Bo Jacksons and the Barkley’s. Me, like any other kid at the time was a fan of Michael Jordan and we wanted to be like Mike to drink like him, to play like him and wear what he wore so anything he advertised whether it be Ballpark franks, Gatorade, Hanes under garment or the Nike Air Jordans we wanted in.

Trying to convince my mother to get me a pair of sneakers that cost well over $100 dollars that every other kid was rushing to the store to get wasn’t happening. My mother always gave the lecture on how back in her day ppl wanted to be different and tried to explain to me the prestige of the Fila brand which was consider a high in brand in her 80’s hey day. She also would ask why would you wanna wear the same shoe as everyone else which I would always answer because this is what the cool kids wear and she would say cool kids aren’t followers. Fila was breaking in to the basketball shoe game at the time of 90’s. My mom used to tell me how the big hustlers back in the day wore fila with velour tracksuit. I valued what my mother had told me at the time but question her style feeling like at the time her taste was somewhat outdated. In the back of my mind I still wanted the Jordans or some type of Nike brand shoe that would get me all the accolades at school however my mother only allowed Fila shoes in her house we were also able to get Reebok classics as well as british knights I had the Reeboks with the pumps I also had a pair of BK British Knights. In Fila I remember having the Jerry Stackhouses as well as the Grant Hill 96’s. I remember kids coming up to me in school asking me why didn’t I get the Jordans or the Nikes like everybody else in which I’d replied I don’t wanna be like everybody else, cool kids aren’t followers repeating the things I heard my mom say, and from there on out I was team Fila and Reeboks all the way I had no choice in the matter. As I got older I just didn’t start rocking Nikes or jordan until I turned 19 and got hooked on the Air Force ones and didn’t buy my first pair of Jordans until I was 25 years old now that I’m 32 I look back at the brand Fila and what it was as a high end luxury brand that has fallen and how that used to be one of the only shoes that I could rock back then. Now that I have a better understanding on how big they were in the 80’s and how all the hustlers back in the day swore by these shoes and how hard and expensive they were to get back in the day as well as the velour tracksuits I wanna bring those days back. Now that I’m older and I look back in retrospect I get what my mom was trying to show me. I am cut from that fila cloth and I will try to bring back that wave.