When Were Sneakers Invented?

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Rubber-soled shoes, crude versions of contemporary sneakers, were created in the late 1700s. In 1892, rubber-soled shoes with canvas tops were invented by the U.S. Rubber Company. These sneakers, named Keds, were more comfortable than typical shoes of the time and began mass production in 1917.

Another brand of sneakers invented in the early 1900s were Converse All-Stars. Created by Marquis Converse, these shoes were made specifically for basketball. The name was changed to Chuck Taylor All-Stars when professional athlete Chuck Taylor endorsed them. The term "sneakers" was applied to rubber-soled shoes because they allowed people to walk quietly, or "sneak" about.