07 August 2012

Reboot: Olympic Fever

The Olympic Games have people in Australia and all over the world glued to their computers, television sets, and radios.

If you've contracted Olympic fever, a visit to Reboot: Function, Fashion and the Sneaker will be well worth your while...

Olympic Technology
Olympic footwear is the ultimate in state of the art performance. These shoes are designed
by specialist teams with expertise not only in industrial or product design, but mechanical
engineering, physiology, bio–mechanical and sports engineering and sports medicine.
The shoes are developed and tested in top secret high–tech biomechanics laboratories,
many of which are dedicated to producing the perfect running shoe.

Are you an Olympics devotee? Reboot is showcasing some of the most cutting edge sports technology from the Olympic Games in Sydney, Athens, Beijing, and London, including running spikes, boxing shoes, and sailing shoes. Features in the show are replicas of Usain Bolt's gold medal-winning sprinting shoes.

The Birth of Modern Sport

The infamous feud between German brothers Adolf (Adi) and Rudolf Dassler, known as the 'Sneaker Wars', resulted in the formation of shoe giants PUMA and Adidas. It also changed the face of sport forever, turning it from an amateur past-time into a multi-million dollar industry.

Adi and Rudolf formed shoe company Gebruder Dassler in 1924. The company quickly grew in profile and sprinter Jesse Owens was wearing Gebruder Dassler spikes during his four gold medal wins at the 1936 Olympics.

During WWII, underlying friction between the brothers exploded and the two became sworn enemies, with Adi starting Adidas and Rudolf starting PUMA. The family feud divided the brothers' home town of Herzogenaurach and soon each company had its own soccer team, and employees drank in different pubs and sent their children to different schools.

The Sneaker Wars were continued into the next generation by the brothers' sons, Horst and Armin Dassler. After the first major battleground, the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, each subsequent Olympics saw the brand battle intensify.

While other brands such as Onitsuka Tiger, Mizuno, Converse, Reebok, and Nike have since joined the battle, it was the fierce competition between adidas and PUMA that catapulted sport (and the humble athletic shoe) into the institution it is today.

You can read all the juicy details of the Dassler Sneaker Wars at the Reboot exhibition, as well as see the evolution that the humble sneakers has undergone over the years. 

Reboot: Function, Fashion and the Sneaker

Reboot will finish wrap up on 16 August, which only gives you a few more days to take a look. Whether your cup of tea is the Olympic element, fashion collaborations, or the Converse Blank Canvas Project, make sure you put it in your diary. See you soon!

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