The historical evolution of sneakers

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The birth of sneakers 


1. The evolution of sneakers


Humans could walk and run in a standing position 500,000 years ago, but it wasn’t until around 50,000 years ago that humans learned to make simple clothing and shoes out of animal skins when a primitive man chased wild animals, the feet wrapped with leaves, bark and even animal skin. It was the earliest prototype of shoes.

These covers tend to fall off during running, so humans gradually learn to tie them more firmly. And then cut off a piece of fresh animal skin will wrap up the feet, and the wrapped animal skin will become harder and harder, and even grinding feet, cut feet.

Humans use hand tools made of stone or animal bones to make animal skin softer or switch to more delicate materials. 

The creation of the classic sneakers 

Classical sports shoes originated from the ancient runners who needed to run long distances. At that time, messengers were running to convey orders on the battlefield.

The ancient games were born to select the messengers who could run fast. The most representative of the Olympic Games began in 776 BC in the Greek village of Olympia; the main event was running, and later added to the sports of fencing, wrestling, archery, boxing, and so on.

Athletes gradually go from running without shoes to running with shoes to getting the best results. Running shoes thus evolved.

Later, more and more sports entertainment and sports began to appear in some special shoes. Unique sneakers were limited to leather soles for football, rugby, and cricket (similar to oxfords, a rubber sole now known as Oxford).

Studs or studs are often added to the bottom of the sole to prevent skidding. These sports shoes, which only have the individual functions required for sports events, mark the birth of classical sports shoes.

  1. The history of modern sneakers


The history of modern sports shoes can be traced back to the 1840s. The rubber is used in the shoe industry as a symbol; the use of rubber to meet the motion requirements of shock absorption provides the conditions.

In 1832, an Irishman who immigrated to the United States stood in front of the machine every day as a printer in a small town in Massachusetts. His feet hurt from too much weight because of the long shoe, so he put a rubber mat on the soles of his feet.

After that, the pain was significantly reduced. Colleagues joked with him to hide the pad; he went home and put rubber on the soles of shoes, the birth of rubber-soled shoes.

Running shoes for cricket in 1861 used running spikes. Running shoes with studs began to be derived from everyday men’s shoes, while running shoes without studs were derived from running shoes in 1896, the precursor to professional running shoes.

In 1873, Americans used the word Sneaker to describe sneakers with rubber soles. The Sneakers do not make a sound when used, so Sneakers have become a nickname for Sneakers.

In 1876, the new Liverpool Rubber Company introduced new technology to make sport-specific shoes for croquet matches. Since then, rubber-soled canvas-soled shoes have become popular with consumers, and the British have nicknamed cloth-soled sneakers Plimsolls.

In 1892, the British runners changed the heavy running shoes into running shoes with nails, leading the trend of running shoes.

In 1896 the long-dormant Olympic movement was revived in Athens, Greece. The 50-kilometer long-distance race, or marathon, has been added to the official program. Marathon running, unlike other running events in the track and field, does not require the soles of the shoes as short-running shoes to add spikes. 

Second is the development history of sneakers.

The historical evolution of sneakers

  1. The development of sneakers in the early 20th century


During the 15 years from 1895 to 1910, the design, production, and sale of competition shoes related to sports appeared. There are mainly spikes C, medium-distance running shoes, high jump shoes, and track and field shoes. And the use of shoes for other sports is also becoming more specialized.

In 1900, amateur runner Joseph? William? Foster turned his workshop into a shoe factory and designed many of the runners’ favorite running shoes with spikes, which became the precursor to Reebok, the world’s leading sneaker company.

Since 1908, Spalding company, a famous sneaker manufacturer in the United States, has been the first to provide sneakers and related equipment to favorite American marathon runners. The following year the company introduced running shoes with a lightweight design, making the boots more portable.

In 1911, the Spalding company introduced short running shoes with rubber at the bottom and introduced a design with two air chambers inside and outside, with the Central Chamber pressure acting as a shock absorber because of its small size, the Air Chamber around the high pressure and play a supporting effect of stability.

In 1915, the Spalding company began to produce shoes with spikes in the soles of sprints, medium-distance running shoes, high jump shoes, javelin shoes, and so on. The last of the Sneaker is improved, the toe part rounded, the flesh arrangement is looser than before, and the upper and sole combination is no longer hand-stitched.

In 1928, Mr. Kelley, an American marathon runner, tried to make his running shoes, bowling shoes, high-jump shoes, loafers, and other sports shoes that were cheaper, lighter, and more comfortable, compete everywhere; contributed to the development of sneakers.

In the same year, Law King, an old British shoemaker, began to design sneakers with eyelets and laces outside the instep and an elastic band on the top of the instep for fit.

Avoid creating stitches where the foot comes into contact with the shoe. Keep the toe seamless to avoid blisters.

At the same time, the sole front and back separation and the entire outsole are easy to repair and replace.

In 1936, the Dassler family of Germany became a globally well-known sports brand and is now a widely used sneaker lacing device c-buckled. In 1941, they were also designed to support the arch of the tie structure.

In 1948, the Dassler brothers fell out, and his brother Adolf founded Adidas, the predecessor to what would become Adidas, while Dassler set up Puma Puma, a thriving business on the other side of town.

Adidas opened the world’s first sneaker museum with a complete collection of track and field shoes in 1924; Puma, on the other hand, retains patents on its early running shoes and years of sneaker research.

The two brothers in the Olympic Games war, every four years to reach the most competitive level, the two companies for well-known athletes free design special shoes, significantly promoted the development of sports shoes.

2. The development of sneakers in the middle and late 20th century

In 1951, Tiger-Tegel Company, the most famous shoemaking company in Japan, began producing special running shoes for marathon runners.

The running shoes have a unique shape: The toe is not the usual one-piece but will be the sole of the front part of the two parts, the uppers of the front part are composed of two parts, that is, the big toe and the other four toes apart.

The 1950s saw a new surge in marathon running. In the 1950s, running shoes made by Saucony, a subsidiary of Haidt, incorporated the advantages of Spalding, with kangaroo-skin uppers and striped soles and wide, seamlessly tailored tops.

The sole is mainly made of genuine leather and coated with natural rubber in crucial parts to achieve a lightweight and excellent shock absorption effect.

In the 1950s, the United States, Germany, and Japan formed a three-legged competitive situation of sports shoes.

Warm-up sports in the 1950s is followed by the emergence of warm-up shoes (training shoes). These shoes are between running shoes with nails and running shoes with shock. It is suitable for all warm-up exercises such as muscle stretching, weight training, trotting, etc.

In the 1960s, running shoes were often outfitted with freestanding heels to suit the needs of runners.

The predecessor of New Balalice, Riley-Riley, which began making corrective shoes in Boston in 1906, has years of experience creating complex corrective shoes; the company began extending its reach into running shoes in 1961, applying the principles of corrective footwear to running shoes.

The running shoes you see on the market today are the evolution of the new balance running shoes. Because this shape is similar to a Wedge, it is called a Heel Wedge and later evolved into a full-sheet insert.

Another feature of new balance’s running shoes is that they offer a variety of weights, with up to five weights to choose from.

Another significant event in the 1960s was the advent of aerobics and midsole. In 1968 the United States launched the “New life movement,” the rise of an “Aerobic dance movement. Has Affected the leisure sports shoes’ style, which develops from this.

In 1963, Blue Ribbon Sports, the predecessor of Nike, teamed up with Bowman to specialize in the import trade. All running shoes had material removed from their soles, the front part of the sole separated from the heel, the thickness was only 6mm, and the shock absorption effect of the sole was not good enough.

In 1967, Tagore proposed washing dirty shoes directly in the washing machine. There are two running shoes with Nylon Mesh uppers, one for marathons and the other for race spikes.

In April 1967, sneaker reviews began to appear in the United States. It has standardized the production and sale of sports shoes, promoted the improvement of the quality of sports shoes and the renewal of products, and made the quality system of sports shoes gradually perfect.

In 1968, the invention of the full-length Insert, namely the Japanese bathroom slippers modified to the bottom of sneakers.

There was also a lower back heel height for athletic footwear, with no foam padding for added comfort. However, the main root (Hougang treasure) is embedded between the upper and the inner, which became one of the uppers widely used in sport’s shoes.

Around 1970, Bowman broke through the traditional concept, boldly in the structure of sneakers to make improvements. A student at Portland State College designed the Hook Logo. CO-FOUNDER JEFF? Johnson dreamed of the name Nike. “Nike” is a Greek goddess of victory with two wings, and the hook-shaped logo looks like a wing.

In 1973, the first successful development by Nike Nylon Mesh uppers, running shoes were the focus of popularity.

In 1973, Mr. Bowman modified the structure of his running shoes. He Poured Pu glue into an iron mold that made waffle cookies. He took the dried Pu glue out of the Iron Mold, which became a famous waffle base still in use today. It became a light, nail-free sprinting shoe and later a marathon running shoe with a far-reaching impact.

In 1974, Brooke Company first used a Revolutionary Polymer material-EVA, lightweight, shock absorption effect is good. Soon, EVA replaced rubber as the most widely used insert material.

In 1977, the world’s Popular Nylon Mesh Production of sports uppers. Blue Ribbon sports invented a full-length shock-absorbing centerfold for running shoes, and the centerfold has become an indispensable part of most sneakers.

In 1985 Nike teamed up with NBA Stars like Jordan, Charles Barkley, and tennis pro Andre Agassi to boost the sports industry.

In 1987, Nike invented the First Air Shoe with a cushioning device under the heel.

In 1988, Asics opened up a new area of shock absorption by inserting Gel cushions into the middle of sneakers.

In the late 1980s, Etonic designed stability cushions to address the shortcomings of early air-cushioned shoes, which consisted of multiple independent small air chambers, each of which had a shock absorption function.

Thus, the phenomenon of water bed wobble caused by traditional air cushions is overcome.

The other contribution is to design three different types of air cushion for standard foot, high-foot-dome foot, and flat foot, which can control and correct foot turnover.

Hi-Tec named the ABC Air Ball Concept after a cylindrical Ball used as a heel-mounted shock absorber. The sphere is filled with gas. And root with different shock absorption protection needs, the ABC ball is designed to different hardness and different elasticity to meet the needs of consumers for their air cushion.

The third layer can be regarded as the base of the first and second layers, while the fourth layer is a rubber outsole in contact with the ground.

In 1988, Conway’s second-generation Elastic decompression system (REACTII) was introduced. The system’s core is a gel solid that can mold into any shape. Like a car anti-collision system, this gel solid has the function of cushioning and damping the feet.

It can effectively disperse the impact pressure and bear the vertical impact force above 8,000 n, providing better elasticity and wear comfort.

In the 1980s, all kinds of functional designs appeared in sport’s shoes, and the air-cushioned shoes were the mainstream, which developed towards cushioning soft rubber pad, honeycomb structure, Spring Plate principle, Silica Gel liquid pad, and so on.

In 1991, the production of running shoes or specific sports shoes began with the introduction of transparent rubber materials at lower prices.

Since 1992, transparent PVC material has been used to replace translucent rubber in the production of sports shoes. Nike’s air-cushioned shoes toward the more prominent (more important), the more exposed (more dew more) the principle of development, air cushions continue to update the generation, and the quality is improving.

In 1993, an inflatable device and an inflatable pump were invented. The inflatable device can adjust the elasticity of the heel and forefoot, respectively.

The air pump device can fully replace the laces and transfer from the upper part to the only factor. The Shock Absorption Protection and elasticity of the sole can meet the needs of different users.

It can also be inflated or depressurized, just like a car tire, and adjust to the extent the user thinks is most appropriate.

In 1997, bionic sports shoes came out. Bionic sports shoes are made by imitating the jumping action of the kangaroo. When walking in these shoes, the foot exerts pressure on the spring, which in turn exerts a push on foot, and the wearer gains “Jumping” energy while walking, thus speeding up walking speed.

The 1990s sports shoes more attention to fit than the 1970s or 80s, so the performance of the late 1990s sports shoes was more diversified and ideal. In the 1990s, the running sandals combined the structural design of the running shoes with the characteristics of the sports sandals, and the sports sandals became one of the best-selling sports shoes.

  1. The development trend of sneakers

 In 1861, vulcanized rubber technology was used in shoemaking, marking the birth of modern sports shoes. At the beginning of the 20th century, Japan, the United States, Germany, Britain, and France started to study sports shoes, the first to research sports shoe coaches, followed by manufacturers of sports shoes, later evolved into a close combination of the two joint research.

The world’s major brands, such as Reebok, Adidas, new balance, Camel, Puma, etc., have set up their research institutes or think tanks, design and manufacture some unique functional components and particular sneakers structure.

Nike’s research on sneakers is the most extensive and in-depth, representing the highest level of research and development and manufacture of sneakers worldwide. 

To enhance the appreciation of competitive sports, reflect the personality of athletes in the shape of interest, more beautiful, more typical, and personalized. In the use of color, to adopt a variety of color collocation, improve lightness, more bright, and so on.

Before the 1990s, the United States, Germany and Japan were the world’s sports shoe research, design, and manufacturing.

The three countries have been leading the world trend sports shoes the development trend of sports shoes.

Sports shoes and the production of a wide range of diverse styles, rich colors, patterns, and changeable, three-dimensional sense of intense, clean with clothing collocation, the overall effect of coordination. T

he sanitary performance of sports shoes is highly required, and the deodorizing shoe fabric has developed.

 Third, people’s awareness of the environmental protection of sports shoes is accepted by people.

Fourthly, leisure sports shoes are trendy in the Völkisch movement, which will combine the advantages of leather shoes and sports shoes, weakening the boundary between the two. 

In the 21st century, the use of computer and electronic sensors to accurately determine and automatically adjust the movement of sports shoes is the focus of significant brands companies but also sports shoes more in line with the athlete’s characteristics and sports characteristics will be the developing trend of sports shoes to meet the requirements of fit, comfort, and function.


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