Editorial Reviews for this title:
The first cultural history of America's most popular footwear, and an eye-opening look at an $11-billion-a-year industry, The Sneaker Book is an entertaining, informative look at the economic and pop cultural factors surrounding these globally produced All-American icons. Supplemented by charts, statistics, and graphics, The Sneaker Book documents the costs and profits of the $11-billion-a-year sneaker business on every level. Literary excerpts help put America's craze for "kicks" into context. The Sneaker Book swooshes past the hype, puts the numbers on the table, and takes a fresh look at familiar--if unexamined--footwear.
Want to run faster, jump higher, play better? For years we've been told that we can achieve these grandiose goals with the help of high-performance athletic footwear. What used to be the lowly gym shoe has risen to a revered wardrobe staple. The Sneaker Book: An Anatomy of the Industry and an Icon, by journalist Tom Vanderbilt, relates the story of the sneaker in a breezy and fact-filled manner that perfectly captures the heart of the subject. Starting with a brief history of both the footwear and the $11 billion industry that now feeds off of it, Vanderbilt looks at the design, manufacturing, distribution, marketing, and advertising that have taken the sneaker business to astronomical heights. His evaluation is augmented with a variety of charts, corporate profiles, previously published articles, and even cartoons that lend depth and shading to the topic. This informative and compact book reads like a special magazine issue devoted to a single subject, and it is indeed the first in a new series of similar books that will each focus on a popular consumer product. --Howard Rothman
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