This is the first academic study of sneakers and the subculture that surrounds them. Since the 1980s, American sneaker enthusiasts, popularly known as sneakerheads or sneakerholics, have created a distinctive identity for themselves, while sneaker manufacturers such as Reebok, Puma and Nike have become global fashion brands. How have sneakers come to gain this status and what makes them fashionable? In what ways are sneaker subcultures bound up with gender identity and why are sneakerholics mostly young men? Based on the authors own ethnographic fieldwork in New York, where sneaker subculture is said to have originated, this unique study traces the transformation of sneakers from sportswear to fashion symbol.