Over The Tops: High Top Sneakers

November, 2013 by Alma Abell

One of the familiar types of athletic shoes that come in and out of vogue is the high top. High top sneakers have an allure that appeals to athletes and fashionistas alike. Worn by musicians, street performers, movie personalities and the average American, high tops are a sneaker with their roots firmly in sports. Yet, before discussing its history, it’s important to understand what this shoe actually is.

What are High Tops?

High tops are athletic shoes that do not end at the ankle. Instead, they exhibit a cut that extends some distance beyond it. As a result, the collar of the shoe affords some protection to the ankle. Its intent is to provide some stability, particularly during an activity such as basketball or skateboarding.

High Top Sneakers often feature padded tongue as well as high lacing. This increases the support while giving these casual sneakers a distinctive look. The colors and material have changed from plain black and white canvas to more vibrant blues, bright reds, shocking pinks and even camouflage often executed in rubber, suede, leather and a variety of fabrics.

A Brief History of High Tops

Basketball claims the high top as its own. While there is some dispute, the first high top appeared in 1921. Its creator was the then Converse Rubber Shoe Company, but its reason for fame was an American basketball player, Chuck Taylor. He was a member of the Converse All Stars. Taylor wore the shoes in basketball games and used them in his basketball clinics in high schools throughout the country.

During his time with Converse, he not only sold the shoes, he improved them. Converse recognized his contributions during the 1930s. His signature became an integral part of the design. The shoes quickly became known as “Chucks.”

The high top sneaker became the basketball shoe. The favorite of many basketball stars, even during the 1980s and 1990s. Today, they are around in classic and unique form. No longer ruling the world of basketball, they nevertheless have found popularity on the street. Since their inception, these athletic shoes have found their way into the main stream. There are now a part of the line-up of many brand name sneakers manufacturers.

Makers of High Top Sneakers
There are many different manufacturers of high top sneakers in today’s marketplace. Many of them can be found as part of the inventory any online sneaker store. Among the more common products are:

  • Adidas
  • And1
  • Blackstone
  • Converse
  • Nike
  • Puma
  • Radii
  • Reebok
  • Rocket Dog
  • Steve Madden

Prices range. Check online to find the best deals possible for high top sneakers that suit you and match your taste.


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