New book “1,000 Sneakers” details history’s most famous kicks.
Next month, Rizzoli releases the must-have tome for sneaker aficionados, 1,000 Sneakers: A Guide to the World’s Greatest Kicks, from Sport to Street. Author Mathieu Le Maux spent the last 20 years reading books and magazines about sneakers but felt the market was lacking one that really delved into all aspects of sneaker culture. “Very often, the angle was street culture, hip-hop or basketball and not on fashion and design,” Le Maux explains. “Sneaker culture includes other sports like tennis, running and skateboarding, other music [genres] and other ways of life. I wanted to go further.”
And that he did. The book spans classics like Keds and Converse All-Stars to today’s leading fashion icons, totaling more than 1,000 full-color sneaker images. The pseudo-encyclopedia details the rise of sneaker culture and its star celebrities. “My second aim was to tell stories,” the author says, adding, “I didn’t only want to show iconic shoes but explain why they became famous—the story, the man, the event behind each sneaker.”
Le Maux says that his position as a journalist sets this book aside from those by bloggers or self-proclaimed sneaker addicts. Instead, 1,000 Sneakers is slated as an unbiased covering of the best shoes of all time. His favorite? “The Nike Air Max,” answers Le Maux. “I interviewed [designer] Tinker Hatfield to ask him how he did it—I’m still impressed.”