The design of sneakers

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Sneakers for winners

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Since the beginning of the 20th century, the first sports shoes manufacturers have worked for the great athletes. The growth of brands like Converse or Dassler is linked to the success of these champions, who make the headlines. From basketball to marathon, from pole vaulting to Formula 1, the aim is to conceive the best tool to satisfy the demands of the athletes and enable them to achieve new records in every major international competition. The Olympic Games or the great NBA championship shape the incredible aura of these athletes, who are models to youth and fans alike.
The latter project themselves in the brand of their idol or even better, choose the eponymous models also known as « signature », like the Converse Chuck Taylor, the Puma Clyde or the most famous Adidas Stan Smith. Like the rock bands of the 1960’s, athletes have become idols and have been the subject of a star system with increasing financial stakes, the shoe constituting the emblem, the ultimate fetish object.

“Sneakers for Winners” (general view) - Exhibition Playground - The design of sneakers, 2020
© Alastair Philip Wiper

The aura of the Olympics Games

Marathon shoe, Adidas, 1956
Worn by Emil Zatopek for the Melbourne Olympics Games (marathon) in 1956
Collection Musée Olympique, Lausanne
© madd-bordeaux

Boxe shoes, Adidas, 2004
Worn and signed by Jérôme Thomas for the Athens Olympics Games in 2004
Musée National du Sport, Nice
© madd-bordeaux

Biathlon shoes, Rossignol, 2004
Worn by Vincent Defrasne in 2004
Musée National du Sport, Nice
© madd-bordeaux

Theseus Spikes, PUma, 2008
Athletics shoe signed by Usain Bolt, gold medal of the Bejing Olympics Games (100m) in 2008
PUMA archive
© madd-bordeaux

Hanball shoe, Adidas, 2011
Worn by Nikola Karabatic during the Men's World Championships final in Malmô (Sweden) in 2011
Musée National du sport, Nice
© madd-bordeaux