the story of Stride Rite.
a century of quality crafted footwear, designed specifically for kids.
Jacob Slosberg and partner Philip Green found the Green Shoe Manufacturing Co. The quality children’s shoe manufacturer, specializing in stitchdown shoes, operates out of a converted stable in Boston, MA.
Green Shoe moves to a five story, modernized factory and begins using a highly efficient in-stock system.
Green Shoe advertises in Boot & Shoe Recorder, emphasizing 24-hour delivery, 100% in stock, and accuracy of shipments.
Green Shoe survives the Great Depression and continues to grow. They manufacture around 3,000 pairs of shoes daily and adopt new labor codes to keep prices and employment steady.
The Stride Rite Shoe trademark name is purchased for $1,000 from a Green Shoe salesman.
Green Shoe gains popularity for advertising the official Shirley Temple Shoes.
The Green Shoe name is phased out and Stride Rite Shoes is applied to every product in stock.
During World War II, Green Shoe worked with the U.S. Army to develop a nurse's field boot and produced thousands of pairs of WAC boots.
The Journal of the American Medical Association recognizes key benefits of Stride Rite shoes.
During the late 1940's baby boom, Green Shoe's most rapid period of expansion takes place. Production increased five-fold and employment quadrupled. Multiple widths in children's shoes becomes a hallmark of the company.
Green Shoe celebrates creating its 50 millionth pair of shoes.
Producing 25,000 pairs of shoes per day makes Green Shoe the largest U.S. manufacturer under one roof.
In October, Green Shoe enters the stock exchange. It is estimated that Green Shoe has 4% of the total U.S. market for children’s shoes.
They spend the next several years expanding, acquiring the Weber Shoe and R.J. Potvin companies. The sneaker, an increasingly popular fashion trend, is introduced to the Stride Rite line.
Green Shoe Manufacturing Co. unofficially changes its name to The Stride Rite Corporation. Thanks to the use of new systems, the company is considered one of the most advanced firms in the industry in computerized operations.
Arnold Hiatt, president of the newly acquired Blue Star's Shoes, Inc., becomes the first president of Stride Rite to come from outside of the Slosberg family. In the same busy year, Stride Rite begins advertising on television for the first time, acquires the Orange Shoe Company and establishes scholarship programs for children of employees.
Stride Rite has 3,000 employees and manufactures 7 1⁄2 million pairs of shoes annually and celebrates their 50th anniversary. This year also marks the launch of a large-scale TV campaign that included background music by the Bee Gee’s and was animated by the creators of the Beatle’s “Yellow Submarine” movie. Additionally, Mister Roger’s Neighborhood visits Stride Rite to film the process of shoe manufacturing that would be featured in a later episode.
With television and post-war production on the rise, the revolution of instant fashion begins. To meet the demand for aesthetic, season-less products, Stride Rite adjusts its products and inventory, as well as introduces a Research & Development lab. Within the course of a few years, the company increases the number of styles they produce by 40 percent.
Stride Rite builds the first on-site corporate day-care center in the country. This model is adapted by hundreds of U.S. companies.
The first company-owned Stride Rite Bootery opens, expanding Stride Rite stores into shopping malls. That same year the official Stride Rite Corporation name change takes place and a new logo is introduced.
With the new Stride Rite retail division in full swing, the company holds workshops to train salesmen in company philosophies, orthopedic markets and shoe design.
Stride Rite leases children’s shoe departments at 15 Macy’s stores in the NYC area.
The popular ZIPS sneakers line is introduced to match the surge in running, jogging and athletic activities taking off in America.
The Stride Rite Import Division is launched, beginning with manufacturing partnerships in Korea.
Stride Rite purchases Keds and Sperry Top-Sider from the Uniroyal Corporation.
Boston marathon winner Bill Rodgers appears in Stride Rite advertisements.
Stride Rite creates lines of sandals and sneakers featuring Strawberry Shortcake and Star Wars themes in an effort to reflect the new era of trendy children’s apparel.
Stride Rite moves its headquarters to Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Based on foot analysis and research, Stride Rite pioneers the development and introduction of a softer baby shoe.
Stride Rite succeeds in banning smoking of cigarettes, cigars and pipes from Stride Rite workplaces, a rare effort among corporations of the time.
In an effort to strengthen consumer appeal, Stride Rite contemporizes the company’s image and moves to brand designs that feature bright colors and geometric shapes. Profits rise by 40 percent due to an increase in demand for Keds, making 1987 the best year yet for Stride Rite.
The Stride Rite Children’s Group is formed by combining manufacturing and retailing divisions, as well as the children’s shoe lines from each subsidiary.
Stride Rite baby shoes become the first baby shoes to be granted the American Podiatric Medical Association Seal of Acceptance.
Stride Rite opens the nation’s first on-site intergenerational day-care center at the Cambridge headquarters, which garners research and media attention.
Stride Rite International, LTD, is formally established.
The first Stride Rite store-within-a-Retail store format is opened in Natick, MA to appeal to children of all ages.
Stride Rite relocates its headquarters to Lexington, MA.
Striderite.com, the official Stride Rite e-commerce website launches.
Stride Rite acquires the running brand Saucony.
Stride Rite acquires the baby pre-walker brand Robeez.
Stride Rite joins Collective Brands, Inc.
Stride Rite joins Wolverine Worldwide and is named Company of the Year by Earnshaw’s Magazine.
In July, Stride Rite's loyalty program, Rewards, reached over one million members only one year after it was introduced.