Film-Fest Preview: Sneakers

Adidas once designed a shoe specifically for drug dealers in Detroit. It came in dark blue, and featured a fur lining.

From the dark alleyways of Detroit, to the bustling streets of Tokyo, shoes are a universal fashion essential, and now they are also the focus of a documentary by Femke Wolting, aptly named Sneakers.

Opening with a short clip (in Dutch) demonstrating how sneakers are made, the film moves on to take an in-depth look at the history and culture surrounding footwear. Sneakers takes us through the evolution of modern rap music, skate culture, fashion, et cetera, with respect to the influence shoes have had on each. For instance, early skaters used deck shoes because of their grip. It wasn’t long before the industry took notice of this new youth pastime, and the skate shoe was born. Today, the shoe company Vans operates the Warped Tour, in an attempt to capitalize on both music and extreme sports.

Sneakers themselves have undergone an evolutionary process. They began as a very plain, practical and affordable piece of clothing, gradually morphing into the latest, hottest, never-before-seen designer item they are today. There are even shoes that come with release dates, a trend started by Nike’s Air Jordan line.

The film offers a seamless blend of music, interviews, commercials and clips, in order to illustrate and examine the role of shoes in our society. Effective and entertaining in its presentation, Sneakers encompasses all imaginable facets of modern footwear. It’s certainly worth taking the time to enjoy, and those who do will find it overflowing with many interesting, often bizarre facts. About, well, shoes.

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