I wore my sneakers but I'm not a sneak
Being a “sneak” was synonymous with being a thief and felon, but Run DMC wanted the world to know that not everyone who followed the no-lace trend was a crook. DMC provides insight on this line in the 2005 documentary, Just for Kicks:
Don’t stereotype the B-boy! Just because I’m rocking my Adidas, no laces, and I’m wearing my hat to the side doesn’t make me a negative individual. .
This line was a retort to the song “Felon Sneakers” by Dr. Deas. In the 1980’s, wearing Adidas with no laces was a popular trend. The trend originated in prison where inmates were issued sneakers without laces so they couldn’t be used to as weapons. When felons were released, they continued doing this and spread the fad out of jail.
Note that Rev Run and DMC are wearing their shell toes without laces:
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