Pro-Keds

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PRO-Keds
Subsidiary of Wolverine World Wide and Keds
Founded 1949
Headquarters Lexington, MA
Parent Wolverine World Wide
Website http://www.prokeds.com/

In 1949, Keds (shoes) established PRO-Keds, an American athletic footwear line, primarily intended for basketball.

The first PRO-Keds product was the Royal, a canvas basketball shoe in high and low tops. Subsequently new styles were added across the categories of Baseball, Football, Tennis, Track and field. Items utilizing exclusive shock-absorbent support and cushioning techniques were also developed.

History[edit]

1949-1969[edit]

The US Rubber Company made the first pair of rubber-soled canvas shoes called Keds in 1916. The brand became popular with athletes in the mid-1920s, and 1949 established PRO-Keds,

The first style of PRO-Keds was a canvas hi-top basketball shoe known as the Royal. Originally marketed as the “Sureshot”. In the early 1950s, George Mikan, basketball’s first true big man, endorsed the Royal and he and all his teammates on the 1953-1954 Minneapolis Lakers wore this shoe en route to a NBA Finals championship that season.

In 1969, PRO-Keds introduced the "PRO-Keds Super," which was also known as the 69er.

1970-1981[edit]

In the early 1970s, PRO-Keds introduced the Royal Master, also known as the Royal Plus. The shoe featured a rich suede upper, double power stripes, and a padded collar. It was available as both a high top and low top and earned credibility for both its performance elements as well as its key style features. Some of the game’s most exciting players including Pete Maravich, Nate "Tiny" Archibald, and Jo Jo White endorsed the shoe.

Over the course of this decade, PRO-Keds continued to diversify their footwear offerings. The Royal Edge, later known as the Royal CVO, was one of the brand's first lifestyle products.

In 1979 the Stride Rite Corporation acquired Keds (shoes) and their sister brand, PRO-Keds from Uniroyal, the successor to U.S. Rubber Co.

In the spring of 1980, PRO-Keds launched a collection of performance cupsole basketball shoes with the marquee model being the Shotmaker. The Shotmaker would be worn by Ralph Sampson and Gerald Henderson

In 1981 Sugar Ray Leonard became the newest face and spokesperson for the brand.

1982-2001[edit]

Throughout the 1980s, new styles were added across the categories of baseball, football, tennis, track and field. PRO-Keds also developed shoes using shock-absorbent support and cushioning.

2002–Present[edit]

Since the early 2000s, PRO-Keds focused on their classic styles in a variety of colors and materials. The PRO-Keds line was anchored by five cornerstone styles (the Royal, the Royal Master, the Royal Plus, the 69er, and the Royal CVO).

On February 3, 2014, PRO-Keds, now a subsidiary of Wolverine World Wide confirmed that it had discontinued the line.

On March 14, 2016, PRO-Keds relaunched globally.

External links[edit]