12 Iconic Rappers In Timberlands

For more than two decades, Timberland boots have been a fixture in the world of hip-hop and we spotlight a dozen iconic rhyme spitters who have laced 'em up. To celebrate the unique passion between hip-hop and the Timberland brand, Foot Locker has linked with both Timberland and Nas to present The Legends Club, an exclusive and unique collection from Timberland that you can only get at Foot Locker. Foot Locker is dropping four new boots based on stories that shaped Nas' life and the legend continues with Volume VIII, a modern take on the classic black 6" boot updated with asymmetrical straps, sleek blackout leather, fabric and hardware. This pair will be available exclusively at Foot Locker this Saturday (10/21)! Available Now -> Volume VII - Timberland FlyRoam Sport Hiker - CLICK HERE TO BUY

2Pac

Kanye West

Wu-Tang Clan

Pharrell

Jay-Z

Mobb Deep

Drake

Biggie

Nas

Rakim

50 Cent

Kendrick Lamar

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The 15 Biggest Celebrity Sneaker Heads Right Now

Kendrick Lamar

Pharrell’s style is just ill and it’s been that way for a minute since he came on the scene with the Neptunes. Setting trends and inking deals with major brands for the past decade, Skateboard P got everyone trying to be Mr. Me Too.

Victor Cruz

The NY Giants wide receiver has been known for swapping the cleats for some ill Jordans, Nikes, and a few early pairs from his homie Ronnie Fieg. It’s no surprise Nike is about to hook him up with his own signature shoe. Peep the sneaker room, it’s lit.

CC Sabathia

Just look at his Air Jordan XI PE cleats alone and that’s certainly enough to dap him up. Being penned to Jordan Brand has its perks and dude takes it so serious he even has a humidor room for his prized collection.

Mark Wahlberg

Everyone gives Pharrell the credit for keeping it cool in his 40s but Marky Mark is still running Hollywood laced in every exclusive Nike and Jordan sneaker we struggle to get every Saturday.

Kanye West

He always had a problem with spending before he had it and even before he inked the deal with Roc-a-Fella and had that advance money, it wasn’t uncommon for Yeezy to stunt on the regular. With more signature kicks than most All-Star athletes, and with another on the way, Kanye is definitely about that life.

Wale

His sneaker game is so on point that even Jerry Seinfeld breaks out heat from his sitcom days to keep it respectable. Wale was a Nike Talk stan way before he was dropping records. The undisputed Foamposite king has been breaking sneaker debuts and even has his own ASICS collab coming very soon.

Chi McBride

Who? Check the resume. This dude is no newbie in the game. He has the limited kicks way before the sneaker blogs and IG likes. He is so connected with Mike and Jordan Brand he even hits the links in JB cleats you never knew existed.

DJ Khaled

That early Jordan plug doesn’t hurt. Khaled’s sneaker game is so strong he jumps off boats with some fresh Js on with no fucks given. Re-up.

Fat Joe

Fat Joe made showing off the sneakers as important as your whips on MTV Cribs and we all know about the often-imitated sneaker-sole lick. Joey Crack’s collection is decades deep and with his connects he has a few (hundred) pairs you won’t ever touch.

Bun B

Another veteran who has been stacking kicks for decades. Bun B is one of the most respected and nicest dudes, showing up at sneaker events to chop it up with people and always stunting the latest heat.

Pharrell

Pharrell’s style is just ill and it’s been that way for a minute since he came on the scene with the Neptunes. Setting trends and inking deals with major brands for the past decade, Skateboard P got everyone trying to be Mr. Me Too.

Kid Cudi

Cudi is another one who has been on the scene before the blogs and the celeb watch hype. Before he signed with Kanye and fam, he was just a dude hustling in NYC at the Bape Store trying to stack enough paper to keep his sneaker game strong.

Teyana Taylor

Teyana was really the one who influenced female celebs to live that chicks-in-kicks life. Her Harlem style has always been about streetwear and ill sneakers which led to her penning a deal for her own adidas signature line.

Fabolous

Fab has always been fresh, as evidenced in ’01 with the throwbacks and AF1s. And he has continued to keep the rotation strong as long as he has been in the spotlight.

Jason Sudeikis

The SNL alum is so fresh, he breaks out IIIs and XIs for late night shows and even pairs his patent leather Js with suits at award shows.

A$AP Rocky

Ever since Rocky hit the scene in 2011 with the “Pesos” video, he has always been on some different shit. His taste level was bit by just about every streetwear teenager at some point the last few years and the trendsetting led to his own Jeremy Scott x adidas collab that sold out immediately. Flacko!

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20 Awesome Off-Court Photos Of People In The Jordan 7

A$AP Rocky

Wearing: Air Jordan 7 “Bordeaux”

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Rihanna

Wearing: Air Jordan 7 “GMP”

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Michael Jordan

Wearing: Air Jordan 7 “Bordeaux”

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Victor Cruz

Wearing: Air Jordan 7 “Bin23″

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Pharrell

Wearing: Air Jordan 7 “Bordeaux”

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Nick Young

Wearing: Air Jordan 7 ‘Flint Grey’

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Drake

Wearing: Air Jordan 7 “Magic” (60+ Pack)

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T.I.

Wearing: Air Jordan 7 “Olympics”

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Manny Ramirez

Wearing: Air Jordan 7 “Bordeaux”

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Kate Upton

Wearing: Air Jordan 7 (GS) ‘Mineral Blue’

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Kriss Kross

Wearing: Air Jordan 7 “Bordeaux”

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Kanye West

Wearing: Air Jordan 7 “Raptors”

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Michael Jordan

Wearing: Air Jordan 7 “Bordeaux”

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Jadakiss

Wearing: Air Jordan 7 ‘Pacific Blue’

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Jay Z

Wearing: Air Jordan 7 “Hare”

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Chris Paul

Wearing: Air Jordan 7 “Bordeaux”

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Drake

Wearing: Air Jordan 7 ‘Orion Blue’

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Christina Milian

Wearing: Air Jordan 7 ‘Cardinal’

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Ludacris & Lance Gross

Wearing: Air Jordan 7 “Bin23″ & Air Jordan 7 “Bordeaux”

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Michael Beasley

Wearing: Air Jordan 7 “Olympics”

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Don C.

Wearing: Air Jordan 7 ‘Chambray’

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Jerry Seinfeld

Wearing: Air Jordan 7 ‘Cardinal’

PAIRS FOR SALE

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The 25 First Collaborations Of Today’s Best Collaborators

Jerry Seinfeld

Sneaker: N.E.R.D. x Nike Dunk High
Year: 2004

You already know that style gawd Pharrell has collaborated on everything from clothing to perfume to furniture. But we’re super excited to see what else his deal with adidas brings to fruition. Prior to his work with BAPE and the gents at adidas, Skateboard P got his first footwear collab teaming up with Nike on the excellent “N.E.R.D.” Dunk High. Releasing in 2004, Pharrell’s Dunks are interesting, not only because of how dope they are, but also because their so subtle. Always known for his epic style, it’s interesting to look back at his first footwear collab and see such conservative composition. Oh, how times have changed.

Supreme

Sneaker: Supreme x Vans Old Skool
Year: 1996

Now pretty much known as the king of collabs, particularly for their resume of dope Nike releases, Supreme has been dropping fire footwear for nearly two decades now. But, despite all the hype their releases garner these days, their first sneaker collab harkens back to the brand’s roots. They were of course, started as a skate company. Which is why the Vans Old Skool was a perfect canvas to get the collab portfolio started on. Dropping in three colorways – two camo and one 3M joint – these Old Skools are understated and perfect.

atmos

Sneaker: atmos x Nike Dunk Low & Air Force 1 Low
Year: 2001

When you hear about a new atmos collab, you almost always think of some crazy-limited Air Max, often done up in some loud animal or camo print that you’ll probably never be able to get your hands on. But, the Japanese boutique’s first foray into sneaker collaboration came in a much more neutral tone. In 2001, we were served with a double dose of Nike and atmos, teaming up on both low top silos of the Air Force 1 and the Dunk.

Footpatrol

Sneaker: Footpatrol x Nike Air Epic Hyperstrike
Year: 2003

When brands and shops get together to collab on a sneaker, nostalgia is often used as the catalyst for bringing lesser-known silhouettes back from the dead. As was the case when London-based Footpatrol got their feet wet in collaboration with Nike. Digging through the vaults, Footpatrol and Nike chose to bring back the Nike Air Epic in a suitably gloomy colorway. Unfortunately for most sneakerheads, exclusivity ruled over this release, as it got dubbed a hyperstrike and was limited to a rumored 24 pairs.

Sneakersnstuff

Sneaker: Sneakersnstuff x Puma Basket Hemp
Year: 2003

To say that Sweden-based footwear hub Sneakersnstuff has really honed their craft in recent years, would be both accurate and short-sighted. They have dropped some excellent collabs of-late. But they’ve actually been putting out that heat since way back in 2003. To kick things off, SNS did its thing on this super clean Puma Basket in a neutral hemp material. Limited to just 136 individually numbered pairs, these Baskets are awesome.

Stash

Sneaker: Stash x Nike Air Force 1 High
Year: 2003

With numerous classic sneaker collabs under his belt, Josh “Stash” Franklin has undoubtedly put his mark on the game. Though widely known for his infamous Air Max 95, in a now trademark palette of blue hues, it was his first collab with Nike that set the mark for how a collaboration should be done. Now considered one of the best Nike collabs in most circles, 2003’s graffiti nozzle “Stash” Air Force 1 High is an icon all it’s own.

Futura

Sneaker: Futura x Nike SB Dunk Low
Year: 2003

Graffiti artist Futura has been getting down with Nike for a long time now, and the results to this point have been fantastic. While most folks know of Futura through his legendary designs on the likes of the UNKLE or FLOM Dunk Highs, his first collab with Nike actually came back in 2003, with this SB Dunk Low. Dubbed simply the “Futura” colorway, a lot of folks overlook this collab, simply because of the understated colorway. But one thing to make note of is, at a time when folks primarily did their uppers in one material (suede, leather, etc), the Futura Dunks opted to combine mesh, suede and leather to add an interesting contrast to this seemingly simple colorway.

Pharrell

Sneaker: N.E.R.D. x Nike Dunk High
Year: 2004

You already know that style gawd Pharrell has collaborated on everything from clothing to perfume to furniture. But we’re super excited to see what else his deal with adidas brings to fruition. Prior to his work with BAPE and the gents at adidas, Skateboard P got his first footwear collab teaming up with Nike on the excellent “N.E.R.D.” Dunk High. Releasing in 2004, Pharrell’s Dunks are interesting, not only because of how dope they are, but also because their so subtle. Always known for his epic style, it’s interesting to look back at his first footwear collab and see such conservative composition. Oh, how times have changed.

Jeff Staple

Sneaker: Jeff Staple x Nike Air Max 90 “Navigation Pack”
Year: 2004

While everyone and their mother knows about Jeff Staple’s legendary “Pigeon” Dunks, not many folks know about his footwear collabs prior to that 2005 release. Teaming up with Nike a few times prior to the Pigeons, Staple got the chance to help design one of Nike’s “City Pack” releases; 2004’s Navigation Pack. Adorned with a pattern resembling an aerial view of New York City, Staple actually got down on both a men’s and women’s colorway. Of course, the very next year, he’d be asked to take part in designing an SB Dunk, and thus creating the Pigeon legacy.

Kanye West

Sneaker: Kanye West x Nike Air 180
Year: 2005

When Kanye’s sneaker legacy is finished being written, there’s no doubt that the Nike Air Yeezy series will stand out as the tipping point. However, most people aren’t aware of the design work he did before the Yeezy. In fact, the Air Yeezy wasn’t even Ye’s first collab with Nike. Back in 2005-06, after the success of the College Dropout album, Ye teamed up with Nike to hit up the classic Air 180. The result was this excellent animal print-clad banger. Unfortunately for us, these babies were a friends and family release that never made it to retail. We wouldn’t get a Kanye sneaker collab at retail until 2006’s Dropout-themed Bapesta.

Sole Collector

Sneaker: Sole Collector x Nike Air Presto “Honolulu”
Year: 2005

We’ve already professed our love for Sole Collector’s work here in the past. But, if you’re looking for more reasons why, look no further than their very first sneaker collaboration; the “Honolulu” Nike Air Presto. Released at a Honolulu NikeTown event in 2005, these aloha-themed Prestos were limited to just 48 pairs and, naturally, sold out instantly.

Dave White

Sneaker: Dave White x Nike Air Max 90 “Neon”
Year: 2005

While many of us are most familiar with artist Dave White’s high-profile work with Jordan Brand, his first footwear collab predates those 1s by the better part of a decade. Often credited as the pioneer of the “sneaker art” movement, his art even hangs in the hallways and offices at Nike HQ. So White was an obvious choice to get the nod on a collab when Nike was putting together 2005’s “Neon” or “Wet Paint” pack. For his part, White chose to create a modern take on the iconic Air Max 95s “Neon” colorway, on the equally excellent Air Max 90. These are just so dope.

Solebox

Sneaker: Solebox x New Balance 1500GGB “1 of 150″
Year: 2005

When you think of the Mt. Rushmore of sneaker collaborators, if you’re not including Hikmet and the folks at Berlin’s Solebox, you better think again. Known world-wide for some of the finest collabs the sneaker world has ever seen, Solebox has that fire. But it all began in 2005, with the “1 of 150″ New Balance 1500GGB. Just a prelude to their brilliance (particularly with regard to their New Balance work), these 1500s are so clean.

Patta

Sneaker: Patta x Nike Air Max 1 “Amsterdam”
Year: 2005

Oh, Patta. Perhaps no other shop has ever had as many highly regarded sneaker collabs as Amsterdam’s Patta. And their first forray into collabs was a legend in the making. Interestingly, the folks at Patta didn’t actually design these beauties, Dutch artist Parra did (Patta oversaw the project). Even more interestingly, the legendary colorway we know today, almost never was. Initially, the intended colorway for the “Amsterdam” Nike Air Max 1 was a very dope blue and orange pair, inspired by the colors of a local supermarket in the Netherlands. However, before the shoes were pushed into production, the store chain switched up their brand identity, including those infamous colors. So Parra did away with the original design, in favor of the colorway we’re all familiar with today. Inspired by the neon glow of nighttime in Amsterdam’s Red Light District, these 1s are some of the best ever. Though there are some samples of the original colorway floating around, we’d really like to see those release sometime in the future.

Undefeated

Sneaker: Undefeated x Pro-Keds Royal
Year: 2005

LA’s Undefeated has been grinding! Nowadays known for their almost quarterly collabs with major brands like Nike, Converse and adidas, UNDFTD has gone from local boutique to full-fledged streetwear label. But their first sneaker collab came by way of the iconic label Pro-Keds. Teaming up to drop this military themed Royal, these canvas high tops dropped prior to all their work with Nike, way back in the spring of 2005.

UBIQ

Sneaker: UBIQ x Reebok Court Victory Pump & Ventilator
Year: 2005

Released on Black Friday 2005, Philly’s UBIQ blessed us with their very first collaboration, an excellent take on two classic Reebok silhouettes. Taking their shot at both the Court Victory Pump, and the infamous Ventilator, UBIQ gave us this slick maroon and beige colorway. Trimmed up with olive green hits and the always-welcome gum soles, these were a really tough collab. Not only aesthetically, but with only 48 pairs released in each silo, they were difficult kicks to get your hands on as well.

Bape

Sneaker: BAPE x Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Ox
Year: 2006

We covered these BAPE Chucks in our previous collab post, but 2006s team-up with Converse signaled a big change for BAPE as a brand. Prior to it, the company had been pushing out nothing but their own “inspired” versions of already classic silhouettes like the Bapesta. But these All Star Ox’s marked their first footwear collaboration, and also the first time we saw that “Ape Camo” on a sneaker.

Sneaker Freaker

Sneaker: Sneaker Freaker x Lacoste Missouri 85 “Minty Fresh”
Year: 2006

Another one of our favorite sneaker publications, Sneaker Freaker, is also a very accomplished collaborator. After getting their magazine off the ground in 2002, it wasn’t long before they had a steady circulation and were looking to take it to the next level. Fast forward to 2006, and every significant shop and designer is getting down on a footwear collab of some kind, and Sneaker Freaker wanted in on it too. One of the things we like most about SF, is their penchant for choosing nontraditional silhouettes to collab on (like their famous Blaze of Glory Pumas). Sure, they could have gone with an Air Force 1, or a pair of Chucks. But for their first collab, the boys from Sneaker Freaker chose to team up with Lacoste on a silo that hadn’t been seen since the mid 80s, the Missouri. Done up in a classic white/black/grey colorway, the Missouris are offset with nice hits of mint. Released in typical Sneaker Freaker fashion (ie, super limited and hard to get), these were an excellent stepping stone to help put Sneaker Freaker on the global map.

Blends

Sneaker: Blends x Nike Air Max 95
Year: 2006

Though perhaps most well known for their fantastic collaborations with Vans, Southern California footwear staple Blends began their collaborative portfolio with this wild tag team with Nike. Using exclusive iD options, Blends was allowed to create this collab back in 2006, releasing just 95 pairs, and breaking a lot of hearts along the way. Utilizing black buffalo skin, neon and white patent leather and those super loud blue laces, these 95s were an ultra-tough cop.

Ronnie Fieg

Sneaker: Ronnie Fieg x David Z. x Asics Gel Lyte III “252 Pack”
Year: 2007

Ronnie Fieg is often credited with breathing life into the Asics lifestyle division with his unique designs of their Gel Lyte silhouettes. And it all started in 2007. After moving his way up from the stock room to become the head buyer for New York’s David Z, he got the opportunity to collaborate with Asics on this trio of Gel Lyte IIIs, dubbed the “252 Pack.” Releasing just 252 pair of each colorway, the pair pictured above was the first to drop. The other two colorways were released at a Complex release party and online. After garnering enough hype to justify a cover appearance on the Wall Street Jounral (!), the rest was a wrap.

Bodega

Sneaker: Bodega x Converse Jack Purcell Mid “Lumberjack Collection”
Year: 2007

For their first footwear collaboration, Bodega teamed up with Converse to create an excellent Jack Purcell that fits perfectly within the Boston-based shop’s storefront. Packaged in a resealable bag, and done up in a meaty brown leather, these Purcell mids are set off by a healthy dose of black and red lumberjack flannel. That’s the one thing we’ve always loved about Bodega’s collabs, they’ve always got an awesome theme and very detail-oriented packaging to go with it. It’s the little things.

Concepts

Sneaker: Concepts x New Balance 576
Year: 2007

Concepts has made a name for itself with top-notch collab designs and crazy releases that have folks lining up, often in the cold, for days at a time. But it all started back in 2007, as one would expect, with their Massachusetts neighbors New Balance, on this excellent 576. Look, the UCLA-like colorway might not be for everyone. We actually dig them. But, what we love most about this particular collab is the variety and detail of materials used. Peep the pebbled white leather, the plush blue and yellow nubuck, and just a couple quick hits of white patent leather. This collab was a perfect start to a partnership that has benefitted sneakerheads for some time now

DJ Clark Kent

Sneaker: DJ Clark Kent x Nike “112 Pack”
Year: 2008

If there is a more appropriate way to start your collaborative portfolio, we can’t think of one better than DJ Clark Kent’s beloved “112 Pack.” For those of you unfamiliar, Kent is from Brooklyn, in which all zip codes start with “112.” In what has become a go-to Nike colorway, Kent got down with this pack of “1” silhouettes. Featuring an Air Max 1, an Air Force 1 and an Air Trainer 1 Mid, the “112 Pack” ensured summer 2008 really brought that HEAT!

Nice Kicks

Sneaker: Nice Kicks x Ronnie Fieg x Asics Gel Lyte III
Year: 2009

Oh, you thought them Yeezys started the all red wave? Nah, neither did these fire Asics GL3s done up back in 2009 by Ronnie Fieg and the good folks over at Nice Kicks. But, they did put RF, Nice Kicks and the Gel Lyte III silhouette onto the radars of a lot of sneakerheads. Back in ’09, Ronnie teamed up with three well-known blogs (Nice Kicks, Highsnobiety, and Culture Shoq) to drop these fantastic collaborative Gel Lyte IIIs. For their first collab, Nice Kicks really showed out.

A.P.C.

Sneaker: A.P.C. x Vans Authentic & Chukka
Year: 2011

French menswear label A.P.C. has really been making a name for itself lately. With high-profile get-downs alongside the likes of Louis Wong and Kanye West, they’ve also begun to dabble in sneaker collaborations as well. But, while everyone knows about their recent drops with Nike (those gum soled Air Max 1s are just so dope), their sneaker portfolio started off a bit more humble with Vans. Initially teaming up in 2011 on three shoes, A.P.C. approached this collaboration with the same understated premium quality that has made their Nike drops so popular. Encompassing three pairs of Authentic’s and a pair of Chukka’s, A.P.C.’s high-quality, low-flash Vans are perfect.

Extra Butter

Sneaker: Extra Butter x Reebok Pump AXT “Achoo”
Year: 2011

You see, when people talk about sneakers telling a story, this is the kind of off-the-wall stuff we love to see. The boys at Extra Butter really went in on their first collab, 2011’s “Achoo” Reebok Pump AXT. Yes, Achoo is the sound you make when you sneeze, but it was also the name of Dave Chappelle’s character in the cult-classic Robin Hood: Men in Tights. A wonderfully random and equally awesome idea to model a sneaker after, this clean Pump is colored up to resemble Achoo’s wardrobe when he’s introduced into the film. And the interesting way EB decided which silo to collab on? In the movie, there is a fight scene in which Chappelle’s Achoo calls time out, and stops to pump up his Reeboks before resuming the medieval brawl. See? Sometimes this stuff figures itself out!

BAIT

Sneaker: BAIT x Saucony Shadow 6000 “Blue Apple”
Year: 2012

If you haven’t already noticed, Southern Cali’s BAIT has been putting out some fire collabs in recent years. But, one you thing you might have missed, is that most of them come in a variation of their signature BAIT colorways: blue (B), apple (A), ivory (I), and tan (T). Their first collab, this banger with Saucony, on the classic Shadow 6000, was dubbed the “Blue Apple.” Designed as an homage to the original ‘bait,’ the Garden of Eden’s forbidden fruit, this Saucony is a real head-turner.

Packer Shoes

Sneaker: Packer Shoes x Reebok Pump “20th Anniversary”
Year: 2009

It’s crazy to think that it took until 2009 for one of America’s oldest sneaker stores, Packer Shoes, to get their first collaboration, but here we are. Our favorite part of this particular collab is that it also rectifies a long-standing sneaker snub; giving the legendary Dominique Wilkins his own sneaker. Back in ’09, the boys at Packer were tabbed to help Reebok celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Pump silo, and did so by giving Nique some much deserved shine. Dialing up a colorway that could’ve easily passed for a signature sneaker, Packer really put it down on this one. It’s just a shame that there were only a scant 31 pairs released to the public.

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The 25 People In Sneakers With The Most Longevity

Packer Shoes

Importance: Musician; Co-Founder BBC and Ice Cream Labels; adidas Endorser

Sure, Pharrell has been making hot music since the early ’90s (seriously, he helped make “Rumpshaker” for Wreckx-n-Effect all the way back in 1992!). But it wasn’t until he teamed up with Japanese style icon, Nigo, in 2005 to found both Billionaire Boys Club and Ice Cream, that Pharrell turned his hustle to the sneaker world. Perhaps one of the hardest working people in entertainment today, Skateboard P seemingly never stops hustling. And, if you’ve been paying attention to his work with adidas lately, his fingerprints are still all over the sneaker game…even in 2014. Respect.

DJ Clark Kent

Importance: DJ, Sneaker Connoisseur, Designer

Most people know DJ Clark Kent for the beautiful “112” colorway that has graced numerous iconic Nike silos. Or, perhaps they know him as the co-host of ComplexTV’s Quickstrike show, or from putting together one of the great friends-and-family releases the LeBron line has ever seen in the form of the “James Dean” 8s. But, Kent’s sneaker legacy goes far beyond those formidable mentions. An early pioneer of the NY sneaker movement, Kent has become somewhat of an unofficial ambassador of the “Uptown”, or Nike Air Force 1. Not only that, but he helped launch Nike and 21 Mercer’s infamous Bespoke program. What we’re trying to say is; DJ Clark Kent is the man.

Eddie Cruz/James Bond

Importance: Founders/Owners, Undefeated/Union LA

You may not be familiar with the names Eddie Cruz and James Bond (no, not that James Bond). But let us tell you, they’re an integral part of the West Coast’s sneaker movement. Cruz and Bond co-founded LA staple Undefeated, along with the high-end Union LA. Now, we don’t have to tell you how big UNDFTD has gotten over the years. From their highly-rare and coveted Air Jordan collab, to team ups with Bape, adidas and Converse, UNDFTD has come a long way since it’s 2002 inception. And, with the market penetration and brand name recognition they’ve achieved over the years, UNDFTD shows no signs of slowing down.

Gary Warnett

Importance: Writer/Sneaker Historian

Gary Warnett is something of an old sage in the sneaker world. You’d be painting with a broad brush to simply call him a “writer.” No, Warnett, with his encyclopedic knowledge of sneakers (and hip-hop), embodies the term “historian” perhaps better than any other person we can think of. And, he’s also dabbled, fairly successfully, in some sneaker design as well. Long affiliated with London-based retailer Crooked Tongues, Warnett’s writing has been featured everywhere from Nike to Kith product launches. Basically, if a company wants their product to “read” as cool as it looks, they call Gary Warnett.

Gentry Humphrey

Importance: Product Creator, Nike Sportswear

If you’ve ever wondered how a brand like Jordan can understand their customers, perhaps better than any other brand in the world, it’s because of people like Gentry Humphrey. Humphrey was a part of the formative years at Jordan Brand, and helped shape what we know and love (or love/hate) about JB today. They even call him Mr. Jordan Brand. And as the GM of Jordan Brand, he maybe had the dream job of countless sneakerheads, Gentry has since moved on to head up product creation at NSW (Nike Sportswear). Which is why now, even more than in years past, you see NSW putting out that fire. We know we’re not the only ones who can’t wait to see what Gentry cooks up next.

Hiroshi Fujiwara

Importance: Designer, Fragment Design & Nike HTM

If you know nothing of Hiroshi Fujiwara, all you need to know is that he’s the “H” in HTM. But beyond that, he’s been dubbed the “Godfather of Street” because of his role in influencing the streetwear movement in Japan. Back in the day, Fujiwara was a DJ who helped bring hip-hop and streetwear to the masses in Japan. But nowadays, he’s one of the most respected fashion designers in the world (not just sneakers). From Supreme to Visvim, Fragment and Neighborhood, to Kangol, Levis and Oakley, Hiroshi has a hand in many things in today’s game. This guy is a true OG.

James Jebbia

Importance: Founder, Supreme

If James Jebbia is a name that sounds familiar to you, that’s because it should. After helping to open streetwear staples Union NYC and Stussy NYC, Jebbia went on to found a little company by the name of Supreme. Now, we know that Supreme is a love it or hate it brand. But to be honest, Supreme has had a crazy amount of influence on today’s sneaker world. From the early days of skate videos and low-key collabs, to today’s insane hype-driven sneaker releases, Supreme seems to be an unstoppable force in the sneaker world. And it’s all (or, mostly) because of James Jebbia.

Jeff Staple

Importance: Founder, Staple Design & Reed Space

Most of us know Jeff Staple for his legendary “Pigeon” colorway that has graced the silhouette of some of the sneaker world’s most iconic kicks. But Jeff Staple is more than just a sneaker designer, he’s a mini-mogul. His company Staple Design has had a hand in everything from footwear and clothing to design and art for the likes of Gap, HBO and Levis. And in 2002, he also opened Reed Space, one of NYC’s finest retail shop/art galleries. We’ve loved watching Staple, as his brand continues to grow and are super excited for what the future holds.

Kobe Bryant

Importance: Shooting Guard, Los Angeles Lakers; Nike Basketball Signature Sneaker Line

Of course we all know who Kobe Bryant, aka, the Black Mamba is. But thinking in the abstract, have you ever thought about what his legacy in the sneaker game is? Sure, we’re all familiar with his excellent Nike signature line. But what about his ground-breaking adidas line? What does the future hold for Kobe and his kicks? As one of the more popular athletes in the world (seriously, dude is a gawd in China), what will his footwear legacy be? Sure, we’re looking forward to seeing more excellent stuff from Nike, like the surprising super-high Kobe 9 Elite. But, we’re super stoked for the future of the Kobe brand. Can you say retro?

Mark Parker

Importance: CEO, Nike, Inc.

As Nike’s Chief Executive Officer, Mark Parker likely needs no introduction. But, his longevity and influence on sneakers has been, perhaps, more dominant and wide-ranging than any other person on this list. Joining Nike in 1979 as a footwear designer, Parker has been influential in building what has become the most valuable sports brand in the world. And, if that weren’t enough, he still keeps pumping out those gorgeous HTM designs. We’re still hoping to track a few of those babies down.

Masta Lee

Importance: Designer/Media Director, Patta

DJ Masta Lee may not be a name that a lot of us are familiar with. But, if you know who or what Patta is, you’re familiar with Lee’s work. As designer and Media Director for the legendary Dutch brand, Masta Lee has been instrumental in bringing some of the most coveted sneaker collabs of all time to market. Seriously, Patta is a heavyweight. And, with a resume like that, why wouldn’t you be excited for what’s to come?

LeBron James

Importance: Forward, Cleveland Cavaliers; Nike Basketball Signature Sneaker Line

Ah, LeBron James. Of course, as Nike’s flagship athlete, LBJ was deemed heir to the Nike throne before he even had an NBA team, much less played in an actual game. And, while the weight of the crown may be heavy, James has carried it with a level of poise and energy, the likes of which has never been seen. As the popularity and his global brand continue to grow, we’re very ecstatic to watch what the future holds for LeBron and his kicks. And, basically, we can’t wait to get a shot at some of those inevitable Nike retros too.

Matt Halfhill

Importance: Founder, Nice Kicks

Matt Hafhill is one of the sneaker world’s good guys. From founding what is now one of the most-read sneaker websites in the entire world, to designing some of the cleanest NBs in recent memory, Matt might not be the oldest OG on this list, but his influence on the sneaker world is no less significant. Back when Nice Kicks started in 2006, it was really difficult to get concrete information on upcoming sneaker releases. Nice Kicks has become that resource. And much of that is due to Matt Halfhill and his team’s grind. Very recently, Halfhill announced that he’s passing the Editor-in-Chief reigns of Nice Kicks to one of NKs most familiar names, George Kiel, but you can bet you’ll still hear from him frequently, whether on radio or as a go-to source for any number of ‘sneakerhead’ related stories in the mainstream press.

Michael Dupouy/Julien Cahn

Importance: Founders, La MJC

The names might not be familiar to you, but perhaps their brand, La MJC might. No? Well, how about those excellent yearly All Gone books, documenting all the major moves in the sneaker/streetwear world each year since 2006. Style and substance, La MJC continues to impress. Not just a book publisher, they’ve also tried their hand at the design side of things, with tremendous success. After collabs with the likes of New Balance, Asics, colette and UNDFTD (just to name a few), you better get familiar with these names. Can’t wait to see what they’ve got in store for many years to come.

Michael Jordan

Importance: NBA Hall-of-Famer, Jordan Brand

Seriously, do we even need to write anything here? Your footwear closet would never have been the same if it weren’t for Michael Jeffrey Jordan. Perhaps the single most important signature athlete in the history of sneakers, MJ is, and likely always will be, the greatest.

Mike Packer

Importance: Owner, Packer Shoes

Okay, so Mike Packer hasn’t actually owned Packer Shoes since 1907. But, as a third generation Packer, he was involved for years before taking official ownership in 2011. We also couldn’t help putting that 1907 date up there to illustrate just how remarkable a feat that is in a sneaker world where brick-and-mortar shops are constantly going the way of the dinosaurs. But the boys (now located) in Teaneck, NJ, know how to run a proper footwear shop. And, not only does he own one of the oldest footwear stores in the country, but as Executive VP of Ewing Athletics, Mike Packer has also been instrumental in the revival of the beloved Ewing brand. That’s a busy man!

Nigo

Importance: Founder, A Bathing Ape; Creative Director, UNIQLO UT Collection; adidas Endorser

Many don’t realize that Nigo’s A Bathing Ape has been around since 1993(!), but it’s true. Initially started as a small streetwear company in Japan, it wasn’t until they released the Bapesta in ’93, that they really started making waves. What was essentially a ripoff of the Air Force 1, the Bapesta had Nike execs spinning. And, while Nigo and Bape put their own spin on the silo with neck-breaking colorways and stupid-awesome collabs, Nike found out that their patents on the silo’s design weren’t as airtight as they thought. And of course, after teaming up with some kid named Pharrell, on brands like BBC and Ice Cream, it was all over. Today, Nigo continues to pump out top-notch menswear through his own label Human Made. But it was his recent signing with adidas that has us really excited. We can’t wait to see what Nigo’s next line of sneakers are going to look like.

Paul Ruffles

Importance: Managing Director, size?, Foot Patrol

With all the heat dropping stateside, we often lose track of all the good stuff dropping over in the EU. And, as the Managing Director for UK heavyweights size? and Footpatrol, Paul Ruffles has been instrumental in shaping the UK footwear scene. After a turn at UK athletic retail giant JD Sports, PRuffs slid on over to help establish size? and Footpatrol as the leaders of footwear culture in the UK. Not only are size? and Footpatrol some of the finest sneaker shops the Brits have to offer, but their sneaker design portfolio, particularly in recent years, has been ridiculous. It’s not just that they’ve put out crazy collabs like last year’s “Urban Safari” series (seriously, those Huaraches are amazing), but they’ve been able to convince folks like Nike to bring some old gems out of the vault for retro. Oh, you love those AM93s you just copped? Thanks PRuffs!

Pharrell

Importance: Musician; Co-Founder BBC and Ice Cream Labels; adidas Endorser

Sure, Pharrell has been making hot music since the early ’90s (seriously, he helped make “Rumpshaker” for Wreckx-n-Effect all the way back in 1992!). But it wasn’t until he teamed up with Japanese style icon, Nigo, in 2005 to found both Billionaire Boys Club and Ice Cream, that Pharrell turned his hustle to the sneaker world. Perhaps one of the hardest working people in entertainment today, Skateboard P seemingly never stops hustling. And, if you’ve been paying attention to his work with adidas lately, his fingerprints are still all over the sneaker game…even in 2014. Respect.

Ronnie Fieg

Importance: Designer/Founder, Kith

A lot of Ronnie Fieg’s newer fans aren’t aware of the long road he’s taken to get where he is today. Long before Kith was one of the finest sneaker shops in the world, Ronnie was a retail buyer for NY footwear purveyor David Z. RF’s ascendance to NY footwear royalty is the perfect example of how hard work prepares you to take advantage of opportunity when it presents itself. Not only is Ronnie’s hustle an inspiration (seriously, dude never stops working), but he’s almost single-handedly brought numerous footwear brands into the consciousness of US buyers. It’s bigger than Asics. Trust.

Russ Bengtson

Importance: Complex, Senior Staff Writer; SLAM EiC Emeritus

You might know Russ Bengtson as one of the faces of ComplexTV’s popular Quickstrike show (hint, he’s the one with the wicked grizzly beard). But beard-farming aside, Russ is a true sneaker writing OG. Before becoming a senior writer and host with Complex, Russ was a founding contributor over at SLAM magazine, and even led the charge on their special KICKS edition. You won’t find many better sneaker (and basketball) writers than Bengtson.

Simon "Woody" Wood

Importance: Founder/Editor, Sneaker Freaker

Simon “Woody” Wood may not be a household name to the average sneakerhead. But we assure you, his influence and longevity in this game cannot be understated. In a world where printed publications are vanishing faster than Jordans fly off NDC, it’s crazy-refreshing to have a top-notch sneaker publication printed and delivered on a consistent basis. And doing it all the way from Australia is an achievement not to be taken lightly. On top of publishing one of the sneaker world’s most consistent magazines, Sneaker Freaker has also dropped some fantastic sneaker collabs. We may have to wake up at (or stay up until) crazy hours to try and cop them, but kicks like the Puma Blaze of Glory “Sharkbait” or “Alvin Purple” Gel Lyte IIIs are totally worth it!

Tinker Hatfield

Importance: Designer, Nike

We all know about Tinker Hatfield’s legendary design portfolio. From all your Air Jordan favorites, to countless Air Max and Nike Running shoes, all the way to today’s crazy-limited HTM collection, Tinker is quite possibly the most important sneaker designer in history. All hail Tinker Hatfield.

Yu-Ming Wu

Importance: Founder/Publisher, FreshnessMag.com, SneakerNews.com, SneakerCon Sneaker Show, JordansDaily.com

You might not think about it all the time, but 2003 is kinda ANCIENT in internet years. And back in ’03, the landscape of sneaker websites was far different than it is today. Which is why Yu-Ming’s site Freshnessmag.com was so special. Not just focusing on sneakers, it covered toys and street culture, perhaps better than any of it’s peers. And, while most sites like these are surpassed by the next latest-and-greatest, Freshnessmag.com continues to be one of the most important sources in sneakers and streetwear, period. It doesn’t end there though as Yu-Ming continued to build his portfolio by founding SneakerNews.com, which he still serves as Editor-in-Chief of, and for an extra feather in the cap, he’s the main man behind one of the best sneaker shows in the country, SneakerCon. It’s definitely safe to say Yu-Ming will be in the sneaker game for quite some time moving forward.

Paul Mittleman

Importance: Global Design Director, adidas Originals; Formerly Creative Director, Stussy

Formerly serving as the creative director at Stussy, and we all know some of the dope footwear collabs they’ve been a part of, Paul Mittleman is currently positioned as the global design director at adidas for the Originals line. While constantly battling the Swoosh for worldwide dominance in the footwear market, adidas’ buzz has seemingly never been hotter and the future is looking extremely promising with the likes of Kanye West and Pharrell now under the adidas umbrella (props have to go to Jon Wexler on those signings as adidas’ Global Director of Entertainment and Influencer Marketing). And while we all await to see what the product will look like exactly, you can best believe Mittleman will be right in the center of it all.

Marc Dolce

Importance: Director, adidas Creative Studio (NYC); Formerly Nike Sportswear (NSW) Global Design Director

Having been with Nike for close to the last decade, Marc Dolce recently announced that he would be leaving The Swoosh for adidas to head up the brand’s new creative studio in Brooklyn. While at Nike, Dolce has design credits for the Penny V, Zoom Rookie and the Lunar Force 1 and his extensive design background and project management within the world of basketball sneakers certainly boasts well for the Three Stripes. If his impressive rise through the ranks at Nike goes in similar fashion at adidas, there is a lot to look forward to from Dolce and company in the next 10 years.

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The Best Sneakers Worn On Stage This Summer

Marc Dolce

Sneaker: adidas Stan Smith Customs
Summer Month: July

Black Thought

Sneaker: Riccardo Tisci x Nike Air Force 1 High
Summer Month: June

Chance The Rapper

Sneaker: adidas EQT Support 93 White/Red
Summer Month: June

Chris Brown

Sneaker: Nike Air Yeezy 2 “Red October”
Summer Month: June

Drake

Sneaker: Air Jordan IV “Oregon Ducks”
Summer Month: June

Frank Ocean

Sneaker: Vans Sk8 Hi Black/White
Summer Month: June

Kid Ink

Sneaker: Air Jordan VII “Hare”
Summer Month: June

Lil Wayne

Sneaker: Air Jordan VI “Cigar”
Summer Month: June

Macklemore

Sneaker: Air Jordan I Black/Royal
Summer Month: June

Soulja Boy

Sneaker: Supreme x Nike Foamposite One
Summer Month: June

Lil Wayne

Sneaker: Air Jordan VI “Brazil”
Summer Month: June

Macklemore

Sneaker: Air Jordan VI “Infrared 23″
Summer Month: June

Theophilus London

Sneaker: New Balance 998 ‘Powder Blue’
Summer Month: June

Trey Songz

Sneaker: Lance Mountain x Nike SB x Air Jordan 1
Summer Month: June

Tyler The Creator

Sneaker: Vans Old Skool
Summer Month: June

Waka Flocka Flame

Sneaker: Air Jordan IV “Toro Bravo”
Summer Month: June

Wiz Khalifa

Sneaker: Air Jordan I “Shadow”
Summer Month: June

A$AP Rocky

Sneaker: Nike Air Force 1 Mid White/White
Summer Month: July

Andre 3000

Sneaker: Converse Chuck Taylor Low
Summer Month: July

Big Boi

Sneaker: Air Jordan VI “Champagne”
Summer Month: July

Cam'ron

Sneaker: Air Jordan VI “Carmine”
Summer Month: July

Chance The Rapper

Sneaker: Nike Roshe Run
Summer Month: July

Kanye West

Sneaker: Maison Martin Margiela High Tops
Summer Month: July

Pharrell

Sneaker: adidas Stan Smith Customs
Summer Month: July

Raekwon

Sneaker: Air Jordan XI Low “Concord”
Summer Month: July

Young Jeezy

Sneaker: Nike Cortez
Summer Month: July

Bun B

Sneaker: Jordan Future “Jordan Brand Classic”
Summer Month: August

Chance The Rapper

Sneaker: Ronnie Fieg x PUMA Disc Blaze “C.O.A.”
Summer Month: August

Drake

Sneaker: Air Jordan III “6IX”
Summer Month: August

Lil Wayne and Drake

Sneaker: Air Jordan III “Drake vs. Lil Wayne” PEs
Summer Month: August

Hit Boy

Sneaker: Air Jordan IV “Silver Anniversary”
Summer Month: August

Iggy Azalea

Sneaker: Nike Air Max 1 SP “Liquid Metal” Silver
Summer Month: August

Nas

Sneaker: Air Jordan XI Low Black/Infrared 23
Summer Month: August

Riff Raff

Sneaker: Nike Air Max Bo Jax “South Beach”
Summer Month: August

Talib Kweli

Sneaker: Air Jordan V “Oreo”
Summer Month: August

Wiz Khalifa

Sneaker: JBF Customs x Nike Air Force 1 “Supreme F&ckery”
Summer Month: August

YG

Sneaker: Nike Cortez
Summer Month: August

Chris Brown

Sneaker: Air Jordan XIV “Ferrari”
Summer Month: September

Drake

Sneaker: Air Jordan XIII “3M”
Summer Month: September

Fabolous

Sneaker: Nike Foamposite One “Knicks”
Summer Month: September

Drake

Sneaker: Air Jordan I “CDP”
Summer Month: September

Lil Wayne

Sneaker: Nike Air Yeezy 1 Black/Pink
Summer Month: September

Method Man

Sneaker: Nike Air Force I Mid
Summer Month: September

Drake

Sneaker: Nike Lebron 12 “Meridian”
Summer Month: September

Lil Wayne

Sneaker: Air Jordan VI “Spiz’ike”
Summer Month: September

Drake and Lil Wayne

Sneaker: Air Jordan XIII “Playoffs” & Air Jordan 5Lab3
Summer Month: September

Nas

Sneaker: Air Jordan XIV “Thunder”
Summer Month: September

ScHoolboy Q

Sneaker: Jordan I Mid Nouveau
Summer Month: September

Theophilus London

Sneaker: Air Jordan V White/Metallic Silver
Summer Month: September

Waka Flocka Flame

Sneaker: Air Jordan XI “Playoffs”
Summer Month: September

Usher

Sneaker: Air Jordan XI ‘Gold’
Summer Month: September

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15 Best Kicks 25%-40% OFF At KicksUSA + FREE Shipping
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Jordan 13 Retro (GS) “Bred”
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Jordan 7 Retro White/Pure Platinum
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10 Best Kicks 20%-35% OFF At Renarts + FREE Shipping
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Jordan 6 Retro “Wheat”

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