Sneakers: The Primer before the Polish

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1. A Brief History of Sneaker Brands

Check out the link for a gallery of thirteen great pictures.  Here’s a cheat sheet:

  • 1916 – U.S. Rubber, Keds, original sneaker
  • 1917 – Converse Rubber Shoe Company, All Star, high-top basketball shoes
  • 1920 – ‘Adi’ Dassler, shoemaker for Jesse Owens (1936); founds Adidas (1948)
  • 1937 – PF Flyers (for Posture Foundation), distributes weight evenly
  • 1958 – Reebok is founded
  • 1960 – New Balance, the Trackster, in multiple widths
  • 1970 (circa) – Nike co-founder creates treads with kitchen waffle iron
  • 1991 – Reebok, the Pump, custom cushioning
  • 2004 – Nike, the Free, original minimal shoe
  • 2005 – Vibram, the FiveFingers, sections for each toe
  • 2006 – Nike, the Air Max 360, foamless midsole
  • 2006 – Nike, the Air Zoom, ‘talks’ to Apple’s iPod nano
  • 2011 – Brooks, the PureProject, for a natural stride.

 

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/fitness/running/a-brief-history-of-sneakers/article4203243/

Article by Dave McGinn, The Globe and Mail, May 12, 2012.

 

 2.  He Says “Sneakers” and… She Says “Tennis Shoes”

Josh Katz, graphics editor at the New York Times and PhD student – http://www4.ncsu.edu/~jakatz2/ did an online questionnaire on specific word choices across the USA. This map shows the concentration of the use of “sneakers” as a vocabulary item.

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Source for map:

http://www.techinput.ru/en/main/messagepage/498/      

and more about this study:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/12/20/sunday-review/dialect-quiz-map.html?_r=1

 

This week’s blog will explore how sneakers have a wedge position in the sub-cultures of fashion and athletics.  Are we quietly trading our rubber soles, by another name?

 

 

 

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