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The Crazy Evolution Of Your Running Shoe

Some love them for comfort and style. Others love them for the functionality and support. The women’s running shoe has come a long way to help us log miles and continue to push through the toughest run.

Runners today benefit from the latest technology in a shoe that supports their athletic feet. Inspired from men’s shoes, the evolution of the female running shoe has come a long way—especially from the first one to now.

The Rise of Sneaker Culture, a past exhibition at the Toledo Museum of Art, traces that evolution from the 1830s to today.

Take a brief walk through history to see how style and function have come together.


Thomas Dutton and Thorowgood, Running Shoe, 1860–65. Northampton Museums and Art Gallery. Photo: Greg Washington, courtesy American Federation of Arts/Bata Shoe Museum.

Nike, Foamposite, 1997. Nike Archives. Photo: Ron Wood, courtesy American Federation of Arts/Bata Shoe Museum.


Fara Rosenzweig

Fara Rosenzweig

Fara Rosenzweig is a writer, editor, and certified personal trainer. She got her first taste of the gym at age 14 and fell in love with the fitness crowd. After suffering a back injury her freshman year of college, she had to set her ballet slippers aside and rehab her back. That’s when she found her passion for teaching fitness and helping others challenge themselves. Her senior year of college she ran in her first 5K and traded her ballet slippers for the latest (and brightest) pair of running shoes. Fara loves talking health, sports and fitness with any one and everyone. Her love for storytelling earned her an Emmy Award and has been seen in many other publications, such as Refinery29,, MyFitnessPal and Health.