Sneaker Spotlight: Ken Rosewalls

Ken Rosewall

Back in the 1970’s when sneaker companies were mainly focused on tennis footwear, there was a large influx of different brands trying to market their own athletes. Some tennis players were signed on with larger companies such as adidas, PUMA, Nike, etc. while others were trying to create their own brand. One such player, Ken Rosewall, was up to the task to not only create comfortable kicks, but sneakers that looked pleasing and were light on the wallet. Rosewall himself is the proud owner of 133 titles, a career that spanned for over 34 years. Ironically nicknamed “Muscles” by his fellow-players (with a stature of 5 ft 7 in and all of 145 pounds), he was known for his agile abilities and had one of the best backhands in the game. He was a top 20 rank on the tour from 1952 all the way till 1977, a strong 25 year run that has seen him become the only player to have held Pro Grand Slam titles on three different surfaces. Of course, creating your own kicks seemed like the appropriate thing to do.

Ken Rosewall uploaded by kvegas

Ken Rosewall uploaded by kvegas

The “Ken Rosewall’s ” came into production in 1976, towards the latter end of his career. Designed by Rosewall and produced by Thom McAn (distributed by the Melville Shoe company), the sneaker became popular due to a having an appealing build that was pleasing to most tennis players. A simple silhouette, with a woven fabric similar to canvas comprising most of the upper, the look became very close to most of the other popular kicks of the day. The non-skid rubber allowed for better traction on the tennis courts while a foam arch provided a strong cushioning for long matches. Emblazed with his signature on the side and a simple colorway of beige, white, and navy blue, it’s no wonder many of our elder #sneakerholics couldn’t help but purchase them. The heel also featured his signature while the insole had his name in print, just in case if you forgot which player you were representing.

One response to “Sneaker Spotlight: Ken Rosewalls

  1. Is there any way I can get a pair of these “classic” tennis shoes? I wore my out until they stopped making them. Luved them!

    Julian Sandoval

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