In 1924, Adi Dassler, a cobbler by training and a keen sportsman, started a shoe company with his brother Rudolf. Adi’s method seemed simple: He observed athletes, talked to them about their needs, and then experimented with novel ways of solving their problems. While Adi concentrated on innovation and production, Rudolf was busy selling. The brothers were successful from the beginning. In 1925, Adi began submitting what would eventually be hundreds of patents for sports shoes, the first being for running shoes with hand-forged studs and soccer boots with nailed leather studs.
Pictured here is Adi Dassler, in 1925, in his shoe factory

Image copyright: ullstein bild/Getty Images

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The History Behind Adidas's Success – In Pictures