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Beverlyheels StyleFootwear: Sneakers

Footwear: Sneakers

Posted on Wed, Nov 15th, 2017

Sneaking in, in style

In the 18th century when the upper class was busy with their heels and boots, the poorer segment wore rubber soled shoes, known as plimsolls. The plimsolls didn't have a right or a left foot and were dubbed "sneakers" as the wearer could sneak around without being heard. In 1876, Charles A Eaton started the world's first trainer company and opened his first shoe factory called Etonic. The sneakers became popular as a training shoe in the 1900s and the earliest running shoe with spikes was invented for atheletes. The process of vulcanization was used to develop canvas upper sneakers called Keds.

Gradually as the century turned, Willian J Riley founded the Rubber Shoe Company and Keds were being mass produced. By 1924, the world was introduced to the Chuck Taylor Converse All Star in America, and somewhere in Germany Adi and Rudolph Dassler started producing their own handmade running shoes under the name Adidas in Germany. Later on, Diadora was founded and Adi Dassler went solo, patenting the now famous three stripes.

During that century sneakers also started being worn for fashion rather than only sports. In the 1950s, Puma developed the first football boots and J.W. Foster and Sons re-branded their products to Reebok. The same decade, Germany won the World Cup in Adidas studded football boots.

The 1960s saw two of the most iconic brands in the world - Nike and Vans- come to existence and in the '80s were born some truly iconic sneakers including the Saucony 80, Etonic's tennis shoes, the Saucony Jazz, and Nike's Air Jordan among others. It was this decade that bright colors were being incorporated in the shoes.

The world's first shoes without laces was created in 1990s by Puma called the Disc. Then came the Reebok Shaqnosis and Puma's Mostros worn by the likes of Madonna.

The new millennium saw the Puma Speedcat, a fireproof shoe that was being flaunted by musicians like Jay Z and 50 Cent.

A decade later, really expensive sneakers came into production for fancy wear rather than sportswear. Kanye West, was paid around $10 million, at an eBay auction for Yeezy collection sneakers the Nike air Mag and Blackout Air Jordan.

Once considered an ungentlemanly shoe, the sneakers have now become a must have in the fashion-conscious man's wardrobe. With its largest fan base in hip-hop and pop cult, the sneakers have become a language of expression of an individual. More recently, the shoe is adapting to new fashion trends enabling you to embrace it as casual comfort wear.

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