Cool Sneakers From Around the World
The Italian sneaker is just one of the quintessential brands you’ll find while treading the globe. From their origins as a 19th-century rubber-soled innovation, sneakers have spread far and wide, gaining a firm foothold across age groups and social strata. They’re an ID badge for urban tribes, points of pride for fashionistas, and the go-to footwear for working stiffs and leisure types.
Wherever you go, people have a soft spot for this soft shoe, and the variety can still surprise. We found sneakers named after islands of the Pacific, bumblebees, merchant marine ship captains, and even an “athletic cock.” Many have been around for decades, and none are lightweights. They have famously won French Opens and won over Paris Hiltons.
Someone wise once advised to never scrimp on your shoes and your bed; if you are not in one, you are in the other. To this, we’d like to add: look down, as you tread the globe. With all the cool sneakers we spotted, do you really wanna be like Mike?
The distinctive sole mirrors the country’s famous peaks and valleys as well as its penchant for functional design (like the Helvetica font, for instance).
Helly Hansen, Norway
Is it odd that these all-terrain running shoes are named for a legendary sea captain? Not in a country with more than 15,000 miles of coastline, fjords included.
To natives, feiyue means “flying forward”—an allusion perhaps to their high-speed rail network, the world’s largest.
Tisza Cipo, Hungary
From the land that spawned the Rubik’s Cube, this other Magyar marvel (originally a state-owned brand) is manufactured entirely not in China.
Lace up a pair of these on your walk to Skagen or your feet will be in a rotten state.
When does a sneaker have a logo derived from three planetary orbits? When it comes from the Land of the Rising Sun.
Le Coq Sportif, France
Work up your appetite for that poulet de Bresse roti with the help of this distant cousin, a decidedly dapper fowl.
To get ready for your walkabout, put these trainers down under your feet.
The name refers to the birthplace of the hula, but these kicks actually hail from the capital of the samba.
Originally from France—notorious for its 246 different kinds of cheese—this sneaker brand now hails from a neighboring country with more than 450 varieties of beer.
Your chances of winning the jackpot are slim, but wearing a pair of Lottos can bring you one step closer to living la dolce vita.