Presently, there are numerous footwear brands that are trying to compete for a place in the loaded market of athletic shoes. However, there are those brands whose logos have been on the face of every athletic event and have cemented a place head and shoulders above the rest. After an in-depth research, we managed to narrow the available array of athletic shoe brands to five who are simply miles ahead of the competition.
Founded in 1964, Nike is an American shoe manufacturing company which started as Blue Ribbon Sports before rebranding to Nike in 1978. It has arguably been the leading supplier of athletic shoes and apparel on the planet since the 90s.
Trademarked by the swoosh logo and “Just Do It” slogan, Nike has been endorsed by a number of A-class athletes such as Ilie Nastase, a Romanian tennis star back in the 70s. It followed suit with endorsements from other world famous names who helped raise its sales but Nike’s biggest coupe came when they signed basketball superstar Michael Jordan. Current athletes on Nike’s roster include soccer stars Eden Hazard, David Luiz, Andres Iniesta, Christiano Ronaldo and Neymar.
Adidas can trace its roots back to 1924 when German brothers, Adolf and Rudolf, founded Gebruder Dassler Schuhfabrik.
The two however split up in 1949, with Adolf establishing Adidas and Rudolf forming Puma. Adidas’ design is the three parallel bars set which is also in the company’s official logo. Its earliest endorsers included basketball stars Jerry West and Pete Maravich while the current ones include David Beckham, Lucas Moura, Kaka and Lionel Messi.
Founded in 1895 in England as J.W. Foster and sons, the company was established by Foster just for the purpose of making spiked running shoes for his sons. In 1958, Foster’s grandsons, who had taken over the company, renamed it to Reebok. The brand was then introduced to the United States, thanks to Paul Fireman who had seen a pair in a trade show. Its endorsers include Phillip Rivers, Eli Manning and Peyton Manning. However, since 2005, Reebok has been Adidas’ subsidiary.
Rudolf continued with Ruda, which he later renamed to Puma, after breaking up with his brother Adolf who established Adidas. Together, the brothers had hit a goldmine by succeeding in convincing the German athlete Jesse Owens to wear a pair of their shoes in the 1936 Berlin Summer Olympics. The two later parted ways and a bitter rivalry emerged to an extent of splitting their town. At one time, Rudolf got arrested and blamed his brother for it, further deepening the enemity. In the 1970 World Cup, the two companies made an agreement not to outdo each other while trying to win Pele’s endorsement which Puma breached. Puma’s other endorsers include Netherlands’ Johan Cruyff and Eusebio.
Converse Rubber Shoe Company was established in 1908 by Marquis Mills Converse and began making tennis shoes in 1915. The renowned Chuck Taylors, famously worn by Wilt Chamberlain when he scored 100 points in a 1962 NBA game are Converse’s product. Michael Jordan also wore a pair in NCAA finals of 1982 when he converted a winning basket. Sadly, though, ownership of converse has been with Nike since 2003 and no basketball player has been in court with a converse pair after Udonis Haslem in 2002.