Friday, February 13, 2015

Non-Fiction Pick: Sneaker Century: A History of Athletic Shoes

Sneaker Century: A History of Athletic Shoes
by Amber L. Keyser
Twenty-First Century Books
64 pages
ISBN: 9781467726405

A pair of size 13 red and white basketball shoes, graham crackers and applesauce. The sneakers sold at auction for $104,765--they had been worn by Michael Jordan in the 1997 NBA Finals, signed by him and given to the guy who brought Jordan some applesauce;  Who knew a humble shoe could be worth so much?

Sneakers have been around for over 100 years but gained in popularity due to exposure on television, in movies and magazines and on the sports courts. Young Hollywood stars like James Dean gave sneakers a real edge. Sneaker companies recruited sports stars to wear their brands. The battle for athletes became so heated, sneaker companies began hiding huge envelopes of cash in Olympic village bathrooms for the 1964 games. Cloak and dagger tactics were used due to the rule that athletes cannot endorse a product nor accept money from sponsors.

Sneakers' popularity soared (yes, pun intended) to new heights with their launch of the Air Jordan line. In one year, NIKE made over $130 million for the shoes alone. Around the same time, rap music began making a statement to youth across America. Many rappers were wearing high end sneakers and fans were copying their style.

The youth of the nation is credited to success of sneaker companies and the shoes' popularity.

Recommended grade 6-up and anyone interested in sports and/or shoe design.

FTC Required Discalimer: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review

This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at

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