Avia (shoes)

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Industry Shoes, Activewear, Wearable Technology
Founded 1979 (1979)
Founders Jerry and Don Stubblefield
Parent Sequential Brands Group
Website avia.com
A pair of black and gray Avia shoes.

Avia is an American footwear and clothing company that specializes in running, yoga and lifestyle activewear, shoes and accessories. Avia was founded in 1979 by Jerry Stubblefield, and is currently a subsidiary of the Sequential Brands Group.


Avia was founded in Oregon in 1979 by Jerry Stubblefield.[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. Jerry Stubblefield and his son Don Stubblefield 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,[5] which later sold it to the American Sporting Goods Corporation in the latter-1990s.[6][7] Avia has since been acquired by the Sequential Brands Group in the Galaxy Brands deal in 2014.[8]


Avia made its name 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.[9] Avia shoes are known for their performance, durability and comfort.[10] Former Louisiana State University Football head coach Les Miles wears Avia shoes while on the sidelines of every game.

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).[10]

In 1991, Avia filed a lawsuit against Nike, alleging that Nike's ''Air 180'' and ''Air Force 180'' running and basketball shoes infringed upon Avia patents. Avia accused Nike of pirating its ''Cantilever'' technology, which uses a cushion to provide shock absorption and stability. The company contended the technology has been the basis of its products since Avia was founded in 1980. Avia widened the suit in January 1992[11] and settled in December 1992.[12]

Avia introduced its line of performance and lifestyle activewear in 2013, building upon its continued success within the active category, and later came out with wearable technology in 2015.[13]


  1. ^ "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. ^ Giegerich, Andy (June 2, 2000). "Snowboards like none other stir Avia founder". Portland Business Journal. Retrieved April 18, 2010. 
  6. ^ "AMERICAN SPORTING GOODS TO ACQUIRE AVIA BRAND" (24/04/96), NY Times archive. Retrieved on 26/03/07.
  7. ^ Brock, Kathy (July 26, 1996). "Adidas has its eye on former Avia Group space in Beaverton". Portland Business Journal. Retrieved April 18, 2010. 
  8. ^ "Sequential Brands Group Signs Definitive Agreement to Acquire Galaxy Brand Holdings | The Carlyle Group". www.carlyle.com. Retrieved 2016-04-25. 
  9. ^ "Footwear News". Footwear News. August 3, 1992. 
  10. ^ a b "AVIA shoes". shoeshoeonline.com. Retrieved May 11, 2015. 
  11. ^ "COMPANY NEWS; Avia Widens Suit Against Nike". The New York Times. 1992-01-30. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-04-25. 
  12. ^ "Shoe Companies Settle Lawsuit". www.apnewsarchive.com. Retrieved 2016-04-25. 
  13. ^ Group, Sequential Brands. "Sequential Brands Group Announces New Category Expansion for Avia With the Debut of Wearable Fitness Accessories". GlobeNewswire News Room. Retrieved 2016-04-25.