Thursday, June 29, 2006

Colecciona lo que te gusta y olvidate del resto

A brief history of sneakers

1800s: The manufacturing of plimsolls — the first rubber-soled shoes — begins.

1908: Marquis M. Converse starts the Converse shoe company and the shoes help revolutionize basketball.

1917: Advertising agent Henry Nelson McKinney calls the rubber-soled athletic shoes sneakers because the footwear does not make noise on any surface. During the same year, Converse releases the Converse All-Star.

1920: adidas founder Adi Dassler starts producing handmade training shoes in his mom's washroom. It is rumored he did it without electricity.

1923: Converse releases the Chuck Taylor All Star shoe. The shoes have sold more than 744 million pairs worldwide.

1950s: Sneakers become the preferred footwear of teens in the United States to symbolize rebellion.

1962: University of Oregon track athlete and business major Phil Knight and his coach, Bill Bowerman, combine to provide low-cost athletic shoes under the name Blue Ribbon Sports.

1968: Blue Ribbon Sports' name is changed to Nike, after the Greek goddess of victory.

1971: Nike owners purchase the company's trademark "Swoosh" from a graphic design student for $35.

1973: Olympic distance runner Steve Prefontaine becomes the first major athlete to endorse Nike running shoes. Prefontaine died in a car accident in 1975.

1982: Nike releases the Air Force One basketball shoe. The shoe is sometimes called "Harlems" or "Uptowns" by today's youth, and is worn as more of a fashion statement —especially in all white — as opposed to basketball performance. The shoe is so popular, rap star Nelly recorded a song called "Air Force Ones" to pledge his allegiance to the shoe. Detroit Pistons forward Rasheed Wallace often plays wearing the shoes.

1985: Chicago Bulls rookie Michael Jordan signs with Nike to endorse the company's shoes and apparel. Jordan preferred to sign with Converse because those are the shoes he wore while playing at the University of North Carolina. Converse already had Magic Johnson and Larry Bird as spokesmen, and passed on Jordan, who then asked adidas representatives to match Nike's offer, or at least come close to it. The adidas reps declined, and the rest is history.

1999: Bill Bowerman dies in December.

2003: Converse is purchased for $305 million by Nike Inc.

2005: The 20th edition of Air Jordans are released.

What sneakers will be memorable in 2006? Your guess is as good as mine!

By the way, the title of this post, when translated, means "Collect what you like and forget the rest."


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