The History of Kangaroos

An iconic sneaker brand who have shaped sporting history, today the authenticity of KangaROOS remains untouched.

Founder Bob Gamm, and American football player Roy Green

Competing in a 6.2-mile foot race near his weekend retreat at Camp David in 1979, Jimmy Carter, the 39th President of the United States started to wobble. Sparking fears of a sinister health attack he was assisted from the course by Secret Service agents. Fortunately, any serious medical concerns were quashed when he gave a thumbs-up to the crowd at the awards ceremony. Famously photographed a year earlier jogging on the South Lawn of the White House, Carter symbolised the burgeoning jogging phenomenon in the United States.

Less about competition, the emerging fitness cult of the late ‘70s focused more on recreational exercise. Well-being was tantamount to outfits and sex appeal, which created this arms race to provide running accoutrements that were both infinitely cool, and technologically adept. If Nike revolutionized the performance aspect of a running shoe with the invention of the Air Tailwind model – a year later in 1979 KangaROOS transformed its practicality credentials.

Facing a dilemma of where to put his keys, American architect and jogging enthusiast, Bob Gamm proposed the extraordinary idea to develop a sneaker with a small zippered-pocket. Released in 1979, the ultra-light Combat model could safely stash a locker key and coins. Gamm came up with the name KangaROOS for his line, because the kangaroo jumps 25 feet per step whilst running. It never looks back, only forward and it has a pocket.

Contributor

Freddie Anderson

Published

April 2022

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