Sneakermin Files: Sneaker Review Converse Fastbreak – Navy Blue, White, Red

Hi again and thanks for joining us again at! Another review for you today! This time we’re taking a look at another retro classic sneaker, the Converse Fastbreak – in the navy blue, white and red colorway.

Spoiler alert! These are COOL! We LOVE them! What a striking color combination of white-blue-white with the red highlight. White-blue-white, with a red-highlight – Sneakermin rhymes are an unintentional bonus! 🙂

So …. What’s It Made Of?

These blue beauties are part leather, part synthetic, with a brown gum sole.

How Do They Look?- Quick Once Over

The mouth of the sneaker has a nice white border with a red underling both in leather. The heel and toe cap are covered in blue leather for better wear and cooler styling. The rest of the sneaker is a navy blue smooth synthetic material, giving the sneaker quite a striking look with the contrasting colors.

How Do They Look?- Let’s Take a Deep Dive

My first look at these was in the Converse store and I thought – just a standard classic blue and white combo with a touch of red. A second closer look made me see some super classic retro touches and special details galore! From side to side, from top to bottom and from underneath – here we go…

From the side, the Converse Fastbreak sneaker has a nice prominent collar notch, bordered in white, with a thin red border under the white. Then we move to a navy blue synthetic nylon upper, with a matching navy blue leather heel cap. The uppers are stitched with white stitching to a bright white mid sole.Under mid sole sole is a soft brown gum outer sole.

Back to the top, the soft blue tongue of the sneaker is topped with a red border. In silver embroidered on the tongue is “Converse” and then a large bold “CONS” embroidered under this. The navy blue laces thread through shiny brassy eyelets, 8 on each side of the sneaker. Each side of the sneaker has the forward pointing arrow like symbol with the star both in white. Striking look against the dark navy upper. Around to the front of the sneaker, there’s the white mid sole, a navy blue leather toe-cap and then the synthetic navy upper.

Onto the soles, at first look the white mid soles are classic and plain in white. But…. look again friends! On the outside of each mid sole, back near the heel there is another subtle “Converse” standing out on the mid sole.

Down-under now, let’s take a look at the outer sole. The outer sole is a grippy gummy brown rubber. Another win win. Not only does the gum sole enhance the retro styling, but the softer gummy rubber gives more grip when you need it. That’s usually a pretty handy feature (handy feeture)? Well anyway it’s always great to have more grip. The pattern on the sole provides good grip for general walking and also for courts sports or some light physical exercise. The sole is set off nicely with ” Converse” branding in the arch. These make a nice imprint on concrete pavements of you step in a puddle first. 🙂

The styling and detail extravaganza just keeps going as you move to the back of the sneaker. Here we see a blue leather heel cap and topping off the detailing is a red Converse star on the heel notch.


Laces are a big part of the sneaker in terms of its ease of use. These sneakers come with a slightly shorter lace, meaning they will often pull out of the top eyelet when you open or loosen up the shoe to slide your foot in or out.

You can just lace up to the 2nd to last eyelet, giving yourself a bit more length to tie up as well as open up the shoe. You could even lace them up loosely if you skip the last 2 eyelets. Then you can almost slip them on and off more easily and quickly. Carefully mind you 😉 that we don’t squash or step on the heel to get in or out of them. No sneaker deserves that!

How about replacing these with longer ones? Well… yes you could, but I wouldn’t. The laces really finish the shoe. The aglets, which are the ends of a shoe laces, are also in a brassy gold color, definitely quite hard to find, so it’s worth keeping them I’d say.

6 Month Update How Are They Doing?

After 6 months of wear, the Converse Fastbreak are doing just great thank you! The wearer is a younger more trendy Sneakermin with an eye for the retro classic. As you can tell from the pictures, they are well cared for. No need for any cleaning so far, but we’ll give them a waterproof treatment now, to keep them looking good. And the micro-fibre cloth is always on-hand for when they need a clean down the track a bit.

Walkability and Comfort – How Do They Feel On Your Feet?

As I hope you’re picking up, these are some very cool looking sneakers, retro cool at that. Here’s a tip though – they do seem more firm and more rigid than other sneakers we’re wearing currently. My black leather Chucks mid tops, I find to be very comfortable now they are fully worn in. There are also a few pairs of Skechers and a pair of Ecco sneakers making tracks in the Sneakermin household, these 2 brands seem to be a “few steps ahead” of all other sneakers when it comes to walkablity and comfort.

Walkability of the Converse Fast break is probably a bit less at first. Our advice – thick socks and wear them in “real good” before you think of taking them on holiday or on a long day of walking around the zoo, park or mall. Once you have worn them in, you will feel nothing but joy when you put these on :-). Another good option is some inner soles, just to up your level of comfort. Best advice – wear them in and then see if you need anything else to improve walkability.

Other Colorways

There are a few other colorways around which are just as good-looking as the navy, white red. This white green version or black suede version might also appeal to you. The classic navy blue is still our favorite.

Amazon Converse Fastbreak White – Green

Amazon Converse Fastbreak Black / Egret

Where Can I Buy Some?

I always look on Amazon first – see the links above. My next stop for the Converse Fastbreak was Footlocker, who had the style available, but not in all colors. Footlocker look like they have some great retro sneaker options for us to explore together soon.

Footlocker – Converse Fastbreak

Summing Up – Converse Fastbreak in Navy Blue, White and Red

The Converse Fastbreak is a nice change from the more popular black or white sneaker and gives you another eye-catcher to wear for light sporting activities, walking or mainly for kicking around socially. A bold but subtle, simple and stunning retro classic – a bit of white, a dash of red on a dark blue canvas. Every sneaker seems to have its own charm and appeal. The Converse Fastbreak oozes retro charm! Thick socks and wear them in well, these 2 tips will enhance your experience.

Overall another great addition to any sneaker collection and a great pair to have an as alternate or swap in to your regular ones. The different color ways also look pretty good to us.

Thank you again for reading our reviews. From the Sole, we wish you a great day!

Sneakermin Signature

Sneakermin out

Sneakermin Files: Sneakermin Reviews: Converse Chuck Taylors Black Leather Mid Top

Amazon – Chuck Taylor Black Leather High Top Mid TopSneakermin Reviews: Converse Chuck Taylors Black Leather Mid Top

Hello and thank you for visiting the community! You’re a part of a growing posse of retro sneaker lovers, appreciators of life’s finer things, respecters of the classics. We like to say collecting sneakers is “everything good for your sole” It’s great to have you on board.

Starting us off in our first Sneakermin review is a retro sneaker classic and my current best favorite, the Converse Chuck Taylor Black Leather Mid Top.

Tell Me About Style and Color

The style of this unisex sneaker is a mid top with large stainless steel eyelets. These are a smart shiny black in color with a white rubber toecap. The lower sneaker is white with a black stripe. The back of the heel has Converse All Star on it written in black. On the inner ankle of each sneaker is the Converse logo and 5 pointed star and Chuck Taylor autograph imprinted on a circular badge sewn onto the sneaker. Understated, classy and cool.

The laces are soft black nylon ribbon style, about 10mm wide. The laces are a good length, long enough to tie the shoe lace but not with half a meter left over to get rid of or trip over.

So What Are They Made Of?

The basic show consists of a leather upper, thick cushioned tongue with a rubber sole. The black rubber sole is the classic diamond pattern.

The tread is about 4 mm deep and the pattern gives decent grip for everyday wear and for general court sports in or outside.

Where Can I Buy These?

To buy a pair of your own, try your local Converse store first. Otherwise, your online options include good ol’ Amazon.

This link is to the latest sellers on Amazon, prices look good, I’m getting in!

Amazon – Converse-Street-Leather-Sneaker-Black

Other links on Amazon:

Amazon – Converse Chuck Taylor Black Leather 2

Amazon – Converse Chuck Taylor Black Leather 1

You might also find them on and eBay, butso far in my searches, Amazon finds me brand new sneakers more easily than eBay, so a bit less hassle for me with Amazon.

Walkability – How Do They Feel On?

Walking in these shiny n slick leather kicks feels ever so comfortable and easy. Summer or Winter, I recommend wearing thick socks or 2 thin pairs. I do this no matter what the shoe, sneaker or season. The more cushioning you add, the more pleasurable will be your wearing experience. With a decent pair of socks on your feet, you can easily spend all day walking in these sneakers and feel good all day! The inner sole of the shoe has a soft spongy feel. Once you get used to it, and imprint your footprint into the sneaker, you will have gloves for your feet.

To give sneakers a “walk-ability” rating, I think about whether I would take them on holiday with me or whether I could spend all day at a theme park or on a day-trip in these happily. I give these Converse black leather mid tops the BIG YES, walkability rating is high! These sneakers are literally my first choice for casual outings and anything more social or less sporting.

9 Months Later – How Are They Doing? (Medium Term Review)

What are these Converse mid tops like after 9 months? Fine, soooo fine 🙂 My sneakers get a lot of use mainly on weekends. Currently I don’t (can’t) wear sneakers to work every day, only on casual Fridays. I believe sneakers are becoming or will become the everyday shoe of the future, for home, for work, for life. Why not be comfortable and stylish all the time?

They get mostly general casual use, cos they are just too nice to get too dirty or muddy. But they were comfortable and supportive on a 2-hour coastal walk last week – the terrain was a mix of concrete, board walk and loose gravel or dirt. It was a dry fine day, so all surfaces were handled easily. After the walk, the soles and side walls were pretty dusty as were the leather uppers. A damp micro fibre cloth on the leather worked perfectly to get them clean again. The side walls and toe cap needed some careful cleaning with a mild house hold cleaner, to whiten them back up. The effort is well worth the time spent, I think so anyway :-).

Anything Bad About These Kicks?

Ahhhhhh nope. Not a bad thing. With any white sole (side wall of the black sole) and with the white toe cap, these parts of the shoe can get a bit gray and grubby. So just keep up with the cleaning of the white parts and they will keep their new-look for months or years. As they are getting more use, they are getting a nice worked in look.

Final Thoughts Converse Chuck Taylor Black Leather Mid Top

This is our first ever review, so this Converse Chuck Taylor Black Leather Mid Top is Sneakermin ‘top choice’! It would be even if we’d were up to review number 100 as I’I’m loving them! From the classic and timeless in black and white, to the shiny leather, stainless steel and subtle branding, to the cushioned comfort feeling once they’re on. The style has such appeal that I’m looking for more of the same, in different colors, or different materials even like canvas. The versatility of these sneakers is just another great thing about them – you can dive into a game of streetball, go for a walk, give them a quick wipe down and then be off to dinner or a party. You can dress in your shorts or dress in smart casual. Versatile – what?!?!? They are your best friend, your faithful travel companion, you’ll never look out of place in these, and if you’re ever lonely or on your own, just look down and admire your great taste in sneakers 🙂 .

Check out the many reviews available on Amazon. Overall it’s 4 stars out of 5. I agree. As with any shoes I buy online (these I got from a store so no issue with sizing), check the sizing chart. Like everything, styles and sizes do vary from brand to brand and from season to season. My US size 9 Converse sneakers fit me just as comfortably as a pair of Hitecs I have which are US 10.5! If you can, email the online store and give them your foot measurement, to be sure.

As I finish this one off, wearing my Converse mid tops of course, just want to say thanks again for coming in. Please do share your stories and thoughts. Have you got a pair of these or some other retro sneakers you want to talk about? We’d love to hear from you.

For now, this is Sneakermin signing off and slipping out.

Sneakermin logo signature


PS: Quick update – this link is to the most recent sellers on Amazon, prices here I found to be pretty darn reasonable.

Converse Sneaker Chuck Taylor Black Leather High Top Mid Top

Sneakermin Files: Famous Sneakers In Sports, Movies and Real Life


Hello Sneaker people, big warm thank you’s to you all for coming here! Today we’re having a go at trying to draw together sneakers with movies, TV, sports and popular culture.

There are so many famous sneakers and sneaker wearers in real life, fashion, sports, movies and TV. When you think of famous sneakers, what do you think of? Who, what and where hold memories for you? Focusing on retro sneakers (what else?!) let’s slip on a comfortable old pair and take a stroll together, back a decade or 2. Let’s take a look at famous sneakers of the retro sneaker kind.

Famous Sneakers in Sports

Let’s clear our minds just for a second. Think of a sunny day, a blue blue sky. Look into the sky take in the blue. Blue, clear mind…… now…. think famous sneakers and sports…… Air Jordans and Chuck Taylors – did a picture of either or both of come into your heads? If yes, then snap! I’m in a “Chuck Taylors love” phase at the moment, so it was my black Chucks that I first saw. How about you? What do you see?

So who thought of retro sneakers in sports and thought of Michael Jordan and the Air Jordan?

Did anyone see or think of Converse Weapons?

With my 80s admiration of the LA Lakers and adoration of Magic Johnson, in my mind I can see the purple and yellow of the great Lakers and the Magic’s matching converse weapons. These original white, yellow and purple colorway is on the shopping list!

Chuck Taylor All Stars
…. if Michael Jordan’s Air Jordan is the modern day iconic retro sports sneaker, then is Chuck Taylor and his Chuck Taylor All Stars the most famous, the quintessential, the one icon of the retro sneaker in sports?

Jesse Owens wore Adidas sprinters sneakers to win gold medal upon gold medal at the Berlin Olympics in 1936. I don’t know if he made Adidas famous but definitely a worthy mention of an amazing athlete.

Have the great Shaq, Kobe, Step, King James and others reached that level yet? We think so. If not yet very soon. Side question, do you think the Lakers will get back to the top of the NBA with LeBron? Again, we think so, and I personally hope so! Basketball isn’t the only game in town though! Look out for more on sneakers and sports in the future and please tell us what you think too, we’d love to know!

Famous Sneakers in Movies and TV

Checking what other sneaker websites and bloggers think, here’s a few of their thoughts:

In this article from highsnobiety on the “best movie sneakers“, they mention the movie “The Sandlot” and the PF Flyer sneaker. “Do the Right Thing” featuring the Nike Air Jordan IV sneaker. “The Goonies” and the Nike Sky Force Hi sneaker. :Forrest Gump” and the Nike Air Cortez sneaker – this classic retro sneaker shows up in lots of movies and TV. Here’s a picture of the clean classic Air Cortez.

There will be more articles about this, once you start the flow of memories, there are just too many to talk about in one article.

Sneakermin’s Favorite Famous Sneakers in Movies and TV

In the Sneakermin household, the TV show of the decade is Stranger Things. If you’re born in the 70s or 80s, trapped in the 70s or 80s, or both in my case, this show has massive appeal. References to 80s life, culture, movies, fashion and of course sneakers. The main stars are, like the Goonies, Stand By Me and other classics, a bunch of kids. Quirky funny endearing kids. But the sneakers, the sneakers are all there.

Mike’s Puma’s

Eleven’s Converse All Stars

Lucas’ Saucony

Steve Harrington wears Nike Air Cortez – just like Forrest Gumps in the picture above.

What Else or Who Else?

Which other famous sneakers are come to your mind? There will undoubtedly be many other pairs of famous sneakers to discuss in future Sneakermin Files editions coming soon. Please do share your memories or favorites. I don’t have a lot of memories of sneakers from TV, but maybe that’s just TV in the 70s and 80s for you. Here are a few more though.

How about Ripley in the Alien movie, wearing Reebok Romper Stompers

Or the Onitsuka Tiger, Mexico 66’s worn in Kill Bill by The Bride:

Finishing this with a real life iconic wearer of sneakers. From my childhood I can remember seeing Freedie Mercury strutting around on the stage at Wembley Stadium for Live Aid. Freddie wearing Adidas sneakers is a definitely strong memory.

Wrapping Up Famous Retro Sneakers

Let’s put the wrapper on this one peeps. So… where do we end up then? Actually we’ve barely scratched the surface on this one, we’ve only just begun! Famous retro sneakers and stories and memories of these are endless! And that’s just awesome!

Everyone one of us will have vivid sneaker memories linked to famous people, events, movies, TV, sports and culture. So many great memories are everywhere when you sit and think. I love look out for the sneakers people are wearing when I’m watching movies or TV. Does that mean I’m strange? Anyone else?!

Do you buy sneakers because someone you like, famous, sporting or just a real person, has the same ones and they look cool? If I can get me a pair of yellow and purple Converse weapons, that will be down to Magic Johnson. If I can find a pair of Adidas Oslo retro sneakers (black with yellow stripes), that will be down to some special childhood memories and my dear parents.

The Sneakermin Files – Retro Sneakers

Hello there Sneaker-people! Welcome and thank you for joining us! Just thought I’d share a few thoughts on retro sneakers – from the sole. The what, the where and the why. Let’s hit the trail…

What are Retro Sneakers and Why Do We Like Them

Retro generally refers to anything from the past, when life was good! Mainly retro refers back to the 60’s I think, but can probably also mean anything from 20 or more years ago, anything from when you were kids, the first version of anything maybe, or something your grandparents had which now is cool?! Retro sneakers for me are really anything from the 80’s and backwards. If you’re a bit younger, the 90’s will even seem like long long ago. If you’re more of an old-sole….. you will remember back to the 70’s, 60’s or earlier. Retro points back to times when more things were made by hand and so the results of such things as hand made furniture, clothing, cars and sneakers can really make you appreciate the skill and patience of the women and men who mastered difficult techniques to produce some amazing creations. Jay Leno commented about his classic car collection that they were from a time when labour was cheap and technology was expensive and the opposite is true today. Some people collect cars, I’m getting started with sneakers 🙂

I like retro sneakers and other retro collectibles because they do represent a wonderful time from my past, or a great memory from my childhood. How about you?

Where Can We Buy Retro Sneakers?

Looking to buy a pair of your own? Google Amazon and Ebay as starters or try,, or Google “retro sneakers” – to find great resources on where to get great sneakers. As we take each step on this sneaker journey together, I hope to share some really great places to buy retro sneakers. I also look forward to checking out some of your favorite retro sneaker websites and favorite shops. Please feel free to share so our community will grow into a large supportive group of soles.

Iconic Retro Sneakers

For a seasoned sneaker person, the classics have a big part to play in the Sneakerverse. Air Jordan for example immediately brings a picture of the iconic red, white and black sneaker to my mind. Converse Weapons – Magic Johnson – purple, yellow and white. For me, the classic retro sneaker defines the brand in many ways.

Why I Love Retro Sneakers

Why do I loooove retro sneakers?

Retro Sneakers are plainer and more basic in style compared to other sneakers. They are more likely to stay trendy and stay in your memory. Adidas Oslo an 80’s classic back in the day – simple black with yellow stripes. I loved them in the 70’s and still do many years later. l am hunting high and low to find a pair. If you see some anywhere, please send me a note!

Retro sneakers are possibly more practical, easy to care for and clean. They tend top have a cool classy look and can be worn with most attires, shorts or jeans or pants, still good. Understated, trendy and relaxed.

As a classic fashion accessory, retro sneakers just stand-out for being simple and distinctive. For me they always point to a time when life was simpler and better, possibly happier? When you were at school and playing with your friends was the only goal in life! Is this ringing bells for anyone out there? Do you think back to a pair of sneakers, or another item of clothing and are instantly taken back to younger more care-free days?

Recent Retro Sneaker Purchases

This really isn’t meant to be an article about Converse retro sneakers, but the pictures below may make you think otherwise! (No sponsorship or payment was offered or taken – sadly) My family went to a Converse sneaker sale recently at a pop up store and I bought my first ever pair of Chuck Taylors. Of course, they were
a black leather pair of retro sneakers! It didn’t stop at just one pair though, everyone in the family bought a pair (or two). At least 4 of the pairs were definitely retro classics.

So here they are. What do you think of these?!

The classic red canvas sneaker.

The classic blue polyester upper sneaker, white logo.

The true classic black canvas Chuck Taylor.

And, my personal favorite…. my own pair of black leather uppers. Smart, comfortable, understated, retro sneaker cool.

As stated above, this article is not in any way an add for Converse, but on the day we bought these, we got great value and styles for everyone in the family. So these definitely won’t be our last Converse sneakers!

Retro Sneakers – Respecting the Classics

What’s your take sneeps?! Are you into retro sneakers as a passion? If so, what about them appeals to you? If not, why not? 🙂 We don’t judge here in the sneakermin community. Do you have a pair of retro sneakers or a few in your wardrobe? What? Where? Why?! And what do you think of mine? Please share. The small (but growing) Sneakermin community is a high quality bunch and we would love to hear from you!

We’ll be looking for more interesting angles retro sneakers for our community and hoping to share yours too. If you have a pair retro sneakers bought recently and want to show them to us, please send me a picture like the ones in this article. Please send a side-on picture against a neutral background, of just the sneaker. If you are OK with share with the community, please give me permission to put the picture on the Sneakermin Wall. This is an upcoming work in progress.

For now, thank you again, wishing you, the wonderful Sneakermin community a wonderful day!


History of Sneakers II: Nike and ASICS

Hello again and thank you for visiting us at Sneakermin, we love sneakers, the more retro the more we love! In Part 2 of the history of sneakers, we’re looking at 2 more iconic brands – Nike and Asics. Let’s hit the road… or shall we “just do it”…

History of Sneakers – Nike

Not quite as pioneering as Converse or Keds, but another interesting piece of the history of sneakers jigsaw puzzle nonetheless.Here’s a brief timeline of Nike sneakers.

1963 – Blue Ribbon Sports is formed by University of Portland running coach Bill Bowerman and middle-distance runner Phil Knight. Their goal is to supply high-tech low cost running shoes as an alternative to the Adidas and Puma brands dominating the US market.

Blue Ribbon Sports imports and sells sneakers from Japan, made by Onitsuka Tiger Co.

1964 – After 1 year in business, Blue Ribbon Sports has sold 1300 pairs of sneakers.

1965 – Phil Knights’ running rival, Jeff Johnson, is Blue Ribbon Sports’ first full time sales-person, selling shoes out of the back of his van at track meets and athletics events in the region.

1966 – Blue Ribbon Sports opens it’s first store on Pico Boulevard, in Santa Monica California.

1970 – Blue Ribbon Sports move from reselling imported shoes, to designing and making their own. Bill Bowerman takes inspiration from a waffle-iron, pouring rubber into the family breakfast appliance, inventing the soon-to-be-famous waffle sole.

1971 – Blue Ribbon Sports moves on from selling imported Onitsuka Tiger sneakers and, with the new waffle sole design, begin making their own sneakers. A new company is born, called Nike, after the Greek Goddess of victory, whom Jeff Johnson had dreamed about.

1972 – The world recognized Swoosh, designed by Carolyn Davidson to represent the wing of the Goddess Nike is first seen on Nike sneakers.

1976 – The Nike slogan “There is no finish line” and add campaign are released.

1984 – Michael Jordan signs an endorsement contract with Nike and releases the Air Jordan, his first signature shoe. The NBA bans this new sneaker for breaching NBA uniform code, fining MJ $5,000 each time he plays in Air Jordan sneakers. The fines generate incredible publicity for the sneaker and for Nike. The Air Jordan sneaker marks a key event for Nike, leading to successful future growth.

1988 – “Just Do It” is released as Nike’s new slogan, this one really sticks!

1989 – Nike introduces new cross training footwear designed for use in training for multiple sports. American football and baseball athlete Bo Jackson stars in the successful “Bo Knows.” add series.

1990 – Nike opens the first Niketown store in downtown Portland, Ore., and the store quickly earns numerous retail design and business awards. Over the next 10 years, Nike opens 14 more Niketown stores across the USA and in England and Germany.

2002 – Nike buys Hurley, the surfer clothing company.

2003 – Nike buys Converse for $305 million.

2004 – Nike buys Starter and Umbro. Umbro supply kit for the England football (soccer) team.

2005 – Air Jordan XX, the 20th edition of the sneaker is released. The Nike Considered range of sneakers is released.

2012 – By 2012 Nike consolidates its acquisitions and sells Starter (in 2007) and Umbro (in 2012), retaining Hurley and Converse.

Onto the history of Asics Sneakers

History of ASICS Sneakers Onitsuka Co

1948 Working man Kihachiro Onitsuka starts his own company, to make sneakers for school children. Onitsuka Co opens with 4 employees in Kobe city, Japan.

1950 Onitsuka Co releases its first competition sneakers. Prototypes were developed with the help of local shoe manufacturer Yoshikawa Rubber Industry and tested and refined with the help of local Kobe High School basketball team. The tiger logo placed on the shoes arch marked the start of the Onitsuka Tiger.

1950 Inspired by the octopus on his dinner table, Onitsuka develops suction-cup soled basket ball shoes, for increased starting and stopping performance. The stopping performance is too strong and results in player injuries! The suction cup sole design is modified into a more suitable sole.

1952 OK (Onitsuka Kihachiro) basketball sneakers are released. These are higher-end quality sports sneakers. Tiger mark volleyball shoes are also released.

1953 Onitsuka opens the Tiger Rubber Factory, their own in-house rubber factory, again in Kobe city. Sneaker production moves into full swing for basketball as well as running, volleyball, tennis, softball and mountain climbing.

1954 Tiger Rubber Factory burns down due to nearby fire, operations are suspended from June to August of that year.

1955 Tiger nylon golf shoes are first released, followed by shoes for gymnasts and wrestlers.

1957 Tiger Rubber Factory is reorganized into Onitsuka Co Ltd.

1959 Gold Tiger tennis sneakers, with herringbone soles are released. The soles are designed to improve start, stop and reaction time.

1965 Onitsuka and Tiger brands are unified into Ontsuka Tiger

1969 Blue Ribbon Sports, who will soon become Nike, start selling Onitsuka Tiger sneakers.

1972 Onitsuka Co opens a US office in Chicago, Illinois. Onitsuka moves the office to Los Angeles California within a year.

1973 Layup NL Basketball sneakers are released. These sneakers, with the different colorways available, could be matched to team uniforms and were fashionable for wearing after games as well.

What does ASICS mean?

Before we continue, what does ASICS mean or where did the name come from? In establishing his company, Onitsuka was inspired by the words of Roman Poet Juvenal, offered to him by a colleague – “Pray for a sound mind in a sound body” (Latin translation “Anima Sana in Corpore Sano”- ASICS).

OK on with the history of ASICS sneakers…

1975 Onitsuka Tiger GmbH opens in Dusseldorf, West Germany as the European base of Onitsuka.

1977 Overseas production begins in West Germany with the opening of ASICS Mobus GmbH.

1977 ASICS Corp is formed by the merger of Onitsuka Co., Ltd., GTO Co., Ltd., and Jelenk Co.

1978 ASICS releases California jogging shoes, such as the Corsair.

1981 ASICS Tiger Corp headquarters is established in California.

From here ASICS Tiger opens offices in Brazil, Australia and other countries across the world and makes sneakers and sports gear for base-ballers, golfers, fishers, cheerleaders and more. Personally, I like the easily recognized logo, which is on every shoe I’ve seen.

In Conclusion

I think Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight were pretty astute in the early days, with a vision of high-tech and affordable sneakers and kept control of their direction by making their own once they were established. With all that have gone before and after, it’s hard not to think of Michael Jordan, when you think of Nike, even though King James is the Nike player of our times.

The inspiration of both companies from Greek mythology, Goddess Nike and Roman culture, the poet Juvenal seems to maintain a fitting connection between the companies. May Nike and ASICS both keep making their sneakers forever, with their unique style and personality.

So that’s a brief history of sneakers for Blue Ribbon Sports aka Nike and Onitsuka Tiger, aka ASICS. What’s your take? Your feedback is welcomed.

Where to now? Dunlop and Bata are 2 historical brands of interest, as are Reebok and New Balance. We look forward to adding those stories to the history of sneakers, Sneakermin style.

Thank you again for visiting us. We hope there was something interesting for you in the article.

Wishing you a sole-ful day.

Sneakermin, out.

A Brief History of Sneakers (Just About).

Hi and thank you again for reading this article about the history of shoes, especially the history of sneakers. If you search for information about the history of sneakers (starting with the first shoes), it goes something like this:

Earliest Shoes and Who Owned Them:

The earliest shoes were discovered in a cave in Armenia way back around 3000+ BC. They were a moccasin type shoe, made from animal skin. For many centuries only the very wealthy could even contemplate owning a pair of shoes. Only from the 19th Century, when mass-production processes and technology advances came about, was owning a pair of shoes a possibility for us common folk.

776 BC, Greek athletes run barefoot in the Olympics. Soon after they begin running in sandals to protect their feet.

There’s folk-lore that King Henry VIII owned a pair (the first pair ever) of tennis shoes in 1517. This factoid will need further investigation to verify!

Modern History of Sneakers:

In short we go from plimsolls to rubber soled Keds to “sneakers”, athletic shoes and basketball shoes to the sneaker universe – where it’s not just about footwear, it’s a lot more about us and our sneakers.

History of Sneakers Timeline:

1830’s – Walt Webster patents a process whereby rubber soles could be attached to shoes or boots. The result was…. Plimsolls. Plimsolls were crude first generation kicks, which didn’t even have left and right feet!
1832 – Charles Goodyear invents “vulcanization” – the process of heating rubber and adding sulphur to improve the strength and flexibility of the rubber. Vulcanization helps to prevent rubber from becoming brittle in Winter or sticky in Summer and makes it easier to make rubber-soled shoes.

1864 – Lyman Reed Blake of America invents a shoe-stitching machine. The shoe and sneaker universe is about to change.

1890’s – The US Rubber Co makes a canvas-uppered shoe with rubber soles. Rubber soled sneakers were more comfortable and flexible than other shoes, making them ideal for a spot of croquet, tennis, yachting, running or even a game of cricket (by joves, lovely shot old chap!).

By the end of the 1800’s and into the early 1900’s sports and outdoor pursuits were rising in popularity. Two companies emerged as icons of the new sport-shoe universe – Keds and Converse.

1900’s Converse All Stars

In 1908, Marquis Converse founds his Converse Shoe Company, making shoes for children, women and men.

1912 – the first tennis shoes are produced.

1917 – Sneakers are now being mass produced.

Also in 1917, the world’s first and most iconic basketball shoe is released, the Converse All Star. A year later in 1918, Charles H Taylor of the Akron Firestones basketball club, bought his first pair of Converse All Stars and through his playing, introduced them to America.

1921 – Charles “Chuck” Taylor officially joins the Converse Shoe Co and promotes the Converse All Star. This is one of the first ever player endorsements. By 1923, Chuck Taylor’s signature is added to the Converse All Stars patch. Converse and basketball in America grow up together and the Converse All Star is the go-to-shoe for basketballers, from high-school to professional. “Chucks” are to this day not just an American, but a world icon on basketball courts everywhere.


1916 – the US Rubber Co establishes Keds and calls its tennis shoes “sneakers”. By the mid 1920’s, Keds were becoming popular with sports people and athletes.

1949 PRO-Keds is established. The first shoe released is the Royal, a hi-top canvas basketball shoe.

1950’s George Mikan of the Minneapolis Lakers endorses the PRO-Keds Royals.

1953-54 Minneapolis Lakers wear PRO-Keds Royals during their NBA Championship victory.

1969 the PRO-Keds Super is launched, also known as the 69er.

1970-80 the Royal Master, aka Royal Plus is launched, with suede uppers and a padded collar.

1981 Legend of boxing, Sugar Ray Leonard, joins PRO-Keds as a spokesman.

2000’s PRO-Keds focusses on 5 classic styles – the Royal, the Royal Master, The Royal Plus, the 69er and the Royal CVO.

2016 Pro-KEDS is globally relaunched.

Dassler Brothers Shoe Company:

1923 – Cobbler Adolp Dassler begins making handmade sports shoes. In 1924, Adolp (“Adi”) goes into business with his brother, Rudolph and forms the Dassler Brothers Shoe Company. The company is based in the brothers’ hometown of Herzogenaurach, Germany. By 1927 the Dassler Brothers are producing 100 pairs of shoes per day. Specialised shoes with metal spikes in the soles are made by the Dasslers out of goat skin. These running spikes are used by sprinters and middle distance runners.

In 1928, the spikes are used for the first time at the Amsterdam Olympics.

1932 – at the Los Angeles Olympics German Arthur Jonath wins Bronze in the 100m sprint wearing Dassler Brothers’ shoes.

1936 – Jesse Owens brings Dassler Brothers Shoe Company its finest moment at the Berlin Olympics. Wearing Dassler Brothers spikes, Owens wins four Olympic gold medals in the 100m, 200m, 4 x 100m relay and broad-jump. This success lead to growth for the Dassler Brothers and by 1938, they were making 30 different types of shoes.

The Dassler Brothers had a serious falling out over politics leading up to and during World War 2. Eventually the part company and go onto to form their own companies.

1948 – Rudolph Dassler establishes Puma.

1949 – Adolp (“Adi”) registers his new company – Adidas (made up from his name AdiDassler).

The 3 stripes of the Adidas logo is recognized the world over.

The early Puma logo – a cat jumping through the “D” has changed over time, but has kept its origins. I think the retro-logo could do with a comeback. What do you think?

A word about (the word) “Sneakers”:

The term “sneakers” came into use with the release of rubber soled shoes. Rubber soles, being much quieter than other shoes of the late 1800’s era, allowed the wearer to sneak around. In 1862 woman-prison inmates referred to their rubber-soled shoes as “sneaks”. Who first coined the term “sneakers” is not clear, but in 1870 the word “sneaker” was registered as a word referring to canvas shoes with rubber soles.

Fast Forward

Fast forward again to the 70’s and 80’s – fitness, jogging, running, aerobics and working out at the gym are all the rage. As are sports person player endorsements. One symbol to represent this, and much much more to follow.

So that’s of a basic history of sneakers, based on my search of online and local library resources. What about Nike? What about Reebok? British Knights, New Balance? And many more? I’m making a list for future exploration. If you have more information you can share to add or improve this history of sneakers picture, please contact me. I think we’re ready to look deeper into the history of sneakers and explore the sneaker universe together. Shall we?

Our very best to you


What is your BEST Brand of Sneaker?

You probably know people who have grown up in families where a brand of car is much-liked or worshipped and another brand of car is highly disliked, hated even! And we all have a favorite sports team who we follow with passion and sometimes we have other teams we (here comes the “h” word again) …hate.

What is your best brand of Sneaker? Is that even a thing?!

My Best Brands as a Kid

If you asked me growing up, what is your best brand of sneakers or what is your favorite brand of sneakers – I would have said:

  • At 6 years old – Bata! Probably the first pair I can really remember. I am told I went to bed in them.
  • At 9 years old – Adidas! My first ever pair of black and yellow Olso’s.
  • At 12 years old Puma Fastriders (My brother’s Easyriders were cooler but I couldn’t get the same could I now?!)
    Then back to Adidas.

Growing Up, Branching Out…

  • At 19 years old – I got my first Nikes, bought from the Main Place mall in Anaheim. And more Adidas in Singapore.
  • Since then, I have tried anything and everything, in the shoe world.
  • After the first Alien movie, there were Reebok – but I didn’t get any until in my 20s, well into the 1990’s
  • ASICS – nice pair of very light running shoes.
  • Reebok – great walking shoes, great soles, lasted years.

Going Budget (not Cheap … Budget!!)

Then I went “budget” – not buying cheap shoes, but buying the best specials – cool shoes at good prices.

My first ones were Hi-tec Haraka – with orange soles. These were cheap (a $50 special) and because they were cheap, they were even better. They seemed to last forever before the soles finally wore through. I still have them, the uppers are still great – so I plan to resole them – cos they deserve it, they deserve to live on.

Hi-Tec Haraka

How About Now?

More recently, I have also bought and enjoyed Wild Rhino, Oboz, Kathmandu and Keen (sandals). My Keen sandals… well that’s really another whole amazing journey, love story even. I fell out with Adidas in the 2000’s (they never knew) and that’s another story for another day too.
Keen Men's Sandal
I nearly forgot my Skechers – forgotten because I have a new pair of black Skechers with memory foam innersoles – just waiting to be walked in.

How About You?

So – is there such a thing as your best brand or your favorite brand? Are you loyal to a brand or loyal to a principle instead – such as buying great value? In my mind these days I look for best looking, best comfort at the best price. Any and all the above brands I will buy again in the future.

Thank you for joining me on my trip down memory lane. I’d love to hear about your best brands or your sneaker stories, please share 🙂

Sneakermin, call me Sneakermin for short…..

About Sneakermin

Thank you for stopping in and welcome!

I was given  my first pair of Adidas sneakers when I was 9 (black and yellow Oslo’s). Since then I have been interested in sneakers (and watches and gadgets 🙂 ). Anything cool, colorful, classy and comfortable – I’m into.

My purpose with this website is to take a journey from the cool of the past to what is cool today, making friends along the way.

Sneakermin explained – Sneakermin is a group of like-minded sneaker people, open-minded, retro-loving and ageless.

If you ever need a hand or have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to leave them below and I will be more than happy to help you out or receive your help :-).

All the best,