From the Cortez to the Gazelle, this is our ultimate throwback to the best retro trainers you can get your hands on. Some trainers just never go out of style. And, apparently, neither do some cliches.
These classic designs are just as popular now as when they were first released, undoubtedly becoming some of the most iconic trainers of all-time. Since there are so many awesome vintage kicks to choose from, we’re running through the best retro trainers you can still add to your collection today. Let’s get nostalgic.
10 best retro trainers you can still buy
10. Vans Old Skool
Release Date: 1977
First launched as a skate shoe way back in 1977, the Vans Old Skool is instantly recognised all over the world. It was the brand’s founder, Paul Van Doren, who had the real lightbulb moment all those years ago, doodling on a sketchpad until he came up with the famous “jazz stripe” we all know and love today. Not bad for a day’s work.
This is the quintessential Vans look. An invincible trainer.
9. Nike Air Jordan IV
Release Date: 1989
You just can’t go wrong with a pair of Jordans. Inspired by the greatest basketball player to grace the court (apart from Bugs Bunny), the Nike Air Jordan has continued to evolve over the past few decades, but the fourth generation is arguably the pick of the bunch. And people will argue about it.
8. Adidas Stan Smith
Release Date: 1971
Timeless. It’s actually quite easy to forget that the Adidas Stan Smith was originally named after a different famous tennis player and that the design of the 60s was instead called the “Haillet”. Yeah, I know, it definitely doesn’t have the same ring to it.
7. New Balance 990
Release Date: 1982
Possibly the most underrated trainer on this list, the New Balance 990 is arguably one of the best sneakers the American brand have ever produced. Launching back in 1982 with one hell of a price tag, the 990 was a high-tech running shoe which truly pushed the boundaries of innovation on the track. Hence the eye-watering price.
6. Reebok Club C
Release Date: 1985
Ah, the Reebok Club C. Yet another classic tennis shoe which makes us all grin a little with nostalgia. Once you’ve stopped grinning, though, you might even feel inclined to open up your wallet and bag a pair, because this is honestly a trainer that goes with just about anything. You could wear some to your mate’s wedding if you really wanted to.
5. Nike Air Max 90
Release Date: 1990
Following up from the hugely-popular Air Max 1, it’s fair to say that these trainers had pretty big, um, shoes to fill. The Nike Air Max 90 introduced us to a much larger Air unit, featuring a colourway which drew attention to the increased size, while also throwing up all kinds of fresh new materials.
4. Puma Suede
Release Date: 1968
The Puma Suede isn’t just a giant. It’s a giant that’s sat at the heart of modern culture for over 50 years, wrapped in tough suede materials and refusing to move from its seat. New trainers might come and go, fashion trends might change like the tides, but this is a trainer which will outlive absolutely all of it.
3. Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star
Release Date: 1917
It’s crazy to think how few changes these trainers have had over the past 100 years. Okay, so huge improvements were made back in 1970, but the Converse Chuck Taylor is still very much the same shoe as it’s always been. With its black upper, white toe box and classic “All-Star” logo, this is just about as vintage as trainers come these days.
2. Adidas Gazelle
Release Date: 1966
Dating back to the mid-’60s, this is undoubtedly one of the world’s most iconic trainers. The first Adidas shoe to be made from suede, the Gazelle burst onto the scene absolutely packed with colour and invention. All these years later, the colours and stripes are still there, but it’s now very much seen as the classic Adidas look – rather than anything spectacular.
1. Nike Cortez
Release Date: 1972
You don’t have to be a Forrest Gump fan to know how iconic this trainer is. Launched during the 1972 Olympic Games, the Nike Cortez didn’t just introduce us to a legendary sneaker collection but also became the main building block for a global brand. Make no mistake, Nike would not be where they are today without the impact of the Cortez.
To shop the retro look, head over to Footy.com