When Were Tennis Shoes Invented? Tennis shoes actually go by many different names: sneakers, athletic shoes, trainers, etc. The word was already in use at least as early as 1887 when the Boston Journal made reference to “sneakers” as “the name boys give to tennis shoes.” The name “sneakers” originally referred to how quiet the rubber soles were on the ground, in contrast to noisy standard hard leather sole dress shoes.
What is the rarest sneaker in the world? The Nike MAG is quite possibly the rarest and most desirable sneaker ever made because of its wide-ranging appeal to pop culture and film fans around the world. These are the sneakers worn by Marty McFly when he time-traveled to 2015 in the Back to the Future II movie.
Shoes have a long history that dates back to the first human beings ever to walk on Earth. Although we don’t have historical records that date that far back, we’re sure that it probably didn’t take the ancient man long to figure out that wrapping animal skins around his feet could make traveling long distances much easier.
For thousands of years, shoes developed slowly. For most of history, they were crafted by hand by artisans and cobblers who would custom fit them for individual customers. All that changed in the 18th century with the invention of vulcanized rubber during the Industrial Revolution.
The first rubber-soled shoes were developed in the late 18th century in England. They were called plimsolls and were a far cry from the tennis shoes we know today. For example, they were all the same, which meant that there was no specific right or left foot!
Despite their deficiencies, plimsolls were popular and spurred the rapid development of improved models and new styles. In particular, people began to use them for recreational activities, such as playing tennis. The rubber soles did not mark up the tennis court, and they allowed players to stop and start quickly.
Children of the time also noticed that the rubber soles were very quiet. They allowed them to sneak around without being noticed. It wasn’t long before tennis shoes also became known as sneakers.
Many of the popular shoe brands you know today got their start around this time. In 1892, such as the U.S. Rubber Company developed a more comfortable rubber shoe with canvas tops that they called Keds. By 1917, they were mass-producing Keds to meet increased demand.
Around that same time, Marquis Converse began to make an athletic shoe specifically designed for basketball. His Converse All-Stars became popular, especially when an Indiana basketball player named Chuck Taylor endorsed them and began working with the company to improve them. Chuck Taylor All-Stars became one of the best-selling basketball shoes of all time.
In the 1920’s, a German named Adi Dassler created a new sneaker brand that he named after himself: Adidas. His brother, Rudi, later started his own shoe company: Puma. As new athletic shoes were developed, people around the world began to use them for many sports. It wasn’t until the 1950’s, however, that tennis shoes became popular as a fashion statement outside of any connection with athletics. In conclusion, now we know when were tennis shoes invented.
Content for this question contributed by Henry Korn, resident of Pleasant Hill, Contra Costa County, California, USA