Dancing Shoes: The VERSUS Guide to Football’s Party Crep

Dancing Shoes: The VERSUS Guide to Football’s Party Crep

Astros are back on the dancefloor.

June 16th 2023

Picture the scene. You, reader, are knackered. It’s the mid-2000s and you’ve just spent the last 20 minutes knee-sliding your way around the final disco of your primary school career. It’s been a good one. Hit some key ‘hellos’ early on, nailed the Macarena, laid some solid groundwork for the slow dance later. As you lean against the wall to catch your breath, sipping on a plastic cuboid of ‘Blackcurrant Flavoured Juice Drink’, you take a minute to survey the dance. Who turned up? Who knows the words to the S Club song playing? But most importantly: the fits on display. Who’s wearing what? River Island prints, 90s hand-me-downs, whatever someone’s Mum decided to dress them in that day. It’s a real mixed bag. What is universal, though, is the flashy, faux leather football trainers stomping out the Cha-Cha Slide. Nike, adidas, PUMA, Umbro. Half of your classmates look ready for a 5-a-side. Back in the day, astros were everywhere and they were ‘fashion’. Then, suddenly…they weren’t.

The 2010s brought many changes to the world. Instagram, Brexit, the little bottle of sprayable foam that referees carry now; a lot happened. The decade also signalled an increased distrust of the astroturf as fashion. They were childish, people said, a joke. Non-school uniform days – once a haven for astro aficionados – became barren, football-less wastelands. Young people looked to other sports for their sartorial inspiration, dressing in skate shoes and basketball tees, varsity jackets and expensive runners. The astro lay dormant, reserved simply for the receiving and passing of balls on a pitch.

Then, in 2020, something happened. Grace Wales Bonner, then one of fashion’s hottest rising stars, collaborated with adidas Originals on a reimagined adidas Samba. The silhouette, popular on the terraces of the 1980s and in skate communities in the 90s, had become dad fodder, worn by men in the their 40s comfortable in the trainer of their youth. Wales Bonner changed that. The Samba went from being worn by nostalgic dads to being worn by Gen-Z’s most fashionable tastemakers and, very quickly, to being worn by literally everybody. Dancefloors began to refill. Astros were back.

The last few years have seen the reintegration of astros into our wardrobes. From Acne Studios’ Total90-inspired trainers debuting at PFW earlier this year to the many (many) Samba collabs, the fashion world has firmly embraced football’s flattest shoe. To help you get ahead of the game, we’ve put together a list of the best dancefloor-ready astros and the parties you should wear them to. Double bows only, it’s time to get moving.

The Wedding


It’s a special day. RSVP says the dress code is “timeless” (…) so it has to be the Kings. Worn by football’s Great Masters, the PUMA King is synonymous with the age of football only your Uncle remembers. Channel Cruyff as you glide effortlessly around the dancefloor or Maradona as you karate kick a drunk cousin into a waiting taxi. Tongues out, of course.

The Festival

Nike Zoom Mercurial Vapor 15

It’s an all out football x fashion war in the festival fields of Britain these days. Half the crowd got a Classic Football Shirts voucher for their birthday, and it looks like you’ve woken up in an episode of Premier League Years. The only way to stand out is to go large and out-maximalise the maximalists. Three words. Silver. Volt. Mercurials.

The Fashion Party

Mizuno Morelai Sala Classic

You feel the room’s gaze on you as soon as you step in the gaff. Scanning you up and down like you’re a 2010 Champions League midfield and they’re Javier Hernández. You’re not worried, though, you’re packing creps they’ve never heard of. Tell ‘em to keep their general release nonsense: you’re rocking Japanese imports. That’s right, look away – high quality, Osaka-born heaters coming through.

The Summer Birthday

Pantafola D’Oro Lazzarini x Venice Beach FC

Dressing ‘smart casual’ becomes more difficult when the thermometer ticks above 20 ºC. Too warm for a blazer and that dress shirt makes you look like a waiter so…linen, I guess? It’s a fine line between a Venetian bon vivant and Jurassic’s Park Richard Attenborough, but these golden slippers will help land the fact that you are indeed a baller.

The Rave

adidas X Speedportal Messi.4

These shoes are a double win. Not only will the Lionel-tested construction be able to withstand many hours of two-stepping, they’ll also give you something fun to concentrate on in the smoking area when everything’s got a bit weird late on.


Lotto Tacto 300 VII

Imagine this. The sun is shining, the coals are heating up, a warm breeze relaxes that frown you’ve been holding onto all week. A cold drink in your hand, a pair of perfectly crafted summer shoes on your feet – you start to forget it all. Forget about work, about the boiler, about the fact ‘them lot’ are still running the country. Summer’s here and someone’s brought dips. Maybe, just maybe, it’s all going to be alright.

The House Party

New Balance 442 v2

The meticulous construction on these make them perfect for when you’re someone’s +1 at a gaff gathering. The premium leather ideal for long periods standing awkwardly in someone’s kitchen, the durable rubber sole protecting against increasingly slippery surfaces. It’s scientifically proven that the refined fit makes it easier to nod along to those two songs you know before dipping home at 10pm.

For even more astro fashion inspiration, check out ‘Astro Disco’ – the latest edition of The VERSUS Edits, our series of curated editorials changing the way you think about football and fashion.