History

The history of the brand begins in 1979 with Bob Gamm, the American founder of the company. He is the inventor of the “ORIGINAL SHOES WITH POCKETS”. The architect and passionate runner is a fan of jogging from the very beginning and spends a lot of time with it. It is actually such a high amount of time that he can’t let go of one question: “Where to put my keys while running?” During one of his daily 10-kilometer runs, he comes up with the solution: running shoes with an integrated pocket. Bob named his shoes "KangaROOS" because the kangaroo is a fast runner, it never moves backwards and it has a 'pouch' - the original KangaROOS pocket is born.

Back in the days, the super-light COMBAT is the first model with the integrated pocket, which every shoe has as a significant identifying feature to the present day. In 1980, Bill Rodgers wins the Boston City Marathon in our COMBAT. He tops his own personal best and breaks the American marathon record in his run. The KangaROOS success story begins. In the same year, the revolutionary design is already sold 700,000 times a month in the United States. The rest of the world follows soon after.

After its birth, KangaROOS quickly established itself in the world of sport. In 1983, KangaROOS` legendary basketball hi-top silhouette SKYWALKER which is equipped with an ankle strap, a colored outsole and the KangaROOS pocket, conquers the National Basketball Association and soon becomes a classic among basketball boots. The most prominent athlete to wear the SKYWALKER on court at this time is NBA legend Clyde 'The Glide' Drexler, who thus helps the shoe to become popular beyond sports arenas. The SKYWALKER was a must-have in 80s streetwear. As a member of the original US “Dream Team”, Drexler wins gold at the Olympic Games in Barcelona in 1992. In 1996, he also gets selected to one of the 50 best NBA players of all time.

At the same time, Bob Gamm hires Ray Tonkel, a former Nike designer. The KangaROOS team focuses on performance and establishes another innovation in the running segment: the energy recycling and cushioning system DYNACOIL, a patented shock-absorbing material tested by NASA and used for the Apollo space program, which from now on makes KangaROOS running shoes ultra-comfortable - above all the COIL R1. Until today, DYNACOIL technology is seen as a successful heritage element in running silhouettes.

In the following years, KangaROOS expands its range of performance-driven footwear and serves various sports. In addition to running and basketball, the product range also includes tennis shoes, hockey and special track and field models. A great friendship that has lasted to this day develops in American football: when in 1986 the Chicago Bears win the Superbowl for the first and only time and William Perry and Walter "Sweetness" Payton wear our KangaROOS 'BEAR LO' and 'BEAR' silhouettes. With his records and awards, Walter Payton is still considered one of the greatest football players of all time.

In 1988, Bob Gamm retires and sells KangaROOS to a California based group of investors. He dies in 2010 at the age of 91. KangaROOS commemorates him with a special edition of his favorite KangaROOS sneaker, the Classic BLAZE, limited to only 91 pairs.

Since 1991 Pentland Brands Ltd., a family owned business based in London, has held the rights to the KangaROOS brand.

We, the Bernd Hummel GmbH, have been the world's largest and longest-standing licensee since the early 80s, after Bernd Hummel had discovered KangaROOS at a trade fair in the USA.

The photo shows Bernd Hummel in 1986, receiving the "Distributor of the Year" award from KangaROOS founder Bob Gamm (left).