The look of the LED shoes that markets are showing these days may seem like something new, but what people don’t know is that this kind of shoes already existed before more than a decade ago, and it was only wearable for kids.
L.A. Gear on Light Up Shoes
Way back in the year 1992, kids needed two things to be cool. First, they needed the Nintendo accessory watch based on the Super Mario Brothers 3 game, and the other is the pair of shoes called L.A. Lights.
Before even the LED shoes of L.A. Gear became a thing, the company was solely focused on selling upscale clothing for women. When they started selling bright colored spiked shoes, they’ve to witness the spike in sales and profit, which then led to them offering children’s and men’s shoes, including apparel in the middle of 1980s to 1990. Footwear then was synonymous to L.A. Gear, selling more athletic shoes for both men and women. They even got endorsements from top basketball teams in college and major celebrities in sports that agreed in showing them off during their games.
Their sports shoes pushed well in that time, but they are skyrocketing popularity started spelling trouble in the quality department. At the end of 1990, their sports shoes that were worn by the basketball players from Marquette University disintegrated in the game, and it all happened in a game televised nationally. That was the time that the brand was supposed to face eternal end for their credibility, but they had a secret weapon for that. That time, it was still under development, but it was great timing that they were able to show it off when needed.
In the year 1992, the LED shoes were introduced by the brand. But it wasn’t called LED shoes. It was referred to as the L.A. Lights. It made a dramatic change in fashion, getting deals from left and right, even from the most popular retailers such as Foot Locker. The brand was able to sell more than 5 million pairs of the shoes in just a period of one year shortly after they have made the shoes’ debut. For straight 2 years, these light up shoes were considered the hottest thing for fashion, particularly among kids.
Downfall of L.A. Lights
It was discovered that the pair of LED shoes came with it some dangerous form of poison. It was the LED lights itself that were embedded into the heel of the shoe. It wasn’t only selected pairs. Every pair that came out from the factory was carrying a significant content of mercury which is liquid form at room temperature and is recorded to be highly toxic to humans. It was used in the small switches that powered up the LEDs in the heel of the shoes. At every step, the mercury would switch up the circuit, which produces the blinking effect. This was such a high-quality design, but because such reports were out, it was then the time that L.A. Gear lost all of their momenta and had a hard time bringing back the spotlight they once had.