This was the first real sneaker with style among New York City’s hip hop community.
In 1916, Keds mass-marketed the first rubber-soled shoe.
The shoe was called the "sneaker”, a term coined by Keds advertising agent Henry Nelson McKinney. Unlike other shoes at that time, Keds let you sneak around when you walked because their rubber soles made them quiet. The US Rubber Company worked with tire giant Charles Goodyear who had patented the method of vulcanization used in Keds sneakers, thus inventing the sneaker. Keds was worn by Olympic Soccer and Tennis Champions, basketball teams, and winners of 13 National Tennis Championships
In 1949, Keds launched an athletic line called PRO-Keds
PRO-Keds introduced the Royal Hi and Lo, the first basketball shoe.
This shoe was first endorsed by the five-time world champion Minneapolis Lakers and their star center, George Mikan, the first true “big man” in the NBA In 1969 PRO-Keds attained cult status in New York with the release of the historic 69er. The 69er was adopted as a core element of cool and cemented its place within the hip hop culture of the 1970's and 80's. This was the first real sneaker with style among New York City’s hip hop community.