Tires and Sneakers

Tires, as well as sneakers, are made of fabric and rubber. Therefore, there should be no surprise that many tire manufacturers at one time made sneakers. Interestingly, in South African slang, "tackies" can be either car tires or sneakers.


Firestone

Firestone sold sneakers in the past. In fact, Firestone tire stores once marketed all types of products (including radios and television sets).


Goodrich

B. F. Goodrich: Once in the sneaker business (1966)B. F. Goodrich, if you remember your Baby Boomer advertising, was the tire company without the blimp. In the early 1970s, B. F. Goodrich sold their sneaker designs to Converse and left the sneaker market. B. F. Goodrich originally made the PF Flyer sneaker line. The Jack Purcell (still made by Converse) was originally a B. F. Goodrich sneaker design.

In the late 1980s, B. F. Goodrich sold their tire business to Uniroyal. Eventually, they changed their name to "Goodrich" to avoid market confusion with the tire brand. Goodrich is still in business, making aircraft and industrial equipment.


Goodyear

Logo of The Goodyear Tire and Rubber CompanyThe familiar logo of The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company incorporates a classic and frequently-used graphic which veritably makes most think: "TRACK SHOES!" (The graphic actually portrays the winged foot of Mercury, the resident messenger of the pantheon of Roman mythological gods.) Goodyear once made sneakers under the "Wingfoot" name, but now they only sell rubber and polymer material to the sneaker industry.


Uniroyal

(formerly) United States Rubber Company

United States Rubber Company products for export, including KEDS sneakers

The United States Rubber Company originally made Keds. This vintage advertisement of the United States Rubber Export Company offered many products to Latin American buyers: not only the familiar high-top KEDS sneakers (called "botinas," which translates into English as "ankle boots"), but also tires, rubber hose, and V-belts.

Later on, United States Rubber changed their name to Uniroyal. Eventually, Stride Rite took over the Keds product line.


Goodrich and Uniroyal Today?

The tire brands Goodrich and Uniroyal are now brand names of the famous French tire maker Michelin. The closest thing Michelin has to sneakers is their tire-carcass mascot, Bibendum (better known as "The Michelin Man" or "Mr. Bib").


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Last Updated: 18 April 2012 11:32


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