Gola shoes are amongst today’s top sport trainers, their colourful styles lining the shelves of numerous trendy footwear stores. Gola’s designers have definitely got the measure of today’s fashions and colours, with all manner of beige/ brown, brown/ blue, blue/ orange, white/ red combinations to choose from.
It is a testament to Gola’s intuition that the company has been at the forefront of trainer manufacture for a century. The company was established in 1905 as a manufacturer of football boots, and was in fact the first sports brand to come out of the United Kingdom. The name Gola is thought to be a (not highly imaginative) anagram of the word ‘goal’. This theory is supported by the fact that the company’s first major advertising slogan, in the 1930s, was ‘Gola Means Goals’. However, they did not only make sports shoes; during the Second World War, Gola participated in the war effort by manufacturing boots for the British Army. In the 1960s and 1970s, Gola’s reputation as a football-boot manufacturer really took off, with Premiership teams and top players wearing Gola as they scored match-winning goals. The 1970s also saw Gola shoes being sported and endorsed by famous names in the worlds of tennis, cricket and rugby.
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The best-known Gola shoes nowadays are the non-athletic trainers popularly worn as casual streetwear. The Classics range was launched in 1999 and immediately became a must-have commodity. The shoes are based on a simple design, but one that is ideal for fashionable, comfortable trainers: a rubber sole, leather or suede uppers, and laces or velcro fastenings. Dependent on style, the soles are either very thin (such as in the ‘Crash’ range) or a little chunkier (the ‘Vector’ range), while the majority of designs are low-cut rather than ankle-high. All Gola shoes sport the Gola name and logo, often with trademark stripe along the side.
Gola does a great line in flat-soled slip-on shoes, which look very similar to streamlined football boots but are, in fact, intended for casual social wear. The quality of their shoes is outstanding; buying a pair of Golas is definitely a footwear investment as they will last longer than many other makes.
For men, there is a small selection of Gola boots – whether boxing-boot style (‘Bantam’ and ‘Knockout’) or thicker, more durable styles (‘Para’) – and women have the choice of knee-high leather boots or warm, suede winter boots in a choice of colours. For both sexes, Gola also produce sandals and flip flops with funky patterns and designs. Shoes are available online, in independent Gola shops, and through a staggering number of other general shoe retailers.