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Collection Tier:
Tier 2

Sports & Recreation
Clothing and Accessories ➔ Shoes

These shoes, created around 1916, are one of the first designs produced by Keds, an American footwear company. Named the Champion, they are made of mauve cotton canvas and feature a soft rubber sole created by the U.S. Rubber Company. This rubber sole resulted in the company coining the term sneakers, advertising that Keds were so quiet, customers could 'sneak' around without being heard.  

Keds is a subsidiary of Wolverine World Wide, a footwear manufacturer founded in Grand Rapids, Michigan and based in Rockford, Michigan. 
circa 1916
Rubber, Canvas, Cotton
7" h 3" w 10" d
Museum Purchase

Keds was formed in 1916 and is known for manufacturing canvas shoes with a soft rubber sole. The first original design, known as the Champion, was the first mass-marketed canvas top sneaker. In the early 1900s, Keds was also known for the Triumph, created in 1926, and Kedettes, released in 1938. In 1979 the company was purchased by Stride Rite Corporation and in 2012 the parent company of Keds, Collective Brands Inc., was acquired by Wolverine World Wide, a footwear manufacturer located in Rockford, Michigan. 

Wolverine World Wide
Wolverine World Wide, founded in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1883 by G. A. Krause and Fredrick Hirth, is a footwear manufacturer based in Rockford, Michigan. The company is known for manufacturing brands such as Hush Puppies, Keds, Stride Rite, and Merrell as well as their own brand, Wolverine Boots and Shoes. 

United States Rubber Company
The United States Rubber Company, also known as Uniroyal, was founded in 1892 when multiple rubber manufacturing companies in Naugatuck, Connecticut consolidated their businesses into one. The company is known for manufacturing tires as well as other rubber-related products such as footwear. 

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