We all have them, we all love them: sneakers. They are more than just sportswear, they are an everyday essential and a fashion statement. Collecting sneakers became a popular hobby in the recent years. But there are some things not many people know about their favourite shoes. For example: What about the fact that the biggest sneaker collection is worth over 750.000 dollars and turned a guy’s life from poor to rich? How is that possible? The answer to that and many other interesting facts about sneakers, you can read below!
Did you know...how sneakers got their name?
There are several kinds of words for them: they’re called “sandshoes”, “joggers” or “gym shoes” in Australia, “canvers” in Nigerian-English and in South-Africa they are called “tackies” or “sneaks”. What’s most common, is the English word sneak, which comes from the Old English word „snican“ and meant „creeping“ or„crawling“. Years later, the word sneaking was used for people who walk around, not wanting others to see or hear them. Sneaking in the 1800s wasn’t that easy as it is today: people wore loud, clunky shoes back in those times. Later, rubber soled shoes became popular and were the first shoes to be mass produced: sneakers were created. Their main advantage: people could now finally move around faster and more quietly, without catching anyone’s attention.
... who first produced them?
Many people think that “Keds” invented the first sneakers because they were the first one to mass-market the product. Originally, the company “Goodyear” made producing sneakers possible in the first place. In 1839 they were the first ones who had the license for the process of vulcanization – more specifically: attaching cloth to rubber. Rubber shoes were first created in the 1870ies in the UK, and used to play croquet – slowly they became popular for athletic purposes under the name „plimsoll“. In the 1890ies the brand “Keds” started producing the first trainers in the US, describing them as the „first feel-like-everday’s-a-Saturday-shoes“.
...which sneakers are the most expensive ones in the world?
It may or may not be a myth, but what’s sure is that the sneakers rapper Kanye West designed with “Nike” is one of the most expensive ones: when he produced his album named “Yeezus” he wanted to have the right shoes for his tour, so he designed the “Nike Air Yeezy 2 Red October” and announced via Twitter that they are up for sale. Ten minutes later, they were sold out - each one for 245 dollars. Afterwards they were re-sold on Ebay - the highest amount of money someone payed for them is suspected to be 17 million dollars. Now, two years after its release, Kanye signed a contract with “Nike’s” competitor “Adidas”. In October 2016 his second sneaker, the “Adidas Original Yeezy Boost 750” is going to be released.
...who’s the biggest sneakerhead of all times?
He’s called Mark “Major” Farese and is the world’s most famous and crazy sneakerhead. He owns over 3.000 pairs of sneakers worth more than 750.000 dollars. Some of them are several kinds of “Yeezys”, “Air MAGs” and “Air Jordan 4 Undefeated”, which are the most popular ones. He grew up as a poor child in the Bronx and later turned his hobby into a profession by collecting all the money that he owned and the one he stole from his grandparents and investing it into sneakers. He would buy one pair and sell them six times higher than they cost before. Now he gets paid for being a brand ambassador. In the interview below, he talks about his passion and how collecting sneakers saved his life: