Hipsters and Sneakerheads: Comparative Analysis

Modern society is not homogenous because it consists of many groups uniting people who share similar characteristics. A suitable example is a subculture, i.e., a category of people who have the same attributes, beliefs, values, and norms that differentiate them from the dominant culture (Kendall, 2013). Today, there are numerous subcultures in the United States, and each of them offers a specific language, material objects, behaviors, and symbols. Sneakerheads and hipsters are quite popular groups that have both similar and different components.

To begin with, one should explain who sneakerheads are and what characteristic features they have. This term is used to denote people who are obsessed with sneakers and who believe that they are more than just footwear (Matthews et al., 2021). These individuals surf the Internet, contact co-thinkers, and attend offline stores to find specific sneakerhead models. Another characteristic feature of this subculture is that its participants are ready to spend high sums of money to buy the required pair of shoes. These individuals use specific language: the word hyperstrike means the most exclusive sneakers, while Nike SP stands for the shoes of the highest quality. This information also denotes that Nike is a meaningful brand and symbol for the given subculture.

Hipsters represent the second subculture considered in the given essay. These are people who typically value independent thinking, progressive politics, creativity, art, and intelligence. A leading behavior of this subculture is to stand out from the crowd (Tesio et al., 2020). This decision impacts hipsters’ daily habits, looks, behaviors, and so on. In particular, the representatives of this subculture typically wear brand clothes and try to be stylish. Going against the mainstream and leading a happy and self-sufficient life are leading symbols of the subculture. Finally, hipsters showed a tendency to bring back vintage language. which explains the increased use of such words as smitten, bespoke, and others.

Now, it is possible to comment on the similarities and differences between the two subcultures. On the one hand, a few issues allow for stating that sneakerheads and hipsters are similar. For example, representatives of the two subcultures draw significant attention to material objects, including footwear and clothes by famous brands. On the other hand, the differences are more numerous, and they refer to various aspects. Hipsters and sneakerheads can be differentiated based on how they talk because the former tend to rely on archaic language. Furthermore, these individuals look differently because sneakerheads usually have casual looks, while hipsters prefer beards, large glasses, cargo pants, and others. Finally, these people’s behavior can demonstrate which subculture they represent. While sneakerheads usually behave like ordinary people, hipsters often have some unique habits. Consequently, this information reveals that these subcultures have many differences.

In conclusion, the paper has overviewed the leading components of two subcultures: hipsters and sneakerheads. Each of them offers particular symbols, language, material objects, and behaviors. Representatives of the two subcultures are similar because they draw much attention to physical objects, including footwear and clothes. However, the differences between them are more vivid, and they include different language items, behaviors, and valuable symbols. These findings confirm the statement that every subculture represents a peculiar group of people with their own values and beliefs. Even though some subcultures can have shared features, their leading principles are typically distinctive and are not appropriate for other groups.


Kendall, D. (2013). Sociology in our times (11th ed.). Wadsworth Publishing.

Matthews, D., Cryer-Coupet, Q., & Degirmencioglu, N. (2021). I war, therefore I am: Investigating sneakerhead culture, social identity, and brand preference among men. Fashion and Textiles, 8, 1.

Tesio, P., Kessous, A., & de Barnier, V. (2020). Identity paradoxes of hipsters: What are the strategies for brands? Decisions Marketing, 97(1), 71-86.

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