Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); }

A look back at the shoes we've used to get fit, from the first humble pair of Keds to futuristic so-called 'minimal' shoes

1916 U.S. Rubber creates the original sneaker, the athletic shoe it calls Keds.

Charla Jones/Charla Jones/The Globe and Mail

1 of 13

1917 The Converse Rubber Shoe Company introduces high-top basketball shoes, christened the All Star.

Jim Ross/jim ross The Globe and Mail

2 of 13

1920 Adolf 'Adi' Dassler begins making shoes. By 1936, his shoes are worn by Jesse Owens. In 1948, Dassler founds Adidas.

Ivan Alvarado/Ivan Alvarado/Reuters

3 of 13

1937 PF Flyers (for Posture Foundation) hit the market with an 'action wedge,' which helps distribute weight evenly and reduce leg strain.

AP/AP

4 of 13

Story continues below advertisement

1958 Reebok is founded. The company takes its name from an African gazelle.

Laura Leyshon/laura leyshon The Globe and Mail

5 of 13

1960 New Balance releases the Trackster. It is the first running shoe to be offered in multiple widths. The brand continues to evolve over the years.

Deborah Baic/Deborah Baic/The Globe and Mail

6 of 13

1970 (circa) Legendary University of Oregon coach - and Nike co-founder - Bill Bowerman uses the waffle iron in his kitchen to create a tread on the bottom of racing flats, launching a shoe empire.

John Raoux/John Raoux/AP

7 of 13

1991 Reebok releases the Pump, the first shoe to have an inflation mechanism that provides custom cushioning.

Lane Turner/The Boston Globe

8 of 13

2004 Nike creates the Free, the original minimal shoe.

Fred Lum/Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

9 of 13

2005 Vibram releases the FiveFingers, with individual sections for each toe, forever changing the way the world looks at shoes.

10 of 13

2006 Nike releases the Air Max 360, the first shoe with a foamless midsole.

David Zalubowski/David Zalubowski/AP

11 of 13

2006 Nike introduces the Air Zoom, a running shoe designed to talk to Apple's iPod nano, relaying information about time, distance, calories burned and pace.

MARY ALTAFFER/Mary Altaffer/AP

12 of 13

2011 Brooks releases the PureProject, a collection of shoes intended to promote a natural stride.

Brooks/Brooks

13 of 13

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies