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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

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

Charla Jones/Charla Jones/The Globe and Mail

2 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

3 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

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


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

Laura Leyshon/laura leyshon The Globe and Mail

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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

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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

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

Lane Turner/The Boston Globe

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2004 Nike creates the Free, the original minimal shoe.

Fred Lum/Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

10 of 13

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

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

David Zalubowski/David Zalubowski/AP

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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.


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


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