Now that it’s Fall season, picking the appropriate footwear is key to surviving the weather changes. At the same time, buying for function doesn’t always give you the best sartorial choices. Boots will get you through rain and colder weather, but sneakers are usually going to be the more eye-catching, stylish option. So it’s a toss-up between boots and sneakers, each offering their own approach to the seasonal change. But one of the less talked options you have is the sneakerboot, a silhouette that has been around since the 1980’s, but stays in the background.
When Nike launched their ACG (All Conditions Gear) Line in 1989, they changed the formula for outdoor footwear with a range of sneakers, boots, and hybrids. While the company had dabbled in boot-style sneakers prior to the ACG era, this line was geared specifically for being outdoors or at the very least, weathering the elements.
Dropped in 1991, the Air Mowabb is probably the pinnacle of the sneakerboot hybrid. This classic Tinker Hatfield design could withstand a hike in the woods, but could also play into a fashion forward outfit both now and when it first dropped. Sneakerboots have become a longstanding part of sneaker culture, but never the first option when it comes to Autumn-ready footwear.
But that brings back the concept of form versus function. With iconic boot brands like Timberland dropping classics season after season, the wheel doesn’t necessarily need to be reinvented but sometimes the wheel gets boring. You might look this recent offering from Nike SB: murdered out for the season, and they could be worn on a mountain or to the club. Either way, definitely different than the sneakerboots of Nike's early experimentation with hiking.
And with Nike dropping an Air Max 95 sneakerboot, it seems that the concept is just here to stay (that’s been obvious from the early 90’s), but that it’s going to be pushed more into the cult of sneakerheads. You don’t necessarily need to be out in the woods to put these to use, but if you were, your feet would be in a good place.
From their early (and colorful) roots to their triple blacked contemporary look, sneakerboots have come a long way from hiking trails.