The first Nike shoes were made in a waffle iron. The running field near the Oregon home from the runner and trainer Bill Bowerman was creating a transition from cinder for an artificial surface, and that he wanted a sole without spikes that will provide him, along with his trainees, needed traction because they ran on it. The three-dimensional lattice in the iron offered a response, at least as far as the cheap nike shoes china. As for the rest of the design and style, at least at first? It had been utilitarian: created by runners, for runners, and concerned mostly with making their wearers lighter, and so faster, on their own feet.

That Nike is currently one of the biggest and most well known brands in the world is largely the doing of Bowerman’s partner, the person who recently declared his retirement from the company: Phil Knight. Knight transformed Nike, not overnight but near to it, in to a global powerhouse, known for both its successes along with its controversies. In the process, however, he did something else: He turned athletic footwear into fashion.

It’s because of Knight that, for instance, Kanye West has a signature shoe, the Yeezy Boost. And this, last January, Karl Lagerfeld of Chanel and Raf Simons of Dior sent signature sneakers down their runways. And this, last September, Alice Temperley styled her runway looks with sneakers. Which Mo’ne Davis, she of Little League World Series fame, has released a type of fashion sneakers for ladies ($75 a set). Knight knew, in early stages, whatever we take for granted today: that including the most practical of footwear-even the shoes we wear for such dull reasons as performance and, worse, comfort-could also work as fashion. He wasn’t in the shoe business, Knight insisted. He was in the entertainment business.

Sneakers started as luxury items. The first rubber-soled athletic shoes debuted within the U.S. in the 1890s-products, since the treads were the point, in the U.S Rubber Company. Rubber, during those times, was expensive, and leisure time was rare; the mixture resulted in the innovative shoes were worn, typically, only by elites. The sneaker market grew, however, during the early 20th century-particularly after World War I, whose effects had triggered a national emphasis on fitness and athleticism. As the nation’s first gym rats came to the scene, shoe companies began cheap wholesale nike shoes free shipping to match their requirements.

In response to that particular democratization came one of many earliest nods toward shoes-as-fashion. In 1921, setting its version from the newly popular shoes apart from the ones from its competitors, one company recruited wemjjs basketball player-both to enhance their shoe’s design then put his name on the final product. The business? The Converse Rubber Shoe Company. The athlete? Chuck Taylor.

It wasn’t until Nike emerged, however, under the marketing leadership of Knight, that sneakers and fashion became nearly inextricably connected. The Nike Cortez, released in 1972, took benefit of twin cultural trends-conspicuous consumption and a renewed obsession with fitness (running, in particular)-to market the be-waffled sole Bill Bowerman had invented. The Cortez was released on the height from the 1972 Olympics-and Nike had shrewdly ensured the athletes on the Olympic field were clad in the shoes. As well as the shoe’s design, too, had moved away from athleticism alone. Available in a selection of colors, and featuring, the first time, the iconic “swoosh” logo, the shoes were meant, CNN notes, “for those that wished to face out on the dance floor track along with the running track.”

Seeing the possible, other designers joined the party. In 1984, Gucci released its iconic Gucci Tennis shoes. In 1985, betting on a rookie athlete named Michael Jordan, Nike itself released its Air Jordans. (As worn on-court, CNN notes, the footwear were initially banned from the NBA commissioner David Stern, on the grounds that they violated his stipulation that court shoes be majority-white. Jordan wore them anyway. Nike happily paid the fines.) As well as in 1986, Run-DMC released “My Adidas”-not the initial musical ode to footwear, but a telling one. The song marked on the one hand the birth from the intimate artistic and commercial relationship between hip-hop and sneakers; it also signaled the shoes had solidified their status as status symbols.

Today, due to all of this, athletic shoe releases are met with the same type of fervent enthusiasm that fashion shows are, and not just in sneakerhead culture. Kanye’s Yeezy Boost 350 collection sold out on Saturday in a quarter-hour; in short order, a couple of these shoes appeared on eBay with the asking price of $ten thousand. Due to the creative marketing Nike and Phil Knight pioneered, cheap nike shoes free shipping are actually popular, and collected, and talked about, and infused with artistry. That is also to express: They are fashion. “There’s this prestige factor,” a sports industry analyst told The Washington Post. “If I will buy a set of LeBrons, it means I’ve got $175-and you also don’t.”