100 Years of Women’s Sneakers

100 Years of Womens Sneakers Nike Cortez

Sneakers nowadays are a staple in every women’s closet. These comfortable shoes that we all love seem to be around forever. Shockingly that wasn’t always the case. Here is a jaw-dropping fact: once upon a time sneakers featured high heels! Not so high, but there were in a place we could never imagine them. Out of all shoes we own, sneakers are the kindest to out feet. So, we don’t want nor need a high heel on our most comfortable shoe. But women in the ’20s had only heeled sneakers as an option. Find out why in the video below.

As you can see it all started in the ’20s. Women wanted to participate in sports activities. The sport was considered as a “masculine” activity back in the days, so ladies couldn’t wear the same shoes as men while doing sports. Designers created sneakers with high heels to protect the femininity of women.

100 Years of Womens Sneakers sneakers 1920

Photo Credit: White River Valley Museum

A decade later the high heeled sneakers were swapped for a mid-heel Oxford shoes with more color options. We can’t say that these are the most comfortable shoes in the world, but they were at that time. You probably can’t imagine yourself at the gym with formal-looking thick lace-up shoes. But ladies in the ’30s only had Oxfords for all their sports activities.

The sneakers we know today appeared in the 1950s. With the rise of the tennis attire, ladies also wanted comfortable and stylish shoes to match their sporty outfits. The tennis attire was one of the earliest influences on the sneaker culture. The brand Lacoste made a history with their women’s sneakers that combined “performance and comfort with elegance”. The Pro-Keds were another sneaker style that rose to fame at that time. Both men and women wore the Keds.

100 Years of Womens Sneakers La Costa Women's white sneakers

Photo Credit: Lacoste

Since the 1960s to this date, the sneaker revolution only evolved. At that time New Balance debuted their “Trackster” as the first sneaker style specialized for running. As you can see in the video, it took some time for the ladies to get an ultra comfortable pair of shoes.

The 1970s were a period when people realized that sneakers aren’t only a sporty shoe, but a fashion staple. Iconic sneaker styles such as Nike Cortez and Converse One Star won the hearts of the fashion-forward women across the globe. These sneakers styles are present in the streetwear attire of the nowadays fashion icons as well.

100 Years of Womens Sneakers Nike Cortez

Photo Credit: Nike

Written by Ivana Steriova
Ivana Shteriova Karaniku is the content manager and a contributor at fashionisers.com. She is a fashion and makeup obsessive with a huge passion for writing. Although she holds a bachelor's degree in accounting and auditing, her love for all things fashion and beauty won her heart. Now, she is a full-time freelancer.