If you grew up in the eighties you probably remember having a pair of Kangaroos shoes. I had a pink pair and back then they featured a little Velcro pouch 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, “Just do it” but Kangaroos wants to know, “What’s in your pocket?”
The Kangaroos brand began in 1979 when an avid runner named Bob Gamm decided he needed a place to store his house key and a small amount of money while he went out for his daily run. No glamorous or fab 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 increase in popularity as 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 his running shoes even better. He even partnered with NASA to develop a shoe technology knows as Dynacoil, a patented energy system that involves an improvement in the suspension and cushion located in the sole of the shoe. Many other shoe companies have begun using this technology in their own shoe lines.
For a few years in the late 1908s Kangaroos disappeared from the market after their popularity diminished but reappeared in the late 1990s. During this time the shoes became very popular in other countries, especially those in Europe. Even during these tough times Gamm remained dedicated to making Kangaroos synonymous with serious athletic footwear and worked on developing his shoes in a testing facility located at the University of Illinois. During this time he was able to refine his shoes for use in many different sports including basketball, tennis, track, and American football.
Now Kangaroos shoes are more known for their role in fashion and lifestyle footwear rather than serious performance sports. Today they are sold in over sixty countries around the world. You’ll probably find Kangaroos shoes in all types of styles, forms, and colors. Most still have pockets and others have a larger side pouch going up the ankle that can hold a small wallet.