Shoes for the Gals

Sneakers were equal opportunity long before Title IX...

Gals ready for hot hoop action in their Chucks!Some of my readers have sent me quite nasty flame mail complaining that this particular Web page stereotypes what the gals like to wear for their athletic pursuits.

Of course, everyone knows that guy sneakers fit the gals reasonably well. In fact, some gals have written to say they would rather wear guy sneakers... complaining that the ones made especially for the gals were just not as well-constructed. However, if the gals have tiny feet. they may have to buy kid sizes to get them to fit. This has gone on for many years. In the Baby Boom years, basketball gals frequently wore Converse "Chuck Taylor" All Star shoes just like the guys did! The only difference is now the young women might be wearing Air Jordan basketball shoes instead.

As you can see, these Baby Boomer basketball gals have their high-top Chucks on and they're ready to go!

On the other hand, there are some women's shoes I'd like to have (if I could get them to fit). One example is what I call the "Moon Boot." Unfortunately, I wear fairly large sneakers.

My co-worker Melanie told me: "But Chucks are GUY shoes!"

Converse 'Chuck Taylor' black high-topThey may be "GUY shoes," but Melanie (and a lot of other gals) wear Chucks.

Gal Tretorns or Guy Tretorns?

Tretorn Nylite leather tennis sneakerAccording to Tretorn, the classic Nylite is exactly the same no matter where you find them in the shoe department. Tretorn does make them larger for guys with big feet.

Early Baby Boomer Gal Sneakers:

1946 Sears canvas women's gym shoeThe "Baby Boom" started after World War II ended. In 1946, the Sears catalogue offered these practical white gym shoes for $1.69.

Canvas Keds sneakerThings hadn't changed much by the time I came along. Except, as I remember, the gals tended away from high-tops; I rarely if ever saw one wear a pair until I was old enough to vote. You may ask: "Cheerleading?" That was a pursuit Baby Boomer Gals generally practiced and performed in canvas Keds.

Well, about 1985, things began to change in the athletic shoe market...

Reebok's Freestyle:

Reebok Freestyle white high-top female aerobic sneakerThe Reebok Freestyle, in my opinion, was another first in the sneaker market. It was the first athletic shoe intended just for the gals. It was the product that started getting attention for Reebok. The Freestyle is still quite popular, but more as a "knock around" sneaker as opposed to a serious athletic shoe. However, there are some quite serious athletic shoes for the gals:

Basketball shoes just for the gals...

Nike Air C14 basketball shoes, white with black trimIf the gals prefer them, they can (and do) wear about any of the guys' basketball shoes. However, some of the major manufacturers (including adidas and Nike) have models designed specifically for female athletes. This particular model is the Nike Air C14, named after Cynthia Cooper.

Nike Air Max Highup womens' basketball shoe in white with black and silver trimHere's another example of womens' basketball shoes: the Nike Air Max Highup, endorsed by Lisa Leslie of the Los Angeles Sparks.

Nike Air Max So Good womens' basketball shoe (white/blue)No high-paid endorser, no price tag over $100... this is the Nike Air Max So Good basketball shoe.

Nike Women's Shox Status - white with black SWOOSH, black and silver trimNike SHOX technology for the gals? Of course! This is the Nike Shox Status basketball shoe. Complete with ZOOM AIR in the front, SHOX in the back.

WARNING: Stereotypical "PRETTY IN PINK" sneakers!

High-top canvas duck Tretorn Nylites with pink trimI know some guys who wear Tretorn Nylite tennis sneakers, myself included. However, for some reason, they've always chosen to leave this particular model for the gals!

Pink L. A. Gear sneakersDon't get upset at the pink LA Gear aerobic shoes... or the pink scrunch socks... or the mandatory Velcro closures above the pink shoelaces...

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Last Updated: 18 April 2012 11:32

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Charlie's Sneaker Pages copyright 1995-2012 by Charles L. Perrin.

READERS PLEASE NOTE: Names of athletic shoe manufacturers, shoe styles, and technologies may be trademarked by the manufacturers. Charlie's Sneaker Pages uses these names solely to describe the shoes with the same familiar nomenclature used by the manufacturer and recognized by the reader.