The fact is that everyone likes shoes. Not only do they add beauty to our outfit, but they also boost our ego and confidence. They define who we are. When it comes to picking any footwear, we always want the best. But I have a question, can you name only three sneakers brands and their founders? Do you know which year they were founded? Do you know what led to their creation? I guess the questions will take the last spot in your mind. It is something that many people have never taken time to think about. Many will strive to get the best Adidas shoes to fit their wardrobes without knowing where adidas shoes are made.

What do you know about Adidas and Puma sneakers? It is quite unfortunate that we flood the footwear line shopping the most beautiful, trendy and modern-fashioned shoes without knowing who created adidas or when adidas was founded. If you do not know, stay tuned as we visit down the history of the famous Adidas and Puma sneakers. In this piece of writing, we shall reveal all those details that lie behind the success stories of both Adidas and Puma, how they came to existence and what the future holds for them, and you will be surprised that you knew nothing if not a little about them. I believe after reading this, such questions like where adidas made their first launching will be at your fingertips.

Gebruder Dassler Schuhgfabrik

We cannot start talking about Adidas and Puma without knowing how they came to existence. Before everyone coming up with his brand os shoes, both Adolf Dassler and Rudolf Dassler owned the Gebruder Dassler Schuhfabrik which was translated as Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory. The factory was started in 1924 and was, by then, the only factory in Germany that manufactured sportswear. Due to its popularity, the factory became the leading supplier of sports shoes in the Hitler Youth during the World War, just after the Nazis took over.

The Nazi Regime

After the Nazi regime takeover their hometown, the two brothers began to work fully with the government. This led to both of them joining the party, although each had his gusto. Rudolf was believed to be a staunch supporter of National Socialism while Adolf on the other hand, did not want to be closely related to the regime. Due to these ideological differences, there increased mistrusts among two siblings.

Furthermore, the Gebruder factory was forced to manufacture military weapon, focusing majorly on Panzershrek, a shoulder-launched anti-tank rocket, that was based on the American bazooka. Rudolf Dassler took the chance and tried to plead with the high-ranking officials of the party to permit him to manufacture patented army boots. However, his move yielded no fruits.

The Fall Of Nazi Regime

When the allies captured the town, there was an American denazification program that led to the persecution of Nazi leaders. Rudolf was arrested and taken to an internment camp in Hammelburg where he was interrogated after he was suspected to be part of Nazi leaders. He was however released on 31st July 1946 when the investigation over his involvement with the Nazi party was not worthy. Adolf, on the other hand, was trialled for his co-operation with the Nazi part and declared Belasteter. Belasteter was the title for those who take advantage of the Nazi regime. Adolf was therefore supposed to be sentenced with 10-years imprisonment and was also threatened to be removed from the managerial position of the Dassler empire.

Adolf was rescued by a trusted allied co-operator, the mayor of Herzogenaurach, who testified saying that Adolf had given him a warning for an impending Gestapo arrest. The mayor also seconded Adolf’s claims that he was not directly involved with Nazi party politics. Adolf was later lowered to the rank of Minderbelasteter, serving two to three years in jail, still losing position as the head of Dassler business. Rudolf took advantage of the situation and submitted a declaration saying that Adolf was the chief organizer of the massive production of military weapons for his gains and was not forced. However, his claims were proved deceitful as the financial records of the business indicated a German Mark loss of 10,000 in one season of weapon manufacturing.

Additionally, Kathe Dassler, Adolf's wife, contested most of Rudolf's claims leading to a successful downgrade of her husband to Mitlaufer, which is translated as Follower. At this stage, Adolf was allowed to manage his business, although with close supervision from the denazification board. It was on 3rd February 1947 that Adolf entirely took over the management of his firm.

The City Divided

After the release of Adolf, both families became hostile to each other, especially after Rudolf attempted to withdraw his brother from the management of the firm. The rivalry between the two brothers is what gave birth to the current Adidas and Puma footwear in 1947. The town was also divided into two firms, being referred to as ‘the town of bent necks’. Everyone would bend their necks to see which shoes you were wearing.

The History of Adidas

Adidas AG is an abbreviation of Adolf Dassler’s name, who created adidas (‘Adi’ from Adolf while ‘das’ from Dassler). It was the second-largest sportswear manufacturer in the world after Nike and the largest in Europe. Its products are marked with a three-stripe trademark. The firm grew faster in the1950s as football players started wearing Adidas shoes, which were characterized by lightweight and screwed-in studs. In 1963, the company started producing soccer footballs, and apparel production four years later. Adidas company ruled the market for many years with its sportswear until the 1970s when the competition grew especially from the introduction of new firms such as Nike. The founder of Adidas, Adolf Dassler died in 1978 leading the company to experience market shares fallouts in the 1980s, even after an innovative endorsement deal with the rap group Run- D.M.C, which created the hit song 'My Adidas.'

The years 1990 to 1993, the Adidas company was put under the leadership of the French business executive Bernard Tapie, who was scandal-tainted, but he failed to revive it. The company was later sold to investors, bringing in a Frenchman Robert Louis-Dreyfus, leading the company to acquire the Salomon Group in 1997. Salomon also owned the golf supplier TaylorMade, although it was best known for winter sports products. In 2001, Adidas changed its name to Adidas-Salomon AG, moving to retail and following the lead of Nike. It also entered a successful partnership with Stella McCartney, the clothing designer, in 2004. Adidas further sold Salomon in 2005 holding on to TaylorMade brand and changed its name back to Adidas AG in 2006.

Later on, Adidas included the Reebok company in its acquisitions. Reebok owned the Rockport shoe brand. Adidas further acquired Five Ten which makes outdoor sports shoes in 2011. Finally, Adidas AG sold TaylorMade in 2017.

Most famous Adidas shoes.

Adidas remains the popular sneakers in the world even in the present day. Not only are they loved in Herzogenaurach, Germany where adidas shoes are made, but also worldwide. The company’s popularity grew especially after partnering with Kanye West and Pharrell Williams. Some of the popular Adidas sneakers include;

  • Adidas Ultra Boost

  • Adidas Gazelle

  • Adidas Samba.

  • Adidas N.M.D.

  • Adidas Yeezy Powerphase

  • Adidas Futurecraft 4D

  • Adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2

  • Adidas Superstar

  • Adidas Yeezy Boost 700

  • Adidas Stan Smith

The Puma History

Puma was born out of siblings' rivalry between Adolf and Rudolf Dassler. Rudolf created it in 1948. Initially, the brand was named Ruda, the abbreviation of his name (‘Ru’ from Rudolf and ‘da’ from Dassler). He later changed the name to PUMA Schuhfabrik Rudolf Dassler, which is translated as Rudolf Dassler’s PUMA Shoe Factory. The brand is the third largest footwear manufacturer in the world after Nike and his brother’s Adidas. The firm also grew steady and became one of the biggest in sneaker culture due to the help of a revolutionary football boot, a Pele-featured world cup marketing stunt, and close contact with sports and athletes.

The historical life of PUMA is stated as follows;

  • 1952: Rudolf developed the Super Atom footwear with screw-in studs.

  • 1958: The launching of the iconic PUMA formstrip logo.

  • 1960: It becomes the first sportswear to use vulcanization in its manufacture.

  • 1970: Rudolf’s son Armin Dassler and Adolf’s son Horst Dassler agree to put Pele out of bounds during the 1970 FIFA World Cup. Pele stopped the referee on the opening whistle to tie his PUMA laces, giving the viewers a chance to see his PUMA shoes. However, Pele received $ 120,000 on wearing the Formstrips.

  • 1973: The launching of the Clyde style, that was designed for a basketball player Walt ‘Clyde’ Frazier.

  • 1974: The death of Rudolf Dassler leading for a lengthy legal intervention between his sons Armin and Gerd Dassler. However, Armin finally becomes the head of the company.

  • 1985: Boris Becker, a tennis champion partners with PUMA to create the sneakers bearing his name.

  • 1991: The launching of the Puma Disc running shoes that features an innovative fastening system using a rotating disc to tighten the shoe.

  • 1998: The signing of Serena Williams, the world’s women’s tennis champion.

  • 2004: It officially becomes the critical supplier to the Scuderia Ferrari F1 team.

  • 2012: PUMA gets an endorsement deal with Borussia Dortmund for making kits.

  • 2014: A historical deal with Arsenal Football Club.

  • 2015: PUMA signs Rihanna as the brand ambassador for Women’s Training joining as Women’s Creative Director.

  • 2018: A series of events including collaboration with Hello Kitty, signing of B.T.S. as the global brand ambassador, and announcing Jay Z as a creative director for PUMA Basketball. It also re-enters the basketball footwear market for the first time in 20 years

Popular PUMA sneakers

Although PUMA has experienced stiff competition from close rivals such as Adidas and Nike, it still survives the test of time in producing the best sportswear. Here is a list of popular PUMA sneakers that have lasted since their introduction.

  • Puma Clyde

  • Puma Suede

  • Puma Clyde Court

  • Puma RS-X

  • Puma Ralph Sampson Mid

  • Puma Roma

  • Puma Cell Alien.

Existing Rivalry

It is no surprise that the two industries Puma and Adidas still fight for popularity to date. There has also been a competitive rivalry between Adidas and Nike that is prevailing at the moment. However, Adidas appears to hold a more significant part in history for radical production of screw-in studs’ sportswear, something that would be remembered for a long time especially after the West Germans defeated the Hungarians with 3-2 win in 1954 match wearing Adidas shoes. The winning permanently secured Adolf together with his company a place in history. The two brothers’ co-operation with the Nazi regime was also profitable, although such collaboration could lead to death. The consequences they could face if they did not work with the Nazi Party was fatal.

Bottom line

It is a long history indeed. Two brothers competing for popularity in the footwear industry is something interesting, but at the same time saddening. However, if it were not for their rivalry, I believe there could be no Adidas or Puma sneakers. Something we could not have known is that their rivalry was only brought by the entry of the Nazi regime in their home town. Therefore, the Nazi Party holds a more significant part in the split of the two brothers, leading to the birth of the two largest footwear brands, PUMA and Adidas. We could be having only Adidas or Puma at the moment-only history has it.

However, something we did not know is that the two brothers co-owned Gebruder Dassler Schuhfabrik, a family company that was created by their father. The company found notoriety in sport's shoes worldwide when the Amsterdam Olympics saw most German athletes wearing Dassler outfits. The history says that it was their father who created adidas in Herzogenaurach town where adidas shoes are made. I hope with this historical visit; one can quickly answer questions like when adidas was founded.

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