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101 Things You Didn’t Know About Sneakers

Sneakers, kicks, shoes, whatever you want to call them, it’s undeniable they are a cultural and fiscal phenomenon. Complex, coincidentally one of my favorite magazines, had a piece titled “101 Things You Didn’t Know About Sneakers” in it’s April/May 2006 issue. Here are some I found interesting. Tell me which one(s) you guys liked.

  • The management team that resurrected Adidas in the ’90’s was made up primary of ex Nike execs
  • Nike Inc’s financs have never been in the red
  • It took Nike tree launches to make its skateboarding line a success
  • Goodyear, a division of the U.S. Rubber Company, is the original manufactuer of Keds
  • Oakley designed sneakers for the U.S. Special Forces

  • By dividing the model nubmer by 10, you can approximate the reail price of a New Balance sneaker (i.e. NB574 = $54.70)
  • The letters D and C are the 4th and 3rd letters in the alphabet, and many of the details on DC’s shoes are based on either 3s, 4s, or the combination of the two, 7
  • Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman started Blue Ribbon Sports, Nike’s forerunner company with $500 each. B.R.S. is now a division of Nike specializing in clothes tha complement its kicks
  • In 2001, K-Swiss acquried the rights to Royal Elastics. Royal Elastics prides itself on makign sneakers that are “elasticated.: Ironically, K-Swiss are designed to prevent stretching
  • Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars, first marketed in 1917, are the all-time bestselling sneakers, with total sales nearing 600 million pairs
  • In 2005, Air Force 1’s accounted for $1 billion in Nike sales, and a profit margin of 70 percent
  • Michael Jordan wantd to sign with Adidas in 1984, not Nike. He was a self-described “Adidas nut,” and told his agent that if the deal was even close, he’d sign with them
  • Es and Emerica are divisions of Etnies Sole Technology
  • The name Adidas was derived from its founder, Adolf “Adi” Dassler. Puma was started by Rudolf Dassler, Adi’s brother, in 1948, after the two had a personal falling out
  • Carolyn Davidson, the Portland State University graphic design student who designed the Nike swoosh in 1971, was originalyl paid a fee of $35. In 1983, Nike gave her shares of its stock and a diamond ring featuring the swoosh
  • Willam Riley, foudner of the New Balance Arch company in 1906, based early designs on chicken’s feet
  • Reebok signed Allen IVerson to a lifetime contract on November 28. 2001. A.I. gets a reported $7 million a year from the company
  • Jordans are released on Saturdays so the kids don’t skip school to get ’em
  • K-Swiss’s five-stripe design is utilitarian; it helps prevent stretching
  • The big sneaker companies, such as Nike and Adidas, own viewing boxes at most large sporting events like the U.S. Open and NBA Finals. However, should you step into their box wearing the sneakers of a competitor, you may be promptly asked to go barefoot – or offered to exchange your shoes temporarily for the host brand’s
  • In August 2005, Adidas acquired Reebok for $3.8 billion – the deal should be finalized by this summer
  • Reebok is named after an African gazelle called a rhebok
  • Adidas’s three-stripe logo is rumored to represent the three sons of Adidas founder, Adi Dassler
  • Asics is an acronym for the latin phrase “Anima Sana in Corpore Sano,” which translates to “a sound mind in a sound body”
  • Only Nike and Reebok sell more basketball sneakers than And 1
  • Andy Roddick’s signature REebok shoe was called the “Figjam DMX.” “Figjam,” which stands for “Fuck I’m good … just ask me,” comes from the nickname of Aussie Rules Football player Nathan Buckley
  • In 1969, Asics, then known as Tiger, release the Cortez. Phil Knight, who’d been a sales rep for Tiger in the ’60s, felt that he’d been instrumental in the development of the shoe, so he took the design with him when he left to form the company that would later become Nike. Thus bega an lengthy legal battle. In ’74, the courts decided that both parties had the rights to the design of the shoe, but that Tiger could not use the name Cortez. As a result, the company renamed its shoe the Corsair. Thirty years later, both models are still available.
  • When it premiered in ’73, the Puma Clyde was the first endorsed basketball shoe. When it came time to re-release the shoe, Puma didn’t have an original blueprint, so designers and shoe engineers meticulously dissected an employee’s deadstock pair to re-create the specs.

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