Throw Back Thursday – Running shoes and ads – 80’s style

I can still remember my very first pair of Nike running shoes.  I really wanted the Nike Cortez white with the red swoosh but I’m pretty sure they cost around 30-35 dollars and back in the day my Mom thought that was ridiculous.  I got the Nike canvas tennis shoe instead and I’m pretty sure they didn’t cost much less.

Nike Tennis shoes

The following year I convinced my Mom that I needed the cortez and I got some blue and white ones.  I’ve had a love of running shoes ever since.

nike cortez

It seems sort of funny now but when I think back to that time 30-35 dollars was a lot for running shoes.  Up until Nike became popular and I became interested in running, we typically shopped at JCPenney for running shoes.  If my Mom actually new how much money I spend on running shoes now, she’d probably send me to running shoe rehab!

Since today is a Thursday, I thought it would be fun to throwback to the 80’s, (and maybe a few 70’s) and take a look at some of the ads for running shoes back in the day, enjoy!

84 roos

I never had a pair of roos but I always wanted shoes with pockets! Someone should bring back this idea…brooks? Mizuno? Nike?


I’ve had quite a few pairs of Chuck’s but never converse running shoes….

asics tiger

I must admit, I had a pair of asics tigers and I loved them!


Bonne Bell had a 10K running shoe by Etonic, who knew?

jcpenney ad 80s

JCPenney did have some Olympic Sneakers and hey instead of 30 dollars, they were a steal at only $21.99!

nike 3

I love this ad.

Sears winner ii vintage ad

For some reason these ads remind me of Fat Albert…

vintage etonic

Two pairs of laces? Really?

vintage puma 2

This is a great ad!

vintage nb 3

Another great ad!

Asics-Gel-Runners-Ad-1990 brooks chariot ad converse poster 83 Etonic-Ad-81- kangaROOS roos ad sears winner turntec 1985 vintage asics vintage mizuno ad vintage nb ad vintage nb trainers vintage nike ad vintage reebok ad vintage saucony

And last, there were the department store shoes other than JCPenny, such as Sears and K-Mart and these were there contributions.


The sears 440 Running shoe

K-Mart running shoes

K-Mart offered their version of running shoes for under 10 bucks!  Looks like everybody tried to copy Adidas back in the day….

What was your first pair of running shoes?
Do you remember any of the ads from this post?

12 thoughts on “Throw Back Thursday – Running shoes and ads – 80’s style

      • They’ve been great so far. I’ve run 2 marathons in them the last couple of months, plus lots of training miles in them. I also have the trail version (Peregrines) and they are great for trail runs (and I’ve done one marathon on them – in Feb). They’re a little heavy but not too bad.

        • I might have to take a closer look at those 🙂 I’ve been in the market for some new ones for a few months and my running store has kinvara’s and a 30 day return policy…

  1. OMG! This was great to look back. I had the old Asics – maybe the Tigers, but I can’t remember. They were purple too!
    And my first pair of Nike’s were in 1991. But do you remember the Reeboks that you had to “pump” up? They weren’t running shores, but I just remember them well.

    • LOL, I do remember those reeboks! This was such a fun post to do because I found so many things from my childhood and it made me so happy. I think I might make this a regular thing 😉

  2. Love these ads! I never was into “jogging” back in the day, but I did want a pair of ‘Roos. Who didn’t?! I was into the Reebok hightops. I didn’t even know half of these companies made running shoes. Nike Cortez were pretty awesome though.

    • I was surprised converse made running shoes. I don’t think I ever thought of them as a running shoe company. And the pockets in the roos, well, it doesn’t get better than that! 🙂

  3. I love this…being “older” I do get a little nostalgic these days… my first pair of running shoes was a pair of Nikes circa 1985. I didn’t run much in them though! I started officially running a few years later and ran in NIke Air Pegasus. Those were my go to for years, until Nike changed them. That was it. I never went back. Don’t mess with my shoes!

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