‘Soled Out: The Golden Age of Sneaker Advertising’ Is the New Sneakerhead Bible

Posted inDesign Books

The Sneakerheads phenomenon is nothing new, and while the media like to remind us of its existence now and again, let’s face it, shoe fans have been around for decades. These people are passionate about more than just certain brands. They understand and dissect the history of the soles, the technicalities of the design, and the reason the sneakers came into existence. 

And while fashion isn’t our primary focus, it’s fun to think of clothes as an extension of graphic design. The mixing of patterns, textures, movement, sleek silhouettes applies to both worlds, and yes, we are here for it. 

But advertisements for sneakers? That’s our wheelhouse.

Soled Out is a 720-page book that celebrates sneakers and their vintage print advertisements. Written and curated by Simon’ Woody’ Wood, founder of the legendary Sneaker Freaker magazine, this book for Phaidon is more than just a visual compilation; it’s the new Sneakerhead Bible. 

The pages come filled with over 900 vintage images, insider stories, historical references, and, of course, endless sneaker porn. Highlighting shoes from athletes and icons such as Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal, and Paula Abdul, there’s no shortage of interesting tidbits, garish colors, and retro vibes.

Not only will readers learn about shoes throughout the pages, but there are countless examples of winning advertising moments. Specifically, the typeface Futura, Nike’s recognizable font, is massively integrated into the pages, as nearly every brand implemented it in their advertisements or designs at some point or another. And it just goes to show how innovative and influential Nike has been since they first swooshed their way into our hearts.

So, yeah, our unquenchable thirst for sneakers is a genuine thing, but it’s often the advertising, photography, copywriting, and buzz that allows these kicks to make a statement. Nevertheless, Soled Out dissects more than just shoes, creating a fascinating peek into the history and culture of all aspects of the Sneakerhead marvel.