Kickers and the history of British youth culture


The Kickers boot is a staple of British youth fashion. 

If you’ve ever been a raver, a casual or clubber, then there’s a fair chance you’ve worn a pair of these chunky French shoes at some time. Like Clarks’s Wallabee, the Kickers boot is best described as a shoe for people who usually wear trainers. 

To celebrate 40 years since the launch of Kickers’ Kick Hi, ie the ‘classic’ Kickers, the brand (with help from Jocks & Nerds magazine) has made four films around scenes in which the shoe was prominent: casual, Madchester, rave and UK garage. 

The contributions from writer Kevin Sampson, photographers Ian Tilton and Gavin Watson, and DJ/footy pundit Spoony, paint pictures of scenes past and the role Kickers played in those movements. But the films don't awkwardly er, shoehorn the shoes in – they were genuinely part of what adherents wore. 

The Kick Hi is still with us today, and while there’s more competition in the ‘chunky-shoe-with-a-white-sole’ sector, it’s still a boot worthy of consideration and respect. Particularly if it’s in bright red.


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