From Publishers Weekly
"Before Nike controlled nearly half of the global sneaker market" and "before yuppies started wearing sneakers with their suits to walk to and from work," sneaker culture was the province of "sneaker fiends" and ball players, Garcia declares in his paean to the lost golden age of streetwise footwear. A cultural critic, journalist and DJ, Garcia waxes nostalgic-in slang, of course-about "the most seminal and coveted joints" from the 1960s through 1987. For each model, Garcia shares color combinations, nicknames, relevant athlete endorsements and quips from fans on each sneaker's pros and cons. With photographs of basketball players on the court and kids breakdancing on city sidewalks, advertisements for Jordache (with Earl "The Pearl" Monroe pitching, "Go One-On-One With... the Jordache Look"), and up-close shots of classic shoes like the Nike Air Force 1 and the Converse All Star, this is a comprehensive, informative study of shoe culture, as well as a hip tribute to icons like Larry Bird, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Ivan Lendl.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
In the nineteen-seventies, colorful sneakers made by Adidas, Puma, and Nike began to eclipse traditional Converses on the basketball courts and sidewalks, and a fetish was born. In New York City, a fanatical coalition of basketball players, graffiti writers, break-dancers, and rappers devoted themselves to the stylistic possibilities of these shoes, making cults of certain models, coloring and customizing them and devising elaborate lacing patterns. Garcia's book is an anthropological trove, blending autobiography, oral history, vintage ads, grainy shots of urban glamour, and (occasionally too much) loving description of individual sneakers. Though most of the testimony concerns subjective questions of fashion sense, an occasional note of functionality intrudes: praising an Adidas high-top, a graffiti writer says, "If I was bombing the elevated trains I wanted ankle support and Top Tens were ridiculous for that."
Copyright © 2005 The New Yorker