Here are 25 Interesting Facts About Shoes

1-5 Interesting Facts About Shoe

1. Nike had conditions before giving rookie Michael Jordan a record contract: Either be rookie of the year, or average 20 ppg, or be an all-star, or sell $4 mill worth of shoes in a year. Jordan was rookie of the year, scored 28.2 ppg, named all star, and Nike sold $100 mill of shoes in 1984-85. – Source

2. After being scolded by a woman who felt that his shoes were too expensive for kids, Shaq forwent a $40 million deal with Reebok & signed one with Walmart. He then brought in designers from Reebok so that his Walmart shoes would look costlier than the $20 price. Over 400 million pairs were sold. – Source

3. Converse shoes have “fuzzy soles” so they can be imported as slippers which dramatically reduces import taxes. – Source

4. The rivalry between Adidas and Puma became so fierce that the German town of Herzogenaurach (where both companies had their HQs) became known as “the town of bent necks”, as no local would start a conversation with another without first looking down to check which firm’s shoes they were wearing. – Source

5. The New York City Ballet has a shoe budget of $780,000: the dancers go through 500 to 800 pairs of pointe shoes performing The Nutcracker over 6 weeks, and use up even more pairs in 2 weeks performing Swan Lake. – Source

6-10 Interesting Facts About Shoe

6. Nike created a pair of shoes that were so advanced, they were banned from the Olympics because they were considered technological doping. The Alphaflys, or “the shoe that broke running”, as sports scientist Dr. Ross Tuckercalled them, contain tech designed to deliver greater energy return. – Source

7. In light of the violence caused by kids trying to obtain limited Jordan’s, Hakeem Olajuwon released a cheap, $15 shoe and try and end the appeal of expensive shoe wear, stating: “How can a poor working mother with three boys buy Nikes or Reeboks that cost $120?” – Source

8. Someone stole Jim Thorpe’s shoes just before he competed in the Olympic decathlon. Wearing mismatched shoes (one from the garbage), he went on to win the gold medal, setting a record that stood for almost 20 years. – Source

9. During Prohibition, moonshiners would wear “cow shoes.” The fancy footwear left hoofprints instead of human shoe prints, helping distillers and smugglers evade police. – Source

10. On the first day of business for the shoe company Vans, the owners forgot to have cash on hand for a change. The 12 customers that purchased shoes that first day were all asked to return the following day to pay for their shoes and all 12 did. – Source

11-15 Interesting Facts About Shoe

11. The extra shoelace holes at the top of running shoes are used to create a “heel lock” or “lace lock” to prevent blisters. – Source

12. In a 1980s Nike commercial, a Kenyan tribesman’s words were translated as “Just Do It”; however, American anthropologist Lee Cronk alerted Nike that the Kenyan really said, “I don’t want these. Give me big shoes.” Nike responded back saying “We thought nobody in America would know what he said.” – Source

13. Two German brothers Adi and Rudolf Dassler, worked together during WWII making sports shoes. After a huge fallout between the two, they split up and started their own rival firms – Adidas and Puma. – Source

14. Bam Margera, while sponsored by Nike, hated wearing the shoes to skate so much, that he used other shoes and cut out a Nike symbol to paste over them so he could skateboard properly. – Source

15. Adidas are making shoes from recycled ocean plastic and in 2017 sold 1,000,000+ pairs of these shoes. Each pair of shoes takes 11 plastic bottles to create. – Source

16-20 Interesting Facts About Shoe

16. Tom Dempsey was an NFL kicker for the New Orleans Saints, born with no toes on his kicking foot. He held an NFL record, standing for over 40 years, for kicking a 63-yard field goal. ESPN Sport Science found the modified shoe (that caused some controversy) actually increased his margin of error. – Source

17. When jogging, British footballing legend Stanley Matthews would always wear shoes that contained lead, so that when playing football his feet would feel remarkably light, giving him the impression he could run and dribble faster. – Source

18. Michael Jackson had a patent on the shoes he used in Smooth Criminal, the ones that allowed him to lean forward at a 45° angle. – Source

19. Nike’s Cortez shoes were going to be called Aztec, but Adidas threatened legal action because of their Azteca Gold shoes. In response, Nike decided to name the new model after Hernán Cortés, whose expedition led to the Aztec Empire’s fall. – Source

20. Nike released a pair of shoes to commemorate St Patrick’s Day and named them ‘Black and Tans’. Unknowing to Nike the ‘Black and Tans’ were a British paramilitary group that terrorized the Irish, Killing and injuring hundreds of people in Ireland during the 1920s. – Source

21-25 Interesting Facts About Shoe

21. Puma paid Pele to tie his shoes in the middle of the field seconds before the kickoff of the World Cup final in Mexico (1970). The cameraman made a close-up and the whole world realized that the best player back then was wearing Puma shoes. Life changed for Puma after that event. – Source

22. High heels on men’s shoes were once considered virile and masculine. – Source

23. A man invented shoes called “No Place Like Home” shoes that have a built-in GPS that helps guide you home by clicking your heels together three times. – Source

24. One of the earliest and most iconic Nike shoe treads, the “waffle sole” was designed literally by its inventor, Bill Bowerman, pouring rubber into his wife’s Belgian waffle iron. – Source

25. The Areni-1 shoe is a 5,500-year-old leather shoe that was found in 2008 in near-perfect condition. For perspective, the shoes are 400 years older than those found at Stonehenge, and 1,000 years older than those found at the Great Pyramid of Giza. – Source

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Last Update: March 16, 2023