Sneakers’ Surprising History. Trainers. Tennis shoes. They’re all around you, whatever you choose to name them, maybe even on your own feet. Every year, tens of billions of pairs remain produced. The top sports shoe firms earn more money than certain countries’ GDP.

So, how did a scrap of rubber, leather, and canvas become such a huge deal? The late nineteenth century. New games like croquet and tennis necessitated the development of new footwear to protect the grass grounds that remained.

Who Invented SneakersWho Invented Sneakers

Sneaker brands continued to emerge not long after. Converse’s most iconic sneaker, the All-Star, first appeared in 1917. Adidas and Puma, two of the most well-known shoe brands, were established by German brothers.

Adi and Rudolf Dassler started making athletic shoes in the 1920s. The Dassler brothers capitalised on something that is common knowledge today. Get someone famous for wearing your boots if you want others to buy them.

Jesse Owens, a US Olympian, was that guy. However, Owens, a black athlete, was scheduled to compete in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin when Adolf Hitler and the Nazis firmly controlled Germany. The Dassler brothers, who had joined the Nazi party along with many other German entrepreneurs, took a risk by approaching Owens. Owens’ gamble paid off when he won four gold medals.

It was an incredible coup for a black man to upstage Hitler’s racist ideology on the world stage. And he was wearing Dassler shoes. After the war, the brothers split to form their own company. Adi set up Adidas and Rudi, Puma.

Sneakers Marketing

The narrative of shoes is more than just coming up with a catchy name for your product. It’s also a matter of marketing. During the 1970s jogging boom, Nike sold a lot of shoes. But when it came to going beyond jogging, they needed something unique. If you’re interested, you may also read this article: Ebin Lace Glue

And they found it in basketball star Michael Jordan, who has become the most visible athlete spokesman. The Nike-Jordan collaboration was a big success, producing more than $100 million in sales in the first year.

They were on track to generate $3.6 billion, or roughly £2.6 billion, in revenue by 2020. Nike was also skilled at finding new chances. Did you know they only paid $35, or around £284 in today’s money?

 Their famous Swoosh logo?

Their famous Swoosh logo_

The famous Nike slogan “Just Do it” remain inspired by the last words, “Let’s Do it”, of murderer Gary Gilmore before. It’s not just athletes – and death row inmates who encourage us to wear sneakers.

In the mid-80s, hip-hop group Run-DMC signed a landmark deal with Adidas paving the way for many more lucrative partnerships between shoemakers and artists. Today, Kanye West and Rihanna each have their line of sneakers. And they’re worth big bucks. West’s collaboration with Adidas, the Yeezy sneaker line, remain valued at over £1.2 billion in 2019. Sneakers’ Surprising History


The Liverpool Rubber Company, founded by John Boyd Dunlop in the 1830s, invented the first sports shoes. Dunlop was a trailblazer who figured out how to attach canvas uppers to rubber soles. If you remain interested, you may also read this article: Long Hair Pug

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