Why Are Shoes Called Sneakers? Invented in the United States

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Don’t you wonder why sneakers are called sneakers? And with so many big shoe companies around, do you ever wonder who invented the first pair?

Well, I did, so I did some research. Here’s what I found:

The very first rubber-soled shoes, called plimsolls, were developed in the late 1800s in the United States.

The U.S. Rubber Company was the first to receive a license to do a manufacturing process called vulcanization, a necessary step in producing sturdier rubber shoes.

Keds shoes had a soft rubber sole and became known as sneakers as the rubber soles allowed Keds shoes had a soft rubber sole and became known as sneakers as the rubber soles allowed “sneaking around silently”

For a time, the company manufactured its products under 30 different brand names until 1916, when they decided to consolidate and use just one brand name.

The initial plan was to use “peds”, which is Latin for foot, but they decided to use Keds, which sounded stronger and better.

Keds shoes were first marketed as canvas top “sneakers”. Now the term “sneakers” was thought up by an advertising agent named Henry Nelson McKinney, mainly because the rubber soles of the shoes made no sound when walking, allowing one to “sneak like a thief”.

Check out these really old Keds ads:

Keds advertisement from June 1930Keds advertisement from June 1930

Keds became really popular among females in the 1980s when it was hot to wear them with slouch socks, leg warmers, or tights.

Keds advertisement from 1939Keds advertisement from 1939

However, the popularity of Keds simmered down in the 1990s as a lot of other shoe companies started sprouting.

Keds advertisement from 1953Keds advertisement from 1953

Today, Keds is still alive, breathing, and well-resurrected, thanks to a stronger and more effective advertising campaign that uses popular Hollywood celebrities like Amanda Seyfried and Taylor Swift.

Such celebrities have been quite instrumental in helping Keds gain back its customers, mainly the young female market.

A pair of Keds sneakers is like an LBD or a white tank. Every girl must have at least one pair in her closet. They are not just a pair of shoes, but classic and core items.

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