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Athletic Footwear

Athletic FootwearIntroduction
Sports footwear refers to any item of footwear that is intended for sports use, but it can also refer to footwear that is sporty in style but not actually intended for sports use.

Sports footwear has various names, some unique to certain countries, some common terms are as follows: sport shoes, running shoes, gym shoes, tennis shoes, sneakers (America), kicks (America), trainers (Britain), runners (Canada), takkies (South Africa) sandshoes (Australia).

History of Sports Footwear
The origins of the sports shoe can be traced to canvas and rubber-soled lightweight croquet shoes, that were produced by New Liverpool Company (UK). At about the same time similar products were being developed in America that became known as the sneaker.

The 1970s saw an explosion in the sports shoe industry instigated by emerging competitive companies such as Nike, Reebok, and Adidas. Unlike more established companies these upstarts updated their footwear on an annual basis, and produced footwear tailed for particular sports. These new companies were succeeded using new materials, clever advertising, and cheaper offshore production. This era saw sports footwear transformed from a functional product, to a desired and fashionable product.

The 1980s and 1990s saw marketing budgets explode in an era of globalization. Nike’s budget exploded from $19,000,000 to nearly $160,000 in just 8 years, helping push the Air products to become highly desired.

Casual Use
Sports shoes are very popular in the casual market, with shoes that are sporty in style, but not intended for sports use. The association with sports and therefore health and achievement have helped grow the popularity of casual sports footwear. Indeed, this has been extended by deals between sports companies and famous athletes to help promote their footwear. The American term sneakers and British term trainers are more commonly associated with the casual use of sports shoes.

Use in sports
In the Twentieth century advancements in manufacturing technology and the emergence of new materials saw the development of a magnificent array of niche sports footwear. This has resulted in just about every sport having dedicated footwear: football (soccer) boots, tennis shoes, running shoes, etc.
Global Brands
Umbro, Nike, Adidas, Dunlop, Reebok, New Balance, Converse, K-Swiss, PUMA, Shaq, Brooks.

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