All-white sneakers may be a classic choice – but the evolution of colourless footwear wouldn’t make a project as fun, light-hearted and addictively watchable as designer
Mantas Baciuska’s colourful illustrations of the 20 best sneaker designs, all neatly animated too.
Mantas has illustrated the usual suspects from the likes of Vans and Converse, as well as picks which will be more satisfying to sneaker obsessives, such as the New Balance 576 and the Onitsuka Tiger Corsair. The selection dates back to 1917 - no, we didn’t know you could sport Converse back then either.
We’ve rounded up the illustrations from the Lithuanian designer’s energetic video which, with its quick animation and lively music, makes us want to bounce down the streets in a pair of vibrant sneakers. Splashing these designs with colour might not be the way you'd wear them but we love the fresh pop it brings (on video, if not our own feet).
Converse Jack Purcell - which was born from Canadian badminton champion Jack Purcell - seems young in comparison to Chuck Taylor All Star, which has remarkably barely changed since its creation. Though that is less surprising taking into account its timeless simplicity.
Here, both sneakers pop with the incredible textures Mantas has used.
You can see from this illustration why Adidas Samba is among Adidas' best-selling sneakers. And though Onitsuka Tiger Corsair faded from being the jogging shoe of the 70s, it's made a deserved modern comeback in
Adidas Superstar quickly grew from the Basketball court to the street as a fashion brand - and has stayed there since. The Converse Pro Leather is a more polarising shoe but shouldn't be easily dismissed if products like marmite are anything to go by.
Vans' 1978 winner is old school, iconic and therefore built to stay unstoppably popular, much like the Nike Air Force I which has slowly built up a legendary status that only comes with time.
Gucci may not make many sneakers, but that's okay because its 1984 offering is the only one that matters anyway. The original Air Jordans followed a year later, which cemented Michael Jordan and Nike's status - oh, and changed the sneaker industry along the way.
Even at the decade's close, the 1980s doesn't stop producing wonders: the iconic Nike Air Max I brought the first Visible Air shoe, whilst Air Jordan continued to dominate.
And the 1980s stilll don't stop.
If you were going to introduce an alien to the entire concept of sneakers, showing them the simple, beautiful New Balance 576 would do your work for you. Meanwhile, the Nike Air Challenge was incredibly successful where it belongs - the Basketball Court.
The Pump, the last great offering of the 80s, technically innovated with its ability to lock around the ankle. The following decade started stylishly and comfortably, treading familiar ground with the latest Air Jordans.
Inspired by both waterski equipment and the Mexican sandals from which they got their name, the Nike Huarache series has an unmistakable image, whereas Vans Half Cab offer a more classic style for skateboarders (and people who want to look like skateboarders).
After another always-popular Air Jordan release in the 1990s, the 2000s didn't offer much in the way of swish sneaker design. Nike waited until the 2010s to show off, starting the decade with a stylish overhauling of their LeBron sneaker.