A first step in a long history driven by speed and performance: The brothers Rudolf and Adolf Dassler founded the company “Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik” (Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory) in their hometown Herzogenaurach, Germany. Unbeknownst to them, they place the founding stone of the world capital of sports shoes.
Within the town, they’re not the only shoe factory. More, smaller factories are scattered throughout the town, though many did not manage to survive past the 1950s and 60s. The brothers started their factory in their parents’ home in 1919, moving into its proper facility in 1924.
Within the first few years, both gain notoriety. A majority of German athletes wear Dassler spikes at the Olympic Summer Games in Amsterdam, 1928. In 1936, Jesse Owens wins four gold medals at the Olympic Games in Berlin, all while sporting Dassler spikes. More medals soon followed: seven gold and five bronze medals, all for world class athletes wearing Dassler shoes. The first records are smashed as well: two World and five Olympic records. It’s their international breakthrough.