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 sold sneakers in the past. In fact, Firestone tire stores once marketed all types of products (including radios and television sets).
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 B. F. Goodrich originally made the PF Flyer sneaker line.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 later on was acquired by United Technologies.
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.
(formerly) United States Rubber Company
The United States Rubber Company originally made Keds.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.
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: 29 December 2016
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Charlie's Sneaker Pages
copyright 1995-2016 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.