Shelflife: Sneaker Brands Which Came to Rule the Wrestling Ring • Almost Perfect

Shelflife: Sneaker Brands Which Came to Rule the Wrestling Ring

I’ve never considered myself a sneaker guy despite owning more pairs than I could have imagined as a kid, but I am a wrestling guy and I’ve noticed the increase in the usage of sneakers in modern wrestling. So, I wrote about it for Shelflife.

“If I asked you to imagine a wrestler, chances are you’d probably picture a grown man in a speedo, some elbow pads and knee pads, boots laced halfway up his legs – the peak male form. Some would rock a singlet, others tights, but for most of wrestling history, the only footwear wrestlers wore in their matches were sturdy wrestling boots. They offered ankle protection and decent cushioning under foot, and they provided a certain level of “I’ll-kick-your-ass” to the wearer (to offset the speedo). I’m not sure Stone Cold Steve Austin would have reached icon status had he been stomping mudholes in a pair of Vans.

Wrestling is having a bit of a revival and a number of modern wrestlers have chosen to forgo boots in lieu of more athletic footwear. Considering that wrestling has become more about high-flying action than mudhole stomping, it makes sense that wrestlers have gravitated towards shoes optimised for running and jumping. From Reebok Pumps to Nike Air Jordans, sneakers have become a regular sight on wrestling programmes. Not only are they comfy, but they offer wrestlers another avenue to flex their unique style. Sneakers have now become such a normalised part of modern wrestling culture that Complex regularly invites wrestlers from WWE and AEW on their Sneaker Shopping show.

While The Killer Bees were likely the first to wear sneakers in the ring with their iconic yellow and black Nike Dunk Highs back at Wrestlemania III, they usually wore boots in their matches and it’d take an entire generation of wrestlers before sneakers became a mainstay in the ring.”

Read the whole article here.

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