You have worn sneakers all your life. The comfort, style, and functionality they bring you are incomparable. Sneakers come in various shapes, colors, and names, such as tennis shoes, trainers, running shoes, or plimsolls. Sneakers are generally known as athletic shoes. They enable you to perform your activities easier and make a fashion statement without even trying. Many people complete their wardrobe with different types of athletic shoes. This makes the iconic footwear very valuable. Because of this, it is important for those who love the sneaker, to know its humble beginnings. Below are some bits and pieces of the sneaker’s history. Look and see how the athletic shoe made its mark.
- 1839 paved the way for Charles Goodyear’s shoes, made with rubber soles. He was able to come up with it when he invented vulcanization. Since stepping on a hard, ceramic ball in croquet was not easy on the feet, rubber shoes were used for the game in the 1870s.
- In the UK, shoes with rubber soles were called gutties, sandshoes, daps, and plimsolls. The name “plimsolls” stuck. It is a name derived from a term used in to describe a point when the ship’s deck starts to take on some water.
- In 1916, Keds was made as the first plimsoll in the United States. It was just a simple trainer shoe line.
- 1917 made way for the Converse All Star basketball line of athletic shoes. It was the first high-top sneakers in the world. The canvas was extended around the ankle, for that boot-like support. It was lightweight as well for tough competition.
- In the 1920s, Chuck Taylors were made. The designs were conceived by the famous basketball star, Chuck Taylor, who promoted the shoe line in 1923.
- Adidas was established by Adi Dassler in 1924. The US had Converse All Star, while Germany had Adidas, which concentrated on soccer shoes then. Soon after its debut, Adidas became the most popular brand in the whole world. When Jesse Owens won his four gold Olympic medals in the Berlin Olympics of 1936, he wore Adidas shoes.
- In the 1950s, Hollywood icons, James Dean and Marlon Brando added sneakers to their wardrobe on-screen. Sneakers were inexpensive back then, so people started wearing sneakers on a daily basis, with denim. This decade also convinced parents to let their kids wear sneakers (Converse and Keds) for practical reasons. Kids moved with more comfort, each time they wore these shoes. When the Baby Boomer generation came, sneakers were accepted as part of a casual wardrobe.
- In the 1970s, other brands of sneakers emerged. K-Swiss, Puma, Nike, Reebok, Saucony, Vans, and Onitsuka Tiger came out.
Years passed and the sneakers became a source of practical and comfortable fashion for many people. Until now, many consider this footwear essential in achieving comfort and style at the same time. Sneakers have already become the comfortable walking shoes of the practical generation. Like any type of footwear, the sneaker has made it through trials in designs and trends. Presently, athletic shoe manufacturers pay attention to what their consumers need and want. This results in better, more effective sneakers, which last for years.