The journey of how tennis shoes or athletic shoes come about is not less intriguing than the journey of a legendary sportsman and it dates back to the early eighteenth century. Since their invention, they have metamorphosed and evolved. They have now become style statements with their foray into fashion industry and their endorsements by leading public figures and celebrities.
Originally designed to be worn for sports or other forms of physical exercise, they made their ways into mainstream clothing with their increasing use in casual everyday activities. They are available in a surprisingly wide range. From casual wear to specialized sports, they have made their presence felt everywhere. Here are some of the interesting facts about them which you'll be amused to know.
With their rubber soles, they made it possible for us to walk with stealth. Boys started calling them 'sneakers' as early as in 1887 as they could sneak anywhere that too with style and comfort.
Rubber companies produced them
Small companies who were manufacturing vulcanized bicycle tires were lured by the lucrative opportunity and started producing sneakers. Gradually the rubber companies modified and transformed themselves into big sports shoes manufacturer. They applied marketing strategies taking stock of the consumerism; post World War I, America's inclination towards sports as a demonstration of spirit and patriotism added boost to this phenomenal invention.
No separate designs for men and women
Before the separation of deigns for males and females, anyone could just get their feet into any pair of sneakers. Designs were not gender based. But the 1930s saw a major breakthrough and men got their own designs suited for their broadness of feet with females getting designs which were more feminine and sleek.
Sneakers for kids were manufactured
The idea of making tennis shoes for kids gained momentum as children engage themselves in sports. With the baby boom in 1950s, more American families started dressing their young ones in sneakers or tennis shoes. Then the school dress code relaxed propelling the sales of tennis shoes at a scale never reached before.
Specialized sneakers for every sport
Jogging became a popular fitness regime which in addition to popularizing sports shoes made them a necessity for runners. This served as a precursor to the idea of making specialized shoes for different sports. Soon, big players cashed in on this idea and now almost every sport has its own shoes.
Endorsements by movie stars and famous athletes
Celluloid stars like Dustin Hoffman, Woody Allen and Led Zeppelin wore them in films creating a style and fashion statement. Sports legends like Michael Jordan were given endorsements by companies such as Nike and Reebok, making them niche products with high end finishing. Revolution in the fashion and marketing skill and upgraded marketing budget made sneakers ever classier.
Birth of Sneakerhead Culture
Enthusiasts are so much besotted with sneakers that they have started collecting their favorite sneakers of different makes. They nurture this practice as a hobby bringing about the genesis of sneakerhead culture. We can find a sneakerhead talking at length about the quality and types of sneakers and it wouldn't be a surprise if he distinguishes between real sneakers and their fake replicas.
Tennis shoes or sneakers, as they are called generally, have gathered the attention of several couturists and much research and development has been done so much so as to devise a course in the history of sneaker collecting known as Sneakerology, which is being offered as a part of their Student College Program by Carnegie Mellon University.
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