"ethnographic research" b-boy/b-girl style

I am a little remiss in not attending the IDSA midwest conference this past weekend, but instead ventured back to my old stomping grounds to check out the University of Illinois’ Hip-Hop appreciation week. I thought it would be fun to try to document some of the footwear choices of the evening at Il_Breaks 5. For the past couple years there has been a pretty big interest in the b-boy Breakdancing - Wikipedia culture to get back to the roots both in style of dress and many of the parts of the dance that were more emphasized at the beginning (foundation, truly hitting beats, character, etc.) Along with the style of dress came the return of the Coverse All-Star. I noticed that there were far fewer Chucks this year than jams I have attended in the past couple years, but still a pretty big presence along with other stand by’s the Puma Clyde, Puma Suedes, Dunks, etc. Many in attendance chose to rock some Pro-Keds in lieu of the similar looking Converse All-Stars, not sure if this was an attempt to have a little different flavor or maybe there is some aura of authenticity back to the old school b-boys that I’m not exactly aware of, either way interesting.

Along with the return of the old school, it was obvious that “the 80’s are back…STILL” This goes for style, colorways, etc. anything is fair game.

Cool, thanks for posting!

I always wondered if breakers would go for a shoe specifically designed for the performance involved with dancing. I would imagine it probably goes against the anti-establishment stance…but maybe the more conscious integration of sneaker culture recently could make it acceptable to some if done correctly. Again, I think a lot of the old school styles reference back to that authenticity/indentification you mentioned. Dope though. Still waiting for parachute pants to come back!

“if done correctly” as you mentioned, I think it could be done, still would most likely only really be picked up by a fairly small segment of this already fairly small segment, but I am really interested in trying. That’s actually what I think I would really like to be doing, but haven’t really pursued it…yet.

There are several sub-segments of b-boys / b-girls to consider, but I’ll just speak in generalities for now…

For me and some of the other cats that have been around for awhile, long enough to be uncomfortable in our shelltoes, gazelles, chucks, or whatever the current “real b-boy shoe” as determined by our new excavation back into hip-hop culture, we are seeking more comfort and performance than these shoes typically offer. But the look can’t suffer by any means, still gotta be fresh. I personally usually opt for a running shoe, currently air max 1’s and air stabs are doing the job, but new balance and old adidas runners have worked in the past.

A lot of people have to rock the All-Stars, Gazelles or whatever and who knows maybe they are comfortable for them, but I am a skeptic. On one website I read a Japanese b-boy downplay someone referring to Chucks hurting his feet as “harmony” reminded me of a Shimizu rendering book when the marker bleeds through some letraset type, but also through in a whole other cultural perspective for me to think about.

I love the whole Bboy/Bgirl culture(what I know of it), it is all about love, respect, & being fresh! when it comes to the footwear, it has stayed in the same hasn’t it? the cats that have kept doing it over the years didn’t switch up…

I think they definitely would…they would just have to be fly! the Bboying & hip-hop @ large have never been anti-establishment, its almost always been able to co-opt things &/or flipping it with their own twist…just say NO to hammer pants!! they are making a lil comeback, you didn’t know!!!

Like anybody else a lot of the b-boys have changed with the times, as new fashions emerged and what have you yesterdays Lee Denim became todays adidas warm up suit. But then the nostalgia element gets thrown into the mix along with younger generations who are experiencing the older stuff for the first time and getting it wrong or flipping it (for better and worse) to fit their own styles.

In like '95 - '96 the Adidas Superstar was supposed to be the “real b-boy shoe”, then for a little while it was almost like a sign of someone trying to be down (fresh new pair of shells laced wrong or something on a toy b-boy). Then a couple years ago with the revitalization of the Zulu Kingz and yet a new take on getting back to the roots the Chucks came out full force all over the place. While no love for All-Stars has been lost, it seems the circles have been over saturated and heads are trying to diversify a bit (not that there weren’t plenty of other styles at the time, but this is one identifiable one). Another shoe that seems to have been getting MUCH love over time, but more speicifically in the past 3 or 4 years, that was mentioned above is the Puma Clyde. Rare colors and laced lovely are big bonuses. I was at a jam with some younger guys 2 years ago and they were flipping out about some guys shoes, so when I finally get over there, there were red Clydes and I’m like…ummm…did I miss something?

just wondering if you have done anything with this?

I got into b-boying pretty heavy my last few years of college, still dabble in it now, i did a b-boy shoe project my senior year, i did it on my own but it was pretty much my thesis. Like to see what you came up with, see if there were any similarities.


I’ve been meaning to do a self directed project on this for a long time now,
but just never jumped into it.

Think about how small thevdesign world is, and how small the bboy world is…
Maybe I helped you with your “thesis” ???

whats up man!
I thought you dissapeared, i hadnt heard from you in a long time. My boy Mike is interning in your pool.

When i saw the ill breaks mention i was like, wow i bet i have at least seen this person a few times… should have known when you talked about your air stabs… psshh.

Did i ever show you what i had put together for that project?

hey, sorry been CRAZY busy… it’s hectic right now

I saw the a final side view, but I’d like to see some of the process and ideation if you want to share (and I bet some folks here might want to see it as well, could be fun?).

Alright, I’ll hassle Mike a bit more then :smiling_imp:

thats whats up

i’ve been reppin the detroit scene since 94’

good to see the scene get some positive coverage… rather than the b.s. producers trying to nibble/bite from us…grrr

peep my homie koneerok

www.koneerok.com he does alot of the bboy videos and all that… has alot of youtube videos also… he’s from chicago…good peeps

haha come on now, I know who Koneerok is!

I always thought it would be funny to get Sneeks up on this site since
he’s a graphic designer/bboy/supersneaker hed.


the question is…who doesnt know konee

i made him a few konee logo belt buckles last year… and some konee-coasters


yea i can probably post the final project on here, i couldnt find how to post the images though… were your ones form IL breaks just added attachments or did you have to use imbed links?

all imbedded links to Picasa album