8 Apr 2013

World of Sneakers

History of the sneaker part 1. 

The sneaker, Trainer Kicks etc. has existed since the late 1800’s mainly used as sports or beach shoes. In 1916 Keds a plimsoll brand was introduced to the United States and became known as sneakers because of their quiet rubber soles.  Only one year later came the Converse All Star shoe in 1917, followed by Adidas, Puma and Nike later in the 1900’s. American teenagers began wearing sneakers as casualwear off the sports field during the 50ties inspired by movie stars like James Dean. In 1968 Tommie Smith was wearing Puma trainers when he won the 200 m at the Olympics in Mexico. Receiving his gold medal he raised his fist in the Black Power salute, this made the shoe become a cult item on the streets. By the 1980s the Trainer market had become huge and leading brands teamed up with high fashion designers, in order to get their slice of the cake. Yohji Yamamoto collaborated with Adidas and created the sleek black and white three stripes cult trainer Y-3 range. Stella McCartney also designed for Adidas but aiming for outdoor sports hip, with tennis and running shoes. Paul smith designed for Reebok and Mihara Yasuhiro for puma focusing on stripes and metallic.  Sometimes the early hip-hop culture would help bring attention to certain sneakers and thereby promoting them via songs and movies such as Run-DMC with the single “My Adidas” , 1986.