You could say that my son is well on his way to becoming a Sneakerhead. He loves looking at shoes online and they are his number 1 request for birthdays and gifts. He also saves up his money to purchase additional shoes too. Good thing we’ve taught him the art of discount shopping.
During a trip to Toledo, I knew that he would love The Rise of Sneaker Culture at the Toledo Museum of Art. It was the perfect storm. I love art. He loves shoes. This exhibit displays shoes AS art for the WIN!
The exhibit takes you back to sneaker origins from the mid-1800 to current styles of today.
The Rise of Sneaker Culture features approximately 160 shoes that tell the fascinating story of how a casual fashion staple became the footwear of millions around the world. The exhibition draws from the collections of the Bata Shoe Museum, the Northampton Museums and Art Gallery; the archives of Adidas, Converse, Nike and PUMA; and private collectors such as Dee Wells of Obsessive Sneaker Disorder and legendary hip-hop group Run–DMC.
Shoes on display include an 1860s spiked running shoe, an original 1917 Converse All Star/Non Skid, a pair of 1936 track shoes like the ones Jesse Owens wore at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, the original Air Force 1, and an early Adidas Superstar, as well as contemporary sneaker collaborations with prominent figures such as Damien Hirst, Jeremy Scott, Jeff Staple, Kanye West and many others.
From its historical origins in the recreational pastimes of the elite and the increasing importance of physical fitness to its role today at the vanguard of athletic performance and urban style, the sneaker has been a pivotal component of dress for more than 150 years. The shoe’s ever-evolving design and cultural impact offers insights into the world in which we live, work and play.
When my husband and I were first married, I had him get rid of his old pair of Jordans. He’s regretted that decision every since and reminds me of it all the time. Now the only way he can see them is on display.
This exhibit really takes you through a journey of fashion and art.
Early sneaker designs
Fashion over the years
My boys loved the interactive element at the end of the exhibit. We spent over an hour in that area.
We played a variation of Chutes and Ladders called Grafitti and Ladders that used tiny sneakers as the place markers and sneaker themed Dominios.
Kids and adults can dream up their own shoe designs by bringing color to the blank sneaker templates.
Exhibit guests can also take a shoe selfie on different flooring samples that can be added to the wall.