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True or false? Facts and myths about sneakers

Livin' their own street life, they are often featured in hip-hop tracks or accompanying celebrities during high profile cultural events. They are the winners and they are the losers of NBA finals. They flash in Oscar motion pictures. They witness the loudest showbiz scandals. Living such a life, it is impossible to keep the gossip at bay. Sneakers - because it's them we're talking about here - are perhaps the most important element of street style. Countless urban legends featuring the most popular models should not be surprising therefore. However, it's better not to believe in all of them. Which of them are true and which are myths only? Keep reading.

MYTH 1 - "Adidas" is the acronym for "All Day I Dream About Sneakers"

A perfect sales pitch. It would seem that the founder of the adidas brand managed to infallibly predict the popularity of sports footwear at a time when the word "sneakers" was non existing. The truth, however, is completely different. Adolf (nicknamed Adi) Dassler took the name for his company from his own. And the first shoes by this brand had little to do with today's sneakers. They were made of diverse canvas fabrics and gaskets.   

TRUTH 1 - Adidas and Puma are related

Very closely, actually! adidasa - as we already know - was founded by Adolf Dassler. Puma was founded Rudolph - his brother This came to be only after many years when brothers were working together in the Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik factory. Conflict between the brothers resulted in the company's falling apart. Since 1948 Adi continued the work on his own, which soon took the shape of adidas. At the same time, Rudolph gave life to the new brand, which he called Ruda (also from his own initials), but then renamed it later to Puma.

MYTH 2 - ASICS is inspired by French aphorisms

Since we're already discussing the terminology, it's worth taking a closer look at the Japanese ASICS brand. According to the common opinion, the name came from a certain French saying, referring to running. Well, that's just a myth. Moreover, the acronym doesn't come from Japanese neither! It'is actually Latin. More precisely, it's a well-known proverb "Anima Sana In Corpore Sano", which means that "a healthy mind in a healthy body" resides. As you can see, some indirect relationship with running is present, but the words are certainly not French.


TRUTH 2 - British Knights model was taken over by the gang

Kinda true. It's like hooligans wrecking the whole image for a football club. So when thugs from Crips LA gang started wearing British Knights shoes and made them their hallmark, schools and universities prohibited students and students from wearing these sneakers in order to fight the delinquency. Meaning of BK abbreviation changed (by no means to "Burger King") to "Blood Killer", due to the gang war between LA gangs - Crips and Bloods.


MYTH 3 - Sneakers hung on high voltage lines = you're in the wrong neighborhood

Let's stay in da hood for the moment. It's commonly assumed that the sneakers hung n electricity lines is a marker of a gang's territory. In theory, they would keep the intruders away, but actually they indicate some backyard activity going on at best. Those are simply worn sneakers, hung by kids, bored with their old shoes. Some people - older ones too - hang them in various places... as a memento.

MYTH 4 - Slip on Vans owe their fame to Jim Carrey

Fire Marshall Bill is a character portrayed by Jim Carrey for a TV show "In Living Color". Now it's common to say that Slip-On Vans fame and iconic streetwear status were brought about by this very character. Absolute nonsense. Although Jim Carrey has little to do with the rise of the Vans, it is actually associated with some of his workas an actor. But the character in question is Penn from 1982 "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" comedy.

MYTH 5 - "Vanity Fair" owns Vans

... and Denzel Washington owns the Washington Post too, right? It doesn't and he doesn't. Although the similiarities in names may indicate it. Apart from a few characters in their names, Vans brand and Vanity Fair magazine have nothing in common, except the subject fashion. However, this myth may seem more true than others, considering that Vans is one of the brands owned by VF Corporation, which could (but it doesn't) stand for "Vanity Fair". Keep in mind that it's only the names converging. Legally, the magazine and the sneakers maker have no connection whatsoever.

TRUTH 3 - One of the Reebok sneakers owes its name to... its price

Though it may seem unbelievable, it's true. For some the sneakers naming system will always remain a mystery. Sometimes the models names are tribute to their designers. At other times, the relevant sports discipline inspires the name. However sometimes (conf. New Balance) the names seem to be just a mix of random numbers. This was not the case with 5411 - coding Reebok Freestyle 5411 model. The number 5411 comes from the original price of the sneakers ($ 49.99 + tax). The shoes promotion came mostly through fitness rooms.

We've dealt with only 8 urban legends about sneakers. The internet and, above all, the streets, are flooded by many more of them. Automatic assuming their credibility is a poor choice. Repeating catchy but unconfirmed claims is an easy way for being discredited by the true sneakerheads. Scrutinizing the trivia is better way to go. Make sure, whether it's a footwear world fact or merely a myth, that you are dealing with.  


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