5 Most Popular Sports Shoe Logos Explained

Photo: Drew Angerer(Getty Images)

Even persons who never held a ball in their life and have a general disdain for sports wear sports brands’ shoes. So the majority of people are walking around the town with little marks of these companies on their feet. But how much do we know about the shoe logos that are in a way part of our identity, as we wear them daily? We broke down the most important sports shoe logos and explained their origin and the meaning behind them.

Sports Shoe Logos Meaning

Nike Logo Explained

Start with the most famous one, and the simplest one, which is also its greatest strength. It’s a common misconception that Nike’s logo is a checkmark, but since it has the fatter end, it’s actually called a “Swoosh”, which is a far less harmful misconception than that of the Timberland logo. The most recognizable logo in the world was designed by a college student in 1971 for only $35. The woman named Carolyn Davidson even suggested the mythical name – Nike, on the contrary to the founder’s idea of “Dimension 6”. The swoosh is supposed to represent the wings of Nike, the Greek goddess of victory. The name, the logo, and the phrase “Just do it” are all simple, yet they carry the biggest juggernaut of the clothing industry.

Adidas Logo Explained

The second biggest clothing company and the second most recognizable shoe logo comes in two variations, one being retro. The German company founded by Adolf Dassler (hence the name) first marked its shoes with just three stripes and the owner referred to his business as the “three stripe company”. After a while, the company switched to the Trefoil logo, which can be found today on the clothing labeled as classics, in order to showcase how the brand grew into other business besides shoe making. The current logo, The Three Bars, shows cascading bards, and it is supposed to resemble a mountain, as a sort of a challenge to those who wear Adidas to push themselves.

Reebok Logo Explained

Reebok had the most turmoil in regards to its logo as it didn’t stick to one formula for a long time, and it had a major visual switch in 2014. The first Reebok logo was the British Union Jack flag, which is sometimes still found on Reebok shoes, as to illustrate the company’s English origins. The company’s name originates from the Afrikaans spelling of “rhebok”, a South African gazelle, which illustrates the wearer’s speed and agility. The second, and the most well-known logo was introduced in 1986, and it is commonly known as “The Vector”, it’s just a two stripes stricken through by a third one. Sometimes colored differently. In 2014 the company announced that one of the most recognizable shoe logos will be going into semi-retirement, and will only feature on some Reebok Classics.

The new logo, or symbol as they call it in Reebook, is called Delta and is basically just a stylized three-part triangle. It illustrates the company’s switch towards fitness and CrossFit, so the Delta symbolizes three changes that happen in person’s life when doing fitness – physical, mental and social. It’s a nice backstory, but the shoe logo itself looks like a space trading company’s logo from a third-rate video game.

Puma Logo Explained

When it comes to shoe logos there aren’t any more striking than Puma’s but not a lot of people know the history behind it. The company was founded by Rudolph Dassler, the brother of the founder of Adidas after the two have fallen apart. The first Puma logo had the beast jumping through the letter D, symbolizing the family name. The company wanted a logo that would project their aggressive image in the market, and it would also reflect the power and energy for the wearer. The current logo that has a puma jumping over the word represents the company’s supremacy.

Under Armour Logo Explained

By far the youngest company on the list as it was founded in 1996, and by far the least uninspiring logo, which is somewhat surprising due to its modern origin. Since the company first started making under jersey clothing for athletes, it’s easy to see where does the name come from, and it is a good name. Combining the first letters of the company’s name gave the logo we know now. The company made a significant shoe logo crime by making the logo too big, and somewhat bulky. Comment if you disagree, we would like to know whether we’re the only ones thinking this.

Are there any other sports shoe logos that you would’ve liked explained? We already have a deep explanation of Lacoste.

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