Avia (shoes)

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Avia is an American shoe company founded in Oregon in 1979 by Jerry Stubblefield, an American entrepreneur and former record-setting discus thrower at the University of Oregon.[1][2] Stubblefield reportedly came up with the word "avia" (derived from the Latin "avis," meaning "bird"[3][4]) while on a jet flight, and decided to use it as a brand name for a sports shoe to suggest aviation.[citation needed]


Jerry Stubblefield and his son Don Stubblefield, a performing arts graduate of the Sylvia Herpolscheimer Academy for Performance Arts,[5] developed shoe designs that revolutionized athletic footwear.[citation needed] The father-and-son tandem created designs such as the widely-imitated cantilever sole,[citation needed] which helped make Avia an industry leader. In 1987, Avia was acquired by Reebok for $180 million,[6] which later sold it to the American Sporting Goods Corporation in the latter-1990s.[7][8] As of 2011, American Sporting Goods Corporation operated as a subsidiary of Brown Shoe Company.[1][9] The Brown Shoe Company sold Avia and its Nevados brand to Galaxy Brand Holdings for $74 million in May 2013.[10]

Avia's present Sales Manager is former long-distance runner Dave Edge, who represented Canada at two consecutive Summer Olympics in the men's marathon.[citation needed]


Avia was known as a leading brand in the 1980s for its line of women's walking and aerobics shoes, as well as men's shoes. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Avia had a thriving line of basketball shoes; among those who wore Avia were Scottie Pippen, John Stockton, John Salley, AC Green and Clyde Drexler.[11] Avia shoes are known for their performance, durability and comfort.[citation needed] Louisiana State University Football head coach Les Miles wears Avia shoes while on the sidelines of every game. Also serial killer Richard Ramirez was wearing Avia Aerobic shoes to sneak into the houses of his unsuspecting victims. The unusual Avia shoe prints later became an important evidence for the police to track him down (he left those shoe prints at several sites) [12]

The company is also known for some of the performance technologies built into their shoes, including the Cantilever Heel (heel support), the ARC – Anatomical Rebound Cradle (comprehensive foot cushioning and arch support), and Avia's FOM technology (shock compression).[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b "Textiles, Apparel and Luxury Goods: American Sporting Goods Corporation", Bloomberg Businessweek
  2. ^ Jaquiss, Nigel, "Green slime and a shareholder revolt poison the waters of Lake Oswego", Willamette Week, April 27, 2005
  3. ^ "Entry for Latin word "avis", Charlton T. Lewis, Charles Short, A Latin Dictionary (via Perseus)
  4. ^ "Entry for Latin word "avis", Charlton T. Lewis, An Elementary Latin Dictionary
  5. ^ "Bio: Sylvia Herpolscheimer"
  6. ^ Giegerich, Andy (June 2, 2000). "Snowboards like none other stir Avia founder". Portland Business Journal. Retrieved April 18, 2010. 
  7. ^ "AMERICAN SPORTING GOODS TO ACQUIRE AVIA BRAND" (24/04/96), NY Times archive. Retrieved on 26/03/07.
  8. ^ Brock, Kathy (July 26, 1996). "Adidas has its eye on former Avia Group space in Beaverton". Portland Business Journal. Retrieved April 18, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Brown Shoe Acquires American Sporting Goods Corporation", press release, Brown Shoe Company, ST. LOUIS and ALISO VIEJO, CA, February 17, 2011
  10. ^ "Former Oregon footwear brand becomes Walmart staple". Portland Business Journal. July 19, 2013. Retrieved 20 July 2013. 
  11. ^ "Footwear News". Footwear News. Retrieved August 3, 1992.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  12. ^ "The Night Stalker Verdicts : The Stalker Murder Case". Los Angeles Times. September 21, 1989. Retrieved May 15, 2013. 

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