Athletic Shoe Evaluation
Athletic footwear has been in existence since the 1800s when track competitors used spikes on their leather shoes. The leather fit poorly and the shoes would get stretched out easily making them useless very quickly. Late in the 1800s the Keds Company was born with the innovation of using rubber soles. Emphasis in the early 1900s was on basketball footwear. The main manufacturers in the athletic shoe market at that time were Adis and Rudolph Dassler – ultimately to become Adidas. They were making athletic footwear by hand for basketball and even some tennis players. The market for athletic shoes changed in the early 1970s when Frank Shorter won the Olympic gold medal in the marathon. By then Nike was building a presence based on their innovations in the running shoe market. This happened to coincide with America’s running boom. The demand for running shoes took off and so did Nike. As fitness became a major emphasis in this country, other forms of exercise such as aerobics started gaining popularity. Reebok capitalized on this and aimed its marketing and footwear to this niche.