Vintage Keds Sneakers Return as Retro Pop Art Tennies

Remember Ked's Shoes? We used to call them "tennies" - they were lace up canvas shoes with a rubber soul and I must have had dozens of pairs of them in the fifties and early sixties. My brother used to have the hi-tops as well - they were introduced as Pro-Keds in the sixties and were marketed as basketball shoes. In fact, they were worn by many popular basketball players of the day.

Keds were "scientifically designed" according to Colonel Keds - remember him from this commercial?

I remember picking at the blue rubber label that was glued to the back of the upper soul until I peeled it off. I did it with every pair of Ked's shoes that I owned. I'd save that blue rubber label too, until I stuck it somewhere and forgot it.

Did you know that these style shoes were called sneakers because the rubber soles allowed you to be silent when walking - thus you could "sneak" up on someone?

I loved those shoes as a kid, I'd wear mine until they got holes in them from wear and tear and washing. Mom used to clean them in our washing machine - I think that's why she liked them, they were easy to keep clean as well as fairly inexpensive. When you had 3 children outgrowing shoes faster than a speeding bullet access to cheap, washable shoes was a boon to the family budget.

I hadn't seen those shoes in years - they got pushed aside by Nikes, Reeboks and then by all the designer athletic shoes with all the bells and whistles of today's sports shoes. Simple little canvas tennies were out of style until retro fashions brought them back. I even saw them worn by Bella Swan of the Twilight films!

Now, thanks to modern technology, I get to put my own pop art designs on those same Keds shoes and I can change the colors of all the laces, trim & rubber souls to match my art as well. It's a real thrill seeing my art on something I loved as a kid. . . and the first thing I did when I got my first pair of my Pop Art Keds shoes was look for the little blue rubber label on the back of the heel - still there but I think I'll restrain myself from trying to peel them off . . . maybe.

Ain't technology grand when it brings back something so cool from the past?

You can even customize the details with your own color preferences:

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