How popular trainer styles change with the economy


If you've ever heard of the Hemline Index, you might know where this article is going.

Theories suggest that when the economy is in recession the length of skirts get longer, while when it's performing well they get shorter.

Following similar logic Bullring Birmingham has charted the most popular trainers since 1979 to see what they could find...

Graphic charting trainers' popularity levels compared to economic performance

Their research suggests that hi-tops sell best when the economy is down, such as the early Eighties and most recently around 2008. This might be explained by fashion becoming generally more extravagant during recessions. Or it might just be coincidence.

Two of the trainers that started the trend between hi-tops and a bad economy are two of the most famous ever - Converse's Chuck Taylor All Stars and Adidas' Top Tens. Just a few years later though, in 1984, GDP growth was up and so was the popularity of low-tops such as the Nike Air Pegasus.

By the time Reebok released The Pump and Nike released the Air Jordan 4, two more classic pairs of hi-tops, the economy was slumping again.

Maybe we should all stay away from hi-tops for a while...