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Kicks


A cultural history of sneakers, tracing the footprint of one of our most iconic fashions in sports, business, pop culture, and American identity.

Nicholas Smith carries us through the twentieth century as sneakers became the totem of California skateboarders to New York rappers, the cause of gang violence and riots, the lynchpin in a quest to turn big sports into big business, and the muse of high fashion.

Studded with larger-than-life and unexpected visionaries— from genius rubber inventor Charles Goodyear, to road-warrior Chuck Taylor, to the feuding brothers who founded Adidas and Puma, and to the track coach who changed the sport by pouring rubber in his waffle iron— Kicks introduces us to the sneaker’s surprisingly influential, enduring, and evolving legacy.

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