While Converse’s Chuck Taylor shoes were (and are) popular, they’re been ousted for the most part for a more supportive style of athletic shoe. And while no moon boots, that shoe was forged thanks to NASA.
The agency developed a process called “blow rubber molding” to produce lighter-weight helmets and, in the 1980s, one of its former engineers pitched a similar technology to Nike (NYSE:NKE). The idea was to create a hollow athletic sole filled with shock-absorbing material.
So, the popular Nike Air line was born — and that technology is now used for all kinds of basketball and athletic shoes that have followed in its footsteps.