When Half Man Half Biscuit sang out the end of the 80s with their seminal lyrics, “There is nothing better in life than writing on the sole of your slipper with a biro” they had no idea of the sneaker explosion waiting for them just around the corner of the next decade. The 90s saw sport become big money, and sneakers in particular moved from things you wore to the shops, to things you queued for, looked at once, and then boxed away forever.
The recent second screen dominating Chicago Bulls biopic, The Last Dance, has resulted in an unprecedented interested in high tops, with Michael Jordan’s signed first court pair recently going at auction for £560k. But what about away from the excitable chatter of celebrities, basketball and auction room? How much can you spend on a pair of sneakers on a normal day out, somewhere between looking at sofas, buying a Greggs and losing the car in the NCP? Here’s five for over £500, for when you next go window shopping…
Christian Louboutin Krystal Sock, £2,395
The Krystal (incidentally impossible to say without immediately adding Carrington) is an upgrade of the Louboutin Spike-Sock sneaker. Built from black Neoprene and hand stitched, it has a shock-absorbent sole and of course, those unmissable rhinestones. Not for the faint hearted but if you’re looking to turn heads, these are the ones.
John Lobb, £615
Want a Chelsea boot that combines the comfort of a plimsole? John Lobb have got your feet covered. Literally. The shoe has a yellow sole stitch that offsets the standout white textured sole and comes in a variety of seasonal suedes. Understated classics we are big fans of these here at The Sportsman.
Saint Laurent Joe Sneakers, £525
The ‘worn look’ is essentially a way of wearing sneakers covered in writing, without getting a clip around the ear from your gran when you go visiting. Made from 100% calfskin leather Saint Laurent do a whole collection - from high tops to ankle risers and plimsoles - and the writing is both across the side and rubber sole of the sneaker (it also doesn’t come off in the rain, a benchmark nightmare of the 80s DIY look).
Dior B23 High Top, £830
By themselves, these look impressive. Pair them with a pair of black jeans, and they light up the street (don't listens to anyone who tells you blue and black don’t match). Emblazoned with Dior, from the meshing to the laces, these lace-up high tops are just the right side of over-the-top.
Gucci Flashtrek sneaker with removable crystals, £1,080
This women’s shoe comes as a normal sneaker for £705, so you can work out for yourself how expensive the removable crystals are. The Gucci patch is in the SEGA font, the whole ensemble is crafted from rubber, suede and technical canvas and the crystals themselves are worked into a removable elastic strap.