No discussion of laceless kicks would be complete without acknowledging Velcro. Apparently inspired by burrs stuck in the fur of his pooch, Velcro was invented in 1948 by George de Mestral. It took the Swiss electrical engineer a decade to perfect his hook-and-loop fastening system but over 50 years later, Velcro is used in almost every industry.
The US Army even has a ‘silent’ version that is patented for use on their uniforms.
Often used in sneaker design as a cinching tool to pull a shoe tight in the ankle or forefoot, Velcro has been used on thousands of basketball and cross training models. We always wondered which brand used Velcro for the first time on a sneaker – and now we know! During research for the PUMA Running Book we made earlier this year, we dug deep into the brand’s vaults and uncovered these track spikes from 1968. We are assured by Puma’s historian that these are the first... anyone say otherwise?
These PUMA Spikes from 1968 are the first runners to ever use Velcro as a closure system.
Check out our next feature: 2011 - BEST OF THE BEST SNEAKERS