x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

The evolution of athletic shoes

A timetable of footwear.

1800s Plimsolls, the first rubber-soled shoes, are manufactured. 1892 Goodyear, better known for tyres today, begins to make rubber and canvas shoes. It produced them under different names, but in 1916 settled on Keds as the brand. 1908 Marquis M Converse establishes Converse Rubber Shoe Company, revolutionising the game of basketball for more than half a century and becoming an American icon. 1920

The founder of Adidas, Adi Dassler, starts to produce hand-made training shoes in his mother's washroom. 1931 Adidas makes its first tennis shoe. 1948 Rudolf Dassler, Adi's brother, opens Puma Schuhfabrik and makes the Puma Atom. Puma's first football boots were worn by members of the West German football team. 1962 Phil Knight, a business major at the University of Oregon, and his coach, Bill Bowerman, combine to provide a low-cost, high-tech athletic shoe under the name Blue Ribbon Sports (BRS)

1968 BRS begins marketing new designs and technology and changes its name to Nike. The company is named after the Greek goddess of victory. 1972 Bill Bowerman pours rubber into his wife's waffle iron, creating the basis for the popular Nike Waffle Racer. The trainer has the optimal traction of waffle soles, wedged heel, the cushioned mid-sole and nylon uppers. 1974 Nike releases the Waffle Trainer, with Bill Bowerman's famous waffle sole.

1979 Nike creates the first Nike Air sole units, resulting in the revolutionary Nike Air cushioning. 1996 MBT, or Masai Barefoot Technology, begins selling its shoes on the world market. 1999 The Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman dies in December. 2003 Nike acquires the long-time shoe manufacturer Converse. 2005 Adidas declares its intention to purchase its long-time US rival Reebok. 2006 Adidas completes the purchase of Reebok.

2009 Reebok launches its EasyTone line of toning shoes. * Sneakerhead.com, The National