By Magali Castaneda
You can wear them casually, you can wear them to work out, and everyone has at least one pair in their closet. No, not underwear, and I honestly hope you own more than one pair. I’m talking about sneakers! It’s probably safe to assume that thieves that enjoy breaking and entering all own a pair of sneakers. After all, they’re called sneakers because of the hushed rubber soles. But before the nickname, came the shoes. They were shoes with rubber soles called Plimsols, catchy name aye? Also, there was no distinction between left or right feet, making it easy for 4 year olds all over the world to be free of judgment. Then in 1892 the Rubber shoe company and the US Rubber Company collaborated on creating a sneaker. You’ve probably heard of them, Keds? When they were deciding on the name, they were stuck between Ved’s and Keds… Yeah, good choice. The next innovation in sneakers came in the early 1900’s and it’s probably safe to say that everyone has owned a pair of these canvas beauties. Converse. Marquis Converse created this high top canvas sneaker and it became popularized in the sport of basketball by Chuck Taylor, who endorsed them. If you wore them now to play a pick up game, you’d probably break your ankles. At this point in the sneaker game, sneakers were very basic and mostly used for sports activities. In 1924 a man called Adi Dassler made the first pair of Tennis Shoes for the number one tennis player in the world, Stan Smith. Adidas became one of the most popular sneakers in the world and a couple decades later they became even more popular. A rap group called Run DMC made a song called My Adidas and made arrangements to have Adidas execs come to a show. While they were performing the song, they asked the crowed to show their Adidas and some 3,000 people were wearing the sneakers. Run DMC signed a 1.6 million dollar deal with Adidas and created a line of sneakers. Although Run DMC can be given credit for the popularization of Adidas, only one man can be given credit for wearing sneakers as a fashion statement. Our Rebel Without a Cause, James Dean. He wore them in the movie and kick started the shift from wearing sneakers for sport to wearing sneakers as a statement. Even with sneakers becoming a fashion statement, sneaker companies were still using athletes to make their shoes known. Nike, then got their hands on a legendary Rookie. His name, Michael Jackson. Just kidding, Michael Jordan, just wanted to make sure you were paying attention. Michael endorsed Air Jordan’s and if there is an iconic sneaker, this is it. His sneakers have really become a phenomenon, I know guys with no cars that own about every pair. It’s safe to say the sneaker industry isn’t going anywhere, considering all the shoe companies I mentioned are still alive and thriving.
Fact Monster. (2013). The history of sneakers. Retrieved from http://www.factmonster.com/ipka/A0932723.html
McCafferty, H. (2013). The evolution of the sneaker. Swide. Retrieved from http://www.swide.com/sport-man/apparel/sneaker-history-evolution/2013/9/4
Taralyn, P. (2011). History of sneakers. TimeToast. Retrieved from http://www.timetoast.com/timelines/history-of-sneakers–2