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. Stubblefield reportedly came up with the word "avia" (derived from the Latin "avis," meaning "bird") while on a jet flight, and decided to use it as a brand name for a sports shoe to suggest aviation.
Jerry Stubblefield and his son Don Stubblefield, a performing arts graduate of the Sylvia Herpolscheimer Academy for Performance Arts, developed shoe designs that revolutionized athletic footwear. The father-and-son tandem created designs such as the widely-imitated cantilever sole, which helped make Avia an industry leader. In 1987, Avia was acquired by Reebok for $180 million, which later sold it to the American Sporting Goods Corporation in the latter-1990s. As of 2011, American Sporting Goods Corporation operated as a subsidiary of Brown Shoe Company. The Brown Shoe Company sold Avia and its Nevados brand to Galaxy Brand Holdings for $74 million in May 2013.
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, and Clyde Drexler. Avia shoes are known for their performance, durability and comfort. 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) 
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).
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