Born in 1913, the son of a sharecropper and grandson of slaves, Jesse Owens was reported to be a sickly child, suffering from multiple bouts of pneumonia and other respiratory ailments. In high school and college however, he outgrew his unhealthy early years and became a record-setting sprinter who would go on to break three world records and win four gold medals at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, which had worldwide implications by infuriating Hitler.
In tribute to Owens, adidas has announced its Black History Month collection of footwear celebrating the great track and field legend. According to a statement from adidas, “the Owens family is pleased to partner with adidas for Black History Month with a commemorative basketball shoe. On the feet of athletes who compete in the spirit of Jesse's historic accomplishments, these shoes encompass the significance of one of the greatest athletes the world has ever seen.”
Each model features cream tones, dark brown contrasts, gold accents and signature details including Owens’ 733 bib number treated with gold foil on the tongue and a 1936 graphic-print in the liner.
In addition to the commemorative Owens footwear from adidas, the NBA is also doing its own tribute with Black History Month socks from Stance. The black, white and gray socks that were debuted on Martin Luther King Day, feature a “1929” imprint, King’s birth year. They will be worn throughout February in honor of Black History Month.
In other footwear news, the Jordan brand has released a retro-style Air Jordan1 Low OG shoe. The black and white low-top sneaker has a heel that features the original Jordan wings branding and Nike Air logo on the tongue. Named for legendary basketball player Michael Jordan, Air Jordan branded footwear has made billions in the U.S. basketball shoe market. In fact, Michael Jordan earned more from his ties to the footwear in one year than in his entire basketball career. CBS Sports reports Jordan earned $94 million in his 15-seasons as a player and $100 million in 2014 alone by his affiliation with the popular-branded sneakers.
And just in time for Valentine’s Day, the Jordan brand is releasing the Air Jordan 12 for girls. The white and Dynamic pink Jordan 12s feature metallic silver lace eyelets and tumbled leather base with the iconic “jumpman” logo and “23,” Jordan’s jersey number with the Chicago Bulls.