Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Call for a Dunlop Volley Day (DVD)

It may surprise you but many CBD commuters travel to and fro work wearing trainers. Concerns for foot health among a generation of power dressers has prompted a young Australian shoe designer to develop a prototype heeled shoe which converts to a lower "sensible" heel so promenaders need not lose the edge of fashion as they step out to walk to work.

There are three competing theories to explain the rise in popularity of sporty shoes in older populations. The first relates to a transport strike in NY when the city ground to a halt and people had to walk to work. They chose to wear their leisure shoes. Designers saw a window of opportunity and the fashionista had to be seen in designer trainers. A similar renaissance has been seen in Wellingtons thanks mainly to Hollywood glitterati living the English Country Life.

The second theory relates to Jane Fonda and the fashion fad for aerobics. When she started to produce her home exercise videos set to contemporary music the "30's something" had to have the gear as well as the exercise experience.

Finally and probably the most likely answer is as the 60s generation (The Bulge post war kids) have aged they have taken their habits (good and bad) with them. Keds and Chucks belong to the beat generation and they intend to grow old disgracefully wearing their canvas topped rubber soled shoes (and /or equivalent).

I have always barracked for a special day in Australia to commemorate the grandfather of the modern trainer, Adrian Quist. He was a champion tennis player before World War II and realized that ground traction was the secret to better foot control after seeing boaties negotiated wet decks. He convinced the Dunlop Rubber company to include tread patterns on their tennis shoes and the Dunlop Volley was invented.

For thirty years, DVs ruled the scene until the 70s boom brought in the designer trainer.

About time Australia recognized the man whose surname rhymes with "Brahms and List"

Reviewed 15/01/2017

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