Keds (shoes)

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Industry Sportswear and Sports Goods
Founded 1916
Headquarters Rockford, Michigan
Products Footwear
Parent Wolverine World Wide

Keds is an American brand of canvas shoe with rubber soles. Keds were introduced in 1916 by U.S. Rubber.[1] The shoe brand was later acquired by Stride Rite Corporation, and is currently owned by Wolverine World Wide.

When choosing a name, the initial choice was Peds, from the Latin meaning foot, but that name was already a trademark. Keds were first mass-marketed as canvas-top "sneakers" in 1960.[citation needed] They became known as sneakers because the rubber soles allowed sneaking around silently.[1]


In the 1960s and 1970s, Keds added casual shoes to its product line. In the 1970s a higher quality athletic shoe than the basic Keds called Pro-Keds was added. Most closely associated with basketball, they were intended to compete with the industry standard Converse high-top and inroads made by European imports such as Adidas, Pony, and Nike. The effort was unable to establish Keds as a successful competitor in that marketplace.

1980s to late 1990s[edit]

From the mid-1980s through the mid-1990s, Keds were very popular with girls from elementary school age through tween and teens and college age and beyond. They were often worn with slouch socks. Especially with the slouch socks worn over leggings with an oversized sweater, sweatshirt or tee shirt. Moms also wore this same trend as their daughters. Also Keds were worn with white slouch socks over black tights and a skirt or knee length or shorter dress or with the slouch socks and a baby doll dress over bike shorts or knee length leggings. Notable wearers on tv and film include Kelly Kapowski (Tiffani Thiessen) on "Saved by the Bell", Stephanie (Jodie Sweetin) and D.J. (Candace Cameron) on "Full House", Becca Thatcher (Kellie Martin) on "Life Goes On", and other popular shows. Frances "Baby" Houseman (Jennifer Grey) wore white Keds in Dirty Dancing.

Late 1990s to 2006[edit]

Keds lost popularity in the late 1990s, but sales increased in the mid-2000s[citation needed]. "The Champion" sneaker in the traditional white and black leather and canvas uppers remained essentially unchanged, but became available in other colors and patterns. In 2006 some of the Men's "Keds Triumph" sneakers were reintroduced, though Keds have always been more popular with women than with men.

In their 2004-5 song Rollover DJ, Jet sang "got your supersonic beats mixing up my Keds",[2] as part of the song's tongue-in-cheek attack on DJ culture.

2008 to present[edit]

Keds launched the Keds Studio, which allows customers to create custom shoes using images, text, and colors provided by Keds or from the customer's own files.

In March 2009, Keds launched Keds Green. The shoes feature organic cotton uppers, 20% recycled rubber soles, non-toxic inks and dyes, nickel free eyelets, and shoelaces made from 100% recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET).

Keds, along with Saucony, Stride Rite and Sperry Top-Sider, became part of Wolverine World Wide in 2012 after a joint agreement with Blum Capital Partners and Golden Gate Capital acquired the Performance Lifestyle Group of Collective Brands for US$1.23 billion.[3]

In 2012, Keds collaborated with singer Taylor Swift, who released her own line of the shoes on October 22, 2012.[4]

In 2015 Keds became popular with tweens, teens and college girls again and can now be found in most stores.


  1. ^ "Keds Sneakers". Retrieved 24 February 2010. 
  2. ^ [ Rollover DJ Lyrics]
  3. ^ "Saucony, Keds and Sperry Acquired by Wolverine Worldwide". Inside Insight. 2012-05-01. Retrieved 2012-12-14. 
  4. ^ "Taylor Swift Meets Her Perfect Match: Keds!". Refinery29. 2010-10-11. Retrieved 2014-05-29. 

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