Skate Shoes Biography
Airwalk was a popular Californian boardsport lifestyle clothing company that hit its zenith in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The company made skate shoes, t-shirts, snowboard boots, and other products. Airwalk was established in 1986, and throughout the years sponsored various professional skaters such as Jason Lee and Tony Hawk. In the late 1990s, Airwalk went through some changes and their products weren’t seen in surf or skate shops for a few years, but new shoes are being sold at various discount shoe stores like Payless Shoes and Modells around the country. (source)
Better than catching air, street-cred Airwalk sneakers made thrashing up the scene sweeter than ever when kickers hit the board, and the board hit the streets. The skate shoes made for the rebellious set and named after a freeflying skateboard trick, Airwalks were the innovation of George Yohn and Bill Mann, two buds from California.
The duo formed the Airwalk company in 1986 in response to the high-tech, high-gloss performance sneakers taking over the market. Airwalks were the â€˜anti-Nikeâ€™: they werenâ€™t for jocks, they were for skaters, the anti-jocks. Airwalks were made for skateboarding, specifically designed with thick rubber soles and pliable tops for the ultimate in movement and precision work on boards.
The skate craze of the late 80â€™s saw Airwalks take great air, launching themselves onto the top of the market. The â€˜Jimâ€™ shoe captured the defiant spirit of the skating world, and parodied the other sports that were seen as inferior to the in-your-face skating realm. A fuzzy yellow felt tennis shoe, an orange leather hi-top basketball sneaker, and a dimpled toe golf shoe became instant hits not only in the skating world, but among other counter-culture individuals who didnâ€™t have a place in the jockified world of traditional sports.
Airwalk almost lost its steam in the early 90â€™s when public outcries about the nuisance of skateboarding got the boards banned on public property. But the rebellious attitude of skateboarding was what Airwalks were built upon, and they didnâ€™t go down without a fight. Skateboarding was relegated to skateparks, but other â€˜extreme sportsâ€™ carried on the fight: in-line skating, BMX biking, and where there was snow, snowboarding. And with that, Airwalks triumphed once again, supporting an ever-increasing audience for extreme fashion.
AIRWALK founded as skateboard shoe company.
Quickly dominates its category.
The standard in skate shoes was basic at best. Canvas and vulc were the norm. Being immersed in the culture, AIRWALK recognized the need to take skate shoes to a higher level.
Incorporating athletic styling into product designed specifically for skate, AIRWALK revolutionized the industry with a shitload of features that have become the standard today.
AIRWALK introduces snowboard boots. BMX biking shoes Quickly dominates categories.
In the early days of sport, snowboard boots did not exist. Riders were forced to wear ridiculous alternatives, aka; the moonboot.
Continuing as an originator, AIRWALK developed one of the first functional snowboard specific boots on the market.
Much like in skate, AIRWALK pioneered many of the features and benefits that are now standards.
AIRWALK introduces action sports-inspired active casual footwear; foretells athletic footwear market shift to casual shoes. Pioneers active casual successfully with action sports retailers.
AIRWALK markets directly to US footwear retailers; places shoes at retail nationwide.
Esquire Magazine US declares AIRWALK â€œThe Next Big Shoe.â€ AIRWALK begins image print advertising campaigns. Sales triple
Morgan Horan US Footwear Retail Survey names AIRWALK #1 Skate brand, #1 Active casual company, #3 Hottest footwear brand behind Nike and reebok, and #3 Marketing company in footwear industry. Sales quadruple.
US Ski/Snowbaord Industry Association Retail Audits name AIRWALK #1 snowboard boot brand in nearly all categories: technical innovation, comfort/fit, price/value, trendsetting
Teen Reserch Unlimited US names AIRWALK 20th hottest brand of all brands—amoungst not only footwear, but also soft drinks, cars, jeans, etc. (Levis, Coke, BMW)
AIRWALK launches into Europe with â€œDestination UKâ€ media blitz in September
Shoe & Leather News puts AIRWALK â€œHaircutâ€ ad on November cover
July AIRWALK launches first Pan-European advertising compaign. Sales continue to soar.
Spring Â´97 product & advertising position AIRWALK as worldÂ´s leading teen footwear brand. In 1997 after pedaling around in skate shoes for 10 years, the Foster Brothers hooked up wieht the AIRWALK design team. The result, the first BMX specific showe and first BMX signature shoe ever. The standard is never enough. With a vision and a concept, AIRWALK developed a snowboard with ACM, an advanced composite technology that has elevated the performance and dynamics of snowboarding.
In 2002, AIRWALK brings the truth to footwear. Verus, our exclusive technology continues the Airwalk movement.