Keds is an American brand of canvas shoe with rubber soles, introduced in 1916 by U.S. Rubber (later known as Uniroyal, then Uniroyal Goodrich, and finally acquired by Michelin), later acquired by Stride Rite, and currently owned by Collective Brands.
When choosing a name, the initial choice was Peds, from the Latin meaning foot, but that name was already a trademark. Keds were first mass-marketed as canvas-top “sneakers” in 1917. They became known as sneakers because the rubber soles allowed sneaking around silently.
In the 1960s and 1970s, Keds added to its range of casual shoes a line of athletic shoes called Pro-Keds for more serious use, specifically for basketball. Keds have been used by many athletes.
From the mid-1980s through the mid-1990s girls wore Keds with leggings and rib-cuff and slouch socks, with baby doll dresses with bike shorts with or without lace and sometimes slouch socks, as part of a cheerleading uniform with rib-cuff/slouch socks, or in colder weather with leggings and rib-cuff/slouch socks.
Keds lost popularity in the late 1990s, but sales increased in the mid 2000s. “The Champion” sneaker in the traditional white and black leather and canvas uppers remained essentially unchanged, but became available in other colors and patterns. In 2006 some of the Men’s “Keds Triumph” sneakers were reintroduced, though Keds have always been more popular with women than with men.