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Article: Sole Story: The History of Men’s Hightop Sneakers

Sole Story: The History of Men’s Hightop Sneakers

Sole Story: The History of Men’s Hightop Sneakers

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The Sneaker: now synonymous with pop culture and street style, the origins of this fashion staple are humbler than one might suspect. From its start as a rudimentary rubber-soled shoe to the cultural icons they have become today, sneakers have left an indelible imprint on the sports and apparel industry, fashion, art, and the like – thriving in the hearts and minds of young and old alike.

Genesis of Sneakers

This sneaker story finds its start in the early 19th century, when the Industrial Revolution was in full swing. It was during this era of rapid technological advancement that the first primitive rubber-soled shoes or “sneakers” emerged.
Pictured: Plimsoll Shoe
Crafted by tire manufacturers looking for innovative ways to capitalize on surplus rubber, these shoes, known as plimsolls, featured a simple canvas upper that provided minimal support. While these early iterations lacked the distinctive characteristics we associate with modern sneakers, they laid the groundwork for the future revolution in athletic footwear.

Humble Beginnings

It wasn't until the late 19th century that sneakers began to take significant strides in design and functionality. In 1892, the U.S. Rubber Company introduced Keds, a milestone creation that marked the birth of the mass-produced rubber-soled shoe.
With a vulcanized rubber outsole and canvas upper, Keds offered enhanced flexibility, comfort, and durability compared to their predecessors. These "sneakers" quickly gained in popularity among athletes and recreational enthusiasts, revolutionizing the concept of athletic footwear.
This pivotal development paved the way for the next wave of innovations that would propel sneakers into the limelight.


The mid-20th century witnessed a notable shift in sneaker designs, catering to the demands of competitive sports and the emerging subcultures that sprung up around them. As individual athleticism became increasingly more popular, especially on the basketball court, footwear companies began experimenting with new materials, offering new features designed to enhance the comfort, support, and protection of their footwear.

Enter: the leather sneaker.

The introduction of men’s athletic sneakers revolutionized the industry, providing ankle stability crucial for basketball players and captivating the attention of style-conscious individuals seeking a distinctive fashion statement. With their unique silhouette and evolving aesthetics, hightop sneakers emerged as a symbol of athletic prowess and street-style panache, forever leaving their mark on the rich tapestry of sneaker culture.

The Jordan Era

The arrival of the "Air Jordan" in 1985 catapulted the popularity of hightop sneakers to unprecedented heights, forever solidifying their place as a classic style within sneaker culture. Michael Jordan, the legendary basketball player, became an iconic figure both on and off the court, and his collaboration with Nike gave birth to a sneaker line that would redefine the industry.
The Air Jordan series introduced innovative technologies and groundbreaking designs, with its hightop silhouette serving as a bold statement of style and performance.
On top of that, Michael Jordan's unparalleled success and magnetic charisma propelled the popularity of his signature leather sneakers to stratospheric levels, transcending the world of sports and capturing the imagination of sneaker enthusiasts worldwide. The sleek lines, bold colorways, and the unmistakable Jumpman logo became synonymous with sneaker culture, solidifying the hightop silhouette as an enduring classic.

Classic Designs

Off the basketball court, hightop sneakers became ingrained in various subcultures and street fashion, exuding an air of urban coolness and self-expression. The combination of functionality, style, and cultural significance propelled the hightop silhouette to become an icon in its own right – transcending generations, and continually reimagined and reinterpreted by designers and brands who recognize its timeless appeal.
Pictured: The Rapido in Eden

TAFT Rapido

Recognizing the effortless style that comes with a quality pair of men’s hightop sneakers, we went above and beyond to craft a one-of-a-kind sneaker in the classic 80’s hightop silhouette we all know and love.
In four enticing colorways, our Rapido Hightop Sneaker represents the next step in the evolution of hightop sneakers. An embodiment of unwavering commitment, fervor, and craftsmanship in shoemaking, this opulent yet classic sneaker seamlessly merges the nostalgic allure of the 80's with artistic finesse. Meticulously handcrafted by master artisans in Spain, these hightop leather sneakers showcase an impeccable blend of skill and passion, with every intricate detail woven into genuine leather.
Pictured: The Rapido in Eden, Eden Noir, Eden Blanc, and Woven.
With the utmost attention to quality, uniquely distinctive elements infuse these sneakers with a profound elegance and style that draws the eye, even from a distance. A truly exceptional and exquisite shoe, these sneakers need to be seen to be believed.

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