On January 24, 1899, Humphrey O'Sullivan received the first patent for a rubber heel for shoes.
From 1892 to 1913, the rubber footwear divisions of U.S. Rubber were manufacturing their products under 30 different brand names. The company consolidated these brands under one name.When choosing a name, the initial favorite was Peds, from the Latin meaning foot, but someone else held that trademark. By 1916, the two final alternatives were Veds or Keds, with the stronger sounding Keds being the final choice.
Keds were first mass-marketed as canvas-top "sneakers" in 1917. These were the first sneakers. The word "sneaker" was coined by Henry Nelson McKinney, an advertising agent for N. W. Ayer & Son, because the rubber sole made the shoe stealthy or quiet, all other shoes, with the exception of moccasins, made noise when you walked. In 1979, the Stride Rite Corporation acquired the Keds brand.