These Names Will (Still) Be Dominating the Sneaker Culture in 5 Years

  • adidas Superstar Pharrell Williams

    @adidas

    Pharrell

    Is there an artist over the last decade whose style has been as influential as Pharrell’s? Between his recent partnership with adidas, his cartoonishly-sized hats, and a history of successful clothing and sneaker lines, the Virginia Beach native has long been a style icon. Having rocketed to another level of fame with an increased presence as an individual, rather than a group member, Pharrell figures to become even more influential over the next few years.

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  • Kobe Bryant, Stephen Curry

    Frederic J. Brown/Getty Images

    Stephen Curry

    You’re reading that correctly–the first athlete on the list is the face of upstart Under Armour, fresh off an MVP and championship season. We already told you how Curry has lifted the brand to new heights, and with a generation of NBA stars beginning to approach the end of their careers, Curry is poised to help Under Armour eat into the market share.

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  • Jeremy Scott A$AP Rocky Wings 2.0 Black Flag adidas

    adidas

    A$AP Rocky

    The lead star in the A$AP movement has always had an eye on the fashion world, between telling people how pretty he is and consistently draping himself in unique threads. He’s already collaborated with adidas and Jeremy Scott–another name who deserves to be on this list–on the Wings 2.0 “Black Flag” and his stature in the rap game along with a desire to stand out should help him ascend in the sneaker game soon enough. As a bonus, he’s dropping high-profile “What Are Thooooooooose” jokes as we speak.

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  • Nike KD 8 Kevin Durant
    Kevin Durant

    It seems comical that KD has become something of a forgotten man recently, but a missed season will do that to you. That doesn’t erase his transcendent talent and heralded signature line, and as peers like LeBron James inch closer to the exit door, Durant will still only be 31 in five years time. Expect his shoe to be the top seller in the market among active players come 2020.

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  • Nike LeBron 10 Mache

    Mache

    Mache

    With the help of celebrity cosigns and social media sharing, sneaker customizers, and designers have seen their work grow from a tiny niche to a full-fledged industry. Perhaps no one is more influential in that space than Mache, a New York native whose redesign work has earned clientele like Kobe Bryant and Kanye West. We’re betting that his star will continue to rise over the next five years, and even if you can’t afford a pair of his customs, he’s a must-follow on Instagram.

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  • LeBron James Nike Sportswear

    @nikesportswear

    LeBron James

    Five years from now, LeBron will be 35 years old and approaching the final days of his playing career. Even still, his shoe line will still be a force. Between James’ worldwide popularity and the versatility of his signature sneaker–from the lows to the lifestyles to the plentiful colorways–he’s equipped to withstand the slow decline from his physical peak. The best of James on-court may have come and gone, but he’s still a King in the sneaker universe.

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  • Drake Air Jordan 3

    Ollie Millington/Getty Images

    Drake

    He isn’t quite the designing force that Kanye is currently, but his influence is undeniable at the moment. Having recently shown an increased presence for Jordan Brand and with his cultural gravitas not in question, Drizzy’s in place to take over the game.

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  • Catherine Steenkeste/Getty Images

    Michael Jordan

    Despite drastic changes in sneaker tech and culture, one name remains on everyone’s lips: Jordan. Nobody has come close to knocking the godfather of signature basketball shoes from his lofty perch, and it doesn’t figure to happen in the foreseeable future. For multiple generations of sneaker buyers, there’s just something special about copping and showing off a crisp pair of J’s. As long as he and Jordan Brand are around, MJ remains relevant.

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  • Nike Tech Pack Huarache Roshe Run
    Nike

    Five years is a long time, but there’s no way the iconic Swoosh is getting knocked out of the conversation by then. By then, they’ll be the official jersey providers for both the NBA and NFL, putting their logo on the most-watched athletes in America. With that level of product placement and designers lining up to work for them–from Tinker to Eric Avar to Dylan Raasch–the reign won’t stop.

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  • adidas Yeezy Boost 350 Low

    adidas

    Kanye West

    You knew him originally as the outspoken, genre-bending force who altered the course of rap music in the early-to-mid 2000s, but Kanye has become much more than a rapper/producer. The evolution of his shoe line and increased fashion sense has driven sales for sneakers across multiple big-name brands. While his star may dim in the coming years, his influence will not wane.

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  • adidas Superstar Pharrell Williams
  • Kobe Bryant, Stephen Curry
  • Jeremy Scott A$AP Rocky Wings 2.0 Black Flag adidas
  • Nike KD 8 Kevin Durant
  • Nike LeBron 10 Mache
  • LeBron James Nike Sportswear
  • Drake Air Jordan 3
  • Nike Tech Pack Huarache Roshe Run
  • adidas Yeezy Boost 350 Low

Putting on a fresh pair of kicks is really the only way to start off a good day. To feel good, you have to look good, and that starts from the ground up. Your logo of choice may vary, but the feeling inspired by a crisp pair of sneakers is universal.

Sneaker style doesn’t just materialize from nothing, however. The genesis of a new movement can often be attributed to small groups of people or even individuals–think Run–D.M.C. and shelltoe adidas, or Michael Jordan selling the world on shoes bearing his Jumpman logo.

We’re always searching for the people who can push the sneaker world forward through every avenue available. Whether that’s a highly-visible athlete whose shoe line can’t be missed, a brand that consistently produces heat, or a designer that changes what the sneaker market looks like, our ear is to the ground (literally and figuratively) searching for the tastemakers.

An Average Joe may think he has the best collection out, but his reach only extends as far as his social circles go. Maybe your style can impact what your friends and family put on their feet–we at Champs Sports think we can help you out on that front–though it’s likely that’s where your influence ends.

We all need a little help to keep discovering new styles, stay on top of trends, and push sneaker culture from the fringes of mainstream into the public consciousness. With the help of a select group of people in the near future, that day is soon to come. These Names Will (Still) Be Dominating the Sneaker Culture in 5 Years.

Follow Kyle on Twitter at @kyleneubeck

image via NBC/Getty Images