In 1949, PRO-Keds was established by Keds as an athletic footwear line primarily aimed at basketball.
Originally released as the “Royal Tread”, the first PRO-Keds product was the classic Royal, a canvas basketball shoe in high and low tops featuring a distinctive red and blue power stripe adjacent to the toe. The Royal was worn and endorsed by the Minneapolis Lakers, the first NBA Champions who won five consecutive titles in PRO-Keds, led by the great George Mikan.
Over time, new styles were added across the categories of baseball, football, tennis, track & field . Items utilizing exclusive shock – absorbent support and cushioning techniques were also developed to keep pace with the rapid advancements in footwear technology.
The Royal was the market leader in performance basketball through the 70’s, gracing the feet of famous NBA stars including Willis Reed, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Nate “Tiny” Archibald, JoJo White, Bob Love, Lou Hudson, Bob Lanier and “Pistol” Pete Maravich.
By the Late 1970’s PRO-Keds had become synonymous with some of the biggest personalities in basketball history and professional sports, and attained cult status as the first real sneaker with style among New York City’s early hip hop community.
The 1990’s saw PRO-Keds flourish in Japan, where the tennis shoe, the Court King, was re- worked in vibrant toe cap colors, special materials and limited edition prints. Many of these items are highly sought after by collectors.
Today, PRO-Keds has re- issued the classic Royal Canvas, the Court King and the historic Royal Master basketball shoe. Stocked in leading sneaker stores across the world, PRO-Keds will progressively release authentic sports originals…