What’s on your feet? Odds are, it’s a pair of sneakers! These versatile shoes have made the leap from sports fields to everyday wear. And since the 1980s, sneakers have become trendsetting collector’s items. Sneakerheads—people who collect, trade, and admire sneakers—line up for hours to buy a limited-edition pair from top brands like Nike, Puma, Vans, and more.
Sneakers got their name from their quiet soles. Formal dress shoes have a hard leather sole that slaps the ground noisily. Sneakers’ flexible rubber soles are easier to “sneak” around in while wearing.
The first sneaker was made in the 1860s for croquet players. They needed a sturdy shoe with a flexible sole that wouldn’t damage the lawns they played on. Sneakers, with their rubber soles, were a perfect fit.
Soon the footwear caught on with other athletes. The first sneaker made specifically for basketball is still popular today: the Converse All-Star. It was released in 1917—more than a century ago! The debut of Nike’s Air Jordan line in 1985 is considered the start for sneakerheads. It was designed for basketball player Michael Jordan when he was a rookie. Nike hoped to earn $3 million in the first three years of the shoe’s sales. They earned $126 million in just one year! And it’s still a top-selling brand.
Today sneakers are a hot commodity. Depending on the sneakers you’ve snagged, you could have a fortune on your feet!