Phaidon announces the publication of Soled Out: The Golden Age of Sneaker
Advertising. More than a decade in the making, the 720-page book is an unparalleled
compilation of nearly 900 vintage print advertisements sourced from 1970 to 2000.
Soled Out was lovingly written and compiled by Simon Wood aka ‘Woody’, founder
of the legendary Sneaker Freaker magazine. Featuring superstar athletes and cultural
icons such as Andre Agassi, Paula Abdul, Bugs Bunny, Bo Jackson, Michael Jordan,
MC Hammer, Hulk Hogan, Shaquille O’Neal and Sigourney Weaver, every page
is laced with unforgettable graphics and outrageous trash talk. This is the sneaker
business expressed in its own muscular image and grandiose prose.
The book opens with a personal preface, followed by an analysis of key moments that
include the embrace of pseudo-science, the auto-erotic obsession, the ubiquity of the
Futura typeface, and the evolution of the cross-trainer craze. Thirteen brand-focused
chapters covering all the major players are organised by sporting category. The core
material is sourced from the 1970s to the year 2000, excepting the Converse chapter
which documents the arrival of the iconic All Star basketball shoe in the 1930s. Fans
of sports, footwear, fashion, illustration, photography and graphic design will enjoy the
book’s punchy narrative, insider stories and historical revelations.
Soled Out is also an ode to the unapologetic, rule-breaking, whip-smart advertising
talents that shaped a global industry and influenced generations of sneakerheads and
sports enthusiasts. From the scientific to the political – and the hilariously risqué –
no subject was off-limits. The melodramatic hyperbole and ultra-competitive banter
intensified as brands went toe-to-toe throughout the 1990s. ‘Just Do It’ might be the
world’s most renowned three-word catchphrase, but that didn’t stop ASICS from
baiting Nike with ‘Serious Runners Don’t Put on Airs’ and ‘Just Doing It Doesn’t Do
it’, while Reebok fired back with ‘Pump up and Air out’. The psychological boundaries
between the brands were clearly defined by the tone of their advertising.
Soled Out is a 720-page marathon celebration of the rubber, leather and mesh we
wear on our feet, and the only collection of sneaker advertisements ever published.
Extent: 720 pages
Illustrations: 900 color
Size: 315 × 230mm
ISBN: 978 1 8386 6367 4