If you grew up in the 80s, you probably remember having a pair of Kangaroo shoes. I had a pink pair of them and at the time they had a little Velcro pocket on the side of each shoe where you could store your secret treasure. Today the pouch remains but has been replaced with a zipper instead of Velcro. Nike says, “Do it” but Kangaroos wants to know, “What’s in your pocket?”
The Kangaroos brand was born in 1979 when an avid runner named Bob Gamm decided he needed a place to store his house key and a small amount of cash while he went out for his daily run. . No glamorous or fabulous story here. These simple and fun shoes may have grown from small beginnings, but their popularity has lasted for 30 years. In the 1908s, Kangaroos shoes began to gain popularity when professional athletes like Walter Payton, Clyde Drexler, and Ozzie Smith began to endorse the shoes. As sales increased, Gamm was able to reinvest some of the money to make their running shoes even better. It even teamed up with NASA to develop a shoe technology known as Dynacoil, a patented energy system that involves improved suspension and cushioning located in the sole of the shoe. Many other shoe companies have started using this technology in their own shoe lines.
For a few years in the late 1908s, kangaroos disappeared from the market after their popularity declined, but reappeared in the late 1990s. During this time, the shoes became very popular in other countries, especially those from Europe. Even during these difficult times, Gamm remained dedicated to making kangaroos serious athletic shoes and worked on developing their shoes at a testing center located at the University of Illinois. During this time, he was able to fine tune his shoes for use in many sports, including basketball, tennis, track, and American football.
Now, Kangaroos shoes are known more for their role in fashion and lifestyle footwear than for serious performance sports. Today, they are sold in over sixty countries around the world. You will likely find Kangaroos shoes in all types of styles, shapes, and colors. Most still have pockets and others have a larger side ankle pocket that can hold a small wallet.