Let’s talk Retro Shoes and Sneakers

Before Reebok and Nike dominated the sneaker market, in the late 70’s and early 80’s the shoe market had names like Stride-Rite, Jumping Jack, and some others that are more well-known like Adidas and Converse.

If you never wore clothes with pockets, KangaRoos, or Roos, were the shoes for you. They came with a small zipped or velcro pocket on the shoe for carrying your essentials.


I know one thing, other shoes claimed to make you run fast, but none delivered the ghost of Walter Payton chasing you, making little Timmy run faster than poop through a goose!

I personally loved Zips by Stride Rite. I loved the commercial with the jingle “Zips the big Z, Zips the Big Z, Zips!”, it had a kids sliding his feet in a pair of Zips in the dirt, making two lines, and then taking the toe of one shoe and connecting the lines to make a Z… The only commercial I could find was this one.

Check out the tone of this 1978 commercial for Whiz Kids shoes, do you think it reflected the times?

One of my favorite groups coming up was Run D.M.C., and if you know anything about them, they loved their Adidas.

Adidas jump on the bandwagon, and even gave Run D.M.C. their own shoe, the Adidas Brougham.


Of course, for the ladies out there, who could forget the Jelly shoes…


What were you favorite brand of shoes back in the day?


Full blown child of the 70's and 80's...

Latest posts by reerun25 (see all)

Subscribe to the Retroist Newsletter

* indicates required

3 thoughts on “Let’s talk Retro Shoes and Sneakers

  1. plcary says:

    I loved the Kangaroos! I usually got the white leather ones. I would keep a few dollars zipped up in the pocket for emergencies.

  2. Spotted Feather says:

    I’m a guy, so I couldn’t have cared less about shoes. I just wore whatever it. And having a size 12 most of my life made getting shoes kind of hard.

Leave a Reply