Never without… waffle! The birth of sneakers

Those who are following the episodes of Gloria, for sure they figure out how AbanoRitz and fashion go hand in hand. Through the years fashion switched in a style for sure more casual than the one flaunted for years by Emma Barillari (yes, cause this was the maiden name of the mother of Terry and Ida Poletto). Nowadays, especially with the times we live, tracksuits and sneakers are increasingly sought mainly for their comfort and now exceed being linked to the world of sport.

Already at the time of the first Olympic games, athletes wore ergonomic footwear to perform physical exercises. The Indians, instead, to protect the sole of the foot, spread a sort of latex extracted from the bark of rubber.

In 1839 Charles Goodyear invented the vulcanized rubber, that it means, an elastic, impermeable and malleable substance obtained from rubber chemically linked to sulphur by heating. This material is used for the first gym shoes, produced in the United Kingdom and called Plimsoll, in honor of Samuel Plimsoll. The latter, in fact, had designed the waterline on the side of the ships to signal load limits and the white rubber strip on the sides of the shoes reminded it a lot. Once landed in the United States, the final product takes the name of Sneakers, from the verb to sneak, that is to “approach silently”, a term that goes up to the present day.

In 20th century the gym shoe has an astonishing evolution and expansion. Every sport begins to have its own line of shoes, improved and adapted according to the sport, both from the point of view of materials and production technology.

In 1916 began the sale of the Keds model “Champion”, canvas shoes with rubber sole: the first sneaker produced in series. This type of shoe therefore becomes a product for the mass and not exclusively for a privileged few people. In the 20s, Converse launched the All Star model with the support of Chuck Taylor, American basketball player and coach: a huge success.

So we arrive at 1924 in Herzogenaurach, Germany, where the brothers Rudolf and Adolf “Adi” Dassler enter the market opening a company specialized in sport shoes. As all large companies, this also starts from small spaces: the laundry at home.

We are at the Olympic games of 1936 when the American basketball team shows up with the Converse on their feet and the speedster Jesse Owens wins four gold medals wearing the running shoes of the Dassler brothers.

After World War II, the two brothers separated badly. The most well-known quarrel was during a bombing in 1943. This is how two brands are born in competition with each other and still today in the lead in the sports world: Adolf founds Adidas and Rudolf gives life to Puma. A german movie tells their story: Duell der Brüder – Die Geschichte von Adidas und Puma (trad. The Duel of the Brothers – The Story of Adidas and Puma), by Oliver Dommenget and broadcast on television for the first time in March 2016.

In the 50s the boom. Movie stars dress sneakers not only for sport, but in daily normality with jeans. This style of shoes becomes a symbol of fashion, worship, rebellion and emancipation and in about twenty years from its spread it reaches the highest levels. Phil Knight, a student at the Oregon University, founded the Blue Ribbon Sports with Bill Bowerman, his coach, in 1964 and began marketing of the japanese Onitsuka Tiger in the United States. Because of their success, they decide to create their own brand and the brainwave comes from the waffle making machine. In 1971 Nike born, a name chosen in honor of the winged Greek goddess who personifies the victory.

The first Nike soles are designed by Bill Bowermann who forgets a pair of Tigers on the top of his wife’s waffle machine melting the rubber. It forms in this way the typical sole with checkered structure that still distinguishes the shoes Nike.

Sneakers are now ubiquitous in our streets and they represent each one of us. From shoes you can understand many things about an individual, but sneakers have multiple meanings letting the interests, the culture, the social class shine through.

It wins over all the simple desire to move comfortably. And to do not forget… here is the recipe for waffles (even without the special machine).

Preparation for 4 people:

Beat the whites of 4 eggs with a pinch of salt until stiff. Apart, beat the egg yolks with 100 grams of sugar and incorporate 60 grams of melted butter, 200 grams of flour and a sachet of vanillin. Combine everything and the dough is ready.

Pan in hand and let’s go! You have to cook the batter until it will be golden and then put it on a plate. At this point you will have many rounds to carve as you want once cooled.

To have a simil-waffle shape, take a knife and cut them into squares by carving small squares in the center. Or you can also use small square shapes to fit into the dough while cooking to get the honeycomb effect.

From caramel to chocolate, through fruit and whipped cream, or even with ice cream and various grains… the garnish is subjective. Bon appetite!

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