United Rubber Company Keds Conquest

Basketball, one of the most important sports in relation to sneaker culture, was invented by the Canadian-born James Naismith in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1891. Naismith established the sport for men at the YMCA Training School as a way to exercise, build camaraderie, and limit aggression while maintaining the Christian ideals of the YMCA, linking the pursuit of physical fitness to issues of morality and privilege. In 1915, a newspaper reported that basketball was “ideally suited for winter conditions, when the body demands violent exercise,” and could provide games that “thrilled the blood as much as any football contest.” The game also required very little physical space, making it a popular urban sport. It’s difficult to establish when the first basketball sneaker was produced or by whom, but by the 1920s, specially made basketball shoes were being offered by most major brands, including Keds.