Kanye West's Old Man Sneakers Are Everywhere Right Now
By Jake Woolf.
Sometime around the early 2000s, Reebok Classics aged from "classic" into just old man sneakers. At that time, the changing tides of taste veered towards sneakers that were bolder and more wild than their predecessors, and in favor of kicks you could spot from two blocks away. As a result, the less exciting, all-white, and vaguely gym-class-issued Reebok silhouette just couldn't compete. Flash forward a decade, and some of the most stylish guys in the world are turning to Classics as a next-level style move.
Nostalgia for the '90s is all over fashion right now, particularly designs culled from the era's athletic wear (see: Vetements). But today, guys like Kendrick Lamar, A$AP Rocky, and Future have all found a way to make the old school kicks look new again. Even trend-aware celebs like Jonah Hill are getting in on the action. Sneaker god and trendsetter Kanye West even recently resurrected the Adidas Powerphase (a shoe very similar to the Reebok Workout Low) for his soon-to-be-released Adidas Calabasas line.
But Kanye West isn't the only designer—or the first—to breath new life into the style. Far from it. Last year, streetwear favorite Russian designer Gosha Rubchinskiy made a version of the Reebok Phase One that sold out in just a couple of days, something that was previously unprecedented for a Reebok.
Kendrick Lamar's line of Reebok Classics come in high-quality leathers (and a high quality message of unity) that elevate the silhouette from geriatric to G. Palace, London's coolest skate brand, made the pair Jonah Hill has been spotted wearing, while New Orleans' coolest sneaker store, Sneaker Politics, dropped their own version of a Reebok Workout Low for NBA All-Star Weekend.
The key to wearing them without looking like you're aspiring to an assisted living home or in the background of a Richard Simmons tape is to wear them with newer trends that are unmistakably younger in nature. Kanye wears his with Adidas track pants, while Rocky most recently found a way to dress his up in a camel coat. So, sorry to all the grandpas of the world for ruining their favorite style move, but your favorite sneakers now belong to the young guns. But hey, you've still got velcro! (For now.)
This story originally appeared on GQ.
More from GQ: