Evolution Baby!

September 23, 2019

Have you ever thought about that design on the side of your shoe?

Where it came from and why?


Known by varying names depending upon the Brand but, generically known as a 'Manufacturers Ornament' and the 'Flash' to Walsh; it forms a quintessential and defining part of a sneaker and its identification. 


While these markings play a vital role in the branding of a shoe in today's market and culture, this wasn't always the case. Up until around the 1960's, many manufacturers were limited to the local reputation they made for themselves for their channel of distribution, and thus, the need to brand their shoes with a logo was hardly necessary. There were manufacturers who chose to decorate their uppers with an ornament of some description, however these were hardly unique to each brand, with lots of similarities occurring.




In the 1960's/1970's the 'boom' in athletic innovation began and it was at this time, with the emergence of new manufacturers and increasing customers, that brands started to develop their own unique and defining ornaments. Many manufacturers, Walsh included, went through a number of design changes and developments that ultimately lead to the ones you see today. 


Due to the vast archive of Norman Walsh, the evolution of the Flash design can clearly be witnessed throughout his years of creations.



Like others, Norman Walsh's first creations featured no 'unique' motif and it wasn't until the mid to late 1960's that Normans now iconic Flash took its first form. 





Made to look like the streamlined silhouette of a snakes head, from there Norman decided to add an entire body and tail to the Flash. This shape then became one of the most significant changes in establishing the identity of Walsh shoes.