Underrated Sports Brands That Are Making A Fashion Comeback

Big names like adidas and Nike will be familiar to many of you especially with their knack for creating trendy footwear, so often the subject of adoration of many sneakerheads around the world. But what about brands that you don’t usually associate with “hypebeast” or “streetwear” culture? We’re looking at how understated brands like Reebok and Champion have become on par with the athleisure giants, and how these sportswear brands have staged magnificent comebacks into the fashion scene.

The Nike Air Jordan 1 Low sneakers. Photo by Glodi Miessi on Unsplash.

A Fierce Revival by FILA

The Fila Disruptor II, as worn by Korean singer IU. Photos via Mehdi-Thomas BOUTDARINE on Unsplash and IU Fashion.

Let’s start with something that you can see regularly on the streets today. The now all-to-familiar red, white and blue colour scheme is associated with Italian brand FILA. The brand made a real impact with their spin on the wave of ’90s throwback fashion that has taken the world by storm (and doesn’t seem to be leaving anytime soon.)

Their roguish take on the beloved “dad-shoe” – a pair of thick-soled sports shoes – was arguably their point of entry into the streetwear scene. The Disruptor II, with its saw-toothed sole and chunky appearance, is a hard shoe to miss because of it’s unique design. With the recent explosion of Korean cultural influences in the world, notably thanks to the KPOP scene, Korean streetstyle has also successfully found its place amongst classic brands such as Vans and Converse, hence the introduction of the chunky shoe to the global stage.

It also doesn’t hurt to have literally the biggest idol group on the planet model for your brand as well. (Armies, we see you.) Engaging essentially the biggest fanbase on the planet? Check.

Korean pop sensation BTS named the global brand ambassador for Fila.


Reebok: The Dupe or Challenger?

The adidas Continental 80 sneakers and the Reebok Club C 85 sneakers.

The white sneaker is a staple in anyone’s closet to add an easy finishing touch to any outfit and capitalising on this essential makes for some interesting competition. adidas’s Stan Smiths were the in thing a couple of years back and you’d probably see dozens of people wearing them for their simplicity in design. With the new Continental 80s, another player has entered this elaborate game and adidas carries on as the champ in the white sneaker scene.

This is, however, where the challenger comes in. We have Reebok to thank for the versatile Club C sneakers that are noticeably gaining traction. The pros of this sneaker as an alternative to adidas? They’re more versatile and the different takes on this one design serve to elevate the plain white sneaker to one that holds a little more sophistication with an air of “I care about the details”.


Kappa, Reebok, And Retro-Style Windbreakers

The Kappa Banda Dawson Logo Windbreaker Jacket (left) and Emile Summer Windbreaker (right).

The ’90s windbreaker-track jacket, with its bright colours and lightweight appearance, is the go-to accessory for a stylish sporty look. Understated brands like Kappa have been thriving in this area with their penchant for patterning. The classic logos of these brands can often be seen lining the seam lines of vintage jackets and they do the dual job of creating a bold outstanding design while also being subtly in-your-face about their branding. Kappa has recreated this retro look in their current lines and people looking to give themselves that edge over everyone else sporting streetwear have turned to such brands for answers to help them redefine their personal style.

If the design of the windbreakers looks a little familiar, chances are you might have seen an ex-One Direction member or even a certain Hailey Bieber sporting the brand. All the more reason to cop a jacket now, eh?

Model Hailey Bieber and singer Louis Tomlinson chilling in Kappa.

Reebok have not missed out on this trend as well, with American rapper Cardi B and Korean hip-hop artist Zico being some notable names that have been ambassadors for the brand, donning their colourful jackets, reinforcing just how versatile the brand has become by diving headfirst into athleisure streetwear.

Korean and American rappers Zico and Cardi B modelling Reebok.


Champion of Comfort and Is Patagonia Picking Up?

Model Kendall Jenner in Patagonia and Champion. Photos via Getty Images and STARZFY/BAUER-GRIFFIN/GC IMAGES.

Maybe your streetstyle isn’t so much athleisure-inspired as it is built around the idea of functionality and comfort. Champion and Patagonia have got you covered. These brands have been making a slow but steady resurgence into the streetwear scene, especially locally. With influential stars like Kendall Jenner wearing these brands, it’s no wonder that they’ve risen in popularity over the years.

With Champion, their minimalistic designs make for easy-to-pair pieces that work well with other big names like Vetements or Off White™. Their signature “C” logo also makes for a simplistic yet chic statement piece, fitting right into the world of easily recognisable logos. Popular for their hoodies and jumpers, they prove to be the epitome of comfort and still help you show off your style.


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Outdoor-wear brand Patagonia is also a surprising fit in the streetwear scene with their Responsibili-Tees growing into staples in many a guy’s wardrobes. Especially in the Singapore heat, the brand’s usual fleece jackets would be unusable but their shirts are an ever-popular addition to hype up a simple look with their broad mountain range logo spanning the front or back of their pieces.

Patagonia’s Responsibili-Tees.


With all of these brands, and many more, taking bold strides into the streetwear scene, there’ll certainly be a lot more variety to look forward to in curating your own personal style, so give these brands a try as you search for your trademark look.



Banner images courtesy of Reebok, Fila and Snipes.