Cast your mind back to a day when kids used to be active and could be seen running down the street rather than dragging their heels. It was the 80s, a time when kids loved their trainers! Even those trendsters on The Clothes Show declared 1987 to be: "The year of the training shoe".
OK, so maybe not everyone's trainers were actually used for sports purposes, but at least most of them looked like they could be - they were now bigger and better than the 70s trend for Adidas Sambas and, remember this was before the Spice Girl wedge trainer got unleashed on teenage girls. The 80s was a hive of new shoe brands, getting more and more expensive with every new launch, may I add.
One of the pricier trainers was the Travel Fox, selling for more than £100 a pair, which in those days was practically laughable. Produced by an Italian manufacturer, they were spotted by Ashley Schapiro and imported to the States in the mid 80s with Hongson International, a New York City based company. The brand become eponymous with risque advertising campaigns, but it all went wrong in 1987, when they ran a 'sex sells' style ad during what was the AIDs era.
The Travel Fox brand was closely followed by the Reebok Pump at around £175 a pair - first worn by pop pundit Jonathan Kind don't cha know? There was also 80s competition from Nike Jordans. But Travel Fox remained a firm favourite for its soft nappa leather construction, hangtags and basketball-boot styling, and later with suede.
They were favourites of Tony Wilson who wore them (badly) with his collection of Armani suits, along with clubbers / ravers / anyone who could afford them. Jazzy B and Soul II Soul wore them in the 90s until the brand became seen as uncool and the brand spent the next few years trying to remarket Travel Fox trainers to keep up with the new wave of what was deemed 'casualetic' leisurewear. In 1992, they were pitched as upmarket hiking boots, and there were also attempts to up the performance levels for serious athletic footwear status. In 2007, the chain JJB Sports bought the Travel Fox label and the rest, we can safely say, is history.