Princeton University Library Catalog

Mind, Body, and Sole: The Sneakerhead’s Take on Gender, Identity, Class, and Subculture

Gaffney, Anthony [Browse]
Senior thesis
Scheppele, Kim Lane [Browse]
Princeton University. Department of Sociology [Browse]
Class year:
101 pages
Summary note:
216 Billion dollars. That’s what experts project the global footwear market to hit in 2019. How could something so simple as selling shoes lead to such massive amounts of revenue? Factor in the incredible marketing campaigns of companies such as Nike, Jordan Brand, Adidas, and Under Armor, and couple that with the rise of a cult like sub culture dedicated to buying up every new release, and it doesn’t seem that crazy. Throughout this thesis, we’ll look at the evolution of basketball footwear, and how shoes have the ability to establish class, gender, identity, as well as the prominence of its own subculture; that of the Sneakerhead. Through my research, I have found no one true definition of a Sneakerhead, so an adequate working definition is “someone who is fanatical about shoes, specifically athletic footwear”. We’ll see many sociologists take on shoes, as well as that of college students, shoe retailers, and company employees, to get a gauge on what the rise of the Sneakerhead culture has meant to the sociological world.