How Did Your Favorite Sneakers Become So Popular?

The trainer world is full of legendary models, ranging from the New Balance 990 to the Air Jordan 1. But how did these shoes become so well-known? And how do we know the names of these Sneakers? Teeanime goes back in time to answer these questions by looking at how these trainers became so renowned.

Nike Air Jordan 1

In 1985, the very first Air Jordan 1 appeared in a Bred colorway. The sneaker was designed by Peter Moore especially for NBA basketball player Michael Jordan. A fun fact to know about the collaboration between Nike and MJ is that the basketball player did not actually want to be a partner of the Swoosh brand.

Michael told us that he did not like the Nike sneakers at all. He admitted that, among other things, the Nike soles were too thick. Because of this, he could not feel the basketball court underneath him, which was quite important to Michael.

After a lot of negotiations, Nike managed to get the basketball player as a partner. Peter Moore started designing the Air Jordan 1. The sneaker was designed with a low sole and had to be “different” and “exciting”, according to the basketball player.

Banned from the NBA

Michael wore the kicks to a number of basketball games. Because of the eye-catching mix of red and black, the shoe quickly gained popularity. However, it wasn’t long before Michael and Nike received a letter. According to this letter, the Air Jordan 1 ‘Bred’ was banned from the NBA because it violated the dress code.

However, it was the Nike Air Ship that was banned by the NBA, not the Air Jordan 1. Michael donned this pair against the Knicks in 1984, and it featured the same black and red hue as the AJ1. Nike exploited this in a variety of ways to make it appear that the Air Jordan 1 was prohibited.

The shoe became viral once the video was released. The campaign video went viral, and the sneaker sold out quickly after its debut. Nike later released thirteen more hues, including the ‘Chicago’ and ‘Carolina Blue’.

These hues became the foundation for the legendary model’s evolution. Aside from that, the sneaker has a lot of effect in several subcultures. Meanwhile, the Air Jordan 1 has been launched in a variety of colorways and collaborations, and it is difficult to envision the sneaker world without it.

adidas Superstar


In addition to the Air Jordan 1, the adidas Superstar was released as a basketball shoe. This model was inspired by the adidas Supergrip from 1965 and had to go a long distance before finding a position in the sneaker market.

Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars took over the basketball world in 1969. The shoe was a popular model among basketball players and was seen at a number of games. However, Chris Severn, an adidas consultant at the time, recognized that the basketball sneaker industry remained stagnant.

Chris viewed this as an opportunity and began working with adidas’ design team. Basketball players’ ankles and knees began to suffer as a result of their quick movements. To address this issue, Chris created a basketball shoe with a leather upper rather than a canvas one (like Converse). He also incorporated the famed ‘Shell Toe’ into the design, as well as rough edges on the outsoles. This not only made the shoes more durable, but it also provided the kicks more traction.

Then it was time for the major job: finding clients. The consultant went to numerous gyms to approach sportsmen. Then Chris persuaded the San Diego Rockets’ manager, Jack McMahon, to let some of his players wear the Superstars. This was due to the fact that the players were suffering from injuries that the shoe was designed to address.

adidas signed basketball player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as an official partner in 1967. Since then, the model has grown in popularity, and the shoe has been seen on the basketball courts by a variety of players from various teams.


It wasn’t long before the kicks were transformed into lifestyle sneakers. In the 1980s, the firm began selling suede versions of the Superstar, as well as the iconic 3-striped Tracksuits. This was also the era of the popular hip-hop group Run-DMC. The gang was frequently seen dressed entirely in adidas gear, complete with Superstars on their feet.

Many saw the trio as fashion idols, therefore the brand was essential to fans as well. Run-DMC recorded the song ‘My Adidas’ in 1986 as a tribute to the Superstar sneakers. They also attempted to correct people’s misconceptions about ‘b-boys’ and ‘b-girls’ with the song.

Angelo, for example, went to a hip-hop group’s concert at Madison Square Garden. During this performance, Run-DMC yelled: “Everyone is present. Hold on to your adidas!” As a result, 40,000 people at a sold-out performance arena displayed an adidas sneaker.

New Balance en de 990 lijn


New Balance also makes a lot of sneakers, and 2020 was a very successful year for the company. Because of the 990 line, among other reasons. This year saw the addition of numerous varieties. The 992 and 1300 models also made a reappearance. But what distinguishes the 990 series?

New Balance introduced the 990 model as a running shoe in 1982. The shoe was released at the time as one of the most costly shoes on the market, attracting a lot of attention. Furthermore, the model was constructed using several technologies. The shoe was thus not only stable, but also cushioned and flexible. These features later formed the cornerstones of New Balance’s running shoes.

New Balance adapted the model and released an improved version in 1998: the 990v2. The sneaker retained its technical structure but received a new ABZORB midsole and DuPontTM Engage® technology.

Following the v2, various further versions of the model were released. They accomplished this by employing a method that kept consumers waiting for more. “Unlike a lot of shoes, we’ve decided to modify the 990 every few years whenever we feel it’s being saturated and consumers are seeking for new things,” Scott Hull, designer of the 990v4 and v5, told Sneakers Mag in 2019. “When we observe this, we want to excite the marketplace with a new design.”

New Balance released three further 990 models. The sixth variety appears to be on its way as well. Teddy Santis, New Balance’s creative director, revealed the first photographs of the 990v6 on Instagram. This sneaker is expected to be released in 2022.

Return of the 992


But it didn’t end with the 990. The 995 debuted in 1985, and versions like as the 996, 997, 998, and 999 followed suit. Furthermore, the brand’s shoes were distinguished by their grey color pattern. As a result, New Balance released many pairs in a ‘grey’ colorway, and the sneakers quickly became popular among the general public.

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was a great lover of the grey New Balance sneaker. There are rumors that Steve even helped develop the 992 model in 2006.

The 992 model was revived in 2020 and quickly became quite popular. This was primarily due to the brand’s awareness of the sneaker’s popularity. “There was definitely some pent-up longing,” says Brad Lacey, senior global design director. “In times of uncertainty, people look for something they can trust.”

The 990 line is one of the most well-known sneaker franchises in performance running shoes, according to the company. The relaunch of the 992 model was a huge success, as New Balance capitalized on people’s needs and faith in the brand. “People know what they’re going to receive in terms of quality and appearance,” Brad adds.

As a result, some of our favorite sneakers became well-known. The Air Jordan 1, adidas Superstar, and New Balance 990 line all have a long history and are among the most iconic models in the sneaker world. In addition, these kicks are far from being outdated and we can expect a lot of new variants in the future.