The Life and Culture of Kicks

Fila Helmsman Hi VS. Prada America’s Cup 2007 Collection


Fila Helmsman Hi


Prada America’s Cup 2007 Collection

Could it be that 2 different companies designed the same look? Is it fair to say that Fila copied off of Prada just because Prada came out with their sneaker first? Is BAPE a knock of of NIKE? Should MIKE23 Inc still continue or should NIKE send a cease and desist order?

In NYC there are many, and I say MANY people wearing the lower cost Fila Helmsman (of which does sort of look better than the Prada look by a little bit) , but when I first saw “the look” it was Prada and it was popular too. I am not sure how so many people could have possibly afford the price Prada was asking for it. Original prices were in the 300 range and yet I saw kids… straight junior high kids… wearing them.

Maybe the Fila version (which is obviously a copy of the original Prada look… I mean, dude Prada based their shoe off of the water and Fila calls their shoe the Helmsman??? LMAO) which I will admit looks better than the Prada look just hit the price point range that people could wrap their wallets around. Even though Fila came out later, I see way more Fila versions than Prada versions. Then again, how can I really tell???

In other news… how does Prada make a patent leather shoe – slash – sneaker that is made for the water? Does patent leather mean water-proof? lol Americas Cup??? I guess the same thing goes for Fila Helmsman. Would you helm anything in these sneakers?


23 responses

  1. J From MD, But Born In D.C.

    yea,wen i went to St. Charles Mall in Waldorf i saw a few ppl wearing em,but the main way to tell the difference from a Prada America Cup is by looking @ the back of em to see if they have the red stripe,u can also see by the look of em lls.but i had no clue ppl would rock em,cuz i kno ppl that laugh wen u bring up the FILA version.

    April 7, 2008 at 4:58 pm

  2. Robert

    American Cup have been out since 2002 that 6 years, i don’t think its just a mistake Fila came out with them, and I almost find it insulting to the consumer when another label waters another label and sales for cheaper. Thats like a dumb jock taking a test and you go and some dumbass rips his A+ by cheatin of your test without asking.

    Im just sayin

    April 7, 2008 at 8:30 pm

  3. Well, all I’m saying is that Fila could have done better. And in NYC it doesn’t seem to matter to many people that they look so “similair”.

    April 8, 2008 at 9:20 pm

  4. Sabree Shah

    I don’t think all this controversy took place when Jay-Z reinvented the infamous Gucci sneaker?! It’s all about what you like and what your willing to pay for. I think $350-$400 dollars for sneakers are ubsurd to say the least and that isn’t even the topic!!! Who doesn’t own a knock off of something?! Feel free to pay the extra $200. for the red stripe up the back and the acceptance of wearing PRADA…LOL…they were probably both made in the same sweatshop!!!

    April 17, 2008 at 7:43 pm

  5. Hmmmm… I am going to have to look into that one. The only Jay-Z sneaker I remember is the first one that sold out in like a week and I don’t remember them looking anything like Gucci.

    April 17, 2008 at 9:05 pm

  6. Jonathan

    Prada America’s Cup Sneakers were made for the America’s Cup sailboat competion; that means that they have been out for quite a while, 2002 or 2003? I cannot remember for sure. FILA is just trying to get people to buy their sneakers because they look expensive.

    The reality is that the difference between Prada and FILA and any other sneaker at that matter is that the namebrand. Come on, how much can you get 10 square feet of nylon mesh and waterproofed leather, patent or regular…what? About $40-50. I don’t know the exchange for rubber but still it is really cheap to assemble these things.

    Then they get shipped off to the province of Milan in Italy and they sew, etch and mold Prada on the tongue, in the sole, in the back of the heel, under the shoe in the center and under the actual insert for your foot. Then it goes from a $50 dollar shoe to a $300+ one…depending if you want high top/low top, crocodile/ostrich leathers or regular/patent/metallic patent/suede…

    I own Pradas…I won’t wear FILA only becuase the reputation for a ripoff but still if someone owns a pair don’t go yell at them because they cannot afford a pair of Pradas

    May 12, 2008 at 7:33 pm

  7. J-Hood

    It’s a no brainer. Buy the fila. similiar looks,great price, same quality. Not a knock-off. A knock-off is a item that is exactly like a specific item, “with the same name as it” Fila is fila, it did not put prada anywhere on the sneakers. I guess if a car maker made a car/truck similiar to another brands car/truck, then that would be considered a knock off? Hell no, its called competition!

    July 13, 2008 at 7:25 am


    July 16, 2008 at 5:00 am

  9. mario

    Don’ t be fooled again!
    FILA is no more an italian brand..!
    a chinese group bought FILA 3 years ago!!!!!
    they are makin’ only rip-off and blatant copies of existent models!!!!
    they HAVEN’T style no more!

    I’m from Italy, we don’ t have here the HELMSMAN,
    Filas owner knows very well overhere nobody would cop this shoes…we stick to the original prada…for 160 euros…

    I really disappointed by this brand…I used to love it…

    July 28, 2008 at 3:48 am

  10. Curt Tanner

    I bought some Helmsmans not knowing that they were knock-offs (I live in the sticks) they are comfortable and seem well made. A good addition to the collection, but being a consumer with no conscience I would love to get some Americas Cups.

    August 18, 2008 at 10:56 pm

  11. james

    wow what are you guys saying fila is way better
    and fila is not a knock off shaq shoes is a knock off
    his shoes dont even sell so

    September 1, 2008 at 10:00 pm

  12. faith

    i bought these fiLa sneakers literally last nightt not knowing about the pradas .. one of my friends was like “nice pradas” ii was like they’re not pradas…? and then my other friend toLd me that there were pradas almost exactlyy the samee ii meann im not gonna return them but wow idkk.. ii hate to hear ppLs mouthss about how ii bought “fake pradas”

    September 4, 2008 at 2:34 pm

  13. hands0m3

    i have all black low pradas and i have the filaa in white,black,and green i love my pradas but the filas are more comfortable then my pradas i love the both and i know mad people dat wear them 300 dollars that 3 pair of fila if i buy 5 pair dats 400 and change does dat mean i cant afford pradas i can have pradas and be walking and wear filas and have a benz as for rip off its notmade two different ways look closely

    January 29, 2009 at 7:37 am

  14. I just bought a pair for 30 bucks at Dr. Jays! SWEET!!! My second pair in a year!

    March 13, 2009 at 4:06 pm

  15. Chico Stuntanna

    Has anybody actually tried hooping in these? I’m curious about the functionality more than the style or copycatting.

    March 22, 2009 at 10:49 am


    i bought these fiLa sneakers knowing about the pradas .. one of my friends was l“nice pradas” ii was like they’re not pradas…? I LOVE MY FILAS AND FOR 50.00 DOLLARS I LOVE THEM EVEN MORE

    June 30, 2009 at 7:26 pm

  17. Fit Vic

    I own both Pradas and Filas and the Filas feel better. Prada has the name is clout Filas feel better and has a better price. I don’t care what people think I rock them both. Due to the US economy break down I think the Filas are a better buy.

    July 15, 2009 at 2:47 pm

  18. Redskins Vic

    Shoesempirecom check this spot out for cheaper Pradas. They are real at a better price. Now don’t say I didn’t hook you all up.

    July 15, 2009 at 2:49 pm

  19. Futuristic

    I admit when I first came back to NYC I was confused because I saw alot of people rockin this shoe style period. And I almost bought a pair of Helmsman. But then I thought to myself, yo this is NYC if the shoe ain’t at least $80 nobody is rockin’ it. So I decided to leave the Helmsmans alone until I was sure. Then I passed by another sneaker shop and saw Americas, saw the price and I was like oooooooooooh now it makes sense. Then I started to pay attention to the shoes. I saw nothing but Prada stripes. The helmsmans are down to 30 bucks here. I’m not debating quality or anything like that. To some it is absurd to pay so much for sneakers. But it’s a fashion thing. It’s a style thing. It’s a status thing. Now if you live like out in the woods or somethin’ it might be ok. But if you’re in places like LA or NYC. Stuff like this matters. And that’s why you’ll see everyone from kids to adults wearing expensive shoes. Its our way in the city.

    July 23, 2009 at 4:57 pm

  20. hots

    i need yall to step your sneaker knowledge game up…the fila helmsman is not new to fila, fila dropped this shoes in the 80’s (86 to be excact) and fila decided to re-release the shoe. the design was filas 1st… considering this shoe is a very unique design i doubt prada just stumbled upon the design, but they did however make it famous. no biggie, alot of high end items we buy are based on lower end ideas thats the way of the world.

    September 19, 2009 at 10:14 am

    • @hots
      u got any proof of this? I never head of this sneaker from Fila back when. I would be glad to call Prada out if that is the case.

      September 19, 2009 at 2:59 pm

  21. mac

    Yoooo I would get some of them

    March 13, 2010 at 12:04 pm

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