THROWBACK THURSDAYS: Do you remermber Avia?


The other day I was getting ready to go to the gym and while I was getting ready my mom was also getting ready to go out to her exercise class. As I was putting on my kicks I looked over at my mom tying her laces and I saw that she was putting on her trusty Avias…that’s right Avia! Depending on where you sit on the sneakerhead generational charts you may or may not know what this brand is.


Avia is an American shoe company that was created by a man named Jerry Stubblefield in Oregon in 1979. He was a former record setting discus thrower at the University of Oregon as well as an entrepreneur. It is stated that the name “Avia” was created by Stubblefield while he was on a flight, it is said to be derived from the latin word “avis” which means bird. Both Jerry and his son Don created things that basically revolutionized the sneaker world. One of these items that was highly imitated was their Cantilever Sole. In 1987, Avia was acquired by Reebok from $180 million, who later sold them to the American Sporting Goods Association in the 90s.


Back when I was growing up in the 80s and 90s we had so much variety in sneakers that many brands to choose from. Now, a lot of these brands don’t really exist and if they do it is few and far between where you will see them. Back in the day when most guys were rocking big bulky high top sneakers Avia was right in the mix of things with Nike, Reebok, Adidas and Converse. The sneakers were big with LOTS of ankle support and often a tongue that looked big enough to be a shin guard! Most people don’t remember, but at one point Avia was being worn by basketball greats like Clyde Drexler, John Stockton and even Michael Jordan’s wingman Scottie Pippen.


I remember being able to go to Foot Locker and see Avia sneakers right up there on the racks with the likes of Air Jordans, but now…you can find them at your local Wal-Mart. ¬†*SIGH* What happened?!?! Even though Avia has technically taken a trip to the Sneakerworld Crossroads they were a big factor in the what some people may call the golden era of sneakers because it was open for anyone to take. It was just a matter of who got which athlete to endorse them and how well they advertised it…and we all know how won that battle and continues to dominate it.

By the way…if you’re really on top of your game you would have noticed that Avia started in Oregon as well…are you seeing something here?!?!

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About Sole Theory

Sole Theory is a sneaker lifestyle guide that explores the social impact of the sneaker culture. Users can expect to gain insight on recent trends, historic brands and signature styles that have heavily influenced the shoe industry. Content will be driven by articles, interviews and reviews that will uncover interesting facts and stories that have rarely been told.