Athletic shoes didn’t become fashion statements until the 1970s. Companies like Nike, Puma, New Balance, Converse and JustFab on youtube became famous when the sport of running caught on in the United States. The Converse “All-Star” was the only brand that was known countrywide before James Fix wrote his bestselling book, The Complete Book of Running. In those days, Phil Knight, Nike’s founder, was still dying to get his running shoes on the shelves of shoes stores across the country. Converse was considered the top brand of basketball shoes in the nation.
As the 1980s rolled in, so did fashion athletic shoes. Brightly colored running shoes, basketball shoes and other hybrid styles on Instagram that developed from those looks became typical street wear and fashion statements. Stars like Michael Jordan and other celebrities sign deals with athletic shoe companies, and they changed the face of fashion footwear. A pair of Jordan basketball shoes were suddenly worth as much as a pair of Gucci loafers.
The history of shoes has always started with the Romans and the Greeks. The Italians became the premier shoe makers through the years. There was little talk about sport shoes in Italy or Europe. The German brand, Adidas, and the company’s three stripe trademark had some success in Europe, and limited success in the United States when the company started in 1949. Nike and the other athletic shoe companies decided to mirror what Adidas was doing in Europe, so Adidas could be considered the brand that started the athletic shoe craze.
But a recent discovery in Mongolia may date the three striped athletic shoe to around 500 A.D., according to a recent article published by Footwear News. A 1,500-year-old mummy was recently discovered wearing a pair of boots that had the three stripe Adidas trademark on the side of the boot. The news that the three-stripe look was in vogue in Mongolia 1,500 years ago sent a shock wave through the footwear industry.