Sneakers That Divided a Town

7 04 2010

The Dassler brothers, Rudolf and Adolf, made significant contributions to sneakers and the footwear industry.  Both grew up in the small town of Herzogenaurach, Germany; population 24,000.  Their significant contributions began in the 1920s as they began a shoe business in their mother’s laundry room.  The small business was known as Gebruder Dassler Schuhfabrik and quickly became successful.  By 1936, the sneakers produced by the brothers were put on a world stage when American Jessie Owens won four gold medals in them.

Dassler Brothers

However, in 1948 the two of them had a falling out and could no longer work side by side causing their business to split into two.  Rudolf went on to create the Puma brand of sneakers, while Adolf created the three stripe brand:  Adidas.  Adolph got the name Adidas from his nick name, Adi, and the first three letters of his last name Dassler.  With the family feud, the town was split into two.

More of less in the middle of the night, Rudolf Dassler packed his bags and moved on the other side of the little river.  He established Puma on the other side. From there on in, the town was really split in two like a sort of mini Berlin with this little river as a partition in the middle.

To learn the full life story of the two brothers and their respective brands, click on the photo below.

Complete story on the family feud.

The feud between the two never did get resolved, and by 1978 both brothers had passed away.  Nonetheless, they left behind significant contributions to footwear by establishing well-known brands.  Also, they made many advances in improving athletic performance footwear.