Sports shoes are as popular now as they have ever been. For a long time now, they have overlapped from the sports arena and into the consumer market. A huge industry worth billions worldwide, the sports shoe shows no sign of diminishing.
So what is the history of the sports shoe? How did they come about and why are they so popular?
It all began (as it seems many things did) in the Victorian era. In the middle of the 19th century, the UK was getting smaller. Transport was developing and so was industry. Class divides had never been greater. The need for leisure was growing. The seaside seemed closer than ever before. Sport was taking off with croquet, tennis, golf, cricket, rugby and soon to be football all forming. These were exciting times. But all this couldn’t be achieved in the traditional hard, black shoe.
Enter the Liverpool Rubber Company, who developed footwear specifically to be worn on the beach in comfort. Essentially, they had a rubber sole and a canvas upper. Known as sand shoes,