Recently our co-founder Bart told me about how our Budapest Spotter Hélène’s article about Tisza Cipő sneakers made him fall in love at first sight with a pair of sneakers. This Hungarian brand was started in the Communist Era, experienced some rough times and is now making a comeback amongst the cool kids in Hungary!
Of course we love local brands, and thus decided to ask our Locals about some of the coolest local sneaker brands in Europe. Most of them have a long and really interesting history.
Next time you visit another European country, check out their sneakers. It’s quite likely nobody in your hometown will recognize them (Bart has had 1 compliment in 5 years from a Hungarian visiting Amsterdam), but you can be proud to stand out amongst all the Nike, Puma and Adidas shoes you see everywhere on the streets!
SANJO was responsible for the Portuguese style for more than four decades, it has now been reinvented with new models and colors. SANJO was created by “Fábrica de Artefactos de Borracha da Empresa Industrial de Chapelaria (EIC)” in 1948, and it became a reference of quality and prestige as well as reflecting the country’s political, cultural, social and economic context.
When EIC was shut down in 1996 most of the brand’s history disappeared. In 2009 SANJO reappeared in the Portuguese market with the K-100 boot model and in 2010 the brand was consolidated in the Portuguese footwear market. (source: SANJO official site)
Tisza Cipő (Hungary)
The original Tisza trademark dates back to 1971. At that time, they were the only shoes available on the Hungarian communist ‘market’. After the fall of communism, Hungary stopped producing them.
An Hungarian entrepreneur (László Vidák), surfing on the ‘retro’ wave a few years ago, decided to reintroduce Tisza Cipő – his favorite childhood footwear. They’re very popular now!
Startas are made in the same factory in Vukovar, Croatia where they were born almost 40 years ago. Over the years Startas became a cult phenomenon and an iconic symbol of Croatian culture. Startas were more than fashion; they were a way of life. Sadly, during the 1990’s much of Vukovar and the Startas factory was destroyed during Croatia’s war of independence. Startas production was put on hold for years until the city and the factory could rebuild.
It has taken some time, but Startas are back representing the resilience of Vukovar and the unique culture of Croatia.(source Startas USA site.) As I previously stated, Spotted by Locals’ co-founder Bart is a proud wearer of Startas and can vouch for their high quality!
The Superga Brand was born in 1911 and quickly became one of the most famous Italian producers for tennis shoes with vulcanized rubber dedicated to many sport activities such as tennis and basketball… In the middle of the 50’s, with some new business partnerships, they highly increased the production, selling millions of shoes a year.
After that Superga shoes didn’t completely disappear, but just became unpopular, they were definitely not considered shoes in line with the trend of that moment.
Recently Italians have rediscovered this piece of history, again making them not just a perfect sports tool, but also a fashion statement. Tip: cool kids wear them without socks…I’d say it’s up to you!
Dinamo (Saint Petersburg, Russia)
Despite all the changes in the world, since the 1960’s the Russian Dinamo factory has managed to keep their business up and running till the present day with trainers that every St Petersburg kid wanted to have! Our spotter Elena tell us a bit more about the shoes and she also indicates where to buy them.
What’s your favorite local sneaker brand?