Did you know that diehard sneaker lovers are known as sneakerheads? The majority of sneakerheads are either Millenials or part of Generation Z.
You don’t need a massive collection to enjoy a good pair of sneakers though. They’re one of the most popular types of footwear available, and just about everyone has a pair lying around.
But how exactly did these famous shoes get their start? And how long have they been a staple in the shoe industry?
We’re here to fill you in. Keep reading below to learn everything you need to know about sneaker history!
Sneaker history dates all the way back to the 1830s when Wait Webster patented the process of cementing rubber soles to shoes. However, the proto-sneaker was flimsy, and the sole and upper part of the shoe often tore away from each other after several wearings.
The first real sneakers were introduced in 1876 and were called plimsolls. They had a band of rubber connecting the sole and upper canvas to prevent snapping.
They were called plimsolls because the rubber band resembled the white plimsoll lines on ships. They quickly become a favorite for athletes and those enjoying outdoor activities.
In 1892, Goodyear released a redesigned version of the plimsoll. The name of these new and improved plimsolls? Keds.
The Birth of Athlete Endorsements
By 1917, sneakers were being mass-produced, and the public couldn’t wait to get their hands on them. This was also when the Converse company was born, and the iconic Converse All-Star first made its appearance.
Several years later, Chuck Taylor of the Indiana Hoops endorsed the sneakers, completely changing sneaker history forever. This paved the way for athlete endorsements, and people began lining up to get sneakers endorsed by their favorite players.
The 1936 Olympics only added fuel to the fire. The Olympic Games even led to the birth of the Adidas company!
It was also around this time that the shoes were finally referred to as “sneakers”. They were given this label because they were considered so quiet that you could easily sneak up on someone.
The Continued Evolution
In the decades that followed, more and more classic sneaker companies began to crop up. In the 60s, Nike and Vans both made their first appearance.
In the 60s, New Balance developed the first sneakers with ripple soles. It came at a perfect time, as more and more people took up jogging in the 70s. In the late 70s, sneakers also began being designed with a thicker heel and more ankle support.
The 80s and 90s were proof that sneakers were on the rise and showed no signs of slowing down. In fact, the iconic Michael Jordan and Nike collaboration began in 1984.
Since then, sneakers have become not only an athletic staple but also a fashionable shoe. You can easily find sneakers online or in stores. Sneaker lovers can enjoy the comfort and support of sneakers anywhere they go—from the gym to work to an outing with friends.
The Impressive Nature of Sneaker History
With comfort, style, and a successful history backing them, it’s no surprise that sneakers continue to be a fan favorite. With the sneaker history info above, you’ll have no trouble wowing the sneakerheads in your life!
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