Were You Cool Enough to Wear L.A. Gear?

L.A. Gear

“Your ticket to Los Angeles, no matter where you live.”

With L.A. Gear’s fancy footwear on your feet, whether you were in Los Angeles or Kansas, you were the height of fashion. Founded in 1983, L.A. Gear provided high-style shoes in bold colors and designs for the whole family. Best known for their fashion color hi-tops with colored laces, the company also manufactured shoes for dancing, playing or just strolling the beaches.

L.A. Gear shoes were everywhere in the 80’s: they graced the feet of Michael Jackson (who even had his own line, complete with ‘Moonwalker’ logo), Paula Abdul and just about every school-age girl in America. Although they had a men’s line, LA Gear’s high-fashion style appealed to girls looking for a pair of pink high-tops to match their blue slouch socks, acid wash jean skirt, and off the shoulder pink sweatshirt.

A fashion-forward company, L.A. Gear delivered up a dose of fun when other athletic shoes were fairly lackluster. When the hi-top obsession hit, L.A. Gear was on the scene with Crayola colors and fluorescent flash. The Workout hi-top sneaker had easy-access Velcro strap closures, and shoelaces that matched the color of the shoe. Best remembered for the leather style, it was also made in denim, eyelet, mylar and patent leather. This was not a traditional Converse hi-top: this shoe had soul.

L.A. Gear

L.A. Gear shoes had attitude: with style names like Robin Hood, Streetwalker, Maniac and Melrose, the shoes took you where you were going and got you noticed, too. The Sunset Strip got sassy with a soft cotton hi-top with snap-open sides, the dancer style Bullet got bold in cotton and leather, and the L.A. Rollercoaster put a twist on the traditional deck shoe when a shoelace weaved in and out around the top. But the flair didn’t stop there: L.A. Gear designed boxes for each shoe style, creating a mood before the top was ever opened. The Confetti shoe with the multi-colored sole had the same confetti-colored design on the box top.

L.A. Gear’s attention to feet (and details) marched them up the ladder of success, and the company became the number three footwear manufacturer of the late 80’s. In addition to shoes, the name was seen on workout wear, jean jackets, and other apparel. They exist today, still creating a hi-fashion and functional shoe. In a world flooded with fads, L.A. Gear went the distance and came out a winner.