Dallas Penn

The Top 10 Hip-Hop Sneakers Of All-Time


From the beginning of Hip-Hop culture a necessary part of the uniform was your sneakers. Hip-Hop was created by disenfranchised urban center youth, but despite their humble origins these kids still had piles of style. The most defining component of your Hip-Hop style back then, as it is today, is your footwear.

Just like Hip-Hop has gone from the vacant lots in the Bronx to the most hallowed of all music halls named after Andrew Carnegie, kicks have also gained in prestige. No one (with any sense) still wears fat laces in their sneakers. They have been replaced with mother of pearl dubraes and golden aglets.

Despite all the fancy components and accoutrements that accompany sneakers nowadays there is still the overriding principle of aspiration which your shoes have to convey. The aspiration to be fresh is the key to the shoes on this list. They all define freshness and they all represent Hip-Hop. These are the most Hip-Hop sneakers of all time.


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Photos: Kicks Addict, Classic Kicks

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Comment Comments: 21 Tags Tags: nike, air jordan 3, air jordan xi, adidas superstar
  • j4y

    what about clarks wallabees ?

  • http://dallaspenn.com/weblog Dallas Penn

    Stay logged on to HipHopWired for that post… Dancehalls Top 10 Shoes. Clarks and TravelFox will lead that list

  • http://beatsandrants.com Trent

    What about Bally sneakers? I thought a lot of rappers were rocking those kicks.
    I know that after MC Lyte started wearing Diadoras, girls around the way were rocking them too, especially the pink ones.

    And let’s not forget about the Troop sneakers. Once LL Cool J wore them on the B.A.D. album cover, dudes around the way were rocking them in every color.

  • HipHopDoc

    no Chucks? you must be smokin rocks to leave out Chuck Taylors

    • http://dallaspenn.com Dallas Penn

      Chucks?! Don’t believe the hype. Real Hip-Hop heads knew those kicks were for people who fuxed with Sid Vicious and the Sex Pistols. Chucks lack aspiration and they definitely got no AIR

  • epic

    yeah you seriously left out Chucks…

  • http://yallwouldgetsomanymoreviewsifyouchangedthiscringworthylayoutanddidntmakepeopleclickon10differentpagestogetthroughonearticle. Randy

    yall would get so many more views if you changed this cringworthy layout and didnt make people click on 10 different pages to get through one article. this site is just too much work

  • Mare139

    What! Obviously the editors are too young to remebr the original hip hop sneaker Pro Keds, leaving Chucks out is also amiss, Lotto? Addidas kareem Abdul Jabbars!!!


  • Mare139

    What! Obviously the editors are too young to remember the original hip hop sneaker -Pro Keds, leaving Chucks out is also amiss, Lotto? Addidas kareem Abdul Jabbars!!!


    • http://dallaspenn.com Dallas Penn

      I totally had a pair of Pro-Keds and they were for kids who couldn’t get the adidas Superstar. Hip-Hop sneakers were at least aspirational even when they were utilitarian. Only hobos put fat laces in Pro-Keds. Real talk.



  • http://Hiphopwired.com Tahlid07065

    I’m not old enough but what about British Walkers,Barkleys,Bo’s ext and I’m not old enough for the BW’s everything else I was around for!!!

  • http://cheesy Cheesy

    what about top ten adidas, concorde adidas, and forum adidas.

  • Juan Solo

    I think the list is not bad. However it does show a heavy NY bias. The shoes chosen are iconic, and i think i owned all but the gucci and prada joints. But for real chucks are hip hop if your west coast. I am not to sure how important they were anywhere else. Think about it chucks in a NY winter?

  • Smokey

    Son no Vans or Chucks get all the way out of here. NY is the only place i’ve ever seen anyone rock those ugly timb boots, biased much. Chucks and vans are West coast hip hop. i think you missed out by not putting foams either son.

  • Darren Robinson

    Great Article….   no complaints from me!!

  • Realtalk


  • Realtalk

    nyers consider B.I.G. the last great rapper,cause they can’t see past ny and the world is bigger than ny

  • mike hunt

     the g-unit shoe was THE shoe besides forces from 2002 until 06 , thats the 4 years fifty was huge, they def made an impact in the burbs lol….my only complaint

  • BrazillianKidFromDaGhetto

    were are the ecko unltd, ecko red and marck ecko’s shoes in the list??? And de Reebok G- unit shoes??? The hip hop didn’t end up in the 90’s!!! ok??

  • Blabla

    Adidas and Puma look so great oh my lord.