Also known as takkies, runners, athletic shoes and tennis shoes, sneakers were primarily designed for sporting activities due to their rubber soles, but nowadays are paired with casual and athleisure outfits.
Sneakers started off as plimsolls.In her book “The Plimsoll Sensation”, Nicolette Jones says sneakers derived their nickname from their resemblance to a ship’s plimsoll. Just like the ship’s plimsoll: if water gets over it, it gets wet, and so does the wearer of the plimsoll shoe. If water got over the rubber plimsoll the wearer got wet.
These plimsolls were mostly worn by vacationers then later, due to their comfort tennis players and some sports men started wearing them on the courts. Soon enough the British Army placed an order to have them too.Over time, Kedds were made,these were still plimsolls but having the covering of the canvas tops much like the ones we know today and these began to be widely produced for different kinds of sports.
In the late 1800s an American rubber company started creating sneakers for basketball players but that soon spilled over to other sporting activities and soon wearing sneakers to the Olympics became a trend. In 1920 the converse all stars were created by Maquis Converse, and then Adolf ‘Adi’ Dassler created his own sneakers named Adidas.
During the 1950s sneakers began to be worn fashionably especially by school kids. Adolescents started wearing them as part of their school attires. Advertising and jogging in these became a popular thing. And lots of modeling campaigns were created. They became widely popular after Michael Jordan was endorsed by Nike. In 1966 Van were made, and these were specifically for skating.
Today we have all types, sizes and styles of sneakers. We have the popular Adidas, Nike, Jordan’s, Converse, Vans, you name it. And we wear them for different vast reasons.