As times change and trends evolves, it seems that one fashion statement never gets left behind, sneakers. Pretty much every person on this planet owns a pair of sneakers, whether they are bought from a random retailer or from a global sneaker brand. Either way, if you don’t own a pair of sneakers, you’re seriously falling behind.
With so many designs and brands out there, it can be hard to know what to trust, which is why we’ve put together a list of only the best sneaker brands for you. All brands mentioned here will provide you with awesome sneakers that will last years and give you ultimate comfort.
Nike, Inc. is an American multinational corporation that is engaged in the design, development, manufacturing, and worldwide marketing and sales of footwear, apparel, equipment, accessories, and services. The company is headquartered near Beaverton, Oregon, in the Portland metropolitan area. It is the world’s largest supplier of athletic shoes and apparel and a major manufacturer of sports equipment, with revenue in excess of US$24.1 billion in its fiscal year 2012 (ending May 31, 2012).
As of 2012, it employed more than 44,000 people worldwide. In 2014 the brand alone was valued at $19 billion, making it the most valuable brand among sports businesses. As of 2017, the Nike brand is valued at $29.6 billion. Nike ranked No. 89 in the 2018 Fortune 500 list of the largest United States corporations by total revenue.
The company was founded on January 25, 1964, as Blue Ribbon Sports, by Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight, and officially became Nike, Inc. on May 30, 1971. The company takes its name from Nike, the Greek goddess of victory. Nike markets its products under its own brand, as well as Nike Golf, Nike Pro, Nike+, Air Jordan, Nike Blazers, Air Force 1, Nike Dunk, Air Max, Foamposite, Nike Skateboarding, Nike CR7, and subsidiaries including Brand Jordan, Hurley International and Converse. Nike also owned Bauer Hockey (later renamed Nike Bauer) from 1995 to 2008, and previously owned Cole Haan and Umbro.
In addition to manufacturing sportswear and equipment, the company operates retail stores under the Niketown name. Nike sponsors many high-profile athletes and sports teams around the world, with the highly recognized trademarks of “Just Do It” and the Swoosh logo.
Adidas AG is a multinational corporation, founded and headquartered in Herzogenaurach, Germany, that designs and manufactures shoes, clothing and accessories. It is the largest sportswear manufacturer in Europe, and the second largest in the world, after Nike. It is the holding company for the Adidas Group, which consists of the Reebok sportswear company, TaylorMade golf company (including Ashworth), 8.33% of the German football club Bayern Munich, and Runtastic, an Austrian fitness technology company. Adidas’ revenue for 2018 was listed at €21.915 billion.
The company was started by Adolf Dassler in his mother’s house; he was joined by his elder brother Rudolf in 1924 under the name Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory. Dassler assisted in the development of spiked running shoes (spikes) for multiple athletic events. To enhance the quality of spiked athletic footwear, he transitioned from a previous model of heavy metal spikes to utilizing canvas and rubber. Dassler persuaded U.S. sprinter Jesse Owens to use his handmade spikes at the 1936 Summer Olympics. In 1949, following a breakdown in the relationship between the brothers, Adolf created Adidas, and Rudolf established Puma, which became Adidas’ business rival.
Adidas’ logo is three stripes, which is used on the company’s clothing and shoe designs as a marketing aid. The branding, which Adidas bought in 1952 from Finnish sports company Karhu Sports, became so successful that Dassler described Adidas as “The three stripes company”.
3. Air Jordan
Air Jordan is a brand of basketball shoes, athletic, casual, and style clothing produced by Nike. It was created for former NBA player and 5 time NBA MVP Michael Jordan. The original Air Jordan sneakers were produced exclusively for Michael Jordan in early 1984, and released to the public in late 1984. The shoes were designed for Nike by Peter Moore, Tinker Hatfield, and Bruce Kilgore.
It was designed by Peter C. Moore. The red and black colorway of the Nike Air Ship, the prototype for the Jordan I, was later outlawed by then-NBA Commissioner David Stern for having very little white on them (this rule, known as the ’51 percent’ rule, was repealed in the late 2000s). It is a common misconception that the Jordan I was banned; however, it was the Nike Air Ship. After the Nike Air Ship was banned, Michael Jordan and Nike introduced the Jordan I in color ways with more white such as the “Chicago” color way and the “Black Toe” color way.
They used the Nike Air Ship’s banning as a promotional tool in advertisements, hinting that the shoes gave an unfair competitive advantage for the Jordan I and that whoever wore them had a certain edginess associated with outlaw activities. The Air Jordan I was originally released on the market from 1985 to 1986, with re-releases (known as “retros”) in 1994, 2001–2004, and 2007–2018.
Converse is an American shoe company that designs, distributes and licenses sneakers, skating shoes, lifestyle brand footwear, apparel, and accessories. Founded in 1908, it has been a subsidiary of Nike, Inc. since 2003.
During World War II, Converse shifted its manufacturing to make footwear for the military. It was one of the few producers of athletic shoes and for over a half century the company dominated the American court shoe market. From the 1970s, the company lost its dominant position as competitors presented their own styles.
Today the company’s portfolio include products under the Converse, Cons, Chuck Taylor All-Star, Jack Purcell, One Star, and Star Chevron trademarks. Converse also frequently collaborates on special edition product releases with other brands such as John Varvatos. Converse shoes are distinguished by a number of features, including the company’s star insignia, the All Star’s rubber sole, smooth rounded toe, and wrap-around strip.
As of 2019, Converse sold products through 109 company-owned retail stores in the United States and 63 stores in international markets. Converse employees are counted among the 76,700 employees of Nike Inc. worldwide.
Reebok International Limited is an American (formerly English) footwear and apparel company, and a subsidiary of German sporting goods giant Adidas since 2005. Reebok produces and distributes fitness, running and CrossFit sportswear including clothing and footwear. It is the official footwear and apparel sponsor for Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), CrossFit, and Spartan Race.
In 1958, Reebok was established as a companion company to J.W. Foster and Sons, founded in 1895 in Bolton, Lancashire, England. From 1958 until 1986, all Reebok apparel featured the Union Jack flag., to signify the company’s English origins. The Union Flag is featured on Reebok’s “Classic” line of apparel.
The company’s global headquarters are located in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., with regional offices in Amsterdam, Montreal, Hong Kong, and Mexico City.
In November 2016, Reebok announced they would be moving their headquarters from the Boston suburb of Canton to the innovation and design building in the seaport district of South Boston. The reasons for the move, according to the company, were to be located in an urban environment that is more desirable to millennial workers and to “clarify the roles” of United States offices. The move was completed in autumn of 2018.
Vans is an American manufacturer of skateboarding shoes and related apparel, based in Santa Ana, California and owned by VF Corporation. The company also sponsors surf, snowboarding, BMX, and motocross teams. Since 1996, the company has been the primary sponsor of the annual Vans Warped Tour traveling rock festival.
Vans has sponsored and supported the Warped tour since 1996. Returning in 2017, the tour is taking on a new element asking fans to complete a survey requesting which acts they should book. Kevin Lyman, the founder of the Vans Warped Tour, announced the 23rd installment in 2018 will be the last one.
Asics is a Japanese multinational corporation which produces footwear and sports equipment designed for a wide range of sports, generally in the upper price range. The name is an acronym for the Latin phrase anima sana in corpore sano, which translates as “Healthy soul in a healthy body”. In recent years their running shoes have often been ranked among the top performance footwear in the market.
ASICS Ltd. began as Onitsuka Co., Ltd on September 1, 1949. Its founder, Kihachiro Onitsuka, began manufacturing basketball shoes in his home town of Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan. Soon after the range of sports activities widened to a variety of Olympic styles used throughout the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s by athletes worldwide. Onitsuka became particularly renowned for the Mexico 66 design, in which the distinctive crossed stripes, now synonymous with the company brand, were featured for the first time. In 1977, Onitsuka Tiger merged with GTO and JELENK to form ASICS Corporation. Despite the name change, a vintage range of Asics shoes are still produced and sold internationally under the Onitsuka Tiger label.
In its 2006 fiscal year, Asics generated 171 billion yen in net sales and 13 billion yen in net income. Sixty-six percent of the company’s income came from the sale of sports shoes, 24% from sportswear, and 10% from sports equipment. Forty-nine percent of the company’s sales were in Japan, 28% in North America, and 19% in Europe.
On July 12, 2010, Asics bought the Swedish outdoor brand Haglöfs, for SEK1,000,000,000 ($128.7 million).
On October 4, 2011, it was announced that Asics would be the new official kit manufacturer for the Australian Cricket Team, replacing German manufacturer Adidas.
Puma SE, branded as Puma, is a German multinational company that designs and manufactures athletic and casual footwear, apparel and accessories, which is headquartered in Herzogenaurach, Bavaria, Germany. Puma is the third largest sportswear manufacturer in the world. The company was founded in 1948 by Rudolf Dassler. In 1924, Rudolf and his brother Adolf Dassler had jointly formed the company Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik (Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory). The relationship between the two brothers deteriorated until the two agreed to split in 1948, forming two separate entities, Adidas and Puma. Both companies are currently based in Herzogenaurach, Germany.
Puma has been a public company since 1986, listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. French luxury group Kering (formerly known as Pinault-Printemps-Redoute or PPR) holds 16%, Kering’s largest shareholder Artemis SA owns 29% of the share capital. Since 1 July 2013, the company has been led by former football professional Bjørn Gulden (CEO).
As of 2017, Puma SE employs more than 13,000 people worldwide and distributes its products in more than 120 countries.
Following the split from his brother, Rudolf Dassler originally registered the new-established company as Ruda, but later changed the name to Puma. Puma’s earliest logo consisted of a square and beast jumping through a D, which was registered, along with the company’s name, in 1948. Puma’s shoe and clothing designs feature the Puma logo and the distinctive “Formstrip” which was introduced in 1958.
9. New Balance
New Balance Athletics, Inc. (NB), best known as simply New Balance, is an American multinational corporation based in the Boston, Massachusetts area. The company was founded in 1906 as the “New Balance Arch Support Company” and is one of the world’s major sports footwear and apparel manufacturers.
New Balance maintains a manufacturing presence in the United States, as well as in the United Kingdom for the European market, where they produce some of their most popular models such as the 990 model—in contrast to its competitors, which often manufacture exclusively outside the United States and Europe. As a result, New Balance shoes tend to be more expensive than those of many other manufacturers.
To offset this pricing difference, New Balance claims to differentiate their products with technical features, such as blended gel inserts, heel counters and a greater selection of sizes, particularly for very narrow or very wide widths. The company has made total profits of approximately $69 billion since 1992.
Fila is a Korean sporting goods company. The brand and company was sold in 2003 to Cerberus Capital Management, an U.S.A.-based hedge fund. In 2007, the international brand and company was sold to the independent Fila Korea, which owned the license to sell Fila products in Korea.
Yoon Yoon-su, commonly known in English as Gene Yoon, is the current chairman. The Chief executive officer is Yoon Keun-chang. Fila has offices in 11 countries globally.
Fila was created in Biella, Piedmont, Italy, by Giansevero Fila in 1911. It originally made clothing for the people of the Italian Alps, primarily underwear. In the 1970s it moved into sportswear, with an endorsement deal with tennis player Björn Borg. The brand became more popular after the move into sportswear.
In 2003, the original Italian owner, Holding di Partecipazioni, sold the company to Cerberus Capital Management, a U.S.A.-based hedge fund, after the company over-committed itself to expensive athletic endorsements at a time when margins were under pressure. Cerberus owned Fila through holding company Sports Brands International, which owned and operated all Fila businesses around the world with the exception of Fila Korea, which was a separate company operating the brand under licence.
In January 2007, the global Fila brand and all its international subsidiaries were acquired by Fila Korea, which made it the largest South Korean sportswear company.
In 2009, ANTA Sports acquired the rights to the brand in China, Hong Kong, and Macao from the then Fila company’s Chinese joint venture partner Belle International. Fila Korea still owned 15% shares of the joint venture company “Full Prospect”.
In May 2011, Fila Korea Ltd. acquired global golf equipment maker Acushnet Company, becoming the new owner of leading golf brands such as Titleist for $1.23 billion.