Sneakers are soft shoes with a rubber sole, worn for sports or casual occasions.
It all began in the late 18th century, when people wore rubber-soled shoes called plimsolls.
One rib-tickling fact about these plimsolls is that there was no right foot or left foot. Therefore, one could easily wear either shoe on both feet.
In the year 1892, the U.S. Rubber Company started manufacturing rubber footwear under many different brand names. They then decided on a name and came up with Keds, the first mass-marketed rubber sneakers with canvas tops.
The name sneakers came about from the noiseless rubber soles. A person wearing them could easily sneak up on someone.
Sneakers went global in 1924 when Adi Dassler, a German chap, created a sneaker that he named after himself: Adidas. Track star Jessie Owens wore Adidas in the 1936 Olympics and won four gold medals.
Dassler’s brother, Rudolf Rudi Dassler, started another famous shoe company that he named Puma.
In the first half of the 20th century, sport shoes were worn for sporting events. However, in the 1950s, things began to change. Kids began wearing them as fashion statements, and even more teens followed the fad after seeing James Dean in sneakers in the popular movie Rebel Without A Cause.
Sneaker companies hit it off in 1984 when Michael Jordan signed a contract to wear Air Jordans, a Nike shoe. Arguably, it was the most famous sneaker ever made.
Years flew, and soon, Jordan retired from the NBA, but still his shoes continued to sell like hot cakes in town. By then, sneaker companies such as Nike, Adidas and Reebok were competing furiously.
They changed the way sneakers looked by adding wild, weird and attractive colours, finishing with cool laces.
Over the years, sneakers have been produced for every single sport, including walking, running, skateboarding and cross training.
May the legacy of sneakers continue as we become even more excited about them.