Discovering the Soul of Sneakers (01:25)
This program, filmed in Canada, Germany, New York, Las Vegas, and Detroit, tells the story of sneakers. (brief mention of adult themes)
Sneaker Statistics (02:41)
There are 16,000 runners in the Las Vegas marathon. Two billion people wear running shoes. 700 million pairs were bought per year, but only 20% are used for athletics. This $34 billion industry spans nations and generations.
Early History of Running Shoes (00:47)
The Greeks ran barefoot. Romans wore sandals. In the 19th century, the British wore canvas shoes with rubber soles, the Plimsoll. U.S. tire companies started mass producing "the sneaker," so called because it's so quiet.
Three Stripes, Two Brothers, and One Family Feud (02:15)
The modern sports shoe dates back to 1920s Germany. Herzogenaurach is the birthplace of Puma and Adidas. The Dassler brothers started the family shoe factory. They made a lightweight sports shoe worn by Olympian Jesse Owens.
Breakup of Dassler Brothers (02:16)
WWII divided the Dassler brothers into enemy camps. Rudy went off to fight, convinced that his brother was trying to take over the family business. In 1948 Adi set up his own company, Adidas. Rudy stared Puma. The town was split.
Jogging Craze (01:07)
Puma and Adidas were undisputed world leaders for decades, until jogging swept North America in the 1970s. The jogging shoe of choice was Nike. The U.S. company revolutionized running and marketing.
Marathon Runners (02:41)
Randi Garvey is running her 15th marathon in Las Vegas. She shows off her gear. Barefoot Ken Bob has run 55 marathons barefoot and says it's only natural.
Why Wear Shoes? (01:56)
An Ethiopian medalist ran barefoot in the 1960 Olympics. Footwear has played an integral part in the highs and lows of competitive sport. A bio-mechanics expert explains that shoes are designed to cushion the force of impact.
Celebrity Marketing (02:13)
Superstar athletes are today's #1 salesmen. NBA All Star Weekend is a showdown between Nike and Adidas. When Michael Jordan teamed up with Nike in 1984, athletic shoes became part of the culture. Jordan is the sneaker champion.
Robin Hood of the Hood (03:12)
NBA player Stephon Marbury wears cheap shoes. He started a revolution with his clothing line, Starbury. His shoe sells for $14.98. He grew up in the projects and knows those kids can't afford the $200 shoes that are marketed to them.
Sneaker Pimps (02:51)
This traveling circus of street culture showcases the coolest collections and hottest sneakers on the global market. Founder Peter Fahe says the sneaker as status symbol is a global phenomenon, the biggest thing since the Internet.
"My Adidas" (03:12)
Sneaker culture was born in the Bronx, birthplace of hip hop. When Run-DMC sang tribute to their Adidas in 1996, sneaker culture went mainstream. Rapper and sneaker addict MC Serch talks about his collection.
Wear 'Em Twice, Put 'Em on Ice (01:23)
Northern Lights is a hangout for sneakerheads. Rapper MC Serch talks about collecting sneakers, finding the rare shoe. Sneakerheads have their own lingo. (Graphic sexual language)
Flight Club (01:37)
The best vintage sneaker store in the world is in Manhattan. A rare shoe called the FLOM sells for $9000. It was designed by graffiti artist Futura. The most sought after sneaker, the Pigeon, a symbol of New York, nearly caused a riot.
Your Sneakers or Your Life (01:03)
Kids were getting murdered for their sneakers in the 1980s. MC Serch says a collector will never ask you what size your shoes are. That's a sure sign of a jump move. It's a global obsession. There is more to a shoe than meets the eye.
Footwear of the Future (01:32)
The way shoes are made and designed today, they're a technological marvel. Highly detailed computer models are turned into 3D reality. New Balance of Lewiston, MA, began 100 years ago by imitating the arch support of chicken feet.
New Balance Factory Tour (01:59)
New Balance is known for making running shoes. The shoes have 27 parts. The lining is cut first. Stitching is done by a computerized machine. Vamping joins the front and back. The last is a mold of the contours of the foot.
High Tech Materials (01:44)
Modern running shoes run on suspension inspired by Formula 1 race cars. Air cushioning, the waffle soul, and the window in the heel were all technological breakthroughs. Engineering and design are highly competitive and top secret.
Pitfalls and Benefits of Shoe Technology (02:21)
Writer and running coach Scott Frampton says running shoes are almost built too well, enabling poor form. At the Human Performance Lab in Calgary, Alberta, a scientist says shoes can affect performance by 5%.
Superstar Footwear Secrets (01:41)
David Beckham's famous football shoe, the Predator, was perfected at the Human Performance Lab in Canada. But his shoes are custom made by Adidas in Germany, as were the boxing boots of Ali and Frazier.
Selection and Fit (02:55)
Alice Goldfarb Marquis is buying sneakers at Road Runner Sports, the world's largest running store, in San Diego. Dave Jewell shows several pair with high tech features. Running coach Scott Frampton gives tips for getting a good fit.
Sneaker Works of Art (01:48)
New Balance commissioned artist Josh Wisdumb to adorn running shoes with his signature elaborate line drawings. 1400 pairs sold out in two days. Tour Fetti D' Biasi's studio where she customizes sneakers to order for $50. (Graphic language)
Tailoring it to Your Taste (02:35)
Now you can design your sneaker on the Internet, or in the store. The program concludes with updates on the Las Vegas marathon and other stories and locations featured in the show.
Credits: Sneaker: Confidential (01:14)
Credits: Sneaker: Confidential
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