White sneakers have gone double-platinum on pop culture charts everywhere, topping Chuck Taylor Cons and even the iconic Air Jordans. Who could have picked it – not even Billboard. But when exactly did Reebok’s classic white club shoes from 1985 start re-emerging? Did the Doc and Marty bring them back in the Dolorean? Were they left behind by Jack Klompus at a Del Boca Vista yard sale? They’re just suddenly everywhere, sliding into city streets more slickly than Miami Vice’s white Ferrari!
To be clear, we’re not talking about the running shoes that all the cool celebrities like Jessica Alba get about in, but the chunkier ‘court shoe’ that’s more rounded and bulkier under foot. I used to love these so-called Club C sneakers in the late eighties: there wasn’t a BMX track or basketball court that’d contain me while wearing those bad boys. So when I saw them back on the market and all over sidewalks I was thrilled. Yes, I picked up a pair – with the blue lettering – and thought slipping them back on in my 40s would be totally fine. Of course, that idea was totally shot when I saw people half my age wearing the very same shoe. I was instantly the dorky dad trying to relive high school. This is not a good place to be, I assure you, even with a denim jacket … which I may or may not have. I might as well ironically throw on a faded Ramones shirt and pretend I don’t know who they are, all while scarfing down Simpsons doughnuts from Krispy Kreme in a vintage Yankees cap. Seriously, it’s intervention time.
I still love these white Reeboks for their retro vibe and a minimalist style: a bouncy rendition of the old ‘sand’ shoe that will never be eclipsed. Go on Gen-Whatever, enjoy them … but please understand you have inherited this look, even if they now come distressed out of the box.
The Reebok people official call this sneaker the Club C, an evolution of four tennis shoes that Reebok released in the late 80s and early 90s, mostly in the UK.